Saturday, June 29, 2013

You Are Part of the Plan!

 

Image courtesy of the Compassion Mobile Experience Facebook page.

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(If you haven’t already, please hop over and “like” Blogging from the Boonies on Facebook!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Correspondence Connections!

A fairly new feature at Blogging From The Boonies, these Correspondence Connections posts share some of the things we’ve written to our Compassion International children.

Many sponsors understand the importance of their letters to their sponsored children. The letter writing ministry is a crucial part of the sponsorship! But, sponsors may run out of ideas of things to write about each month.  Sometimes, hearing what other are writing about can spark new ideas!

My current plan is to write a theme letter online to all 19 of our children every month. These duplicate letters are slightly edited to be specific to each child, but share the same basic information and photos. (Handwritten letters are usually totally different and each child is sent a paper letter at least every other month.)

This month, our round of online letters will be about VBS!

Our Compassion children seem to really love letters where I share activities that my girls are participating in, especially if I have pictures to go along with it!

This week, my girls are attending VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our friends’ church for a few hours each evening. The theme is “Kingdom Chronicles” and is based on the Armor of God. The church has created a really neat castle backdrop on their stage.

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I will tell the children about the schedule of the VBS, including the lessons, songs and games.

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Even though I have written about the Armor of God before, I will go over the scripture verses again and explain more about all of the different parts.

One website I love looking through is Ministry To Children and they have great ideas to share on the topic of The Armor of God.

The Armor of God Pieces

If you’re thinking of sending out letters based on the Armor of God, maybe these other resources will help you out!

The Life in Bloom – Printable Armor of God packet (SO cute!)

Memory Cross – Armor of God Flip Cards

Oriental Trading – Armor of God Sticker Scenes

Way Cool Bible School – Armor of God coloring sheet

Melonheadz – Armor of God coloring sheet

Green Jello with Carrots – Armor of God paper doll

DLTK – Armor of God lesson

I think that our Compassion children will enjoy hearing about VBS and learning more about the Armor of God. Don’t you?

Have you written to your Compassion family lately? If so, what did you write about?  Feel free to share in the comments! If you have a Correspondence Connections post to share, you can link to it in the comments as well!

Will you please make the commitment to write to your sponsored children often?

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Mail Call Monday!

Several Mondays each month, Compassion International sponsors link up to share the news from their sponsored children around the world.

Today was a Kenyan mail call! It seems as if Kenya may be on an every-other-month schedule when it comes to writing and I was happy to find two letters in our mailbox today!

First I opened a letter from Alice.

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She opens by thanking us for the letters and pictures we have sent to her. The specifically mentions some pictures that were “very beautiful and shining like a star.” I do wonder which ones she is referring to!

Answering some questions, Alice tells us that she goes to church every Sunday with her entire family and that they have a keyboard and guitar that they use for worship. She also says that in her daily life she uses both English and Kiswahili. I love that she answers some of our questions!

Alice goes on to tell us all about a camp she attended. She had a lot of fun with the games and was proud when her group, called The Tigers, won a competition! She also enjoyed all of the foods at camp, like rice, meat, chapati, oranges, mangoes, pawpaw and more. Sounds like a wonderful time!

In keeping with her area of expertise, Alice shared yet another Science themed drawing on the back.

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I love her writing and that she has a passion for Science! In the past she has also drawn diagrams of body organs, plant structure and more!

The other letter we received was from our handsome Ncheshia!

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He opens by saying that he thanks God for the chance to write and say “How are you?”

Ncheshia goes on to tell us how much he enjoys playing soccer and that his favorite foods are meat, milk, chapati and mangoes.

We learn that he goes to school Monday through Friday and then goes to the project on Saturday.  He enjoys learning to use the computer at his project and is good at the beadwork they are learning.

“I love God so much and I also love you but in all, God loves you more than anything.”

Awwww….

Ncheshia’s chatty letter also tells us that he has a dog named Simba which means “lion”. He tells us that he is doing well in school and likes Science. 

He tells us that he prays for our family every day. What a thought!

The letter closes with Ncheshia sharing that he would like to become a bank manager some day and that he would like to help the nation of Kenya and even help orphaned children. Such a wonderful young man!

The verse he shares with us is Psalm 121:1-2.

I really love the letters from our Kenyan children. They are so full of great information! I learn something with each and every letter! The frequency of letters really helps us to feel connected to Alice and Ncheshia, too!

What about you? Have you heard from any of your compassion children lately? I’d love to hear about your letters!

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kwagala’s Dream

From the moment I saw her face on the Compassion website, it was a matter if faith.

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My connection to Kwagala Deobrah was instant.

Asking others to join in and help fund the sponsorship was a step of faith.

As I shared in this post, I had a little internal argument before sharing the mission to sponsor her….

A week ago, almost to the hour, I sat with coffee in hand and argued with myself. Well, not so much myself, as I believe I was arguing with God.

“Post on your blog. See if you can find a group of people willing to help you out with sponsorship.”

“I don’t want to get my hopes up and get disappointed. What if a few donate and we can cover her for a few months, and then the funds run out and we can’t continue.”

“Post on your blog. Amy was able to coordinate the group-sponsorship of Agnes. You have a lot of passionate readers with big hearts.”

“But, what if NO ONE is interested? What if I look like a fool? Someone who is always asking people for something.”

“Post. On. Your. Blog.”

Back and forth I went until I decided to just try, to put it out there and see what would happen.

Well, love happened.”

It has been two years, almost to the day, since this beautiful young lady was sponsored.  Those two years have been such a blessing, as I have gotten to know more about this sweet girl in Uganda who now calls me Mom.

Kwagala Deborah’s story is hard to swallow. A father who died. A mother who walked out on three little girls. As the older sister, she stepped up at the age of eight to care for her siblings. Raking in rubbish bins for scraps of food before Compassion and a children’s home in her town stepped in to provide care.

But Hope has come in a group of people willing to work together, providing money, prayers and support.

I’ve recently learned that Kwagala Deborah is no longer living at the children’s home, at age 19 she has quite possibly “aged out” of the program.  She is pursuing her dream of opening her own beauty salon.

After receiving a letter this past winter where KD shared her dream, my daughter Kaya drew this picture to send to her sister in Uganda.

As we were told by the staff at the children’s home, the biggest obstacles to Kwagala’s dream will be organization and finance. Starting a business is not easy, especially for a young lady with little in the way of resources.

So, in a step of faith, I am coming to you all with an opportunity to bless this lovely girl. Next week I hope to send a financial gift to help Kwagala in this transition time of being on her own and trying to start her salon.

If you would be able to help with this gift, please feel free to send Paypal to tiedyebutterfly@hotmail.com. If you would like to give but do not have a Paypal account, please email me at mjw4compassion at gmail dot com and I can send you a Paypal invoice which can be paid with any credit card.

And, of course, prayers are always appreciated as well! Thank you!

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Slice of {Our} Life

Not wanting to neglect the blog too much, I hope to start a new series during those times when words and posts are hard to come by.

Here is a captured moment of our day today.

I enjoyed the beach-side breeze, sitting in the shade and writing a letter to our Kwagala Deborah.

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My girls spent a long time going from swimming to sand play and I was blessed by some time to just sit.

Welcome, Summer!

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Plea for Pascal

Last September, I cam across a slightly scowling young man from Uganda on the Compassion International website.

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Pascal was listed in both of the searches I do when I go to the Compassion website to pray over children. As one of the oldest on the site and also an orphan, by heart went out to this young man.

Knowing that teen boys do not easily find sponsors, I shared his profile here and there, hoping he would be chosen.

He was actually sponsored in September but his sponsorship was ended within a month or two. I had searched for him a few times, but had not found him on any Compassion sites.

This morning, though, a familiar face popped up when I went to Compassion to pray over the oldest children.

Pascal is looking for a sponsor and I would be so happy to know that he was chosen by a caring and dedicated sponsor who was willing to see him through to the completion of the program.

Is that sponsor you?

If you would like to visit Pascal’s profile, please click on his image above. If you cannot sponsor, please consider praying for him and sharing this post with others.

Thank you so much!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Mail Call Monday!

Several Mondays each month, Compassion International sponsors link up to share the news from their sponsored children around the world.

This past week, we were blessed to find two Compassion letters in our mailbox!

The first was from our little Madina in Uganda.

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Madina drew a picture of a school using bright colors for the doors, windows and roof.

With the help of CDC staff, Madina thanks us for the letters and tells us that she always “admires reading them”. She says that they have interesting pictures that she enjoys.

In response to letters we sent out in March about mail in our area, Madina tells is that they do not have mail boxes near by. She doesn’t answer the questions we asked about how letters are delivered to her development center, but it is nice to see at least a reference to our letter.

Madina then commented on the letter we sent about snow activities. She says, “I am happy to hear about a skis, I have never seen it.” During the winter we sent pictures of the girls trying out some cross country skis. I do wonder what our Ugandan girlie thought about all of the snow!

The other letter we received last week was from Elin Xiomara in El Salvador.

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It must be a universal thing. I smile when I see how Elin draws tiny circles to dot her eyes.

This is our second letter from Elin who was assigned to us as a correspondent in December. When she appeared on our account, I emailed Compassion to ask how often she had received letters. I was told that the last letter she had received was in 2008 and letters before that had not come frequently at all.

So, when I read through Elin’s letters, tears came to my eyes.

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It just touches my heart – her statement that she never imagined she would see us in photographs. 

By now, she has not only seen us in photos, but also our pets, our hobbies, our friends, our church and much more.  I cannot wait to hear what she thinks of all of those pictures and letters.

I am so happy to have the chance to write to these children and share a bit of ourselves through words and pictures. It really is just such a blessing!

What about you? Have you heard from any of your compassion children lately? I’d love to hear about your letters!

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Features

Yes, it is true…  With many things on my schedule and on my mind, blogging takes a back burner. I had mail to share, but on Monday I lacked the gumption to get a post together.  I had randomness to talk about, but morning plans and a car with blown brake lines got in the way of a Thursday This & That post.

My best intentions of being a consistent blogger often get pushed aside because of this thing called real life.

I’m sure you’ll forgive me!

If you’re a Compassion sponsor, you might have already seen the recently released findings of a study on international sponsorship. In case you haven’t, you can read a bit more about the study and its findings here:

Research Shows: Child Sponsorship Through Compassion Works

I’ve been convinced that sponsorship works for a few years now, but the study reaffirms this!

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In April, I shared the story of a little girl named Winter and her mission to raise fund to sponsor a child of her own!

Well, I am happy to share that Winter has reached her fundraising goal! Praise the Lord!

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Here in the boonies, the weather has been just about perfect and we have enjoyed visiting nearby gullies and spending time outside on our property.

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Yes, we’ve had our fair share if trials recently. I am diligently trying to look for the blessings in each day. Mindfully, I am trying to notice and give thanks to the things that bring joy - the gifts of each day.

I hope that you have been blessed. If you’re facing some trials today, I pray that you would notice the moments of joy or peace and that they would bring you comfort.

This song has come on the internet radio first thing for the last four mornings in a row. It has been nice to start the day being reminded that all I am is His.