So, being in India meant that I didn’t have my letters with me so I couldn’t share them, but it also meant that I had really sporadic access to the internet, so this s a bumper catch up edition of Mail Call Monday, which is teamed up with the wonderful Blogging from the Boonies!
Whilst I was in India, I received an incredible six letters from my around-the-world family. On top of this, I also received a letter that got lost at the end of last year when I got home! I received two photo updates and a brand new correspondent child! There are also some exciting birthday and anniversary celebrations that have taken place, so this could be a pretty hefty post! You might want to get comfortable and maybe make yourself a coffee or something…
The first letter I received when I got home was from seven year old Rahul from India!
Rahul sent me the Weather template, and I love the information provided on this template! He tells me that his favourite kind of weather is the summer weather and it is usually very hot where he lives. When the weather is nice, he enjoys playing, and when it’s raining, he enjoys playing with water. It’s wintertime at Christmas where he lives. He drew me a beautiful picture of a smiley sunshine, too! He also took the time to write out some words in Kannada – his local dialect. The letter portion of the letter tells me he is doing well by the grace of God. He thanks me for the letters and photos that I send him and he tells me that he’s praying for me and my studies.
The second letter I received was from five year old Joyonto from Bangladesh!
I was assigned Joyonto as a correspondent child last June, but his first letter went missing, so I only heard from him in January just before I left, so this letter was a surprise! He sent me the “How I have Fun” template. He tells me that his favourite activities is playing football when he’s outside and drawing when he is inside. He usually plays with his friends. He drew me a great picture (using only a red crayon!) of a stick person, a flower and something that I can’t fathom!
His letter tells me that he is doing well, and so is his family. He thanks me for his letters and he tells me that where he lives, it is currently winter. He tells me that he is praying for me and asks that I pray for him, too.
The third letter I received was from ten year old Krisna from East Indonesia! (Warning – this one is pretty heartmelting!).
This letter was also quite a surprise, because I only received a letter from Krisna just before I left for India! He tells me that he is doing well, and he asks how I’m doing and what the weather here is like. He tells me that he’s excited about receiving my letter, and also for Christmas. He enjoys decorating the Christmas tree and “sharing love with my family and relatives”. The next line made me melt into a puddle on the floor. He says “Actually, I really want to spend Christmas with you but you live far away. I want to share joy with you.” I think I might just need to go out and hug this boy real soon. He asks me what I enjoy doing and if I like the college I attend.
The fourth letter I received was from two year old Irabizi from Rwanda!
It’s the standard “Relationship Letter” but I’m so grateful for these because they tell me information such as his height and weight, so I can have a real clear idea about how much he is growing. He is now 84cm tall and weighs 13.5kg at 30 months old. The milestones he has reached are singing and playing house and with cars. The letter, which was written by his father, tells me that Irabizi is fine and that he is growing well. They also thank me for caring about Irabizi and they shared with me Luke 1:45, which says “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished”.
The fifth letter that I received was from eight year old Elizabeth from the Dominican Republic, who is our family-sponsored child!
Elizabeth sent us the “My Friends” template. She tells us that the thing she likes to do with her friends is read the Bible and her best friend, who is a girl, s special because she loves to pray and loves to share. She met her best friend in her back garden! She tells us that she enjoyed the letter and photos we sent her about our trip to London, and she enjoyed the photo of the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s horses. She tells us that she spent one month away from where she lives because her mother works there, and then she tells us that she eats a lot! She thanks us for our gifts and prayers and asks us to pray for her family.
The final letter that arrived whilst I was in India was my first letter from Dorcus in Kenya!
I have been waiting such a long time for this letter! Dorcus was sponsored in memory of my wonderful nan who passed away a few years ago. They both share a birthday, and Dorcus is exactly the sort of young woman that my nan would have made time to love and encourage.
Dorcus thanks me so much for accepting to be her beloved fried. She tells me that she enjoys playing legball with her friends and that she plays the striker position. She tells me that she loves her friends very much, and that she enjoys school and she works hard (Dorcus is currently below average in school). She shares with me Matthew 7:7 which says “ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks with find and the door will be opened to those who knock”. She prays that God would bless me and she tells me again that she appreciates my support.
And the letter that went missing! Once I arrived home, this letter from ten year old Nova from Indonesia also arrived!
This letter was written back in September and arrived at the Compassion UK office in December and it finally showed up on my doormat on March 12th! Sounds like it’s had quite the adventure. But it’s worth it. Nova thanks me for the photo of the beach that I sent to her and she thanks me for the letters. She says “I am touched because you care for me and love me. I also love you very much.” She prays that one day she will be able to see me in person, and she’s sure that I am very beautiful.
Now, let’s talk about photo updates!
Some of you will know that I had to sit tight for a very long time to wait for nine year old Janki from East India’s photo to update. It finally updated just before I left, and it was so worth the wait! In the sequence below, Janki is five in the first photo, seven in the second (which was her current photograph when I was assigned her as a correspondent) and nine in the third!
The other photo update I received was from fifteen year old Chelsea from Ghana! The SMILE in this photo makes my heart so happy! I would love to visit Chelsea – I’d bet she’d be so much fun on child visit day! In the first photo, she is nine, in the second she is 11 (which was her photo when I was assigned her as a correspondent), in the third she is thirteen and in the fourth she is now fifteen.
(If you’re still on this crazy-long train at this point, reward yourself with a cookie. I promise we’re nearly finished!).
Let’s talk Birthdays!
On February 24th, my crazy-haired little Glen from East Indonesia turned seven!
And on March 6th, my new(ish) correspondent teen, Suresh Babu from India turned fifteen!
I hope and pray that these lovely boys had really special birthdays, and that they would know how loved and valued they are.
And now some anniversaries! (p.s. I’ve worked out that writing this with jet lag is painful. But I promise. We’re nearly done. Stay on the bus).
On February 21st, It had been two whole years since my friend called me up and offered to sponsor a child for me to write to. It didn’t take me very long to spot then three-year-old Blessing in the crowd of faces and welcome her into my family! She’s now five years old and she definitely lives up to her name!
The very next day was a very special day for me. On February 22nd, I got to celebrate sponsoring Cristin, my very first Compassion-sponsored child, for three whole years! She’s the little girl in the denim dress who started this crazy adventure, and God has exploded it in ways I never thought possible. I can’t believe she’s now eight years old, and growing so fast!
Fast forward to march 13th, and there’s a double celebration! It’s been a whole year since I was assigned now five-year0old Evis from Colombia and now seven-year-old Glen from East Indonesia! Time is going by crazy fast!
And now for the final thing, before we draw this crazy thing to a close (if you’ve stuck with me this far, you deserve a medal. Or another cookie).
Whilst I was in India, I decided to ask for another correspondent child. After spending the day with one of the local Compassion projects in India, I re-fell in love with the work that Compassion are doing and wanted to reach out to another child. Because I graduate from college in just a few short weeks, I knew that sponsoring a child may not have been the wisest thing to do, so I decided to ask for another correspondent.
God, typically, wanted to have a bit of a giggle. My last two correspondent children have all been from India, and I also had a correspondent child in East India so I shouldn’t have been too surprised to find out that my newest one was also from this beautiful country!
This beautiful girl is fourteen year old Soniya from East India. She is currently studying in grade 8 at an average level and is due to graduate from Compassion’s programme in December 2021. She celebrates her Birthday on February 5th and lives with her mother and father. Since she was registered with Compassion in 2002, she has had two sponsors and has only received six letters over the last twelve years. Her first photo shows her at around 11 years old and her new photo shows her at around 13 years old.
I’m so excited about getting to know her over the next few months!