Today I received four letters and two of them were first letters, from Teje and Darcy, two of my three new correspondence kids who I was assigned to after losing Genet and Naydali who both moved away from their project areas earlier this year.
At only four years old, Teje is my youngest Compassion child. She lives in Ethiopia with her mother and her two siblings.
Due to her age, I am aware that I will receive form letters from her for a while, but they sure provide loads of information.
Today I learned that Teje enjoys playing football, loves Macaroni, that her favourite animal is a goat and her favourite color is blue. She has three best friends, Gnkuan, Fanase and Kaleye, and when she is grown up, Teje wants to become a teacher. My youngest kid asked me to pray for her education and thanked me for my "willingness to support" her.
The second first letter was from seven-year-old Darcy. She lives in Colombia and attends the second grade. Her performance in school is above average. Darcy lives with her parents and at the moment I don't know if there are more children in the family. My Colombian sweetheart loves to play with dolls, to play house and to play various ball games. We share our love for singing and listening to music.
In her letter Darcy told me about her community, La Nohora. She told me that most of the people work in sales, that taxi and motorcycles are the most common means of transportation and that the people in her community are hard workers.
To close her letter Darcy shared a wonderful Bible verse with me: "I always thank God as I remember you in my prayers." Philemon 1:4 - this Bible verse sure goes both ways.
I thank God that he brought these two wonderful young girls into my life. I am looking forward getting to know them better and I feel blessed to have the chance to accompany them for a while.
Her letter had also information about her community in it. But I want to share her personal bit with you here.
It is a joy for me to be able to write to you again. I would like to know if you could send us a photo of you. (Funnily enough, I just sent a recent family photo to her last month.)
A few days ago, I got your letter and you asked about my dogs Lucas and Ricky. I want to tell you that they are very playful and cute. They like it when I rub their bellies.
About your dog Aura, it is very beautiful, what does she like to eat?
I want to tell you that in the first quarter I did well, and I am now in 3rd grade.
The day I got your letter, my tutor was telling me about the Good Samaritan, and she told me that we should treat people the way we want to be treated. I don't know what to do for others but I'm helping my classmates when they ask me for help. (This is a reply to a challenge I gave my kids and myself at the beginning of this year - I asked them all to do something small for someone else to brighten their day and I promised to do something good to someone as well - but I will make that an extra blog entry once I heard back about it from more kids)
On Holy week I went to mass every day, I am Catholic and I celebrate Palm Sunday. Everyone takes a palm to church and the priest blesses them. In Colombia we don't celebrate Easter but it seems like a beautiful tradition. I say goodbye for now with a lot of blessings and I want to dedicate the following verse Psalm 36:7 "How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings."
The fourth letter today was from Nakasumba, 11 years old from Uganda.
Here are the bits from her letter that I love too much to keep them to myself.
"I hope that you and your family are all good and health. At my side, I am okay with my family. Even my siblings are well."
"I did well in P.L.E., I got a first grade of 12 aggregates, thank you for praying for me and my father was so excited with me."
"You've written to me that your favorite animal is a meerkat while my favorite animal is a dog."
"In Uganda we have a fruit called Jackfruit. In our country everyone wants it and at least every home had planted it. It has seeds inside. Even Mount Uganda children want it so much."
"I like to sing a song 'Baby Jesus'. I like it very much, but it is obviously for babies and I like babies."
"My family members were so happy for what you give me and do for me."
On the back of her letter she drew me a very thoughtful drawing - a very special reminder.
And bear with me - I stop writing here now, I have letters to answer ;-)