Sunday, December 30, 2012

Little Winter Birds

I love finding other uses for all these gorgeous Christmas cards that are on sale!  Last year I did a winter letter for my sponsored kids on snowflakes, sharing with them how God has made them specially unique and  amazing, just like each snowflake He designs.  When I found this delightful winter robin card on clearance last year, I started planning to do a special "God Cares for the Little Birds & He Cares for You" themed letter this winter, picking up on the truths Jesus expressed in the Gospels when He talked about the little birds that God cares for so faithfully:

Behold the birds of the air; 
they neither sow nor reap 
nor gather into barns, 
and yet God in heaven feeds them. 
Are you not of more value than they? 
And can any of you by worrying 
add a single hour to your span of life?  
Matthew 6:26 

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? 
And not one of them falls to the ground 
apart from your Father's will.  
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 
 Do not fear therefore; 
you are of more value than many sparrows. 
Matthew 10:29-31

Now that Christmas is past and I have a few days before school starts back up, it's time to put this letter all together and off in the mail! The good news is that this card is available again this year through Family Christian Bookstores.  :o)  I used my set of mini alphabet stamps to emboss "God cares for _______" with the child's name on each card, and in their language whenever possible, and the child's small photo covers up the greeting on the outside of the card.  These child photos shown here are about half the size of a wallet photo... I put 4 of them on a 4x6 size canvas in Photoshop, and saved the whole thing as a single photo to print off at Costco.  If you have your own printer and can do photo prints, then that's all the better.

The inside of the card is beautifully designed too, and I will write the verses and greeting on the inside top flap.  I'm using a photo to cover up the Christmas greeting on the bottom half of the card... and yes, I specially wore the wintry red sweater and posed in front of the red twig dogwood on purpose for this card.  :o)  The envelope is also so beautiful, that I'm going to use it for the kids to store some special bird printables that I will show you in a second.

I received so many new correspondent children this fall and winter (YAY!!!) that I needed to get a second box of cards.  :o)   I found this equally wonderful Christmas bird card at Family Christian Bookstores... and the extra special part about this card is the cut out window that frames a wallet sized photo perfectly! So there you have it... at least two beautiful Christmas cards with bird designs to choose from for your winter bird themed letter.  I don't know which I like better, because they are both so incredibly beautiful.

I've found a number of very special paper printables to go along with this letter.  For starters, loonapix has a wonderful winter bird photo frame for making up a special photo print.  You can print these out as a mini poster on 8.5 x 11' paper, and write on it, "God cares for you, and so do I" or some similar sentiment.

Here's the link: Loonapix Winter Bird

Here are the loveliest paper bird designs for ornaments, tags, mobiles, or swags that I've ever seen.  There are three pages total, making a dozen different birds.  Print these on a nice card stock, and if you want them to be printed on both sides, then print each page twice, one time flipping it in reverse, and then you can cut them out and glue them back to back for your child. Many thanks to Rebecca for sharing her delightfully wonderful artwork with us!!

Here are some other lovely printable birds...



Okay, here's even a little bird airplane for your little boys...
Friends Across America has beautiful realistic coloring pages of each of the state birds.  I discovered that several states claim the same bird!  While the scenes are not winter scenes, I still love these coloring pages.  Follow this link, and on the lower right hand corner you will find links for each state.  Choose your own state bird, as well as other birds that you get to see... and maybe throw in a few that you wish you could see where you live.  For me, it's the cardinal...  I've never seen one here in Washington state.

And here's a different wintry robin coloring page that I liked.  Winter Robin Coloring Page

Don't forget posters!  Here are some free pdf files to download and print out.  This one offers both eastern and western birds of North America.  Free Printable Bird Posters

Winter Birds Poster

Or there is this free one of winter birds to print out...  Free Printable Poster of Winter Birds

And finally, puzzles.  :o)  At the Dollar Tree, I found this lovely puzzle of winter birds at a bird feeder that I'm sending to the children.  I'm thinking of writing about the birds that I see in my yard in the winter, and that not only are they delightful to watch, but they also offer a blessing by eating lots of harmful bugs.  Ask your child what birds they see... maybe they see the same ones you do at a different time of year.  You might enjoy looking up to see where your favorite birds migrate, and find a couple of interesting facts to share about these beautiful creatures that God has made for our benefit.


Well, this is what I'll be working on this week... enjoy the ideas for putting together your own winter bird themed letter, and if you find any special printable bird treasures, activities or thoughts to suggest, please leave your ideas in the comments!  I would love to hear them.  :o)   Above all, let your sponsored child know what a treasure they are to God... that just as one single bird doesn't fall to the ground with His knowledge or permission, so each child is known and cared for by God.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Friend of the Poor

Four years ago while waiting to make some purchases for Christmas gifts at Family Bookstores, I glanced down at the table next to me of World Vision children's packets waiting for sponsors... and the first child I looked at had my birthday.  I always wanted to sponsor a child, and while I wasn't sure this was the one for me, it definitely grabbed hold of my heart to do something about it... now.  After some discussion with the gal at the counter, she logged me onto the website for me to search for a child... and the second child that came up on the screen was Dora.

And I instantly knew. 

Even now, four years later, this picture brings tears to my eyes, leaves me breathless with a sweet tenderness, and makes my heart sing.  There's nothing quite like that amazing surge of love that God gives for a new sponsored child!  I felt like heaven just open up and poured down love all over me for this precious sweetie.  I could hardly wait for her to show up on my account so that I could email her...  her birthday, and mine! were just days away, and I was sure that the staff at the other end would hurry to print out that letter and dash it off to her in time.  LOL... little did I know the patience I would have to grow in for dealing with communication to a child in a third world country.  But that's a story for another time.

I've had nearly 4 years of growing in a relationship with Dora.  While the letters took an exasperatingly slow time to arrive because of her remote location, I cherish her letters.  Since that first photo of the little 9 year old girl, she has grown into a lovely young teen.

I'm sitting here with a stack of her letters and photos from over the years, thumbing through them, reading again my glimpse into this dear girl's world and the changes that have occurred.  Her heart has been knit to mine from her first letter where she introduced herself to me, "My name is Dora, and I'm very beautiful..."  :o)  to one of her most recent, "You are a gift from God to me as my loving sponsor... thanks for giving me your unconditional love.  You are very important for me, and you make me feel like a very special girl. Thank you for making me part of your family like you have been part of ours.  I will always pray for you.  I love you very much!" 

It's an incredibly bittersweet time for me right now, because her project is now closing... the goals have been accomplished for this community to be on their feet and supporting themselves.  So that's a good thing.  Dora has written several times now of her interest in school government, which World Vision helped to facilitate, and she has written of changes in her community...  "Now we have dignified households, and we are healthier and have a better hygiene.  We go to school, and thanks to God for people like you, we are thriving."  Those words warm my heart knowing that she is being so blessed.

What's hard is knowing that the time for our relationship has ended.  I wrote my final letter to Dora this last week, and sent off all the final gift packages for Christmas, her birthday, and end-of-sponsorship gifts.  And I still felt a little lost... she's still in my prayers, and always will be, but well, I do miss having the privilege of communicating with her. Another child was suggested for me to take Dora's place, but after consideration and prayer, I was directed to a Compassion child from Dora's country.  Welcome with me this precious sweet girl, Daniela...  

Daniela's father has died, and her mother tries to provide for her two daughters by washing clothes for others.  We really don't have much to complain about, do we?!  Tears spring to my eyes all over again as I look at the picture of this precious child, and she too leaves me breathless with a sweet tenderness and makes my heart sing.  I've already written her three letters...  ;o)  and am quickly putting together some little gifts that will be hand-delivered by another sponsor who will be visiting her country in a few weeks.

Last week I was also blessed with a part-time job at Family Bookstores, the same one where I first sponsored Dora.  I am just so overwhelmed with the favor and kindness of the Lord in providing this for me so I can fulfill my part to provide for these sweeties.  As an incredible bonus, I get to advocate for children in poverty right on my job!  Each employee also chooses one or more of the children's packets to pray for these children and their future sponsors... I just am so incredibly blessed to be part of a company that has such a heart for the widow, the orphan, and the poor!!!

I am praying, hoping, and planning to go on a Compassion sponsor tour next summer to visit Daniela, and Lord willing, I will still be able to visit Dora even though her project is closing.  In one of Dora's letters from this summer, she wrote,  "I pray every day to God for the opportunity He gives us both to stay in touch through letters, and maybe one day we can talk together and you could come to my country."  I'm coming just as quickly as I can, and can hardly wait to hug both of these dear sweethearts.

I recently found this clip of another sponsor's visit to her child in Latin America, with the song, "Friend of the Poor."  I invite you to watch this, and listen to this moving song over again as you read on here to the rest of this blog post.

It is such a privilege not only to personally sponsor children in poverty and help to change their story, but to also advocate for others.  Would you consider being a "friend of the poor" to one of these children?

Little Prajakta is turning 5 years old this Saturday, November 10, and I think receiving a sponsor would be an incredible birthday gift for her and her family!  Try to imagine the setting for this little girl who loves to play with dolls... homes have cow dung floors, plastic sheet walls, and hay roofs. Well, I can't imagine having to raise a child in these conditions, or having to live in them myself either, for that matter!  Prajakta lives in India with both her parents and one sibling, and her father is sometimes employed as a laborer, earning the equivalent of $35/month.  Remember, for that $35/month that the daddy is able to earn, they get a home with cow dung floors, plastic walls, and a hay roof.  But the good news is that for a little over $1/day, you can sponsor Prajakta, and you can change her story. Her project is IN267, and I have her packet until 12/7/12.

Ariyando is 7 years old, his birthday is May 2, 2005, and he lives in Indonesia with both his parents and two other siblings.  His father is employed as a farmer, and Ariyando helps at home by caring for animals, running errands and cleaning.  He enjoys playing with cars, listening to music, and playing group games.  Typical homes have dirt floors, brick walls, and thatched roofs, and the average wage for the subsistence farmers in his community is $32/month.  His project is IO669, and I have his packet until 11/16/12.  Will you be a friend to this one who is poor?

I've saved a very special boy for last... and one hard part about being an advocate is that there's so many that I want to sponsor myself!  Many Compassion sponsors have a huge heart for some very needy projects in India, specifically IN860 and IN864.  This boy's project is IN864...  and I have his packet until 12/7/12.  Mangesh  just had his 8th birthday this week, (11/2/04), and he has been waiting over 7 months for a sponsor... that is a very long time for a young child to wait!  Mangesh lives with both his parents and two other siblings, and he helps by carrying water.  He enjoys playing hide-and-seek and other group games...  kind of sounds like there isn't much in the way of actual toys to play with, does it?  His father is sometimes employed as a laborer earning the equivalent of $70/month.  Typical homes are made of dirt or cement floors, tin, bamboo or cardboard walls, and tin, plastic sheet or cadboard roofs.  This is poverty that most of us here in the US will never face let alone even see. Will you be the one to extend hands of blessing in the name of Jesus to this boy and his family? 

I speak blessing over you as you minister to others in Jesus' name, and change their story, one by one.

With blessings,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Autumn Leaves

It's that beautiful time of year again when the leaves are turning brilliant hues of reds, oranges, golds, and russets...  I love it!  This week I've been eying the glorious beauty from individual leaves to entire tree-lined streets that have burst into flaming colors.  And like last year, I've been thinking of what special projects to do with these beauties for writing to my sponsored kids... that is, after I finish getting all my Christmas packages off in the mail!  But while the leaves are beautiful, now is the time to go collecting some and pressing them for future projects.

I loved doing all kinds of fall leaf projects with my boys when they were children... leaf crowns, leaf rubbings, leaf prints, pressed leaves... and taking many autumn walks while singing special childhood autumn songs together, such as these two which were my favorites... 

"Many days are bright in October,
There is happiness in the air!
Red and yellow leaves from the autumn trees 
Are drifting everywhere..."

"Come little leaves said the Wind one day,
Come o'er the meadow with me and play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold,
For summer has past and the days grow cold.
Dancing and skipping the little leaves went..."

Last year after hearing of the leaf projects of some sponsor friends who were laminating leaves for their kids, I was once again inspired, and decided to make leaf cards for my sweeties.  One friend told how she went out into the yard (and into the neighbors' yards) in her pajamas hunting in the dark for for the perfect maple leaves that could be laminated and sent... I had to laugh, because I pretty much did the same thing... it was already pitch dark when I impulsively decided I wanted to do this project "now!", so I was out in the front yard, furtively trying to pick "good" leaves off my Sunset Maple tree and the Pin Oak trees along the driveway, waiting in-between cars going by so no one would see me!  

After pressing the leaves between pages of an extra telephone book for several days until dry, I glued the leaves directly onto the cards... but then I didn't know whether they would get buggy, moldy or ruined in time, especially considering that sponsored kids keep their letters "forever."  I ended up sending them to some good friends that I knew would enjoy them for the moment, but who weren't likely to hang onto them indefinitely... and saved one as an experiment to see how it held up after a year.  Well, I have good news!  It's still beautiful!!! 
It's pictured here on a placemat... though I would love a design like that for a border.  :o)

I ended up making this version that I actually sent to the kids...  I picked some more leaves to use fresh for making leaf prints.  It was a bit tricky, and not quite as simple as using a rubber stamp, but they still came out beautiful.  I sprinkled embossing powder on the wet ink and dried it with an embossing gun for the finishing touch... and also did the same for each child's name, using a miniature set of alphabet stamps that I bought at Michael's for $1.  I googled for other images to print out and add to my card... I especially love Beatrix Potter's squirrels and bunnies, so for these fall cards I added squirrels throughout the card/booklet.  

And when I received other correspondence children after I made my first batch of cards, I found some lovely leaf stickers to use with my leaf prints... here on this card, the leaves and letters of the child's name look like they are tumbling in the wind.

Several pages of cardstock were stapled inside the card to make it a booklet, since the information I received from Compassion is that staples are ok to use for attaching our own artwork... I hope that is still true!  Each page featured some of Beatrix's Potters squirrels, and I used a miniature paw print rubber stamp to create a trail wandering across all the pages as if squirrels had scampered there.

The center spread had a map with the child's photo and mine positioned approximately where we each live.  I couldn't find the exact maps that I used for these projects last year, but found two lovely old style ones that are free to use, and are high quality for printing... they are the last two maps posted on the link.  Here is one of them:

And then of course, I added in several photos of family and the autumn scenery for our neck of the woods, talked about walks I was taking and little forest animals I had seen, and wrote the words of one of those favorite autumn songs. And I shared with each child that watching the changing of the seasons reminds me again that God is always faithful to keep His promises:
“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
winter and summer,
and day and night
shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:22

I found some lovely activity enclosures that went with my autumn theme...  woodland animal finger puppets for the little ones, and 3D critters for the older kids to assemble.

And here are a few coloring pages of squirrels, some for the older kids, and others for the younger ones:

Here's one squirrel maze...
there's many more to choose from by googling!
Add caption
Since I did this project last autumn for my kids, and did it again in the winter for three other new ones, I've received... hmmmm... it looks like EIGHT more new children!   So I want to do this again for all these new sweeties.  :o)  Be encouraged to try your own version of a special autumn card for your sponsored child...  whether you try pressing leaves, or take a photo of some beautiful ones, or color a leaf design of your own, your letter, card, booklet, or lapbook will be a cherished keepsake. :o)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Little Seed

Waiting.  Silent.  Alone.  The little seed lies shivering quietly in my heart.  Day by day I wonder, I hope... will it ever grow?  Will the sun ever shine on me and cause my little seed to sprout?  Will gentle rains come to water the seed?  Or will this precious seed lie forever untouched, left to the barren place, never to show its beauty, never to show its value entrusted to it by the Maker?

I peer anxiously about for signs of life to nourish my seed, signs of beauty of the heart to encourage my seed to grow.  Dry dust stings my eyes. There is no rain. The dust chokes in my throat, and I despise its stench in my nose.  Thirsty... I'm always thirsty.  The little water that comes my way is rank, dirty.  How can my little seed grow?  Is that all that those in the world around me have to give out of their heart, nothing more than dirty, brackish water?  The murky water drips down my hand as I try to drink, choking on its bitter taste.

And little seed cries. 

Cutting words swirl around on a harsh wind, defying the seed even further... you are worthless...  you have no value...  you are such a burden.  Sometimes not even a word is spoken, but the message still chants endlessly, relentlessly in the despairing look of utter weariness, or in the flash of anger in the eyes.  I wince as I hear the wind scream my name, and say that my destiny is to forever stay hopeless... hopeless.  There will be no change, the words sneer, as they pierce my heart once again.

Tears silently leak down little seed's face.

Night comes.  I lie down on the bare ground.  Shivering.  Alone.  Is there no song to quiet my heart as I fall asleep?  No loving touch of the hand to brush my cheek?  No presence of love to make me feel safe?

Darkness deepens.  The air is thick, heavy, oppressive.  Then come the ugly voices, followed by the sound of a glass bottle shattering. I huddle further into the shadows, hoping to remain unseen for this night.

It is not to be.

Do not touch me, my heart cries out, and little seed covers its face in shame, anguish, despair.

Wiping my tears when we are again left alone, I turn my back, surrounded only by the darkness, and clutch little seed with a desperate fierceness.  Do not die, little seed.  You must live. 

I wait for the morning sunrise, longing to wake up to the someday of my dreams.  As I wait, I remember.

I remember the beauty of the touch of one...  the man who visited my village.  So clean!  his face... his hair... his clothes.  I stared in wonder as I joined with all the other bedraggled children pressed about him. His smile... I had never seen such beauty in a smile in all my life.  It drew my heart like a powerful magnet that I could not resist, that I did not want to resist.  And the light!  Where did the light in his eyes come from, as he looked into mine?  Like sunshine, the light beamed its beauty into my heart and touched little seed.

And little seed stirred.

Tenderly the man hugged each child in turn.  I had never felt such warmth flow from another before... did not know that it was possible.  He placed a hand gently on my head.  You are so beautiful! he said with a smile.  Little seed quivered with joy at his very breath.

Shall I live? wondered little seed.

I sigh at the memory, and fitfully, I fall asleep.

Morning comes.

Hunger wakens me yet again, like a harassing, ragged, unkempt dog.  The barest morsel is all I have to offer, and he sulks to a corner, glaring, whimpering, brooding.

I step out the door, and listen.  Voices.  There's something different in the voices today.  What is it?  I listen again. Something in the sound draws me to follow the path into the village.  Excitement is in the air.  Children running, jostling, crowding... I join them.

And then I see him.

Oh the light!  I look in his eyes, and am warmed by the light.  He smiles, and I drink in the liquid love that flows from his presence. He takes my hand, and draws me to sit with him.  Little seed's heart skips a beat with amazement.

He hands me a paper.  Such a beautiful paper like none I have ever seen.  Such pretty designs.  But the picture!  I gasp with wonder at the eyes of the one in the picture, of her smile.  So much like the man's eyes and smile.  This person has love flowing right from her picture on the page into my heart. 

Who is this?  I ask.

This is your advocate... champion... sponsor... friend, he smiles.  And he reads me the message.

Dear child, I am so full of joy to be your sponsor!  You are like a precious gift, and I love you already.  I'm sitting here looking at your picture, and it's like I'm holding your face tenderly between my hands, gazing into your eyes.  You are so beautiful to me.  I can hardly wait to get to know you, and be friends with you.  Child, do you know what a valuable treasure you are?  I have so much to tell you about this!

As the words sing to me, little seed sits up, drinking in the pure water. Love pours into my heart, and warms me.  Little seed closes its eyes, listening to the pulsing heartbeat of the song, feeling the light, and suddenly a little sprout emerges from little seed.

It startles me.  I look at little seed with wonder.  It's someday, says little seed.  And I nod my head in agreement.  Yes, someday has come.

The man holds my hand, and leads me into a beautiful room.  Children crowd together, giggling and laughing, and the very air around me breathes with anticipation and joy.

The fragrance of freshly baked bread fills the air.  I have never smelled such an aroma like this.  A plate heaping with warm bread is set before me.  Eat as much as you want, the man says.  There is always fresh bread here, a gift from your sponsor, and there will always be fresh bread for you to take home with you.

I take a bite.  I have never tasted such bread as this before.  I eat until I am filled. The delicious taste lingers long after I have finished, like a new friend holding my hand.  Little seed nods at me, and I grin with delight as the first true  leaves appear.

A pitcher of water is set before me... pure, clean, sparkling.  Living water, the man says, living water for you.  Drink all that you want.  There will always be living water here for you to drink.  I take a sip.  I have never tasted such water like this.  It's sweet water.  I drink deeply.  And it satisfies like no water I have ever had.

And the light... so much light in this place!  As the light fills my heart, the darkness leaves.  Little seed hugs my heart, and the sprout inches up taller.

Day after day I come to this place, eat of the fresh bread, drink of the living water, bask in the sunlight.  I am growing in the blessings given here, and in the love and provision faithfully and extravagantly given from my sponsor.  I have armfuls of treasured letters from her, my precious friend, and her words speak life, blessing and honor into the very core of my being, the home of little seed.  She says I am royalty...  a valuable treasure...  made in the image of God. She says that I have been given valuable gifts to develop and use, and I have hope, an awesome destiny and a beautiful future.
Day by day I discover that the words are true, and little seed grows stronger and taller.  Its roots grow deep.

I have learned to sing in this place as love has sung its song to me.  Little seed and I sing together our lifesong every day, because I am a person of value and worth, created to love God and worship Him.  I am gifted, blessed and loved.  Little seed has grown so tall, so beautiful, and good fruit grows on its stems. Everyday I eat of the sweet fruit, and have abundance to share with others.  I carry a piece of fresh bread with me everywhere to share with the hungry.  When a thirsty one comes to my door, I bring a cup of living, sweet water.  Joy bubbles out of my heart, and as I smile and stop to touch the head of a small child, I see the little seed in her heart... quivering... waiting... longing to sprout and grow. 

It will.  Someday has come for this little one.

Little Seed is my story of one child being lifted from the despairing place not only of hopeless physical poverty, but poverty of the soul, not being treasured and valued.  She is brought into the love of God where her little seed thrives and grows with the reality that she is a person of value and worth.  Her life is radically changed by people living out of the overflow of the love of Jesus to give and invest in her, and she in turn begins to nurture the little seed in the lives of others.  

Do you have fresh Bread to give?  Do you have Living Water to share?  There's a little seed waiting to be nurtured by you.  Tell her that someday has come.

Monday, September 24, 2012

One Plants... One Waters... Both Bless!

Saturday afternoon, I discovered that I had just been given a very special gift... a new correspondent child!!!  I am so excited and blessed all over again!  There is nothing quite like the experience of building relationships with children in poverty around the world...  I've been discovering firsthand what an incredible privilege and blessing it is for both the child and for me. 

While I financially sponsor a few children of my own, I initially received each of my Compassion children through the Correspondence Sponsorship program.  Many people want to help children by financially sponsoring them, but don't wish to carry the responsibility of writing consistently to their child, so they release them to another sponsor to be the correspondent.  Very cool teamwork, in my opinion!
One is the financial sponsor, and the other is the correspondent sponsor... and both are doing their part to bless and encourage the child, and to help lift him out of poverty, both inwardly and externally.  It's like one doing the planting, and one doing the watering, but both working together to bless!

If you currently sponsor a child through Compassion, but writing letters each month and working at developing a relationship with that child is not something that you have been faithfully doing, I encourage you to consider one of two options to bless your precious child:

1.  Commit yourself to writing consistently to your child.  Find out just how important your letters are to your child... read what children have said about this at Blogging From the Boonies. This post was such a revelation to my heart and understanding, and I haven't been the same since in how I write letters to my kids!! The relationship you build through letters is just as important as the financial giving...  one helps to lift your child from poverty from the inside, and the other helps to lift him externally.  Both are equally vital to the child's well-being.  Children in poverty have embraced the lie that they don't matter, that they are of no value.  When other children in the project receive letters from their sponsors on mail day, and your child continues to receive none, the lie unfortunately is reinforced.  Commit yourself to writing faithfully to your child.  Use the online email writing tool if that works for you... I know it does for me!  I'm currently writing to 13 children around the world that I can send emails to, so they hear from me 1-3+ times a month!  As much as I like handwritten letters, they only get sent about once every 1-3 months because of the time, energy, and cost.  The email doesn't cost me any money, it's quick, simple, my hand is happy, and I can even upload photos into the letter and choose a template for the stationery to delight my children.  You don't have to have very important things to say... just write.  Your simple letters in the child's hand let them know that they matter... that they are of value, and they are lifted from poverty on the inside.

2.  If you don't want to write on a consistent basis, please consider releasing your child to a correspondent sponsor to write letters and build a relationship with him.  I'm friends with sponsors around the world who absolutely LOVE writing to MANY children each month... and know that many or most of them would absolutely LOVE to receive another correspondent child!  Our hearts ache for the many children who rarely, or never, hear from their sponsors, especially when we would love to do that part.  These correspondent sponsors are all at their max for financially sponsoring children... for some it's one child, for others it's 20...  yes, 20!  While we may not be able to squeeze in another child financially right now, we still have plenty of room for writing to more, and would love to be part of that sponsor team for these children... one sponsor blesses financially, the other blesses by building the relationship.  You can call Compassion and let them know that you wish to release your child to a correspondent sponsor, and from experience, I can tell you that letters will be flying off to your child within hours!  Every correspondent I know immediately sends off the first email within minutes of receiving the child, and then is busy putting together little paper gifts to send in the mail.  The joy that the correspondent feels upon learning that they have a new correspondent child is intensely awesome!  Not only is the child blessed, but so is the correspondent!  You can call Compassion at (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT.

Maybe you are reading this, and cannot take on the financial sponsorship of a child right now, but the Correspondent Sponsorship program interests you, and you would like to be involved with this.  Call Compassion and ask to be put on their waiting list!  The longest I've had to wait for a child is about a month, and the shortest was about 1 day!  The moment I found out about each child, there was such an explosion of JOY..  I couldn't wait to write that first email!!  And I love the relationship that is being built, letter by letter, prayer by prayer, for each of these precious children.  The love that is poured into me and other correspondent sponsors for these kids is just so amazing.

Several weeks ago, I asked Compassion to again be placed on the waiting list, this time for a Honduran girl under 12 years old.  (I'm always pretty specific about the child that is on my heart!)  Honduras is the first country I want to visit after school is finished, and I want time to build a relationship with her before I go on that trip.  I've been praying for her, waiting for her, by faith have already been buying some little gifts to send to her with another sponsor who is visiting Honduras in a few months, checking my account daily to see if she had shown up yet, and... finally... Whoo hoo! Yes!  She's here!  So welcome with me my newest correspondent sweetie to my nest... 10 year old Astrid. :o)  I love taking the kids' profile photos and turning them into special pictures both for them and for me... to see each child as royalty in God's kingdom.

Maybe you are in the position where you CAN take on the financial sponsorship of a child, but would like someone else to be the correspondent.  There are three Compassion children very specially on my heart that I personally want to sponsor, but simply cannot take on any more financial sponsorships at this time...

The first one is this precious 8 year old girl in the Philippines, Brenda Rose...

The second is 9 year old Saifali who is living in the Red Light district in India...

...and the third is this older boy, 15 year old Carlos Roberto  :o)  in Honduras,  as the older children, particularly older boys, have a harder time finding sponsors than the "cute little ones."  If one of these three children interest you, and you would like to be a team together with me to bless these children, please email me asap at would be such a joy and delight to have the privilege of loving and encouraging these children together with you!!