Monday, August 31, 2015

August Compassion JOYS

It's that time of the month when we take a few moments to name all the gifts and blessings God has brought our way through the ministry of Compassion. Join us!

it was a good letter month! We received 20 letters total, and in one day alone we received 9!

Each of my daughter's corresponds with 3 kids - my youngest daughter received 3 letters in one day and was thrilled. She couldn't stop talking about it and read them all right away. She found a folder and created  a system for keeping them organized. 

a few letter highlights...

from Veronica "pray for my Grandma. She is sick."

from Winfrey - bought school uniform, cardigan and hen
"I now look smart at school and the hen will hatch many chicks."

from Mwanzia - grandma turned 68 and he is attending a computer class.

I was very excited to open a letter on my birthday from my birthday buddy, Portia, in Ghana.

Happy 4th Birthday to my birthday buddy - 
Rayson in Kenya

Happy 16th Birthday to my birthday buddy - 
Portia in Ghana

Happy 8th Birthday to 
Nabuduwa Esther in Uganda

we recieved an updated photo of Jerry in Indonesia (bottom left is current)

And now it's your turn! Here are some guidelines for you to follow for this link-up:
  1. Link up by entering the URL to your blog post (make sure it's a link to the actual blog post and not just your blog).
  2. Be sure to link back here to Compassion Family and tell others you are doing so. Feel free to grab the button code for your post (it's on the right side of the blog).
  3. Set aside some time to visit the other participants and leave some comment love.
  4. Begin taking notes and making a list for next month.
I should also mention that I reserve the right to remove anyone's submission if it fails to meet the link-up requirements or is inappropriate. 

***If you have trouble linking up, simply leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit your blog.

***If you don't have a blog, share your blessings in the comments!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fighting Famine With Innovation

Compassion sent this video to me because we sponsor a child at KE 200 where this project was filmed. What a gift it is to see how Compassion is making a difference in the community.

Fighting Famine with Innovation from Compassion International on Vimeo.

We have a long standing connection to this particular Compassion project and community. KE 200 is where our Dominic Muchangi attended for the 12 years we sponsored him. When he graduated a couple years ago, we sponsored Jackson Mwaniki from the same project so we could continue our relationship with this community (and keep a connection in case we are ever able to visit).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Josseling in Nicaragua

I love all our Compassion kids, but after being a sponsor for more than 20 years now, there are a few who really stick out and hold a special place in my heart. The common thread is that we've sponsored them for a long time - 12 years - and seen them through from childhood to adulthood.

Josseling is one of those, and maybe it's even more special that both my husband and I got to meet her on separate trips to Nicaragua. We've both met her mom and siblings and stood in her home. We've toured her Compassion project and walked the streets of her community.

October 10, 1997

Our sponsorship began in January 2003 when she was five years old. The first letter we received was dated March 28, 2003 and over the course of 12 years we received 50 letters. 

Miscellaneous information from the letters:
  • lives with mother and siblings (Henry, Gerardoo and Mercedes pictured above)
  • at the project: likes to play with friends, pray, play sports and Bible games. Also learns to compose songs and then sing them. 
  • bought a new blue dress and black shoes with money we sent

  • studied computing at the project, also learned baking (how to make cookies)
  • soccer league in the project and Josseling liked to play
  • project often had pinatas at different celebrations
  • project organized camping trip and Josseling participated
  • favorite verse - Proverbs 4:13, Psalm 23:1
  • participated in evangelist campaign
  • mother not a Christian - often asked for us to pray for her
  • August 2010 - surgery for umbilical hernia
  • 2013 - cousin Aurita passed away - she was 17 years old
  • late 2013 - new baby brother
  • January 2015 - finished high school and began university - studying journalism

Mirra Olor Fragante NI-111

She says she likes to attend the project because she likes to learn more about Jesus everyday. She says she likes to read the Bible, to pray and to sing. 

I am so happy because of the gift that I received from you. I went shopping with the project's sisters to the market of Ciudad Sandino. There are many clothes and shoe stores. I bought 3 pairs of shoes, sneakers, blouses, black pants, 3 pair of slippers and underwear. I loved underwear. I say thanks to you a lot for the gift that I received. 

almost every letter had a little drawing - butterflies were common subjects

Kevin's visit to Nicaragua in January 2012

Jill's visit to Nicaragua in January 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Birthday Buddies

today is my birthday,
 and I just can't help 
but bring your attention 
to my two birthday buddies....

Portia, in Ghana, is 16 today


Rayson, in Kenya, is 4 today

Friday, August 21, 2015

Take the Next Step

You and your family sponsor a child through Compassion. You write letters to your sponsored child on a pretty regular basis. But you have been there more that I can be doing?

Four years ago this month, my son and I signed up to become volunteer advocates with Compassion.

You might be thinking...what exactly do you do as a volunteer advocate?

In all honesty, if you feel the desire to be a volunteer advocate, I know that God can use your gifts and talents to help make a difference for the many Compassion children around the world.

Basically, an advocate speaks up on behalf of those who are unable to speak up for themselves. Each time we share the stories of the many children being sponsored, or waiting to be sponsored, we are being an advocate.

Over the past four years, my family has volunteered at many concerts and events, helping answers questions and signing up new sponsors. We have held a few Compassion Sunday events at our church and been available to answer questions of the many sponsors at our own church.

One of the things I love about volunteering at events is the many opportunities I have had to meet and hear the stories of Compassion Alumni who are sharing their stories of how Compassion, the local church, and their Compassion sponsor made a difference in their life.

So, are you ready to take the next step?

About Yvonne Reynolds...Yvonne is very active when it comes to sponsorship and advocacy for Compassion. She maintains Compassion's Second Friday Letter Writing Pinterest board. Yvonne is a homeschooling mom who likes to read, bake and take photographs. You can find her blogging at Our Little Corner of the World.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Compassion Daybook

I've already written my letters for the month of August and I'm thinking ahead to next month's letters. With mixed emotions I wrote a final letter to Rubi this week also. She's been in college for a couple years now and her classes have kept her from fully participating in Compassion's programs. She also recently found a job and this has resulted in her early departure from the program. 

Working On
I've been going through all the letters we've received and kept over the past 20 years. I finally decided to record the highlights and a summary of each child (with photos) digitally. Right now I'm publishing one a week on a series I'm calling "My Compassion Kids". I'm collecting links to all the individual posts on this landing page. 

Thinking About
My Compassion family is shrinking, but I think it's a good thing. I have another boy scheduled to graduate later this year, so it will get even smaller. I've realized that too many is overwhelming to me, and I've been able to say "no" to taking on new correspondent kids. It's ok to say no and let someone else step up.

It's time to start thinking about Christmas cards for my kids and unsponsored children. I've been collecting cards and supplies and will get started on these soon. I'll do as many as I can, personally, and I'll likely hold a card writing event at my church as well (probably in October).

I'm always reading something, but not always reading something that pertains to the subject of poverty. I'm up for suggestions, though, if you have any...

I did just receive this new release by Compassion advocate and sponsor and blogger, Emily Freeman. Eager to dig in!

For Rubi as she transitions into adulthood, and that her job is one that will provide her a good, stable income. For all the kids I've sponsored in the past and no longer have contact with - that they are still serving the Lord and growing in Him. For all my current kids and their families - for health and provision - for release from poverty.

Meditating on...Isaiah 58:6-11
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

I'm just starting to put together our plans for the school year, but here are a few ideas I've had.

  • Letter writing - Both my girls have three kids they will be writing to each month.
  • Research and presentation project - I'd like them to do some sort of research project on the countries where some of our children live. I'm hoping to give them a set of questions they need to find answers to (capital, population, flag, customs, etc) and then they can present their findings to us. I'd love to also have them prepare a meal that is typical in that country. Maybe I'll even have them write a blog post about it to share here...  
  • Memorization -  I think I'll also have the girls (and myself) memorize Isaiah 58:6-11.

On the blog
Other than the weekly summary of my Compassion kids, I don't have any series planned for fall. I'll continue my "what to write" series and "Compassion Joy Dare" each month, but other than that anything is possible! I'm always open to guest posts so if you have something you'd like to share, please let me know (either in the comments or through email - fiddlejill(at)outlook(dot)com )

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rubi in East India

This week I'm writing my final letter to Rubi - a sweet girl we've had the privilege of corresponding with for the past 6 years. Over the years we've received approximately 47 letters from her. Her early departure from Compassion's program came as a surprise to me, however she has received employment and her new job prevents her from attending Compassion's program


Miscellaneous information from letters:

  • born April 12, 1996
  • oldest of 4 children / lives with many relatives in a remote village / family is Christian
  • house made of cow dung and mud
  • parents have paddy field which they worked with a cow / grew rice, maize, potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage 
  • used gift $ to buy trolley back, nice dress (which she was longing to buy), chairs, backpack, carpet, bag and bedsheed (which were noted as necessary)
  • enjoys playing badmitton, table tennis, volley
  • dreamed of being a teacher (which she accomplished!)
  • has a personal bible (favorite verses - John 10:11 and John 3:16)
  • Christmas celebrations at center included all Christians from nearby villages
  • always wrote letters in English and always reported on the weather
  • likes to maintain house, read and listen to music
  • only girl from the project center to study in college
  • 2013 - went to college (50Km from home) - these classes began preventing her regular attendance at Compassion project
  • March 2012 - participated in LDP orientation
  • favorite part of center - vocational training (weaving and knitting) and 4 fold activity

Ruthvadi Child Development Center in Jharkhand, East India

letter highlights....

Well, this Compassion sponsorship is really a great blessing for me and my family. Through this sponsorship I have learnt so much. It is through this program I could study up to this standard. My parents want me to study and I want to but if there is no sponsorship I would have drop my studies long before like my other friends, those who don't have sponsorship. Because my family condition is not able to support me with my brother and other sisters who are also studying. By this sponsorship my family condition is better. 


This is my prayer - that in future I want to become a good Christian leader so that I can teach to others the love of Christ and to teach Bible story, songs and verses which I have learned and learning in our center from our teachers. 

I and my family are really blessed by Compassion ministry. It is through Compassion I started my schooling. I am not alone in my family. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters. I am eldest. Since we are four, my parents were not able to support all for schooling. Compassion save me from dropping my schooling. By your support I have read this far. 

I have not received a final letter from Rubi and don't know if I will. Regardless, I'm thankful God allowed her to come into our lives for a few years. It was such a blessing.
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