January 21st is my birthday. I love my birthday! Aside from a few texts from friends and 50 or so facebook messages, it was pretty low-key. I went out to greet a neighborhood friend, Ninja the Kitteh. I don’t have a photo of him, but he looks something like this:

Now, Ninja is normally very friendly and likes to hang out on my porch and torment my two cats. Usually, this cat-like creature comes out of nowhere as I’m walking out of my house, down the stairs, in the dark. He likes to weave in and out of my legs, and then he falls onto the ground and rolls in front of me. It’s almost as if he wants me to pet him. Oh, but I made that mistake. As you can see, my hand paid the price for my naïveté. Fortunately, I still have all of my fingers.

Well, after this drama and an entire tube of Neosporin, I decided to open the mail. Yay – Compassion packets! As my two cats are on house arrest and cannot go outside, for fear of life and mostly ears and paws, they decided to help me out.

The Siamese is Smudge. The tiger striped kitten is Dexter. Yes, named after the Showtime TV serial killer. He is not much help with Ninja at the moment, but does sport a mean back arch and spitting hiss. The two had to investigate my picture taking.

The first photo (with Dexter’s little paw helping out) is Salama Wanje Ziro, who is a 9-year-old girl from Kenya. She lives with her father and mother. Her father is not employed and her mother is sometimes employed as a seller in the market. There are 9 children in the family, including Salama. The family of 11 lives on about $30 a month and lives near Malindi, Kenya, which is near the coast of the Indian Ocean. Salama is in primary school where her performance is average, and her chores include carrying water. She likes to play ball games as well. Will you be her sponsor? Use the comments to leave an email address and I will touch base with you.

In the red and yellow  shirt is Simon Maluki. He also lives in Kenya. His mother is raising him and 5 other children. She is sometimes employed as a farmer. Simon helps out by caring for animals. He is in kindergarten and is doing well in school. He likes soccer and running. This family lives outside of Nairobi on about $25 US a month. That’s less than $1 a day.  Will you be this little guy’s sponsor?

If you would like to be the sponsor of either or both of these children, please let me know in the comments. Additionally, since Compassion usually only allows small, flat gifts to be sent, I would be willing to take a small gift, for either child if you sponsor them when I go to Kenya in March. These are real children living in poverty who need your help, your love, and your prayers and letters today. It isn’t a handout to them. Rather, you will be partnering with a local church in their community that knows their specific needs.  If God is pushing you to sponsor a child, you can help end the cycle of poverty.Want to know more? Go to http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/how-child-sponsorship-helps.htm

Additionally, if you want to sponsor a child that is an orphan, has special needs, shares your birthday, you can do that too. The link above will allow you to view child information and how sponsorship works.

So, lastly, I was going to tell you about some awesome scarves.

I was being a little silly when I said scars because of my hand. I probably won’t have scars. However, these women bear real emotional, physical and spiritual scars. They are the women of sexual slavery in Ethiopia. One organization that helps these women get off of the streets of Addis Ababa is called fashionABLE. The women learn how to make scarves and are rescued through this trade instead of stuck in the sex trade. By buying a scarf or two, you are enabling them to escape that cycle and helping this organization rescue others from a life of hopelessness.

Please note that the coupon has expired, but you can still help this organization by going to http://livefashionable.com/

As a present to myself, and maybe to these women, I bought a scarf! I’ll model it soon.