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Red. It’s the color of Valentine’s Day hearts. It’s also the color of the heart positioned on Rigoberto’s packet. It means that he has been waiting more than 6 months for a sponsor. 335 days as of this date.

Red is also the color of this little boy’s shock of hair. It sets him apart from so many children in Mexico. In some cases, red hair is a sign of malnutrition because it means the body isn’t healthy. There aren’t enough nutrients in his or her body, so hair becomes brittle and lacks color.

http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/child-biography.htm?needKey=ME9130191

Red can be the color of marbles or other schoolyard balls that he likes to play with at the Compassion Center and at his school.

Red are the A’s, B’s, and C’s that he gets on his homework at school. He does well in school. Not above and not below, but average grades. This community needs further support in employment opportunities, public services, and educational motivation for its children.

Red is the color of the adobe walls that frame the house where he lives with his mom and dad. The floors are cement and the roof is tile. A family in this area typically makes $102 per month. That’s an average of $3 a day. His dad is a farmer. Most people in this village have no employment opportunities at all.

Red is the color of Jesus’ words in Rigoberto’s Bible. Rigoberto goes to Bible classes through Compassion’s center. He learns about the love of Jesus. He learns about the words that Jesus spoke about children. He is taught by loving staff members at the Compassion center who know his name.

Red. It will be a red-letter day on the day he finds out he has a sponsor.

 

 

 

You might be glued this summer to watching US stars like Gabby. I have loved watching her compete as well as 3-time gold winners, May & Walsh win the Beach volleyball tournament.

If you are a Compassion sponsor, you are already a star. You matter to your child and your child and their families pray for you. Take some time to write a letter this month and win the gold! Ya know – a big smile from across the world. Your letter is a message of love and encouragement to your child.

Write a letter and discuss the Olympics. If they had medals in their country, congratulate them. If not, ask them about the sports that they like to play.  Encourage them in their athletic activities. It will show that you care about them and want to know more about their country. Having a hard time getting started? Feel free to copy these letters – just be sure to use your child’s name and country!

(Age 16 from Mexico)

Dear Ronaldho,

Hello! How are you? I was so excited to see that Mexico’s soccer team won the game against Brazil for the gold! You and your community must be so excited that the team won! Congratulations! Did you get to watch the game? It’s so great to see that there are 7 medals won by Mexico in the Olympics!

I want you to know that I pray for your country, and I pray for you and your family. You are important to me and I am so proud of you. It’s so good to get your letters and see that you are doing well in school and share your talents with your church.  One of the verses that I think about when I see such great athletes in the Olympics is one that applies to our faith. It is Hebrews 12:1-2, which says: “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…” and so I encourage you to keep running the good race to seek Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and Savior. He loves you!

With love and prayers,

Beth

OR to Judith age 8 in Togo – this is a newly sponsored child, so I actually don’t know much about her.

Dear Judith,

I hope that you are well. How are you and your family? Have you and your family seen any of the Olympics? I love watching the athletes. It is very inspiring to watch them. I am not very athletic at all, but it is great to cheer for these excellent athletes. Do you like sports? Do you like to run or to play any sports? When I was your age, I played on a soccer team.

I want you to know that I pray for you and your family. Do you have a Bible memory verse? I like Hebrews 12:1-2, which says  “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…” – it reminds me to keep seeking after Jesus.  I want you to know that Jesus Christ loves you very much.

With love and prayers,

Beth

To find out about your sponsored child’s country where Compassion works, go to: http://compassion.com/my-account/

This list is only accurate as of Saturday, August 10th evening, so you may want to go to http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/countries.html

Central America and Caribbean:

Haiti – 0 medals (sent 5 athletes).

Dominican Republic – 2 medals

  • Lugelin Santos – silver – Track & Field Men’s 400m
  • Felix Sanchez – gold – Track & Field Men’s 400m Hurdles

El Salvador – 0 medals (sent 10 athletes)

Guatemala – 1 medal

  • Erick Barrondo won silver in Men’s 20km race walk

Honduras – 0 medals (sent 55 athletes – this includes soccer team)

Mexico – 7 medals

  • Men’s soccer team – gold
  • Maria del Rosario Espinoza Espinoza – bronze – Taekwondo Women’s heavyweight
  • Laura Sanchez Soto – bronze – Diving Women’s 3m springboard
  • Aida Roman – silver – Archery 70m
  • Mariana Avitia – bronze – Archery 70m
  • Alejandra Orozco Loza & Paola Espinosa Sanchez – silver — Diving (women’s synchronized 10m platform)
  • German Sanchez Sanchez & Ivan Garcia Navarro – silver in Diving (men’s synchorized 10m platform)

Nicaragua – 0 medals. (Sent 6 athletes).

South America

Bolivia – 0 medals (sent 8 athletes).

Brazil – 15 medals

  • Women’s volleyball – gold
  • Men’s soccer – silver
  • Esquiva Falcao Florentino – silver – Boxing
  • Alison Cerutti & Emanuel Rego – silver – Men’s beach volleyball
  • Adriana Araujo – bronze – Women’s lightweight boxing
  • Juliana Silva & Larissa Franca – bronze – Women’s beach volleyball
  • Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti – gold – Gymnastics Men’s rings
  • Bruno Prada & Robert Scheidt – bronze – Sailing
  • Cesar Cielo – bronze – Swimming Men’s 50m freestyle
  • Mayra Aguiar – bronze – Judo Women’s half heavyweight
  • Thiago Pereira – silver – Swimming Men’s 400m individual medley
  • Felipe Kitadai – bronze – Judo Men’s extra lightweight
  • Sarah Menezes – gold – Judo Women’s extra lightweight

Colombia – 8 medals

  • Carlos Mario Oquendo Zabala – bronze – Cycling Men’s BMX
  • Mariana Pajon – gold – Cycling Women’s BMX
  • Jackeline Renteria Castillo – bronze – Wrestling
  • Oscar Munoz Oviedo – bronze – Taekwondo
  • Yuri Alvear – silver  – Track & field Women’s triple jump
  • Oscar Aleiro Feueroa Mosquera – silver – Weightlifting Men’s 55-62g
  • Rigoberto Uran Uran – silver – Cycling Men’s Road Race

Ecuador – 0 medals (sent 36 athletes)

Peru – 0 medals (sent 17 athletes)

Africa

Burkina Faso – 0 medals (sent 5 athletes)

Ethiopia – 7 medals (all in Track and Field)

  • Dejen Gebremeskel – silver –  Men’s 5000m
  • Meseret Defar – gold -Women’s 5000m
  • Tirunesh Dibaba – bronze –  Women’s 5000m
  • Tiki Gelana – gold – Women’s marathon
  • Sofia Assefa  – bronze – Women’s 3000m Steeplechase
  • Tariku Bekele – bronze – Men’s 10,000m
  • Tirunesh Dibaba – gold – Women’s 10,000m

Ghana – 0 medals (sent 9 athletes)

Kenya – 9 medals (all in Track and Field)

  • Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa – bronze  – Men’s 5,000m
  • Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot – silver – Women’s 5,000m
  • David Lekuta Rudisha – gold -Men’s 800m
  • Timothy Kitum – bronze – Men’s 800m
  • Priscah Jeptoo – silver – Women’s marathon
  • Ezekiel Kemboi – gold – Men’s 3,000m steeplechase
  • Abel Kiprop Mutai – bronze – Men’s 3,000m steeplechase
  • Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego – silver – Women’s 10,000m
  • Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot – bronze – Women’s 10,000m

Rwanda – 0 medals (sent 7 athletes)

Tanzania – 0 medals (sent 7 athletes)

Togo – 0 medals (sent 6 athletes)

Uganda – 0 medals (sent 16 athletes) * 1 medal was won after blog was written.

Asia

Bangladesh – 0 medals (sent 5 athletes)

India – 5 medals

  • Yogeshwar Dutt – bronze – Wrestling Men’s freestyle
  • Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte – bronze – Boxing Women’s flyweight
  • Saina Nehwal – bronze – Badminton Women’s singles
  • Vijay Kumar – silver – Shooting Men’s 25m rapid fire pistol
  • Gagan Narang – bronze – Shooting Men’s 10m air rifle

Indonesia  – 2 medals

  • Triyatno – silver – Weightlifting Men’s 62-69kg
  • Irawan Eko Yuli – bronze – Weightlifting Men’s 56-62kg

Philippines – 0 medals (sent 11 athletes)

Sri Lanka – 0 medals (sent 7 athletes)

Thailand –  3 medals

  • Kaeo Pongprayoon – silver – Boxing Men’s light flyweight
  • Chanatip Sonkham – bronze – Taekwondo Women’s flyweight
  • Pimsiri Sirikaew – silver – Weightlifting Women’s 53-58kg

I’m just a few weeks away from my trip to Kenya!

Today, shots and pills! I didn’t think that I needed any as I have been to a few different countries. In Africa, however, polio is still a danger. And, my typhoid shot wasn’t good as long as I thought it was. This time, though, it can be taken in oral form for a week and will protect me for the next 5 years.

So, now I am vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Polio. I also have an updated Tetanus shot and a prescription for Malaria pills.

When I got home, my passport and visa had arrived in the mail. I am so excited. It only took about 2 weeks to get back! I was already getting apprehensive that I wouldn’t get it.

I am preparing to take some items for both Wycliffe and Kawira, including Bibles that are embossed with their first name on the front cover. Additionally, I will be taking some other books, including one called Soul Print by Mark Batterson (author of Wild Goose Chase & In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day) and a small $0.99 book called 199 Promises of God. There are a few other things that I’d like to take and I’m compiling a list of items. I’m hoping to take Kawira some fabric for dressmaking as she is in a dressmaking trade school.

This is all becoming so real and I cannot wait to meet them!

Please pray for:

1) Ease of traveling

2) Health

3) An opportunity to meet with these two wonderful kids

4) God’s amazing power to show up and help all of us going to Nairobi be ministers of truth and of God’s deep love.

 

Kenya has been on my mind since July 2011.  My eldest Compassion-sponsored child is set to graduate in September 2012. In one letter, he writes, “My family and I would welcome you to Kenya”

 

I’ve learned that Wycliffe’s family calls him Wicky, though he prefers to go by Sakwa Wycliffe. He’s 6’5″ and he loves Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I imagine that he will be a positive role model for other kids in his community.

He talks about the children in his project, and he hopes good things for them and for himself.

 

 

Kawira

My other “child” is also a young adult. Kawira is now 17 years old and lives at Kaaga School for the Deaf during most of the year.

I learned through a pastor’s letter that  children who have a hearing impairment or deafness are ostracized by the entire community. This is because there are superstitions that these children have an evil spirit. No one wants them around.

Thanks to Compassion and those acting on behalf of these children, children with hearing impairments are now much more valued and accepted than they once were.  Compassion provides the children with meals, medical care, education and spiritual education. Kawira is part of a dressmaking school thanks to Compassion, and she’s doing very well.

My desire is to go to Kenya with Compassion. It won’t be just to visit but to share the love of Christ with several child centers like the ones that Wycliffe and Kawira have benefited from.

I’ve been two other Compassion trips and have heard about others. These children are real and while there, we see a lot of God’s work right there in the field. While there, we will see a Child Survival Program and talk with mothers and get to hold babies.  We’ll visit 3 Compassion centers, play with the kids and even chip in and help paint, repair things around the project, garden, or do some cleaning.

We also have the opportunity to do some home visits and take a month’s supply of food to the family’s that need it most and who graciously allow us to come into their home and learn about the daily livelihood of the families that live in this community.  Click here to learn about the recent trip to Ecuador and a young teenager’s life.

Finally, we will even get to talk to young leaders who have come from the depths of poverty and who are now being equipped to serve their community and their country. That’s an awful lot of responsibility. So I hope that we can encourage them and help them to know that they are not alone.

I am asking you to be a part of it. Will you help me to be the hands and feet of Christ?  You can help by:

1) Praying. The trip is from March 20-28, but much prayer is needed in advance. You can pray for those of us going (Elizabeth, Christoph, Maggie, Daryl, and Debbie are a few people of whom I know are going.) We need prayers for safety as there are recent warnings about going to Kenya for US citizens. Prayers are also needed for the wonderful country staff that will be hosting us and for the people that are arranging the travel plans in Nairobi.

2) Donating items to deliver to children in the projects. School supplies, jump ropes, frisbees, soccer balls, stickers, fun activities that the children can do – (construction paper, foam stickers, crayons, markers, etc). bubbles. If you want to donate these items, please message me.

3) Donating to my trip there.   I have a Paypal account set up to accept donations.

 

 

Thank you so much for your prayers and concern. Please let me know if you have questions about the trip!

Beth

Well, I want to do better about sharing here. Thanks to Michelle’s blog, I decided just to do a fun post on recent letters from my Compassion crew.

Joan Adrian, now age 12, from Indonesia writes:

Shalom!

…Now I am in grade 7. The one I like most in the church is that I can sing and be joyful with my friends to praise the Lord.  It is because of you and your family’s prayer supports. I only can pray for you and the family, may you always be in the Lord Jesus’ care.  Thanks for the Chicago postcard! With love, Joan Adrian Nguru.

I left out his greetings, but I think he is such a sweet, young guy.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to get a letter from Nolvia, who just recently wrote. She is 10 years old and from Honduras. The picture here is a picture from our visit day in May, 2011 when I had the chance to meet her, along with my other two sponsored kids, Nery and Fernando.

Blessings dear Beth. It’s a pleasure to write to you again. I hope that you are in good health next to your family and your loved ones. Let me tell you that I’m doing very well in school and that makes me very happy. Thank you for the money that you sent me, and with that money I bought a blouse, pants, underwear, shampoo, cream and soap. I liked everything they bought me because I chose it. Hugs and kisses. I love you a lot. So long. May God bless and keep you!

Bridget, my newest correspondent, wrote her first letter. She’s 11 and lives in Uganda.

I learned that she lives with her parents, David and Florence. She also has 4 siblings, though she’s listed as one of six, so there might be an older sibling that no longer lives with the family or perhaps relatives that are part of the household but not in this letter. She has siblings named Stephen, Lillian, and Hellen that are older. She also has a twin sister named Violet!

Her best friend is Sharon, and she really likes science. In fact, she mentions it three times in her letter to me!  It’s not only in the box for favorite school subject, but also in her written message about herself to me. She likes sweet potatoes and fish, and her favorite color is red. Her favorite song is Arise and Shine.

I am really impressed that she wrote the first part of the message by herself, and then her tutor finishes out the letter by adding that she really likes science. She is in grade 4, and she really, really likes science. (Even the teacher seems amused) She likes her teachers and she wants to know if I have a job. She also promises that she will always write to me.

I have two more letters, both from Kenya that I saved until last to write about because I am planning on a sponsor tour to Kenya in March, 2012.

I’ll write more tomorrow, but I request your prayers.  The US Embassy is warning travelers against vacationing in Kenya for a number of reasons. http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/wm_20111104/
I have been planning since July to go on this tour, as have my two friends, Elizabeth and Christoph. This news is a bit concerning, and we are praying for God’s guidance as we are not at peace with the trip.

Will you pray?

Do you have a blog about your letters from your sponsored children? Please share!

I am going on the Compassion International Sponsor/Advocate tour in March, 2012 to Kenya! I signed up a few weeks ago, but there is still time to sign up, if you’d like to go.

I am going to meet two of my sponsored kids, but while there I will also get to visit a Child Survival Program and hold babies and talk to mothers! Compassion offers a holistic program, so I will also have the chance to visit with Leadership Development Students who have graduated high school and the Child Development Program.

Having  been on two tours with Compassion, I really  believe in what they do. They care about children, honesty, and impacting the world for Jesus. They are a 4-star rated non-profit charity with CharityNavigator. I am most looking forward to seeing Kawira and Wycliffe.

My "son" from Kenya - He's turning 22 this September!

Wycliffe is 21 and recently sent me a letter saying that he believed I’d come to Kenya one day and that he would welcome me as would his family. I think that was the catalyst that led me to sign up. He graduates in September, 2012 and this felt like a good opportunity to meet him.

Kawira also touches my heart. She is a correspondent assigned in June, 2010.  This just means that she has a financial sponsor, but that I have the privilege of writing to her. Often, large organizations that sponsor children cannot write to them all, so they assign a correspondent.

Kawira is 16

She is deaf and attends the Kaaga School for the Deaf in Meru, Kenya. Her best subject is Kiswahili Sign Language, and she finished 6th grade this year. Although she made good marks, her parents are unable to afford to send her to secondary school. Instead, she will begin a trade program, and she asks me for prayers for her siblings that they would be able to go on to secondary school.

 

 

 

I work for a great company that also has a Social Responsibility Program. I would like to put in a proposal to raise donations, particularly items that I can take to Kenya with me.  But what should I ask for? I am hoping to allow others to be a blessing to the people of Kenya and to see what an impact that they can make.

Blankets for moms and babies, stuffed animals for children, school supplies, or donations for Water for Life are a few ideas that have come to mind. Thoughts?

 

 

What is Water for Life? Watch this video!