Thursday, October 15, 2015

The New Brasilian in My Life

I belong to a Compassion Sponsors group on Facebook and I periodically see message about people who felt they could not possibly afford to sponsor another child, but then one child just "got" to them and they found a way to make it work.

I was more practical than that, until Adriano appeared on my Facebook page every day.  He's from Brasil, so that immediately tugged at my heart.  He's Brianna's age.  And he's one of the few "first photos" I've seen that is smiling

But I simply could not afford another child.

Then one day his picture was gone and it said that he was "in the process of being sponsored."  I was so pleased that he would have a sponsor since he had been waiting for nearly a year for a sponsor, but I kind of missed seeing his face every day.

But then this morning he was back on my Facebook page, so I guess that sponsorship fell through. And then my latest check came from my new critic job and I realized that in a normal month I would be getting enough each month to pay for one more sponsorship, with a little left over, so I bit the bullet and took on his sponsorship.

The bonus of taking him on as a sponsored child is that his dossier came with a video (which, sadly, I cannot download).  I learned he wants to work in the fire department when he grows up.

I mean...look at that face?  How can you resist?  And he's Brasilian!

Out of curiosity -- I dont think you can but check to see if you can see this video:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Letters from Lavenda, Brightone and Samuel

Lavenda is 10
 Dear Beverly Sykes,

I salute you, my friend Beverly.  I hope you are fine as me.  Thank you for the letters and hotographs.  I have kept them i my folder at home.  I really admired the fact that you have been marriedfor 50 years.

How was Tom's birthday in Santa Barbara?  I pray for them.  You have a beautiful family.  God bless you.  I am surprsed that Brianna plays a guitar.  Tell her that is great.  I love them all.

Read John 14:12-13

Brightone is 9
10th August 2015

Dear Beverly Sykes

Praise God it is another opportunity to thank him for this friendship he has brought us.  How are you?  My family are fine and have sent their greetings to you.  Receive them.

I am doing well at school.  We closed school for the August holidays and I am enjoying my time with my family at home.  I am helping my parents in their household work, particularly preparing our farm for the next planting season.

I was so glad to receive your letters.  Thank you for praying for me and my family.  I loved the pictures you sent too.  I don't mostly speak English, only when I am in school.  I speak Kiswahilli and my vernacular called Luhyia while at home.

My favorite subject at school is science because I learn new interesting things.  Nature is so wide and full of wonders.  It's amazing that God made this wonderful world that we ought to protect it.  I always learn at my compassion project and we recently planted flowers around our project to demonstrate this.

Thank you for encouraging me too. I try to catch up with mathematics at school so really keep praying for me.  God bless you for generosity and support that has seen me through this far.  I always pray for you too.  Till next time, stay blessed.

Your son,

Samuel is 10

Dear Beverly Sykes,

Receive much greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am fine and doing well in the Lord also.

For now schools have closed and we are nw in our August holiday and I am really enjoying together with my friends, especially in the Church.  I now find myself enjoying sleeping even though I find myself waking as usual for I have been used to this.

Here the weather is very hot and ost of the things we grow should be able to do well in this type of climate, therefore we don't grow blueberries, especially atour place where even the land is very dry.

I also want to thank you for your letters you have been writing to me, for the wonderful photos and the verses of encouragemet.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Letters from Michael and James

Michael is 7

In a form letter about his favorites, Michael says that

His favorite food is rice.
His favorite sort is "Athletic"
His favorite activity is "dramatising"
His favorite color is red
His favorite friend is red
His favorite animal is dog
His favorite hero is his father
His favorite toy is cars

Michael greets you in Jesus name.  He says thanks a lot for your great concern upon my life.  Michael says he enjoys receiving your letters because they are encouraging to him.  He adds that he is doing well with his project work and school work too.  He says he will be happy to get more from you.

James is10

 Hi!  How are you doing?  Here in Kenya, we are doing fine.

My family members are doing well too.  The weather here is cool with little rain at night.

Exams are ongoing in our school and I want you to pray for me so that I pass and be successful.  I would like to encourage you from the book of John 14:6 that says "I am the way, the truth and the life."

I thank God for giving you life and gace.

Yours faithfully,

Monday, September 28, 2015

Letter from Brayan

Brayan is 13
Brayan is my very best letter writer EVER.  What's weird, though, is that the dates of my letters he mentions don't correspond to anything I have on file, though I recognize the things he is answering.

Dear Beverly Sykes,

How are you?  May Lord Jesus fill you with health and strength to keep moving forward. Let me tell you I'm very excited to receive all of your letters that you are so kind to send me. I'll happily answer them.  I'll start with the one dated on February 28.  Let me tell you that my brother Franklin, is 10 years old and we get along really well. We play several games.  My team has done it very well these months.  We haven't played because we are practicing and I'm in school, and I don't have time to play.  I do know soccer in Honduras.  We play it a lot.  Thank you for the  prayers you do for my grandmother.  She does like flowers, she has a garden at home.  Give your husband a hug for me.  I hope he has many more birthdays with lots of will and strength.  My mom cooks a very delicious food.  Thank you for the happy face.

Now I'll go with the letter dated on March 22.  I don't know Limbo's dance.  I would like you to give me more information.  Thank you for the photos you sent me.  The girls look very beautiful.  So do their parents.  It is nice that you are always together.  I heat my food in the stove when my mom is not home.  I've learned to light the fire and to heat my meal. I like cooking fried beans and starry eggs.  That's what I like to eat when my mom is not home.  Thank you for praying for me.

I'll go with the letter dated March 30 now.  Thank you for sending me the Wizard of Oz story and the photo.  I like going to CDC, singing cheerful praises and bible verses that help my spiritual life.  It is nice that even though you have not visited my country you have lots of information about it.  My country is beautiful and nice.  The only bad thing is that there is too much crimes and they kill people without any regrets.

I'll go with the April 6th letter now.  The festivity we have right now is Indian Lempira's Day.  It is a nice celebration because there are many boys and girls that dress up like Indians used to do.  I like it very much.  Thank you for the letter and photos of your mom and your husband.  Give them a kiss for me.  I send greetings to the girls and lots of hugs.

April 29th is next.  Congratulations to Brianna because she lost the tooth.  She seems to be a brave girl.  I encourage her to keep being brave because there are some other kids who cry.  I can imagine a beautiful landscape when you talk about the wild flowers.  We are on winter in Honduras right now.  There are rainy days and sunny days sometimes.  I do think about what I'm going to do the next day. I sleep at my mom's house.  I sleep with my brother Franklin.  Thank you for the Bible text, Jeremiah 29:11 and also for Brianna's photo.

May 22nd letter.  My family and I are healthy.  Thank you for Amy's story.  It seems that she fought for the boys and girls who suffered.  Thank you for Amy's and for India's country photos.

May 26th letter.  Thank you for the photos you sent me.  Let me tell you that there is a variety of ladybugs here in Honduras and I like seeing  them because there are many trees and grass here where I live.  You look so relaxed in the hoto.  It seems that you really like playing the guitar (I sent a picture of Ned playing the guitar...earlier he thought Ned was Walt).  I would like t know what your favorite color is.  What is your favorite animal?  What date of the year is special for you?  I always keep you in my prayers.  May God bless you with lots of health and joy.  I ask you to pray for me because I'll graduate from the 6th grade this year. I hope it is pretty and special for my family.  I wish with all my heart that God bless you every day by your family's side.  Goodbye.

He also sent maybe the best drawing I've received from any of the kids.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Kiva Loan

Sidi, Kenya
Sidi is married and has four children all of whom attend school. She owns a house that neither has electricity nor piped water. Her greatest monthly expenses are food and school fees.

For the past five years, she has owned a food stall business, for neighbours and town dwellers. She faces a major challenge of fluctuations in number of clients hence perishable of goods leading to losses.

With the Kshs 50,000 she wants to purchase stock of goods like sugar, rice, maize and wheat flour and cooking fat oil. She dreams of expanding to a modern café in the business

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Letter from Miché

Miché is 12

Dear Beverly Sykes,

I am very happy to write this letter to you.  How are you and your family going?  And your activities?  As for me, everything is going well, thanks to God.

Beverly, I was glad to receive your most recent letter and photos.  I especially liked the photo you took in the hairdressing room.  You look like our resident Michel Joseph Martelly.

Yes, I always take care of the place I sleep in.  I sleep in the waiting room.  I sleep alone.  I didn't use to hear about Limbo dance.

Beverly, please continue to pray for me and my family.  Also pray for my education and for the activities of the Center.  Me, I'll be praying for your activities to go well.  I pray the Lord blesses you.

Monday, September 7, 2015

First Letter from Joham

Joham is 11

Dear Beverly Sykes,

I greet you in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I thank you very much for the letters you sent.  Honestly, I was very happy to read your letters and to see you in pictures.  I always wanted that moment to come.

Thanks to God, my family and I are doing fine.  In my country there are black and red lady bugs.  I also want to tell you that in May will celebrate Mother's Day.  It is a beautiful day to have pleasant moments together.  i also want to tell you that in June we celebrate Father's Day.  Every day I thank God for the privilege to live with my parents.  Just as it happens to you, I can imagine myself opening a box filled with many ladybugs.  I think I could have fun seeing t hem on top of each other.  It is possible that I could play with them.

My next school break will be in December.  when I have a school break I spend time with my family and neighborhood friends.  I am very happy to know that Brianna is learning to play the guitar.  I encourage her to continue to move forward.  I want to tell you that I have four sisters whose names are Claudia (25 years old), Johana (22), Diana (18), and Yeraldin (17).  I also want to tell you that I am participated in a soccer tournament with my classmates from the Child Development Center (CDC).

How are you?  How is everything going in your community?  I want to ask you to pray for the well being of my famly.  I pray for you and for yours.  May God bless you.

I say goodbye, giving you Psalm 128 1-2.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Disturbing News

I received the following note from Compassion:

Unfortunately, I need to make you aware of an error that has been made. We have discovered that the two children you recently agreed to write to are not available for correspondence. This includes El Woodsen xxx and Cristal xxx. 

Compassion must be having a huge headache right now because dozens and dozens of sponsors have written to the Facebook site about the children they lost in this error.  One woman lost THIRTY THREE children!

I have written 8 letters to each of these children, but so far had heard nothing from either, so this isn't a huge loss for me, but I feel sorry for those who had already established a relationship with their kids.  I will eventually get two more kids to write to.



Friday, August 28, 2015

Letter from Fred

Fred is 11

May 19, 2015

Dear Auntie Sykes,

Christian Greetings.  How are you?  Hope and pray that God will fine in your life.  By the way, what is the most difficult subject of Brianna?

Last April 27-30 we have juniors camp.  Our theme is stand up for Jesus.  I learned many things about God.  Lots of games and every night we have group competition.  This coming June I will also be in Grade six.  I"m so excited to see all my classmates, so please pray for m health and my studies.  God bless!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Letter from Theresa

Theresa is 8
This is a form letter about "My Christian Learning."

11 July 2015

My favorite thing I learned about Jesus is:  Jesus is the Saviour of the world.

I learn the most about Jesus Christ from the Project.

My favorite Bible verse is:  Psalms 23:1 (The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  Amen.)

My favorite Bible story is the story of God's creation.

When I pray  to God, I pray about the health of her family and her sponsor.

Thank you for your
X Words of Encouragement
X Pictures
X Prayers and sponsorship.

Child's prayer request:  She wants you to pray about her academics.

I would like you to know more about my Christian learning:  She watches educative movies about Jesus Christ on screen at the project center.

Child's response to the sponsor's question(s):

She said the oil is for cooking and also the family sell some of the oil to earn a living.  She said the oil is red in color and add great flavor to their food.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Letter from Mercy

Mercy is 11 and wrote her own letter in English.  Lots of grammar mistakes, which I thought were charming...and amazed at how well she DID do.

Dear Syks,

Hallow Syks.  How are you?  I am happy in the name of Jesus and how are you at that day?

Here at Kenya there is lady bugs the same colour like the one in the letter and in Kenya there is no blueberries, but there are strawberries which are colour red.

I am thankful for the letter and the gifts I have received.  God bless you too. 

On 2nd June we had visitors who are the sponsors for my friend from New Zealand and Swizzland in our project.  That day was joyful.  I had never seen in my life.  There were twenty-three and their friend.

I am working hard in my academic.  I just request for prayer from my mother is sick. Receive greeting from my sisters and brother and parents.  I wish one time we will meet.

Thank you.


Monday, August 24, 2015

First Word from Edilsar

I say first "word" from Edilsar because it falls far short of a letter.  It's answers to 6 prompts and no personal message whatsoever.  Edilsar is from Mexico and is 11 years old.

I am thin, tall, and my skin is dark.  In my neighborhood there are trees, rivers and animals.  My dad's name is Ermilo and my mom is called Estela.  I dream about becoming a teacher.  In my spare time I like to play soccer. Please pray for my dad and my mom, that they stay well.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Letter from Anjali

Anjali is 12

Dear Beverly Sykes,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I received all your letters.  I am very happy and I am very excited to read your happy letters. I saw all pictures tat you sent for me.  I am very happy because you shared all happiness moments and problems in your life with me.

I am very sad because your cousin suffering from cancer, but I am very happy because you're helping to your cousin.  I pray for your cousin's health in my daily prayers ad in my family prayers.  I am also love snow, but here there is no snow.

I saw the picture of your cousin (Carolyn) with Tess and I saw the picture when you're celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with your relatives.  I am very happy to saw that.  In another picture I saw you and your son Ned with bald heads.  You're looking very beautiful without hair also and it's very nice that you're helping sick children.

I have one memory verse to tell you that is (1 Samuel 16.7)  "The Lord sees not as man sees.  Man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart."  I like this memory verse very much.

Your friend Sonia looking very beautiful and her paintings also very beautiful.  I am very happy that you met her again.

I saw so much snow in the photo that you sent.  I think it is very, very cold there and it covers almost all the country and I think we can't live on that place.

Thank you for telling about the game.  I think that Brianna like the game very much, and she play easily. It's very nice to look at Brianna as a chef and dentist.  I know that she is very enjoyed to do that performance and she looks very pretty.

In summer holidays I went to 10 days VBS (vocational bible school).  L learnt so many songs and memory verse there.  I enjoyed there so much.

I pray for you and for your family members is in my prayers.  Thank you for showing so much love on me.

Thank you for your love and support.

your loving child,

Friday, August 21, 2015

First Letter from Rifaldi

Rifaldi is 9


Dearest grandma Beverly Sykes and the family.  My family and I thank you for sending the letter, and I've seen grandma's picture with the family too.  I have an elder sister named Jeni (11) and a younger sister of mine Tyara (6) who's as old as Brianna.

I'm enjoying school break now.  I'm promoted to grade 4.  I get the 2nd rank out of 24 students.  I'm very pleased this year my sister Tyara goes to Primary School.

We and the family keep on supporting you in prayer,that you're given a long life and be healthy always.  Greetings from me and the family for you and for everyone.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Letters from Divine and Emmanuella

Divine is 12

Dear Beverly Sykes,

Your child Mushimiyimana Divine is greeting you in the name of Jesus Christ!  She is doing great, but she was suffering from malaria.  Her siblings are also sick.  We are in our long dry season.  The weather is very hot!  She is studying hard to do well in her examination.  She will start them on 13/7/2015.

During the hot weather, studies become difficult.  Please pray for her siblings to be recovered and for her to do well in her studies.

She really thanks you for all your letters.  She received them well and pleased her so much!  She liked your photographs.  We do not have the snow here.  This is our dry season.  She is studying hard.

(signed by her project worker)


Dear Beverly Sykes,

I thank you for your letters and your words of encouragement.

I sleep in our bedroom with my sister and if somebody wishes to give me something I will wish the person gives me a laptop.  My favorite part of the Bible is proverbs.

You look beautiful with no hair.

Yes, I cook and my mother taught me how to cook.  I like cooking banku [a Ghanaian dish which is cooked by a proportionate mixture of fermented corn and cassava dough in hot water into a smooth, whitish consistent paste] and okra.

I have learnt in school that we should be good Samaritans.

How are you and your family doing?

I pray that God will let the rain fall in California and the Almighty God will bless Brianna and add more years to her years.

Pray that God will help me in our coming examination so that I can be promoted to JHS3

Memory Verse:  Proverbs 12:10.  A righteous man cares for the needs of his animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.  Amen.  [not sure what that means!]

Saturday, August 15, 2015

New Kiva loan

Teresa from Kenya
Teresia has lived in Mukuru Kayaba for fifteen years. It is here that she has raised her three children and established her micro-enterprises of water vending and a retail shop.

In her area, there are no decent toilets. Her family and community use makeshift options, often located by the Nairobi riverbed.

At night, due to insecurity, these facilities are not accessible particularly by women and girls for fear of rape. She learnt about Fresh Life Toilets through the sales associates at Fresh Life and is determined to join the movement by acquiring one Fresh Life Toilet.

She sees this as an opportunity to provide a sanitary and safer toilet option for her family and neighboring community at all times.

Ultimately she hopes her work contributes towards a cleaner environment free of flying toilets along Kayaba pathways.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wow -- SIX letters!!!

They all came from Kenya and it as such a wonderful surprise to be blanketed with so many letters!

Michael is 6 and so he fills out a form about his family.

My siblings oldest to youngest are Ezina, Eshiaw.  In my family I spend the most time with my sisters.  Extended family that lives with me are aunt.  My family lives in the urban area.  My food is prepared by mother.  My favorite thing to do with my family is playing.  My favorite way to help in my family is washing utensils.  My family's faith background is Christianity.  My family's health and special needs are none.

Message to sponsor:  How are you doing, he begins.  He says he is fine and doing good.  Michael says he liked the stickers you send him in the last letter.  He adds that he enjoys watching Tom and Jerry cartoons.  He continues to say that he enjoys seeing his mother cook, although he is also learning to do so.  He ends by wishing you God's blessing.

Mwongela is only 5 and so he also filled out the form about his family.

My siblings from oldest to youngest are Junior, Kasehanna (Ruth).  In my family I spend most time with his sister Ruth.  Extended family that lives with me are his uncle and grandmother.  My family lives in the rural area.  My foods is prepared by his mother.  My favorite thing to do with my family is telling stories.  My favorite way to help my family is to be sent to the shop.  My family's faith background is Christianity.  My family's health and special needs are to grow stronger in Christ and have good health.

Message to sponsor:  Mwongela says hello  hoping that you are doing good together with your family.  He says his family is doing well too.  He says he sleeps on abed with hisbrother Junior.  He also says thank you for the letters, bookmark and the game, which he enjoys playing.  He says thank you and that may God bless you. He requests you to pass his regards to Brianna and that he loves you all.  He says bye bye for now.

Brightone is 9 and writes his own letters, in English.

Hello!  How are you? I am so excited to write to you once more.  My grandmother sends her regards to you.  We are all doing fine in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am always overjoyed by the letters you do send me.  They really encourage me so much.  Yes, think always where I sleep.  I sleep with my siblings in our room.  We always prepare our bedroom before the evening so after doing homework, we go to sleep. I still enjoy going to school and I learn a lot of new things.  My favourite subject is science because we are taught interesting things in the natural world.  Did you find science interesting to study?

I was so much encouraged by the verse you shared (Jeremiah 29:11).  I enjoyed reading it with my friends.  It is so amazing how God loves and has good plans for us.  I am being transformed holistically at Compassion's project every Saturday, thanks to your support.  Thank you for your prayers too and may God bless you.

From your sponsored son in Kenya, Brightone

James is 10.

Dear Beverly Sykes,

It's quite a pleasure to hear from you through the letter you sent me.  It's good to hear that you are fine over there.  I am fine too here in Kenya, together with my family members.

I was impressed to see Ned, mother and the two little girls.  Ned is looking good with his short hair and let him just maintain his hair like that.

I would like to encourage you from the book of Psalms 20:4. (May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.)

Be blessed so much, Dear.


 Samuel is 9

Dear Beverly Sykes

Samuel greets you in the name of our Lord Jess Christ.  He says he is doing well at school and at home  "How is you my dear sponsor," asks Samuel.  samuel says he prays for you and loves you for your continued support to him.

He thanks you for the letter you sent him.  He says he received it and thanks ou for the verse of encouragement and photos. He says here in Kenya they normally celebrate their birthdays by going to church and singing together.  Also, he participates in communal work by sweeping and cleaning their nearby market.

May God bless you! says Samuel.

Wainaina is 17.

Dear Beverly Sykes

Receive much greetings from me.  I do believe that everything is right with you together with your family.  I'm doing fine at school and also at home.  I do hope that your days are good as mine are.  We are very lucy in our school that we were able to proceed to the County levels insoccer which was not easy to attain.

At last we are seeing some rains and cold nowadays.  Hoping there will be more.rain.

May God bless you and your family for the great support you offer me.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Letter from Venkanna

Dear Beverly Sykes,

Greetings to you in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.  I am so happy get the letters from you.  I am sorry to hear about your cousin.  I pray to her.  How is her health now?

I saw all the pictures fro you.  I feel very happy.  Mostly I feel bad about your cousin

I do not know about bowling game.

I am enjoyed in Christmas program.  Our Independence Day is August 15.  We hoisted the flag and distribute the chocolates.  In the parents' retreat parents know about God's love and they enjoyed with God's songs and they played games also.

I and my family are doing well by the grace of God.  Now my schools we opened of the holidays now.  I am going to study 8th.  I am praying for you and your cousin.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Letter from Leniel


Leniel is 8
Leniel sends a form letter telling me about his favorite things. (This is a duplicate form to one he sent in June, but the letter part is different.)

Favorite food:  Fried Chiken  [sic]
Favorite color:  Blue
Favorite animal:  Horse
Favorite activity:  TV

Hello how are you doing?  I'm doing well and I love pizza and pepperoni.  Do you like pizza?  I have a cousin who is a policeman.  I like flying kites.  We've had a snowstorm.

Thank you for your letter.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Letter from Brayan


Blessings Beverly Sykes,

I'm very happy to have received your letter and I'm sending you one back.  My mom and I are with good health.  I want to thank you for the letters and pictures you have sent me.  My favorite holiday is Mother's Day.  At school we do handicraft for our mothers.  we also do plays for them.  At this moment I'm doing well.  Here in my country there are no snowstorms and I haven't seen snow, only through your pictures.  It seems it is a boy in the pictures.  I send the best regards to your husband and a hug at the distance.  It's very nice to see that everything you do, you do it together.

Best regards to your friend Sonia, and I hope you continue to be friends forever and you keep painting your drawings.

Which month snows where your daughter lives?  Which is the sunniest month?  You are always in my prayers, and also your family.  I ask you to pray for me.  I'm in the 6th grade and it's my last elementary grade and I want to have good grades and graduate.  I'll await your answers.

Brayan Josue