Friday, November 16, 2012

Light a Candle...

I know it's only November, but I've always been one to break out the Christmas music a little early.  So tonight, I set my iPod on Christmas shuffle and a song by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound starts playing... "Light a candle, light the dark. Light the world, light a heart"...the image of this beautiful little girl pops into my head and I can't stop the tears from forming.

As I keep listening... "Light a candle...for the children who need more than presents can bring"...I can't help but remember the moment I met Dayana on August 27, 2012.  The way she came running into my arms the moment she saw me.  The way she grabbed onto to me in the biggest hug I've ever felt in my life.  The way she didn't want to let go of me. The tears in her eyes when we finally stepped apart. The way her gorgeous smile lit up her entire face the whole time we were together.  The tears in her eyes and mine when we had to say 'adios.' The love she showed me just by being her.  

The song continues "Light a candle for me, I'll light a candle for you..." I think of Dayana's letters; how she shows wisdom beyond her 11 years. The way reading her words can brighten even my darkest day.  The way she is concerned about me and prays for me.  Many people tell me what a difference I'm making by being a sponsor; that I'm "lighting a candle" for these children, but just as much as I may "light a candle" for them, they "light a candle" for me.  They have made a difference in MY life too.

I can't express in words how much little Dayana has come to mean to me or how becoming a Compassion sponsor has changed my life. I do know, however, that I have received way more than I ever could have dreamed possible..."And with every flame that burns, we must somehow learn that love's the greatest gift that we could ever give"...God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams through the love of these children! The love I have given to Dayana and all my sponsored children has come back ten fold, and I thank God for that reminder through this simple Christmas song.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Experiencing Ecuador: Sunday Picnic

I can't believe it's been nearly two and a half months since I visited Ecuador with Compassion.  However, the memories feel like they happened just days ago. 

Our group had the privilege of joining the children and families of EC592 in Esmeraldas, Ecuador for Sunday church service and afternoon picnic time.  We worshiped with the families, spent time with the children in their classrooms, and played games all afternoon.

The children loved playing games and spending time with us. They taught us some of the games they like to play.

CSP mothers performed dances for us and even got us dancing with them! (I have ZERO moves but it was fun).

This group of sponsored girls came to our hotel the night before our visit and performed for us.  We had a chance to spend time with them around our pool afterward and enjoyed teaching them some English!

Gaby and Daniela were my special friends from EC592.  Gaby (middle) was part of the girl's dance group and is on staff at the Center. Daniela (left) is a sweet 12 year old young lady.

If you ever have a chance to take a trip with Compassion, I urge you to do so. It will change your life!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Do I Have a Place in YOUR Heart???

I have in my possession the packets for these three beautiful children until December 7th.  Can you find room in your heart to love one of them? Please let me know if you would like to sponsor Leonce, Lois, or Gangothri!


Lois lives with her father and mother in Haiti.  There are 5 children in the family.  Her father is a teacher and her mother maintains the home.  She loves singing, art, and playing with dolls.  She will be 8 years old on November 12th, 2012. She attends project HA336.


Gangothri lives with her father and mother in India.  There are 2 children in the family.  Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home.  She loves playing with dolls and attends pre-school. She is 3 years old and her birthday is April 16th.  She attends project IN373.


Leonce lives with his godmother in Burkina Faso.  There are 6 children in the family.  His godmother is sometimes employed as a farmer.  He is not presently attending school. He enjoys soccer, playing marbles, and group games.  He will be 5 years old on December 31th, 2012.  He attends project BF147.

If you would like more information or a full photograph, please let me know! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Letters from the Sweetest Girls in the World!

Wow, I have had a great couple weeks of letters! I heard for the first time from Miss Dayana in Honduras as well as from Ayushi & Yoppi.  They are all doing well and send their love.  The two letters I got today had me in tears.  Sara in Colombia and Dayana in Ecuador have once again touched my heart in a way I can't describe.  Their love, dreams, and thoughtfulness simply amaze me!



Receive a great greeting from me, I want to tell you that I am doing well in school.  Also thank you for the support that you give me.  How are you doing? Someday I would like to visit my Aunt Magnolia who lives in your country and is recovering from a heart attack.  I would pass to Indiana to meet you in person and give you a great hug.  I tell you that I dream of fulfilling my goal of graduating like a medical surgeon to help who needs it and also my family so their finance improves.  I would like to see the inner side of an airplane and feel how it is to travel in a device like that.  I want to visit the Arvi Park, there is a great variety of exotic animals.  I am very curious to see them.  Brandilyn, I hope to have news from you.  I give you Proverbs 10:22.  I say goodbye with a kiss.

-Sara Agudelo Restrepo

She also drew a lovely picture of a cow laying in the sun :)


Dear Brandilyn,

I am very happy to know that you love receiving my letters and drawings.  I also like your letters and a lot and your surprises too.  My family and I are fine.  I hope you are doing fine in your job.  I always pray for you so you will prosper.  Let me tell you that on September 3rd I started the 7th year and I had the same teacher.  Do you believe that thanks to his teachings I could be a professional in the future?  I thank you very much for the drawings and the stickers that are very beautiful. I have to say goodbye.  May God Bless you. I will pray for your grandmother a lot. I send you many hugs.


This letter was written a couple weeks before I visited her in Ecuador.  I had written to her that my grandmother was ill.  I have yet to tell her she passed away while I was in Ecuador. I pray God gives me the right words to express to her that while we're sad to see her go, we will see her again in Heaven :)