The Compassion bloggers are still in the Philippines - have you checked them out yet? I want to introduce you to my sponsored child from the Philippines. Her name is Analyn. Her birthday was in March, and she turned 9 years old. I have been sponsoring her since 2009, and when I first "met" her (by photo only), this is what she looked like. Cute.
She was only 7 when I started sponsoring her, so I was so excited a few months later when I received my first letter, written by Analyn herself! (Sometimes, when the children are too young to understand the art of letter-writing, a project worker or family member will help them write). But then I remembered, Analyn does very well in school. I was so happy with the letter!
Shortly after, the Lord laid on my heart to give a family gift to Analyn and her family (Compassion allows you to give extra gift money above and beyond your monthly sponsorship commitment. 100% of that gift goes directly to your child and/or their family). So, I sent them $50.
I also read more about the area where Analyn lives. I learned that in her city, half of the adults are unemployed, and the others make an average of $89/month. And her father is only sometimes employed. I realized that my small gift may very well double their monthly income. For a family of 7.
Then I got the thank-you letter.
It starts out saying thank-you for the gift, and mentions a few things she purchased with the gift, including rice and sardines (yuck :P) Then, it comes to this part of the letter.
Just in case you forgot, she was 7 when she wrote that letter.
Attached was also a letter from her mom (which is also unusual), expressing the heartfelt thanks from the family upon receiving the gift. And she listed everything they bought, to include "canned goods like beefloaf (?), cornbeef, and pork&beans; also sugar, coffee, soap, ketchup, orange juice, bathsoap, chocolate drink, hotdogs, salt, sandals, slippers, shorts, hair bands, cologne, baby oil, lotion, gel, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 kilos chicken, and a watch".
All for $50.
Her mom also wrote "Analyn told me she will always go to school and to church to thank God for giving us more blessing".
I was blown away by Analyn's statements and question to me, and couldn't believe how far that small gesture was multiplied. I have since received many more letters from Analyn (18 letters total in less than 2 years), and we are developing a wonderful relationship. She writes to me about the children I am adopting, and about how lucky they are to have me as their mom (awww). She tells me about the awards she receives in school. She prays for me. Everyday.
In a recent letter she said "You know what, even though we are only living in the house and lot of my father's sibling, I choose to thank God because in His help I will finish school and will be released from poverty".
And I realized, she knows. She knows that her family is materially poor. I don't know if I thought that the poor don't know it, or what I was thinking. But Analyn knows. And she has hope, because of the work God is doing through Compassion. She can eat. She receives medical care. And she can continue to study, and even go to college, which I have no doubt that she will.
I love my far-away daughter in the Philippines. I hope to be able to visit her one day.
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