Friday, April 24, 2015

Kim's Compassion: Photo Folders

Materials:
*8.5 x 11 card stock
*4 x 6 photo pages that hold 6 photos. Don't forget to order prints to fill the slots!
*Fun stickers, a stapler, and a sharpie or markers.

Are you looking for a nice way to send photos to your sponsored child? These colorful mini photo folders are simple to make.

First, fill your photo sleeves. Then staple one end of the sleeve to the top of a sheet of card stock, far to the left side of the paper.
Then, fold the photos under.
Fold the card stock, leaving a small flap like an envelope.
Decorate the front with fun stickers and your child's name.
Don't forget to include a special message for your child in the blank space inside. Also be sure to write your sponsor ID number as well as your sponsored child's name and ID number somewhere on the folder.

When your child opens the folder, the photos will stand up for display!

These folders are a fun way to share family photos, vacation memories, or to teach your child about something new. You could create an album of animals that live in your area or a gallery of paintings by famous artists! Get creative! I'm sure that our family will make these folders again and again!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Children Available for Sponsorship: HO416

Here is a current list of Children from HO416 who are waiting to be connected with loving sponsors! 

Children marked ***PRAYER CHILD*** are being considered by potential sponsors.

This is Any Larissa Zaldivar Henriquez.  Her birthday is October 15, 2007.  She is 7 years old.  Her bio is:  Any makes her home with her grandfather and her aunt. Running errands and cleaning are her household duties.  Her grandfather is not employed and her aunt maintains the home.  There are 2 children in the family.  As part of Compassion's ministry, Any participates in church activities and Bible class. She is also in primary school where her performance is above average. Playing with dolls, jumping rope and running are her favorite activities.
This is Aylin Rashel Vasquez Paz.  Her birthday is August 4, 2007.  She is 7 years old.  Her bio is:  In her home, Rashel helps by making beds, running errands and cleaning.  She lives with her grandfather and her grandmother.  Her grandfather is sometimes employed as a farmer and her grandmother is sometimes employed as a laborer.  As part of Compassion's ministry, Rashel participates in church activities and Bible class. She is also in primary school where her performance is average. Playing house, playing with dolls and walking are her favorite activities.
This is Andrea Yaneth Escobar Rodas.  Her birthday is September  2, 2011.  She is 3 years old.  Her bio is:  Andrea lives with her father and her mother.  Her duties at home include carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands.  There are 4 children in the family.  Her father is sometimes employed as a farmer and her mother maintains the home.  Andrea is not attending school because she is too young. Playing jacks, playing with dolls and running are her favorite activities. She also attends church activities and Bible class regularly.
This is Dubania Adanesi Escobar Rodas.  Her birthday is April 20, 2007.  She is 7 years old.  Her bio is:  Dubanía lives with her father and her mother.  At home, duties include carrying water, making beds and running errands.  Her father is sometimes employed as a farmer and her mother maintains the home.  There are 4 children in the family.  For fun, Dubanía enjoys playing jacks, playing house and playing with dolls. She attends church activities and Bible class regularly and is in primary school where her performance is above average.
***PRAYER CHILD***
This is Jarehtsi Michel Calix Melgar.  Her birthday is November 13, 2005.  She is 9 years old.  Her bio is:  In her home, Michel helps by making beds, running errands and cleaning.  She lives with her stepfather and her mother.  Her stepfather is sometimes employed as a farmer and her mother maintains the home.  There are 2 children in the family.  For fun, Michel enjoys playing with dolls, bicycling and playing group games. She attends church activities regularly and is in primary school where her performance is above average.
***Edminsson has been sponsored!!***
This is Edminsson Andres Menjivar Sevilla.  His birthday is August 13, 2009.  He is 5 years old.  His bio is:  Edminssón lives with his father and his mother.  He is responsible for carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands.  His father is sometimes employed as a farmer and his mother maintains the home.  There are 3 children in the family.  For fun, Edminssón enjoys playing with cars, playing with marbles and running. He attends church activities and Bible class regularly and is in kindergarten where his performance is average.
This is Iker Daniel Aguilar Carvajal.  His birthday is October 21, 2011.  He is 3 years old.  His bio is:  Iker lives with his grandfather and his mother.  He is responsible for carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands.  His grandfather is sometimes employed as a farmer and his mother maintains the home.  Iker is not attending school because he is too young. Rolling a hoop, playing ball games and playing group games are his favorite activities. He also attends church activities and Bible class regularly.

This is Perla Stacy Mejia Tabora.  Her birthday is August 12, 2010.  She is 4 years old.  Her bio is:  Stacy lives with her stepfather and her mother.  At home, duties include running errands and cleaning.  Her stepfather is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home.  Stacy is not attending school because she is too young. Playing with dolls, bicycling and playing group games are her favorite activities. She also attends church activities and Bible class regularly.
***PRAYER CHILD***
This is Jenifer Marbella Lopez Roque.  Her birthday is April 15, 2007.  She is 7 years old.  Her bio is:  Marbella lives with her mother.  At home, duties include helping in the kitchen, running errands and cleaning.  Her mother is sometimes employed as a laborer.  There are 2 children in the family. For fun, Marbella enjoys playing with dolls, jumping rope and running. She attends church activities and Bible class regularly and is in primary school where her performance is average.
This is Jeilin Briseth Serrano Valle.  Her birthday is August 1, 2008.  She is 6 years old.  Her bio is:  Jeilin makes her home with her father and her mother. Carrying water, running errands and cleaning are her household duties.  Her father is sometimes employed as a farmer and her mother maintains the home.  There are 2 children in the family. Playing house, playing with dolls and running are Jeilin's favorite activities. In primary school her performance is average and she also regularly attends church activities and Bible class.








Monday, March 23, 2015

Mommy's heart...

I love my little son. 
I love every freckle on his upturned nose.

I love the empty space where his front teeth were and where his sucking thumb fits just right.
I love how sometimes, I will walk in and find him building a toilet from pipes he bought with his birthday money...
Or constructing a roller coaster with a million parts...
I love his thoughtful fascination of all things that zoom and glow...
I love every cow lick in his crazy hair.
I love how when every star aligns, he will allow you to snap his photo--and I love the faces he makes when he doesn't.
I love his plans for the future. He just wants to fix things.
I love his stubborn insistence to sit with me in church...how he is content to sit and be cuddled and petted.
I even love how when he wants you to listen, he will take your face in his hands and point it in the right direction.

I love my little son--everything that makes him so very unique and special. There are a million things I could share...so many things that make my Benjamin who he is. He is a treasure.

And this love for my little one spills over. 

When I saw this face, I thought of Benjamin. 
I wondered if his mother tries to count the freckles on his upturned nose. 

I wondered if she looks up sometimes and her son is quite suddenly an airplane or a roller coaster instead of a little boy.

I wonder if he picks her flowers sometimes.

We live a world away in drastically different circumstances, but my mother's heart connects somewhere deep inside with his mother's heart.

Somehow, I understand how horrible it would feel if I couldn't give this little boy his dinner, or if I had to keep putting too small shoes on his growing feet. I understand the fear of living in a house without locks or not having money for a doctor. I have never experienced any of these things, and I wish with all my heart no mother or little boy ever had to.

I'm glad to know that this little boy, whose name is Edminsson, and this little boy's mommy, will avoid some of those experiences. They have help through Compassion International, which has just started working in a church in their community. His life (and her life) will be changed because some mommy or daddy or grandparent with more than enough will reach out and allow this child to have what he needs.

Is there room in your mommy or daddy heart??

God wants us to have a heart like His. Like a mommy or daddy knows and cherishes their child, so God adores us. He knows every little thing about us--because He designed us. We are valuable to Him and He delights in us. And He invites us to have the same kind of sacrificial compassion that He had when He saw us in desperate need . He did not consider the highest price too much to pay. 

For $38 per month, you can help provide for Edminsson and his family--or for a family like his. You are invited to get involved in his life...to get to know all about him. You're invited to step in and provide mothers and fathers with choices that poverty took away.

You can help him be free to grow and dream and light up this world for Jesus!

***This child is Edminsson Andres Menjivar Sevilla.  His birthday is August 13, 2009.  He is 5 years old.  His bio is:  Edminssón lives with his father and his mother.  He is responsible for carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands.  His father is sometimes employed as a farmer and his mother maintains the home.  There are 3 children in the family.  For fun, Edminssón enjoys playing with cars, playing with marbles and running. He attends church activities and Bible class regularly and is in kindergarten where his performance is average.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

God's Kingdom Here

You're invited to be a part of something special.

In July, our team will leave for Honduras in partnership with Compassion International--and we are inviting you to come along.

This is a vision trip, a trip in which we will explore all that can be. We will look at communities through God's lens. We will look at His precious children and see all that they can be in Him.

Our first stop will be in Villa Verde, Honduras. High on this rural mountain, we will visit the Blessings of God child development center. We will see how God has used three years of advocacy to change lives--both of the children and their sponsors. Close to 20 sponsors will meet around 40 children sponsored at this center!

Our last stop will be HO374, where we will explore another area of focused advocacy. We will see how one of our most powerful weapons against poverty and violence is simply our voice--both in sharing the needs of children and in pouring encouragement into the lives of children through letters.

But what's happening in between??

Something new...

HO416, Your Kingdom Here Child Development Center, has just opened its doors near Santa Barbara, a mountainous community halfway between Villa Verde and San Pedro Sula. Our team has the overwhelming privilege of speaking for its 200 newly registered children.

You won't see their profiles on Compassion's website yet. You won't see them at a concert.

Our team has the unique task of speaking for these 200 children. Through August, we will be their voice.

Our goal is to build a community of sponsors to support and uplift this new project as they seek to bring God's Kingdom down here for the children it serves.

Our goal is to pray together towards July 17--the day when we will hold these long-loved, long-uplifted children in our arms--our children and your children.

You can follow this journey through our blogs and photos. You can pray for our journey. You can join the HO416 family!

You can join us in doing a new thing. You can be the first to speak life and hope into the life of your child at HO416. You can assure your child that God sees them, knows them, and treasures them. 

The ball is rolling. Little Johana was the first child sponsored at HO416. Her name means God is gracious.

And oh--He is, isn't He? He is always giving gifts that we don't deserve. He is always lifting up the needy, the broken and the helpless--building His Kingdom right here on earth. And He is calling you to be a part of His Kingdom Here--extending grace and kindness to all the ends of the earth.

Will you join us? I am honored to share with you the first six children available for sponsorship at HO416, Your Kingdom Here.

What a tiny, sweet princess--a pearl of great price!
This is Perla Stacy Mejia Tabora.  Her birthday is August 12, 2010.  She is 4 years old. Stacy lives with her stepfather and her mother.  At home, duties include running errands and cleaning.  Her stepfather is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home.  Stacy is not attending school because she is too young. Playing with dolls, bicycling and playing group games are her favorite activities. She also attends church activities and Bible class regularly.
Selvin has been sponsored!!!

Don't you just love his smile and how his thumbs are hooked in his pockets?!
His name is Selvin Antonio Dubon Alvarado.  His birthday is September 4, 2008.  He is 8 years old.  Selvin lives with his mother.  He is responsible for carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands.  His mother is sometimes employed as a laborer.  There are 2 children in the family.  For fun, Selvin enjoys soccer, playing with cars and bicycling. He attends church activities and Bible class regularly and is in primary school where his performance is average.
She is just so very sweet!
This is Jeilin Briseth Serrano Valle.  Her birthday is August 1, 2008.  She is 6 years old. Jeilin makes her home with her father and her mother. Carrying water, running errands and cleaning are her household duties.  Her father is sometimes employed as a farmer and her mother maintains the home.  There are 2 children in the family. Playing house, playing with dolls and running are Jeilin's favorite activities. In primary school her performance is average and she also regularly attends church activities and Bible class.
Elmer has been sponsored!!!

This is one handsome young man!
His name Elmer Junior Quinonez Vasquez.  His birthday is November 22, 2005.  He is 9 years old.  In his home, Elmer helps by carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands.  He lives with his mother.  His mother is sometimes employed as a laborer.  There are 4 children in the family.  Soccer, bicycling and running are Elmer's favorite activities. In kindergarten his performance is average and he also regularly attends church activities and Bible class.
Some little girl will love to write to Queen Elsa!
This is Elsa Lorena Pacheco Dubon.  Her birthday is September 2, 2006.  She is 8 years old.  Elsa lives with her father and her mother.  She is responsible for helping in the kitchen, running errands and cleaning.  Her father is sometimes employed as a farmer and her mother maintains the home.  There are 3 children in the family.  For fun, Elsa enjoys playing with dolls, hide-and-seek and running. She attends church activities and Bible class regularly and is in primary school where her performance is average.
Elmer has been sponsored!!!

Such a beauty!
This is Isis Nahomy Melgan Cerrano.  Her birthday is June 9, 2006.  She is 8 years old.  Her bio is:  Nahomy lives with her father and her mother.  She is responsible for helping in the kitchen, running errands and cleaning.  Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home.  There are 3 children in the family. As part of Compassion's ministry, Nahomy participates in Bible class. She is also in primary school where her performance is average. Playing house, playing with dolls and walking are her favorite activities.

Stay posted for more profiles of children from HO416!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kim's Compassion: More precious than...

This Easter, we wanted to take a moment to remind our sponsored children of the powerful message of Easter.

What could possibly affirm a child's worth more than reminding them of the incredible price God was willing to pay to have a relationship with them?

Here is a copy of the letter we shared with our children:



How do you decide how much something is worth? Worth is what makes something useful or desirable. What is something that is valuable in your community? Perhaps a piece of fertile farmland, a fruit tree loaded with delicious fruit, a cow that produces milk, a strong horse, or a car or motorcycle? Perhaps gold, silver, or precious jewels? These things are valuable because people need or want them or because there are not very many of them. Usually people figure out how valuable something is based on how useful it is or how rare it is.

How does God determine value? A piece of fertile farmland or a fruitful tree or a strong, productive animal is nothing to the One who made the entire universe. Gold, silver, and precious jewels are nothing to the One who paves His streets with gold and decorates his walls with all kinds of jewels. What does God consider valuable?

There is one thing that the Bible tells us that God paid a high price for. God gave up His only precious Son to pay the price for our sins. WE are valuable to God. We know this because He made the greatest possible sacrifice to show us His love. I Peter 1:18-19 say “It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ.”

Never forget how valuable you are to God. He paid a great price for you! You are valuable to Him because He made you and you bear His image. You are one of His precious children! You can also be useful by serving Him and telling others of His great love for them. This Easter, I pray that you will remember the value that Jesus placed on you when He sacrificed Himself for you. I pray that you will rejoice that He rose from the dead and lives in your heart if you accept His priceless gift of salvation!
 
We crafted Easter cards from cardstock and leftover scrapbooking paper. You simply fold the cardstock, cut out a cross using an exacto knife, and glue the scrapbook paper behind the cutout so that the pattern shows through on the front.
 
You can then use the cutout cross to make a pretty, personalized bookmark expressing the truth of the gospel--Christ sacrifice was personal.
 
I hope that you find a wonderful way to share Easter with your Compassion family!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Kim's Compassion: Response Letters

It is an exciting moment at our house when we receive a new letter from one of our precious sponsored children. 

This week, we received letters from our three correspondence children in Colombia who all attend the same church. Eddison, Miguel, and Yency are sweet and responsive children who have been very excited to receive our letters.

It can be complicated to write to children who attend the same church. We want to  write unique letters to each child so that he or she feels special. 

Often, all three children will receive the same letter that we write online or send seasonally. I find that the best time to send personalized letters to the children is in response to the letters they send to us.

Response letters are very important. They let the children know that we read the letters they write to us and that we notice the details of their lives. These letters are the true connecting points in our relationship.

To be honest, it can be difficult to respond to letters. It may feel like the children write similar letters time after time. It may feel like your child spends a lot of time thanking you for the letters or gifts they have received rather than telling you about themselves. Some children are like us--they just don't know what to say! We have to learn how to take the little tidbits we receive in letters and build on them.

I want to share with you a letter that we received from 6-year old Yency this week in order to illustrate a few tips that can help you put together an encouraging response to your child.


1. What can you praise?
 Always choose something to praise your child for. I thanked Yency for answering some of the questions I asked her. I also commented on the beautiful drawing.

2. What's new? Yency shared that her mother has stopped working to care for her and her siblings. This may signal a change in the family's income. Yency may not understand this, but I can add this as a prayer request for her family. I enclosed a little note and some beautiful flower stickers to encourage Yency's mom in her challenging and rewarding new job as a stay at home mom! 

3. Did your child share a hope, dream, or interest? In this letter, Yency shared that she hopes to be a professional artist one day. I chose to encourage her by sending her a special folder full of blank paper that she can use to practice. I also asked that she send me one of her masterpieces!
I plan to follow up with a series of online letters for her featuring artists and famous works of art. I love it when the children's letters give me an opportunity to share more in future letters!

Yency also shared that she hopes to learn her alphabet quickly so that she can write to us herself without the help of her tutor. How precious! I definitely want to encourage her in this and let her know how proud I am of the progress she is making. I also sent along a workbook to help her practice her letters.
4. Respond in kind. Did your child share something with you? Did your child ask you a question? Did you have a similar experience? In this letter, Yency shared a Bible verse with me, so I chose to share a verse with her in response to what she shared about her mother.

I hope that these four steps will help you strengthen your relationship with your sweet sponsored child. Response letters take careful reading and intentionality, but the rewards outweigh the extra time and effort. It is powerful to think that a little child who has never seen my face took time to read and respond to the letters that I have written. I encourage you to treasure your child's letters! I believe in God's eyes, the little investments that we make in response are some of the most powerful ministry we will ever do. Like multiplying loaves and fishes, God will multiply our encouragement in the minds of our children to build confident, fulfilled, faithful adults!
Yency Juliana, age 7, Colombia



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Second Adam, 2015

"Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky.He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals...20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living."

Genesis 2:19-20, 3:20

We were created to give names.

Adam was the first namer. 

Adam named his wife Eve--the mother of all living.

Later, Terah named his son Abram, but God called him Abraham--Father of a multitude.

Abraham named his son Isaac--laughter--to remind himself of how ridiculous and unexpected God's favor can be.

Isaac's son Jacob was called deceiver for stealing his brother's blessing--and was renamed Israel--May God Prevail. Jacob struggled with God and lived to tell the tale.

Jacob named his favored son Joseph--he adds--and watched as God, over and over again, added favor and blessing through him.

There was Judah--praise.

Ruth--friend.

David--believed.

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the art of naming.

In America, our names don't mean much--unless we are Kennedys or Hiltons or Kardashians or Jolie-Pitts

But for the most part, we are Smiths and Watsons and Browns and maybe there was a time when all those names meant something and underneath years of forgetfulness, there is a rich tapestry of meaning.

In India, your name defines you.

When I went to India, the people looked the same. And yet, by name and birth, people are organized into an intricate caste system that determines what they can do in life.

This is Arbaz Gravedigger.

His real last name is Hasmi, like his father. 

His father digs graves, so Arbaz will too. Or at least he is meant to, according to tradition. 

The caste system says that Arbaz and all the other Hasmi's and Kamble's and Bhupathi's and Sanjay's can never be anything but ragpickers, street sweepers, trash collectors, and servants. It's not just that they don't have the opportunity. It's not just that they don't have the finances. It's not just that culture says no.

The caste system says that members of the lower caste don't have the capacity to learn or to become something higher.

And so generations of bright lights have been squelched by names.

But something is happening in India--and that something is Jesus.

While the upper classes ignore him, Jesus is making himself known among the gravediggers.

The one of whom it was written--"His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace"--took another name.

And because he did, Arbaz Gravedigger has become so much more.

He was called Jesus--Jehovah Saves. 

Saves from the grave...

Saves from the caste system...

Saves us from our name...

And He was called Emmanuel--God with us. 

He laid aside the glory of heaven to bestow value and glory on us.

He was called another name--Second Adam. 

Mankind got a new namer.

So Simon became Peter--the rock.

Saul became Paul.

A rabble of fisherman, tax collectors, zealots, Pharisees, and prostitutes became the church-- "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession"--I Peter 2:9 

Since then, generations of people have shed their impossibilities to take on a new name in Christ.

A slave trader took a new name--hymn writer.

Skeptics are now called apologists.

What's more, God with us gave us new names in Him so that we can be about the business of renaming.

When we went to India, we told Arbaz what God already knew. 

He wasn't born for the grave. He was born Arbaz, Son of the One True King.

Arbaz took a lot of new names on our visit day.

When he goes back to his village, he will be known as...

Arbaz Plane Rider.

Arbaz Ascender of Elevators.

Arbaz taster of ice.

Arbaz visitor of strange new places.

Arbaz toy owner.

Arbaz--Beloved.
Nobody is going to remember his old name. By going to visit him, by simply giving him the opportunity to see and do something different, everybody else will see him as God sees him--special. 

What's more, Arbaz will believe it. He might not feel so special when he sleeps outside under a tree every night with his twelve siblings. But he alone, among all his siblings, peers, and community, has seen and done the unthinkable. He has seen more of the world than anyone he knows. 

He is Arbaz Dreamer. His mind will be full of wonderful ideas and possibilities.

Brothers and sisters, how will you spend 2015?

My only resolution this year is to be a namer--to carry on the work of Jehovah Saves--God with us. 

I'm going to take every opportunity to remind those with whom I live in relationship of their true identity in the Lord Jesus--the Second Namer.

We lost our identity in Eden and Satan is still trying to steal our name away--but Jesus came to do what the first Adam couldn't.

We are back on the road to Paradise.

Let's live like citizens of a better Kingdom and call people what they really are. It might mean getting ankle deep in a Mumbai slum or hiking a mountain to hold brown hands. It might be as simple as a timely word to a hurting friend or an understanding look to a struggling student.

Pour worth and value into every relationship in your life--and watch as lives blossom into eternal beauty in the One whose name you wear.

Ephesians 2:15

Happy New Year!