Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sponsorship Saturday: Thanksgiving Letters

American Thanksgiving happens in November but I'm already thinking about it this month because of my sponsored kids. It takes a few months for my letters to reach them so I have to send them pretty early.

This year, I sent each of my four sponsored kids a card and a bookmark.

On the bookmark, I listed three different ways that I was thankful for them. The one above is the card and bookmark that I made for Ali. 

Inside the card, I told them a little about American Thanksgiving and about being thankful. I told them that each was special to me and encouraged each of them to look for more ways that they were thankful for their lives. I also included Philippians 1:3,7.

Next month, I'll be working on my Christmas letters and cards to my kids. Right now, I'm leaning towards sending Fadi and Ali a devotional book whether that means sending it a few pages at a time or finding one thin enough so that I can send the whole book. 

What do you write for Thanksgiving? Comment below!

Check out last week's "Sponsorship Saturday" post:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wild About Kindergarten: Week Four

Whew! Honestly, I'm a bit thankful that my fourth week as a teacher's assistant is over. I'm absolutely exhausted. I mean, it doesn't help that I stay up a little too late but even if I was going to bed at a good hour, the kids woud still be zapping all of the energy out of me! We now have 7 kids in the class which means - 7 very different personalities, 7 diverse backgrounds and 7 small people that God has placed into my life to teach and to learn from.

On Monday, we welcomed our 7th student (and 6th boy) to our class. He's Italian and has the most amazing dark brown eyes. Unfortunately, we cannot communicate past basic actions (and a lot of pointing) because he only speaks Italian. So I spend most of the day sitting with our French speaker and our new Italian speaker making sure that they're understanding the work. Both are absolutely adorable in my opinion and they never fail to make me smile.

All the kids are sweethearts but of course there are moments when their agendas do not match ours - or each  other's! Every day I deal with kids who do not want to color inside the line, share, walk quietly in line, take a nap and listen to Mrs. S. But every day, I also deal with kids who work hard, say the funniest things (mostly on accident!), give me hugs, help me clean up the classroom and work hard. I really do love Kindergarteners!

~ Highlights ~
1. While I was taking the Kindergarteners to the bathroom, a 3rd grader (who gave me hugs every time she saw me last year) came up to me. She asked "Are you still in high school?" I told her that I was not and had just graduated. Her eyes widened and she said "WOW! You're a woman!!"

2. Playing Bingo (with shapes). Honestly, I'm not sure who likes to play it more - me or the kids. Ok, to be fair, I'm not even playing but I help the kids out and I love how excited they are when they find the shapes on their boards. Our little Swiss-French boy has learned all of his colors and shapes in English in the last 2 weeks which I am very proud of. And he makes the cutest face pretending to be disappointed when he doesn't have a certain shape on his board.

3. Teaching them to write their letters correctly. This week was all about the letter "N" (both uppercase and lowercase). Two of the boys - actually, the two that I work with the most - have had trouble making their lowercase "n" properly. I thought that it would be hard to teach them because both know hardly any English but they understand my instructions clearly. They make me so proud!

4. At the end of each day, we take the kids outside to wait for their parents. One of the kids always has the biggest smile on his face when he sees his mom drive up. I don't even have to see her to know that she's there. And then he's off running to her, forgetting to say goodbye to us.

5. We talked about Abraham this week and asked the kids if they knew how many stars were in the sky. One boy answered "41!". Mrs. S said "Well, I think that there's a lot more than that." Another boy seemed to roll his eyes as he said "Ok..10!"

~ Tough Moments ~
1. Nap time

2. When the kids have 10x more energy than I do

3. Teaching the kids to keep their hands to themselves and to walk in a line

4. Not being able to have real conversations with the boys that only speak French and Italian. Sad day..

~ Prayer Requests ~
1. Pray for the kids who are struggling with their English. They really need it to keep up with the rest of the class

2. Pray for everyone's health

All in all, this was another great week and I absolutely adore being the Kindergarten teacher's assistant this year!

Check the blog each week for a new update. Some will be short and some will be long! 

Click HERE for last week's "Wild About Kindergarten" post!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sponsorship Saturday: In 10 Years. . .

While I cannot write my own future (and am SO thankful that God has already written it for me), it does not hurt to make goals or aspirations. So, in pertaining to Fadi, Ali and even Lucy, here is where I hope to be in 10 years.

 In 10 years, I hope to have met Fadi at least twice - maybe the second time being at (or near) her graduation. I hope to have a strong relationship with her and her family. God will still be evident in her life showering her with blessings. She will still have her sweet, gracious and creative spirit. I hope that she will have grown into a beautiful and godly young woman with her heart set on Jesus.

Fadi is such a joy and a blessing to me, especially being my very first sponsored child. Every single day, I am filled with love for her and I thank God that she has a mom that loves her and writes the letters for her. It is nearing our 2 year anniversary and I am looking forward to sending her a special letter/card.
In 10 years, I hope that Lucy will still be in my life and that our relationship will have grown. I would love to have met her and her family too. I hope that she will have fulfilled her dreams and will still have her heart turned to God for strength.

While I must be honest and say that I long to hear more from her, I do not regret corresponding with her and having her in my life. She is so beautiful and I love the two colorful drawings that she has done for me (so far!). Lucy is my beautiful little butterfly.
In 10 years, I really hope that I still have Ali in my life. He is a blessing to me and I am still in complete awe when I think about how God brought the two of us together. I hope to have met him at least twice and maybe the second time being at his graduation. I hope that I will never lose contact with him. I hope and pray that he will grow into a strong, loving and godly man with a heart for leadership. I hope that he is still creative, hopeful and sweet with his eyes still on his Savior.

Ali is my smart, funny and sweet little guy. I long for the day when I can wrap my arms around him and tell him how much I love him. He is such a blessing to me

And in 10 years, I hope and pray that all three of my children will no longer be living in extreme poverty. I hope and pray that they will have an abundant amount of hope to share with those around them.

What do you hope and pray for your sponsored children? Where do you hope to be in 10 years? Comment below!

Introducing . . .
If you keep up with me on Facebook then you'll know that I am welcoming a new little sister to my
Compassion family. I am now the proud correspondent sponsor of 9 year old Eloie! She is from Haiti and loves to sing. I look forward to corresponding with her! In ten years, I hope that she is still a part of my life!

Check out last week's "Sponsorship Saturday" post:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wild About Kindergarten: Week Three

Another week is finished and this was by far my favorite.

Last week on Friday, everyone remembered to wear red because we were celebrating our Color of the Week. We enjoyed reading books about the color and finishing up learning about the letter "I".

This week has been all about the color brown and the letter "S". At first, the letter was difficult for many of the kids to master but they're picking it up quickly. It's also nice because many of them have an "S" in their name and they're writing them a lot better now.

My duties have stayed about the same and it's nice to be able to work one on one with some of the students. They are all so smart, creative and funny. It really is a blast to hang out with them everyday. A lot of what I do is help one of the students who's still learning English, make sure that they're quiet during nap time, and remind them of their work.

An answer to prayer might be that the kids are learning more about the Bible and in a few weeks, they're going to have a VBS program. I've been wanting them to really get to know God this year and he's putting out lots of opportunities.

~ Highlights ~
1. Listening to the kids talk to each other as they work and play. The things that they say are so ridiculously funny but they're being serious! Yesterday while they were working on their centers, one of the boys kept calling me over shouting "Miss Alicia!". Later while I was checking on another kid, he suddenly shouts "GRANDMA!". I wasn't sure if he was referring to me so I ignored him. He comes marching up to me demanding why I haven't come over to check on him. I'm still a bit confused whether or not he was calling me grandma.

2. I get super excited and giddy when the kids learn something new. I love that they've accomplished something that they were struggling with before. And the looks that they give when they're so proud of themselves are priceless.

3. One little boy prayed for our lunch yesterday and added "Please help us to pass Kindergarten".

4. The kids are beginning to open up to each other and to me and Mrs. S and it's great. The shy and quiet kids are now the ones that I have to tell over and over in class to remember to be quiet. While it's hard to discipline them, I'm proud that they feel more comfortable speaking up in class.

5. We have to give the kids instructions and reminders over and over and over but it's nice to hear that they are actually listening to us. Most of the kids have began to remind their classmates of certain rules like "keep your hands to yourself", "no running", or "you need to worry about yourself". I love it!

~ Tough Moments ~
1. Trying to keep the kids quiet while they're learning. When it gets hot or when everyone's hungry, it's difficult to get through a lesson.

2. Managing the class sometimes when Mrs. S steps out for an errand

3. Again, having to tell the kids the same things over and over and being ignored

4. Having kids that work at different paces

~ Prayer Requests ~
1. Praise God that my mom made it back safely from her trip to Cameroon!

2. We all know how fast germs and sickness spreads when there are children around. Please pray that we would all stay healthy this year

3. Next week, I'll be working more with two of the kids who are struggling with their English. I'm not sure how well I'm going to do at that. Please pray for me!

Check the blog each week for a new update. Some will be short and some will be long! 

Click HERE for last week's "Wild About Kindergarten" post. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sponsorship Saturday: Reaffirming God's Promises

I wanted to share with you what I wrote for my September letter to my kids. I decided to focus on God's promise to never leave us:

God loves you so much that he's writing your special story. He knows your life. Whether you are going through a good or a bad time, he sees the future and only wants what's best for you. NEVER forget that he loves you. So even if life seems hard right now, he knows how your hard moments will lead to the good moments. You just need to continue to trust in him. And you are never alone. Jesus is with you always. He will never leave you and never stop loving you. When you feel sad, scared or happy and excited, pray and he will answer you. You are never alone, dear (brother/sister). And no matter what, I am always thinking of you and praying for you. You are special to me and I love you. You are my family.

I meant every word too. My kids are so special to me. I long for the day when I can hold them in my arms. 

Yesterday, I got an email from Compassion International about a trip to Honduras next June.While I'm not sure if I'll be able to go, I will definitely be praying about it. I do hope that I can go though. It would be so special to see Fadi and Ali face to face.

Please consider sponsoring a child from HONDURAS

Check out last week's "Sponsorship Saturday" post:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wild About Kindergarten: Week Two

End of week two!! And I have to say that this week went a lot better than last week. For one thing, I felt like I did a lot more in the classroom.

I love how fast the day seems to pass by but I always go home feeling rewarded and exhausted. I really enjoy being with the kids all day. They all are so unique and so sweet and I'm very thankful to be working at Sahel this year.

This week, we finished up learning about the letter "T" and started in on "I". Our color of the week is Red and I think we'll be having some sort of party on Friday having to do with the color.

What have my duties been? I sit with the kids and keep them on task while they work at their desks. At recess, I help the teacher on duty and then I make sure that my Kindergarteners get their hands washed after recess and before lunch. At naptime, I help lay out their mattresses and then try to keep them quiet while others nap. Actually, we've only had two kids in the last two weeks fall asleep but they're learning.

~ Highlights ~
1. The look of satisfaction and joy on a Kindergarteners face when they master a concept in class. It's absolutely adorable and it makes me happy too

2. Getting hugs from the older elementary kids when they see me during lunch and after school

3. One of the little kids LOVES to talk. Last week at naptime he told Mrs. S and I that naptime was "a waste of time." Well, he was the only one who fell asleep yesterday afternoon. And when I went to wake him up, the second that his eyes opened he said "Hey!" and began talking nonstop.

4. The kids being very, very happy with receiving stickers. It reminds me of my sponsored kids. They thank me a lot for the stickers that I send with the letters

5. Being prayed for during the staff meeting and also being told that I have a gift with kids. I love hearing that. Warms my heart!

6. Kindergarten smiles!

~ Tough Moments ~
1. Telling the kids to do something and then being ignored

2. Sometimes I wish that the kids had longer attention spans so that we could spend more time on a certain subject, like the Bible. They ask a lot of good questions or make interesting comments but sometimes it's hard to discuss with them.

~ Prayer Requests ~
1. A few teachers approached me on Monday and told me that they could see me going into Psychology or becoming a Social Worker because of my love for children (and being a voice for the voiceless). I do love advocating for children and I am really praying about this different career choice. Please pray for me too!

2. Some kids in secondary and in elementary have been getting sick. Please pray that it wouldn't spread and that the kids would stay healthy.

3. My mom has traveled for this week. Please pray that God would keep her safe

Check the blog each week for a new update. Some will be short and some will be long! 

Click HERE for last week's "Wild About Kindergarten" post.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sponsorship Saturday: Thankful

I was originally going to post something different for this week's "Sponsorship Saturday" post but decided not to after receiving some happy news yesterday morning.

For those of you who keep up with me on either Desert Violet's Facebook Page or my personal one, you'll know that for a while, I worked to send gifts to Fadi and Ali. There is a Compassion International trip to Honduras in October but unfortunately, I don't have the money to go. But last summer when there was a group going, I was able to send some gifts to Fadi and Ali (What was really cool was that I received a picture of Fadi with the bag of goodies that I sent to her. You can read more about that HERE).

This summer, I was able to find someone fairly quickly who was going directly to Fadi's center and volunteered to bring my gifts (I am very, very grateful that she was able to do this for me and am looking forward to hearing whether or not she actually got to MEET Fadi) but had more trouble with Ali. However, just a few weeks ago, a very sweet lady volunteered to send the gifts to him on her trip to Honduras. And around that same time, she and another lady both volunteered to each buy a bag of marbles to send to him, his friends and to his twin brother:

This October, Ali will be celebrating his 10th birthday and I pray that all these gifts will be a real blessing and enjoyment to him. I truly hope that this will also be one of the best birthdays for him as he and his brother will both be receiving gifts and also all of his friends. I pray that it will be a special time for him.


While I am thankful for the wonderful sponsors that God sent into my life to deliver these gifts for me, I am also very thankful to be a sponsor myself. Fadi, Ali and Lucy have blessed me and my life would not be the same without them. Letter writing day each month is one of my favorite occasions and I always look forward to the next one the day after I send the letters. Praying for my kids is also special for me because I am entering into their world and loving them more and more. And lately, I have been spending an awful lot of time daydreaming about meeting them all face to face. 

Ali is my little miracle sponsored child because I still feel like God really came through for me. Basically, if you have not read my many posts about how I ended up sponsoring him, Ali started as my correspondent sponsored child until he was no longer able to be financially sponsored (this was about a month after I sent my first few letters). I was heartbroken and after a few days of lots of signs from God and A LOT of money raised to support my little guy, I became his sponsor. 

Fadi was my first sponsored child and she will always have a special place in my heart. She is so beautiful and I can just feel her energetic and sweet personality in each of her drawings and letters. I am also very thankful that her mom writes her letters. Meeting her one day will be an absolute dream for me.

Lucy is my "quiet" co-sponsored child just because I have not received more than two letters from her. She is my little butterfly and I enjoy writing her letters. I am thankful to be on the same continent as her and am able to understand more of what her life is like (because I see aspects of it every day). I long to receive more letters from her but she is still close to my heart.

One day, I hope to sponsor another child from Honduras but for now, I have asked to be added to the Correspondent Sponsorship waiting list. I'm impatiently waiting for my next correspondent child. 

I'm so thankful to be a big sister to Lucy, Fadi and Ali and am VERY thankful to be a sponsor!

Check out last week's "Sponsorship Saturday" post: