Giving Thankfully: Love in Letters

There isn’t much that delights me more as a sponsor than receiving a letter from one of my faraway sponsored children. Today, though, I think I found something that tops even that.

My 12-year-old son, Logan, became a sponsor earlier this year. I wrote about it here. Since February, Logan and the boy he sponsors, Osmar, have exchanged several letters.


Osmar, 11, of Guatemala

Logan was excited to receive another letter from Osmar today. As usual, he opened the letter quickly to see what his friend in Guatemala had to say, then he handed the letter to me, so I could read it, too.

I am so touched by Osmar’s affection for Logan, that I have to share his letter here:

Dear sponsor Logan,

I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ hoping that you are in great health. The weather is rainy. I want to tell you that in my town, we harvest corn, potatoes and beans. We have a lot of things in my town. I love you. I ask you to pray for everyone in my town and for my family. We are going to finish the school year. I am going to pray for you. I thank you for the letter that you sent me. I love you. What is my favorite sport? Soccer. What’s the weather like over there? I say goodbye with love and hugs. I hope that God continues blessing you and your family, and that he gives you blessings because you are my sponsor. Thank you.


Yes, this sweet 11-year-old boy in Guatemala just told my son “I love you” – twice.

And that is why, in this month of thanks, I am thankful for love in letters.

Giving Thankfully: Freedom

This Veteran’s Day, I am thankful for freedom and the sacrifices of all those who have served in the U.S. military to gain and maintain that freedom.

These heroic individuals who answer the call to serve give up countless days, months and sometimes years away from home, often living in danger on foreign soil. They face unimaginable situations, while the rest of us live out our daily lives at home in safety.

While a great part of these individuals’ sacrifice is made up of the dangers they face abroad, another part includes everything they miss while they are away: holidays with family, births of babies, children’s milestones, anniversaries, deaths of loved ones, and all the daily events that we take for granted.

Without starting a political discussion, I want to point out that Compassion and World Vision work in many struggling countries around the world where the idea of freedom is very different from ours. If you chose to sacrifice about one dollar a day, you could sponsor a child in one of those countries by clicking here or here. Your sponsorship can give a child the help he needs to rise out of poverty, and there’s no telling what he will accomplish in our world after that.

Giving Thankfully: Safe Streets

Most mornings, I head outside first thing for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s a great way to wake up, get some exercise and start off the day.

I love the crisp smell of the desert in the morning, and I enjoy seeing wild bunnies and birds throughout my walk. Sometimes I just listen to the sounds around me, and sometimes I listen to music through headphones.

I never worry about my safety beyond being aware of cars driving past. I am thankful to live in an area where I can walk alone without fear.

There are children all over the world who can’t do that.

A fellow Compassion sponsor was saddened when her child Eduar in Honduras wrote that he is afraid to walk to the Compassion center in his neighborhood. He’s also afraid to walk to church with his mother. He described hearing gunshots often and being fearful of being grabbed off the streets.

Eduar’s sponsor teamed up with Compassion to set up a fund to rent a bus in which the church pastor can transport the children to and from the center safely. The goal was to raise $2,000, and that goal has been met. Eduar’s sponsor took action, others joined in, and now the children in that center will benefit greatly.

You can read Eduar’s story by clicking here.

There are many Compassion children who live in dangerous areas. When browsing the web site of children waiting for sponsors, a blue V with a dot underneath at the corner of the child’s photo indicates the child lives in an area with higher risk of exploitation and abuse. You can help one of these children today by clicking here.

World Vision also works to help children living in dangerous areas. While the conflict in Syria has faded from U.S. news reports, it continues, and more than 1 million Syrian children have left their homes, becoming refugees in neighboring countries. As refugees, these children lack shelter, clean water and food.

You can read more about this desperate situation by clicking here, and you can make a donation to help these children by clicking here.

Please consider reaching out to help these children in hopes that they, too, can be thankful for safe streets one day.


Always Humbled

Children often have a way of communicating that cuts straight to your heart, brings tears to your eyes, and fills you with love. Sometimes it’s something they say, so innocent and perfect, and sometimes it’s as simple as a tight squeeze around your neck when you need it most.

I know this well because I have six children of my own. But what continues to amaze me is my sponsor children’s ability to affect me in the same way, across the miles and through their written words.

Now it’s not uncommon for my sponsor children to write me that they love me and they send me hugs and kisses or to thank me for being their sponsor. Those things always warm my heart greatly.


Roxana, 9, of Guatemala

I received a letter today, though, from Roxana, 9, of Guatemala, and it was exceptional in communicating love and friendship. There really aren’t words to describe it, so here is an excerpt:

“I always thank God that he has given me the opportunity to live and to be here with this family. And to have you in my life; thank you for your help. I love you very much. I sometimes dream about you that you are my friend and that I play ball with you just the way I do with my other friends and cousins… I love you very much, and I hope to see you someday.”

Here is a child who lives in poverty in rural Guatemala, and she is thanking God that she is alive, thanking God for her family, and thanking God that she has me, a stranger from another country, in her life. The lessons I learn from these children are priceless.

Oh, Roxana, I hope to see you someday, too, sweet girl.