A couple of weeks ago, I decided I had to get my Compassion project organized. I'm actually more organized with it than I am with most things in my life. I have both a computer file and a regular file for each one of the 6 children. The computer file contains all the letters I've sent, a list of every gift I've sent (so I don't repeat myself in the kinds of stickers or maps or photos that I send), and I've just started a file for my account, so I can remember when I've sent someone a monetary gift for their birthday or for Christmas.
The "real" file, kept in my file cabinet used to have a folder for each child, into which I put all of their letters, things I've bought to send them, labels to paste on everything, and all of the updates I receive from Compassion. But that was getting kind of unwieldy, so I decided to set up a binder for each one of the kids, and the binder contains their letters to me, and the Compassion updates. I still keep the file folders for things that I will be sending to them and for labels I use on their packages.
This has greatly simplified my life, because now all the letters are in chronological order and it's easy to check back through all of the things they have written without wondering if everything is in chronological order.
I also tried to make them more a part of our family by posting their photos and some drawings in a framed collage in the family room.
Ironically, the two best correspondents are Fred (upper left), from the Philippines (whose mother writes his letters) and Shallon (upper right), from Uganda, both of whom are just correspondence kids (meaning that their real sponsor doesn't write to them, so I'm the one who gives them a person to contact, while some unseen person sends money to cover their expenses).
Shallon (who is 15) recently sent her first long letter, now that she has had time to actually receive a letter from me. Her letter (which she writes herself in English) says:
How are you and how is your life? Back to me, I am OK at school; I just thank God who has given me this chance to talk with you. I thank you for your sweet and friendly letters which you sent for me. Every time I receive letter from you I was very happy. When I saw your first letter I was very proud of you of your singing the songs of Jesus, Our Lord. [Not sure what I said that gave her that idea, but I probably told her I used to sing in a church choir, which I did, for many years.]
I want to communicate with you face to face. I have seen the photos of your husband, your daughter and your sons and I am very hapy to see your family. I have seen the California map.
In our home we have dogs. One is called Daclan, another is called Bingo and another is called Jachan. [how great--I get a dog lover! It's fate!] I am very proud to hear and see in the letter that you have dogs in your home and I am very sure that you know the use of dogs in a home. [they're supposed to have USE?]
I want to know your religion. Do you have a religion in California. [well, that's debatable!!] I am a Christian member of our church of Uganda called Kigarama Church. Do you attend Church services. [gulp] I like to go to Church on Sunday. I like reading books and reading the Bible.
Greetings to your children like Tom, Ned and Jeri from your friend Shallon. I love you so much because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
In Uganda we have our motto, which is "For God and my country." Do you have a motto for your country?
In our country, Uganda, we celebrated the Day of African Child on the 16th of every year.
When I finish my studies I will be a nurse because a nurse is a useful person and others like teachers and lawyers.
In primary seven we study four subjects. These are English, science, social studies, and mathematics. I like English and science but when I am reading I use English.
I want to send you a verse in the bible. 1 Peter 2:9. It says "but your a chosen generation of royal blood." and I want to pray for your mother-in-law who has broken her hip, but stay in Jesus Christ. Always remember that Jesus will reward and remains.
Your daughter, Katusiimi Shallon.
If God wills, I shall meet you face to face. May God bless you.These kids are such inspirations. If I could afford it I would sponsor many more. But I am at my limit because in case something happens with the real sponsors of Fred, Shallon and Ester, I would want to take over their sponsorship rather than lose my budding relationship with them.