Category Archives: Writing Letters

Children’s Delight

Trusty by Reina

With all the exciting preparations for my upcoming Compassion trip to Honduras… advocating for children, shopping for gifts for my 11 children plus their siblings and a few of their friends, planning visit days, packing, and working 6 days/week to finish earning the money I need for this trip… I suddenly realized that I am waaaay behind in my correspondence with my kids~!  So while my heart is still to see the remaining 12 children I have available receive sponsors before our team arrives mid-July, I’ve been enjoying a sweet time immersed in a pile of my children’s letters.

The letters from three of my 9-10 year old girls brought an extra delight… they each included their own sweet drawing of Trusty.  Over and again, my children — from the youngest of them to my teens — remind me how delighted they are playing the “Trusty Game,” with me.  These recent drawings expressing that delight have been in response to a few different “Trusty Letters”  that I sent over the holidays.  I’m so impressed with each one of these drawings, and each child warms my heart and makes me smile.

Trusty by Reina

“Trusty’s Happy Market Day” by Reina, 9 years old, Honduras

I love the sweet face that Reina drew of Trusty, with smiling eyes even! And look at the detail on the fetlocks…  I’m impressed!  Reina’s letter spilled over onto another full sheet of paper, and I love that she answered many of my questions, shared about things she has been learning at her project, and chatted about her life.  Her whole letter reflected exuberance and delight.  Reina has such a precious heart, and I can hardly wait to meet her on her visit day in 8 weeks~!! 

When Reina wrote this letter, she wouldn’t have known that I’m coming to visit this summer, but look at how she ended her letter…

letter-reina-trusty

GabiGabriela delights me with her frequent letters that give me glimpses into her life in Romania, such as the food her family prepared for Christmas…  “cabbage, sausages, stake, and pig’s trotters.”  I had written to my children about my painting that I entered in the county fair last summer which took the blue ribbon, so Gabi wrote, “I do not have the chance to participate in such fairs, but I congratulate you for the prizes and your talent.  I don’t have a big talent, but I will draw something for you and send it.”  Here is her sweet picture of Trusty with the children, gathering her inspiration from the coloring pages that I sent.  I love her drawing and will continue to encourage her, and each of my children, in their artistic endeavors.

Trusty by Gabriela

“Trusty & the Children” by Gabriela, 10 years old, Romania

And again, a comment in one of her letters reminds me of the main reason that I have created this website…  to encourage sponsors (including myself~!) to write to our sponsored children, so that as many children as possible will be receiving letters.  Even little postcards or brief online email letters sent consistently throughout the year will remind our children that they are valued and loved.  I’m having so much fun catching up with my correspondence after this bit of a “drought.”

DevoraDevora is one of my World Vision children in the Dominican Republic, and she always draws delightful, full page pictures that are sent with the letters that her older sister writes on her behalf.   Devora’s drawing is in response to the Trusty’s Christmas Travels letter that I sent last fall, encouraging the children to observe beautiful art prints of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem, and then again on their flight to Egypt.  I love that she thoughtfully created her own drawing of the story, and I smile to see Trusty grazing in the bushes.  I thought it was interesting that she included a pipe for water.  And of course, how fun that she labeled her people, indicating where baby Jesus is in her drawing!

Trusty by Devora

“Trusty’s Christmas Travels” by Devora, 9 years old, Dominican Republic

By sending my children art prints of stories that I am writing to them about, they are encouraged to make their own observations and to think about the stories.  Here is Devora’s response to the winter letter…

Each of these girls recently had updated photos… I discovered Devora’s new photo last night as I was writing online letters.  Yay!  I love seeing each of these girls in their new photos, and their dear hearts and faces make my heart sing.

So if you haven’t written your child in awhile, or are looking for some ideas of what to write, check out some of the ideas in the Creative Letters section… and let your child’s heart sing to hear from you.

deborah

 

A Little Prince

princeJosueOne reason that I love making photos like this for the children I am advocating for, as well as for my own sponsored children, is that it is a very compelling visual reminder for both me and each child of their real identity in Christ Jesus:  that they are royal heirs in His kingdom.  This is one important facet of my personal approach to child sponsorship, that my letters help each child know and understand their value and worth to the heart of Father God, and their place in His kingdom. 

Priceless treasures.

Destined to rule and reign with Christ.

Given authority to proclaim royal decrees to bring God’s kingdom rule and reign of heaven here on earth into the situations and events of their lives and the world around them.

More and more I’m writing to my children about the power of their words, and to use them to proclaim life and victory, not defeat or despair.  The past couple of years I have particularly sought out verses in the Bible on the importance of my words, for Proverbs 18:21a says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”  I want to be speaking LIFE and to be using my words to bring about an invasion of the Kingdom rule of heaven into my circumstances and into the world around me.  This is my privilege as a daughter of the Most High God.

I declare I will live victoriously.  I was created in the image of God.  I have the DNA of a winner.  I am wearing a crown of favor.  Royal blood flows through my veins.  I am the head, never the tail, above, never beneath.  I will live with purpose, passion, and praise, knowing that I was destined to live in victory.  This is my declaration.  (excerpt from “I Declare” by Joel Osteen)

UPDATE

JosueThis weekend, I am featuring this little prince, Josué, who needs a sponsor who will speak life and victory to him, and call him into his destiny as a mighty man of God.  Are you that person?

Josué David’s birthday is September 5, 2009, and he is 5 years old. He makes his home with his father and his mother, and running errands is his household duty. His father is sometimes employed as a farmer and his mother maintains the home. There are 2 children in the family. As part of Compassion’s ministry, Josué participates in church activities. He is also in kindergarten where his performance is average. Soccer, playing with cars and bicycling are his favorite activities.

Contact me here if you will sponsor Josué David.  And as my gift to you, I will email you the full resolution photo of Prince Josué for you to use in writing a special letter to him.

deborah

Encouragement for Bryan

bryanThe more that I correspond with children from around the world, the more I have come to realize that while they face many issues that are very similar to our own lives, many of them face issues that are far beyond my experience and comprehension, issues that are extremely painful and difficult.  

One such child is Bryan, a precious 15 year old correspondent boy in Kenya.  Not only have both of his parents died, but his grandmother is gone as well, and he has been living alone with his sickly grandfather.  Letter after letter he has mentioned his concern for his grandpa, and has asked for prayers for his health.  His fears are very real.  A recent letter even mentioned that he has often been staying home from school to care for his grandpa, and his friends stop by afterwards to fill him in on what he missed in his studies. When Bryan is not in school or caring for his grandpa, he is responsible for herding and caring for livestock.  What a vastly different life from the typical teen here.

I was so grateful to receive this letter from Bryan a few days ago, where he wrote,

letter-bryan-books

In reading this I’m torn between feeling glad that the letters and books I’ve sent have been making a difference for him, and feeling grief over the hardship that he faces on a daily basis. 

One of the things I have been impressed to do for Bryan is to send along extra reading materials with my letters to him.  Biographies of faithful Christians, classic children’s literature such as Heidi, and Creation Illustrated magazine have been among carefully chosen materials for him.  In addition to the story of Heidi being such a well-loved classic, I figured that he would find it a story that he can identify with since he too has lost both his parents and is living with his grandfather, and he too herds livestock.  The Trailblazer series of Christian biographies by Dave and Neta Jackson have stories of Christians such as Nate Saint, William Tyndale, Jonathan Goforth, David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, John Bunyan, Hudson Taylor, and more.   I like encouraging him with testimonies of how others have walked through difficult circumstances, trusting and honoring God.

trailblazerscreationMagazineHeidi-cover

 

Since Bryan is a Compassion child, I can send books and other materials in 1/4″ thick sections.  I like to use clear packing tape along the rough spine of the book sections to keep them intact and also provide a smoother surface for holding as he reads.  Since Bryan knows English, it makes it a whole lot easier for me to find books to send him.  About every 2-3 months I send a huge box of letters snail mail to Compassion, including my own booklets that I have written for my kids, and other books and magazines.  The Trailblazer series of Christian biographies by Dave and Neta Jackson is especially well suited for this purpose, since each volume contains 5 separate stories that easily divide into 1/4″ sections.

He also mentioned that he doesn’t have a bible anymore, as his was lost (or stolen?) at school, but he is happy for the bible stories that I write to him.  In the recent lessons at his church, he “was very much encouraged by the story of Esther and Mordecai and how they were  lifted and protected by God.”  As you write to your child, share from Bible story characters who have impacted your own life.  Remember that your child may not necessarily have their own copy of a Bible, so consider printing out the selected text to include with your letter.  I appreciate Bible Gateway for this purpose as they have Bible versions available in many different languages.

While I’m particularly feeling the weight of being a burden bearer for Bryan tonight, I’m grateful that I can do something tangibly in the physical realm to lift him up through letters and books, and grateful that I can do something powerfully significant to lift him up spiritually with prayers and intercession.  And I’m especially grateful for Holy Spirit who prays with me when my own words fail.

deborah

 

Autumn Letters

Over the summer and into autumn, I was intensely occupied with creating Trusty’s Mailbag website, writing and designing its pages and materials.  So much fun…  :o)  But after launching the website in early October, I came up for air and realized that I had been so focused on this one project everyday that I had fallen quite behind in writing to my own sponsored kids!  I had to scramble to pull together my Christmas letter and packages, and it felt so good to get those off in the mail back in mid-October…  a tad bit later than my target goal of the end of September, but at least it was done.  Then I got the Christmas cards for unsponsored children off in the mail, and finally my Operation Christmas child boxes were prepared and turned in.  Whew!  It’s been another busy, but rewarding, month!  But now that I was focused on writing letters the past month+, I’ve neglected posting here.  Somehow I need to get things balanced out…

One thing that really helped me immensely in pulling together my Christmas letters at the last minute was using my own materials that I had already created and posted here… the Christmas letter and art page for Trusty’s Travels, and other ideas posted on the Christmas page.  It was quite a relief not to have to come up with new ideas, as I had already put in all the work to do this over the summer… Yay! 

If I have the time, I like to send an autumn/Thanksgiving letter AFTER I have sent off my Christmas letters.  Christmas, birthdays, and Easter are the only occasions that I try to time my letters’ arrivals… I can relax my time line for everything else.  So now I have another package ready to send off this week of my autumn letters… autumn_letter

I used the Autumn Forest Squirrels stationary, and included the Autumn Leaves printable and Catching Leaves coloring page from the Autumn Season page.  In this letter I wrote about what autumn looks like here where I live, and included a simple explanation of why leaves turn color.  I also shared a couple favorite autumn memories of when my boys were young… the time we made leafy crowns of the bright yellow maple leaves, and how I loved going on nature walks and singing our favorite autumn songs.  I ended this letter by sharing briefly about Thanksgiving, and included a prayer for them to know God’s provision for their needs… that He is Jehovah Jireh – the Lord our Provider.

A few times each week, I’ve been taking one of the letters I’ve received from my kids to write a personal response to them while I’m on my lunch break at work, and have been using the Trusty’s Travels in Autumn cards for this purpose.  It works well for me to completely focus on only one child at a time like this for writing their individual letters.  This week I will be sending off a full box of all the different autumn letters… the printed squirrel letters that are the same for every child, and the individual handwritten cards.

If you have a favorite idea for writing autumn letters, please feel free to post them…  I know that there are many sponsors reading here at Trusty’s Mailbag, many of whom are new to sponsoring and writing to children, and they would welcome the ideas!

deborah