Lunch with Mayra

Our final moments with Mayra were spent in Lima, sharing lunch together at a local Peruvian restaurant.
2015-09-09 13.26.59_500The food was great and with Natalia’s translating it was easy to converse with Mayra and her mother.  All day long, Dionysia kept saying, “We never thought anything like this would ever happen to us.”

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We walked around a little together — enjoying the scenery.

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Then, as a special treat, we took Mayra and her mother shopping at the grocery store.  They were allowed to choose whatever they wanted from the shelves, within a certain limit.

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They had no trouble making practical choices — rice, beans, yogurt, grains, juice, cooking oil, canned meat.2015-09-09 14.50.10_500 2015-09-09 14.47.14_500They actually underspent the amount we suggested, so we let Mayra choose some jewelry at another store nearby.  I really loved doing this for them and again, Dionysia said, “We never thought anything like this would ever happen to us!”

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After this we had to go separate ways, with the promise of writing soon and sending photos.  But I’ll never forget this wonderful day with an amazing and beautiful young lady, Mayra.  I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to support her through Compassion’s child sponsorship program.  If you’d like to sponsor a child, check out some of the available children here.

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Peruvian Home

Another special treat on our child visit day with Mayra was visiting her home high up on a hill.  The one on the right is the home her father built.  He works as a bricklayer and has done a very good job with this home.

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Mayra noticed her little nephew watching us through the window, and didn’t miss the chance to interact with him.

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The interior of the home is very neat and simple.

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Mary’s room is very nice — with home-made bunkbeds and shelving for her school supplies.  She shares the bottom bunk with her little sister, and an older sister sleeps above.

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The home has running water that is supplied by a water tank outside.

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There’s a great view from the roof of the house, which has two more bedrooms and areas for working on laundry, as well as a chicken coop and pen for guinea pigs (which are eaten, not treated as pets).

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Behind the house complex is a small shack (below) that her grandfather lives in, but we did not get to meet him because he (and her father) were working.

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We did have the privilege of meeting her mother, though — Dionysia — shy, sweet, grateful.

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The lady to the left of Dionysia is Mayra’s tutor and aunt, who also works at the Child Development Center.  We also got to meet Mayra’s brother, Marlon, and his child, Jacob.

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I can’t express how very pleased I was to finally meet Mayra and her mother, and to be a guest in her home.  It was wonderful!

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Mayra’s Project

It’s a special treat to visit one of Compassion’s partners, but even more so if it’s your own sponsored child’s project.  While in Peru we had the privilege of visiting Mayra’s church and Child Development Center.  She had already been attending the project before I sponsored her because she had a previous sponsor, but that person had quit for some reason.  When I saw Mayra’s photo on a child packet I knew I wanted to complete the sponsorship with her.  Now, months later, I was standing right in front of that church partner with her.

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It’s a wonderful partner — many children are being helped, and they are making a huge impact on their community.  We met the office staff and the cook.

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We were especially pleased to meet some of the sponsored children.

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I know they appreciate their sponsors and remember them in prayer, because they had a special display honoring their sponsors.

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Although the younger kids weren’t present this day, we did get to see one sweet little girl.

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We also saw some Minions on the wall!

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Our translator, Natalia, showed us Mayra’s folder — a record of her personal details — health, attendance, academics, correspondence with her sponsor (me!) and other items.

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Mayra’s Project Director, Sonia, was pleased to show us a kitchen where the children learn to cook.

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Here we are with Sonia and Mayra.

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The staff members were so sweet and gracious to us.  One of them — Letitia — is seen below in between Natalia and Sonia.  2015-09-09 11.00.43_500As a special treat, we got to meet a formerly sponsored child — Jackie, along with the pastor’s wife.  Jackie is now giving back to the church by working with the children, just as someone helped her as a child.  We were so happy to have heard her story of success!2015-09-09 11.08.22_500_500

Chris Meets Jose and Maria

Chris got to meet two sponsored kids on our recent trip — Maria in Ecuador and Jose in Peru.  Previous to our trip, we only knew these two kids by their photos and letters.


IMG_4703_500We found out there’s much more personality than what a photo can show.  Here is Chris with each of the kids:

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I hope you’re getting the message this week — meeting your sponsored child is a great experience, in fact it’s life changing for both of you.  I will have much more to say about these sponsor visits in the weeks to come.



Sarah Meets Anais

In the same way as my post about Mayra, Sarah’s sponsored girl in Ecuador, Anais, was seen only in her child packet photo before our visit to meet her in person.


As we found out, Anais is a beautiful young woman now, and we had the best time getting to know her better.  Here are the two together.

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These two really bonded well, and I’ll tell much more about the visit in the weeks to come.

A Photo Says It All

This week I’m giving you a sneak preview of our trip to Ecuador and Peru.  For starters, what is the difference between a sponsored child’s child packet photo and meeting them in real life?  Everything!  Take a look below.

Here is Mayra’s official photo from Compassion International.


Here she is the day I met her.

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Doesn’t it make you want to see your sponsored child in person?  I absolutely fell in love with her all over again.  I will have much more to say about Mayra next week.

Sewing Out of Poverty

We’ve been looking at some of my new quilts this week.  Today I want to show you how important sewing skills can be in developing countries.  Take a look at how sewing machines are being used in the Compassion International projects around the world.

If this video has really spoken to you, perhaps you’d like to give to Compassion’s Complimentary Interventions, and specifically to the purchase of sewing machines for families.  Here is a link where you can help a family get started with a small loan, such as would be needed for a sewing business.