"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
~James 1:27

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A New Beginning

I am surprised as I sit here and realize that I have not posted on this blog in 6 months. 6 months! It makes me a little sad to think that of all the birthdays I haven't posted about and letters I haven't shared and the adventures that I have gone on, but there is no record of. Well this girl's blogging hiatus is over! But there will be a change. This blog is making a move. I am starting a new adventure, and I thought this new adventure deserves a new blog. If you want to keep following me and my journey you can hope on over to my new blog. 

I will be talking up my upcoming plans and the way God is leading me in my life right now. I hope that you will join me and that you haven't all forgotten about me since I have been missing the last 6 months :). Thanks for being such a great blogging community over the last couple of years. I hope to see you over at my new blog :).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ecuadorian Dreams

Back in September, I shared about an opportunity I have to go to Ecuador with Compassion International. I am so excited at the thought of returning to Ecuador, a country that I love so much. The trip costs $2900, and the deadline for all my money to be in is November 13. Two weeks ago, I had all but given up on this dream of returning to Ecuador and meeting the beautiful girls I sponsor there. But by the grace of God and the support of some friends, this may actually become a reality. In the last week and a half, numerous people have stepped up and offered their support and prayers for the realization of this dream of mine. I cannot thank the people who have supported me thus far enough. God is so amazing and He has worked through so many people to encourage me in my love of mission, Compassion, and Ecuador! 

But, I still have a ways to go if I am going to make my deadline of November 13. You may have noticed the ChipIn on the right side of my blog. If you are interested in supporting me and my Compassion trip to Ecuador, this is an easy way to donate. It is really easy. You can donate with a paypal account or a credit or debit card. Most of all though, what I really need is prayer support. Please pray for me as I prepare for this trip to Ecuador! I know that if this is where God is leading me than it will happen! 

I will leave you with picture of the 4 absolutely adorable girls that I sponsor in Ecuador. Try not to be too jealous!

Niurka, age 8

Yulissa, age 6

Alexandra, age 7
Carolay, age 8

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Will Bring Praise

Moving to a new state, starting grad school, and living in a dorm for the first time has conjured up a lot of different emotions for me. I have felt excited, lonely, apprehensive, confused, homesick, and anxious. Many times these emotions have all been there at once. It’s not easy going out of my comfort zone to try new things.  Over the last week, I have been struggling to figure out what my purpose in being here in Tennessee is. Anyone could be doing what I am doing right now, so why did God call me here. He had a reason for bringing me here to Tennessee Temple; I just don’t know what it was. I keep wondering, why am I here? 

But rather than question His judgment and worry about where my life is going, I am choosing to praise Him in this season. There are so many things that I have to be thankful for, so many little things that I just take for granted. So I have decided to write them down in my journal of thanksgiving. That way I can look back and see the ways that God has blessed me even on days that haven’t gone my way. Just looking back at this week, He has blessed me in so many ways. Each day my blessings grew. Some of these things are small such as beautiful weather and an updated photo of Rosa, but some of them are big like the fact that 5 people have sent me money for my trip to Ecuador. And a girl gave her life to Christ in chapel yesterday! 

Suddenly life doesn’t feel so hard, so boring and monotonous when we look at it through a lens of praise and thanksgiving. I cannot wait to count the ways that God blesses me today! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Bolivian Rose

My Rosa is growing up. I have to admit that to myself because sometimes I really don't want her to grow up. I want her to stay my little girl forever. But she is almost 13. That does not qualify as a little girl anymore. But she will always be my beautiful Rosa, no matter how old she gets. I got a new picture of Rosa yesterday, and my she looks older even from just 6 months ago. Oh I can barely wait till the day that I can hug her again. I don't know when that day will be, but I pray that it will be sooner rather than later.

Rosa, age 7- what a little doll!

Rosa, age 9- the little girl that captured my heart

Rosa, age 11- the girl I was dying to meet

Rosa, age 12- the girl I had waited all my life to hug

Rosa, age 12 1/2- my beautiful Bolivian princess

I love you, Rosa! I will never stop loving you. You make me so proud. Keep shining for all the world to see!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ome!

Omelisa isn't my sponsored child anymore. But today is her birthday and I still wanted to honor her and wish her a happy birthday. She is a beautiful little girl and she turns 9 today. I love her, I miss her, but most of all I am so proud of her!!

Happy Birthday, Omelisa! I love you to Indonesia and back!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Something About Her

The minute that I laid eyes on my Rosa for the first time, I knew that there was something about her. She is not a child that I would have picked off the website. She had  this heartbreaking sadness about her, and I instantly became fiercely protective of that 10 year old girl without a father. I knew there was something about her when I received her first letter. After going years without any letters of encouragement, Rosa poured out love and a desire to get to know me in that first letter. She still had hope that I would write back. And write I did! I knew there was something about her when I wrapped my arms around Rosa for the very first time, as we cried and laughed together, as we smiled and played tag and tried to talk to each other. There is something about that girl- she is smart and funny and so full of life. She is a monkey, a joker, and full of energy. She is a leader, she is strong, and she is so full of love and beauty. I have been beyond  blessed to have my beautiful Rosa in my life.

But now here is your chance to have a Rosa in your life.


 This Rosa is also from Bolivia. She has the same exact first and last name as my Rosa. She also lives with just her mother. She lives in the same area of Bolivia as my Rosa. And she has that same sadness in her eyes that my Rosa had when I first became her sponsor. This Rosa also has something about her. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I have a feeling that she has a lot more than just a name in common with my Rosa. This Rosa has been waiting 275 days for a sponsor. She needs someone to show her the love of Christ. Is that someone you? I believe with all of my heart that this beautiful girl would be an absolute joy to sponsor. Please take the time to consider adding Rosa to your family today. If you are interested in sponsoring her, click here.

There is something about this girl. Someone just needs to discover what it is.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mail Call: Bolivia

After 2 and a half weeks with no letters, my letter drought has ended! In the last couple days I have received 9 letters….yup 9 letters! I received some wonderful letters from 7 of my kiddos, but I would like to highlight the beautiful letters that I received from Bolivia, the place that has captured my heart. I received a sweet letter from my Rosa about our time together in Bolivia, and a birthday gift thank you letter and PICTURE from adorable little Kevin along with a form letter about his Christian learning. I will start with Rosa’s letter:

Dear Friend Hilary Hopkins,
I greet you from the heart. I am always thinking about you. I love you so much and I miss you. Thank you for your letter and the photos you sent me. The time when you came to Bolivia was beautiful and unique. The name of my doll is Katherine and I keep the school bag you gave me, I love it. I remember many things about the zoo and that we saw turtles, monkeys, and I want to know, what animal did you like? I encourage your friends to sponsor children from Bolivia, that is an excellent idea. To answer your question, when I see Jesus in heaven, I would say: I love you and I am very happy because you sent a sponsor for me. You are so important to me and my family. It is winter season here and it is very cold. What’s the weather like in your country? I am happy because I will be on break at school, so I will have many things to write you.
I say goodbye with love, Rosa

Yup, I loved the monkeys the best...you, Rosa, were the biggest monkey!

Now, sweet Kevin’s thank you letter for his birthday gift…I am so excited because it was written the day after his birthday. This is the first time that I have actually gotten a birthday gift to a child in a timely manner! 

Dear Friend Hilary Hopkins,
We greet you with a hug and blessings. I am Kevin’s tutor and I’m writing on his behalf. Kevin is happy to receive the birthday gift you sent him. He bought a jacket, a cotton shirt, and a set of superhero action figures that he wanted so much and that’s why he thanks you very much and he made you this drawing with all his dedication. In these last days he was on winter vacations and he went to visit his grandma and he helps to take care of the cows, sheep, donkeys, and chickens; he thinks this is fun and amusing. Kevin says goodbye with a big kiss.
Sister Kathy (tutor)

Aaah, can this kid get any cuter??

Kevin’s other letter was a form letter, but his tutor, Kathy, was sweet enough to write a nice note on the back. Here is my very favorite line:

He liked to see your picture, and he says that you were beautiful when he saw you in April.

Heart melts….

Such a sweet boy!

I just love my sweet kids. It never ceases to amaze me how much I love these kids. I think that I love them more every single letter!