"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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For My Beautiful Rosa

It is hard to believe that I only have 32 more days until Bolivia. I am so excited to have this opportunity to meet my Rosa and to see the beautiful country that she has grown up in. I have been doing everything I can to be ready for this life changing trip! The trip is paid for, my Visa application is done, and I’ve gotten all of my shots. The shots may not have been fun (though they did give me a lollipop. I don’t care if I’m 22; if you offer me a lollipop I’m taking it), but what was fun was getting the opportunity to tell people why I am going to Bolivia. People find it very fascinating when you tell them you are going to meet a child that you sponsor. That definitely piques their interest and then they start asking questions. And I just love sharing about Rosa and the whole sponsorship experience. I always have to hold back the tears as I tell them about the letters she writes and how special she is to me.

                The best part of preparing for the trip has been shopping for Rosa. I love shopping for other people, especially children so this has been super fun for me. One of the best experiences was in Build-A-Bear workshop. I have to say that I love that place! I dragged my mom in there to help me build a bear for Rosa. Not really because I needed the help, but because I couldn’t bear the humiliation of someone I know seeing me building a bear by myself. My mom wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was about the whole Build-A-Bear experience, but she is a trooper. So of course we had an overly enthusiastic sales clerk come up to us wondering what brought us to Build-A-Bear today, as we stood a little overwhelmed by all the bears to choose from. When I told her that we were there to build a bear for my sponsored child that I was soon going to meet in the near future, she was so excited. She had never heard of such a thing and she thought it was amazing. She had lots of questions which I was happy to answer. She gave us free reign of the store to try different outfits on different bears, until we came up with the perfect bear for Rosa. This is what we came up with:
Isn't She Cute?


                My second big “Rosa Project” was to make a fleece blanket for her which is something I have never done before and will probably never do again. I am not artsy or crafty and I don’t have any sort of patience. But my sister made each of the family members a fleece blanket one Christmas, so I was able to convince her to help me make it. Ok really I helped her make it….and I may have just been in the way, but I tried to do my part. And it was a fun yet challenging experience.


Our Finished Product!


                Well I think that I have pretty much wrapped up my shopping for Rosa. I love all the things that I got her and I’m so excited to get to see her open them. I got her the Build-A-Bear, the fleece blanket, a Hearts 4 Hearts doll, a doll outfit, a backpack, a Spanish Bible, a journal, a photo album that I’m going to put some pictures in, a sketch pad, colored pencils and sharpener, a hairbrush, flowery barrettes, and finally a toothbrush. Can you think of anything else I should bring her? I would love any input or ideas.
What do you think?!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mail Call: Indonesia and Ecuador

Great Mail Day! I’m starting to get Compassion letters again! And today I got 2 very special letters (not that all messages from my kids aren’t special, but these ones I had been waiting for). I admit to having checked the mailbox a couple times a day for the last week so it was exciting to find that my new mailbox finally held some cream colored envelopes. I practically skipped back to the apartment everything in me wanting to rip into those envelopes. When I finally was able to dig into my letters, I was delighted to find a first letter from 8 year old Omelisa in Indonesia and a second letter from 6 year old Alexandra in Ecuador! And here they are:



Omelisa’s first letter was a introductory form letter:


My Parents- Ibeato Gea and Yesmai Hareja

My Best Food- Fried Rice

Brothers and Sisters- The name of my little brother= Milka (5 yrs)

My Best Friend- Ica and Windi

I Live- In a Village

My Hobby- Bike Riding

Message For My Sponsor- Dear Hilary Hopkins, Hello Hilary Hopkins, how are you? I hope you are just fine. Thank you for sponsoring me. Oh yes, don’t forget to reply to my letter. Please pray for me wherever I am and wherever you are. May God always protect you and may you be blessed more by Lord Jesus. Please send me your photo. It’s nice to know more about you. Regards, Omelisa

Please Pray That- Omelisa will be a clever and diligent child.

I just love Ome’s letter! I think it is adorable yet sad how she asks me to reply to her letter. Ome has had a number of different sponsors before me and I wonder if she wrote letters and waited and waited for a reply and one never came. How heartbreaking for a child! I am excited to get to know this beautiful little girl!



Alexandra’s letter was a letter all about her dreams:


Dear Sponsor Hilary Hopkins,

Alexandra would love to share with you a little more about her dreams.

Someday she would like to be like- her mother who likes to take care of children. She has lots of siblings.

She would like to travel to- Quito to know the big planes.

When she grows up she would like to- know more about the tropical jungle and take care of the nature like other people do it.

She would love to meet you because- she wants to give you a big hug and know you in person.

She wants to thank you for- the help you give her and the Christmas gifts.

Please pray for- her mother Luisa. She is sick and she left the hospital. Also pray for her father Santiago so he doesn’t take her to the warlock.

And she also wants to ask you- how you spent on Christmas and what you ate. She ate chicken and fish a lot. We say goodbye with love.

I am really worried about Alexandra’s mother. I wonder how seriously ill she is, and I pray that Santiago won’t take his wife to the warlock. Please pray with me for Alexandra’s mother that God will heal her and protect this family!



I’m excited to get such nice letters today. It seems that the letter drought has ended for many people. What letters have you gotten this week?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jerry Springer Needs Jesus

You must be wondering about the title of this blog, and wondering what this post is all about. I would be if I were you. But thus far my day has boiled down to- Jerry Springer needs Jesus.

Did you know that Jerry Springer is still on TV? I didn't. I had never actually seen the Jerry Springer show until today. It was one of those shows that you joke about because it is absolutely ridiculous and you know it has to be completely staged. I was flipping through the channels today, and I happened to land on of all things, The Jerry Springer Show. I sat there in utter disbelief at the scene unfolding before me. Two girls physically fighting on stage over a guy. On TV for all the world to see.

My immediate reaction was to laugh at such foolisness. But then it hit me. These are real people. People that God created in His image. Jesus knows each of their names and He loved them enough to die on the cross for them. And suddenly it wasn't so funny anymore. It was hearbreaking. How empty and broken those people must be. Do they even realize that God has a purpose for their life.?

It was so overwhelming. I have always known that God created every person and loves all of them, but it was like I was seeing it a whole new light. It was like learning for the first time that every 5 seconds a child dies from hunger. Everywhere I go there are people who don't know Jesus. And hear I am wrapped up in my own life not even caring that the pathetic people who agree to spew their problems on the Jerry Springer show need Jesus.

I wanted to change the channel and not think about it anymore. But the next channel only brought a girl who didn't know who her babies daddy is. How empty she must be. Searching anywhere and everywhere for something that can fill her up, someone who will love her.Another precious life in the eyes of God.

I felt sick to my stomach just thinking of all the brokeness in this world. I want to do something, I have to. I opened my Bible hoping to find an answer and this jumped out at me.

"I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." ~Romans 9:17

"How, then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" ~Romans 10:14-15

This just comfirms in my heart and soul that God has called me into missions. God wants to use me to bring the good news of Christ to people who have not heard of Jesus Christ and his love for them! What an honor and privilege!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mail Call: Haiti

I got letter from my Haiti kids: 8 year old Giberline and 18 year old Olibris. Letters from Haiti are like rubies to me because they are few and far between, but sooo precious! I wish that I got more Haitian letters so that I could learn more about these sweet children.

Giberline's letter is a "My Family" letter.

My family lives in: a village
My favorite way to help my family is: carry water
My siblings from oldest to youngest are Claudia, Gideline, Kerlandia, Gidelene, Peirr Rickson
My food is prepared by: Marie Claude

Giberline greets you in Jesus' name. She is very fine with her family. She works well in her school. She tells that she sings in the project. It's the Christmas celebration that she prefers. She'd like to be a principal of school. She thanks you for the pictures of the Princes and Princesses, she thanks you for the Christmas card. She and her family are fine by God's grace. Thank you for the Christmas gift, she buys a hen with it. She shares this verse with you: Matt 2:1. Merry Christmas! Thank you.
Written by: Claudia- her sister

Olibris sent a really nice letter too:
Dear Hilary Hopkins,
I'm really glad to write you this letter. How are you and your family doing? My family and I are well. I'm not doing so bad at school. I did well and I've succeeded in the Review year official exams. Yes, I can teach some words in Creole. Yes, I have Jesus into my heart. My family and I grow and breed. It's good because I live in the mountains with my family. Yes, I live close to them. I'm doing well at school thanks to God. I'm doing well thanks to God. When I look out of my house, I see a lot of rocks, trees, and vapor (steam). Thanks for the letters, the pictures, your prayers and your wishes. I was so happy to hear from you and your family. How do you count to spend this Christmas? I pray that God will bless you in all you do. Thanks for the Christmas gift and I used it to buy clothes. The project organized a nice party for us on December 20th, 2011. There were movies and joke and we enjoyed a lot. Pray for me. God bless you.
Olibris Jean

Yaaaaaa for Haiti letters! Have you gotten any letters lately????

Monday, February 13, 2012

Children of God

I love having the internet at my fingertips down here in Florida. It gives me more time to look at the kids on the Compassion site and wish that I could sponsor just one more, and one more after that, and maybe just one more. :) I can't sponsor any of them, but I can pray for these beautiful children. God knows all of their names, isn't that crazy? He has a plan for every last one of those precious beings. They are completely, utterly loved by God. They are children of God just like you and me! Isn't that awesome?

Well 3 kids have jumped off the website and into my heart, so I have been praying for them. Praying that they will be safe and healthy and educated. And praying that someone will sponsor them and show them that they are beautiful and loved and that they matter!

Introducing: 5 year old Solomon from Ghana
Proceed to our secure online form

Yesterday at church, a man from Ghana came to talk about a school that he has started there. His little school holds 650 children! I came right home and started looking at the little kids from Ghana. I noticed that Solomon has the same birthday as me. And this adorable little boy is doing above average in school! Awesome. If you are interested in sponsoring him look here.

Introducing: 9 year old Gladys from Ghana
Proceed to our secure online form

Gladys is another Ghana cutie! Isn't her bald black head and blue dress so precious! It broke my heart to see that her father is in prison. Can you imagine having the person who is supposed to protect you and provide for you be away in prison? I can't. Also, Gladys goes to the same center as Solomon. If you are interested in letting this little sweatheart know that she matters look here.

Introducing: 6 year old Lenold from Sri Lanka
Proceed to our secure online form

I was so excited to see that you can sponsor children from Sri Lanka now! I wish that I could sponsor from this country. The Sri Lankan kids are so beautiful and they also look so joyful. Lenold's smile is just beautiful even without having any shoes. I love that he loves singing and reading. I bet he would be so much fun to correspond with. If you are interested in being a mento to Lenold look here.

Compassion International gives kids like Solomon, Gladys, and Lenold a chance for a better life and a chance to know Jesus. This is a ministry I'm very passionate about, and I hope that you want to get involved.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We made it to Florida today! I can't believe that I am here to stay :).



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Florida Bound

Today was the big day :)

Today, my Mom, Dad, and I all set out at 3 in the morning to drive from Maine to Florida as I am moving there. I am excited about this new adventure, but a little nervous as I have lived all 22 years of my life in the same house. It helps that I am moving in with my sister, so I'm looking forward to that!

Right now, we are in New York at my Aunt and Uncle's house, and we will head out early again for Florida. Please keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Haitian Birthday

Happy 18th Birthday, Olibris!

I am so proud that you have become a young man of God!
I love you to Haiti and back!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Another Beautiful Birthday Girl

Happy 8th Birthday, Giberline!




You are beautiful and you matter!
I love you all the way to Haiti and back!!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Beautiful Birthday Girl

Happy 12th Birthday, Rosa!!!


You are blossoming into a beautiful young lady who loves God!
I love you all the way to Bolivia and back!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Random

I haven't been very good about blogging lately. I'll try to do better! That was one of my unofficial New Year's resolutions :).

Just a couple random things going on in my life:
  • Yesterday I finished my 2 1/2 month gig as a school secretary. It was a great experience, I loved the kids, but I don't think I was cut out for a desk job.
  • I'm getting REALLY excited for my trip to Bolivia this April with Compassion International. I recently got a letter from Rosa, and she mentioned that she would like me to know her country someday. I can't wait for her to realize that I 've come to meet her!
  • On February 9th, I'm packing up and moving to Florida to live with my sister. This will be my first big adventure. I think I'm ready....I think :)
  • I'm working towards going to the Philippines over the summer and working at the Happy Horizon's Children's Ranch- a home for abused and abandoned children. I'm excited for a new experience- this is something that I want to spend my life doing.
  • I got 2 letters from Gil Jr in the Philippines this week. They were sweet, and one of them was the first letter that he has written to me all by himself.
  • I am loving the new Taylor Swift song "Ours". It makes me smile....she always seems to know how I feel.
  • Today, I really need an attitude adjustment- so pray for me!
  • But all in all....life is hard, but God is good!!!!