Saturday, February 7, 2009

A new friend in Kenya

Hello, Friends. I'm sorry it has been a while since I last posted. As I mentioned in my last entry, work has consumed my life. But it's important to keep things in perspective and not forget about what truly matters.

I'd like to thank one of my readers (you know who you are!), whose kind words tonight reminded me of what I have been trying to do with this blog for the past 11 months. So I am reinvigorated, despite my fatigue, to get back down to business.

I have some news: Michael and I have a new sponsor child. Her name is Mwansiti, and she is an 11-year-old girl from Kenya. We're sponsoring through Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. As I had mentioned at the end of last year, I have really enjoyed their blog, and my mom has been a sponsor for a number of years.

A photo of Mwansiti. The scanner is buried, so I took a picture of the picture.

I thought it would be interesting to have a different kind of sponsor experience in addition to Mayan Families. For one, this is a different country. For another, this is a large, long-running organization. It doesn't offer the immediacy of contact you can have through Mayan Families (for example, getting photos emailed to your inbox of your sponsored kids receiving their school supplies, which is brilliant!). But it does focus on building a lifelong relationship with a person through letter writing.

As a child, I had a number of penpals, and I remember the unique joy of handwriting and sending and then receiving a letter. I fear this art will probably be lost by the time I have any children of penpal age. But CFCA uses this as the basis of the connection between sponsor and sponsored. It's intriguing...and soul-satisfying -- the idea of each getting to know the other as a person and a friend, that that is part and parcel of this relationship.

What's great is that the organization offers mission awareness trips to various countries that have programs. These trips are very reasonably priced, so they make it a very real possibility to visit your sponsored child, even in a place like Kenya. So, someday, Michael and I plan to go there!

But what I like even more is that the organization gives Americans who would never think of traveling to the developing world the opportunity and the motivation to do so. I can think of few things more exciting than that.

So, off we go with this new relationship!

I commissioned a card for my first letter to Mwansiti from a friend of mine who has a shop on Etsy: Lucky Sevens Card Design. Now I just have to write it and get it in the mail!

I want to know: what are some of your favorite sponsorship and/or penpal experiences?


Nikki said...

YAY- that is so great!!! She is gorgeous, and it sounds like a great experience. As for my favourte sponsorship experience, I think it will be coming SOON! I am going to meet my Ethiopian sponsor child in 4 days!! Speaking of which, I need to quit blogging and leave for the airport!!

Holly said...

LOL! Isn't that always the case...we spend all sorts of time online blogging, and reading, and commenting, that we're racing to the airport when it's finally time to go! I can't wait to hear about when you meet your child.

rachel leah said...

Wow! Sponsoring a new child seems so exciting and worthwhile. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

Holly said...

Thanks, Rachel! I'll be keeping everyone posted!

Paula said...

Great - hope you get to meet Mwansiti soon. Where does she live in Kenya. I too found CFCA some years ago and have been sponsoring two girls near Mount Kenya. I've also done a little bit of volunteering in Kenya. While I was there, I blogged at
I started out on a Mission Awareness Trip (MAT)to Guatamala which was a true eye opener and then traveled to Kenya on a MAT to meet my sponsored child. One thing let to another and next thing you know I'm in Kenya for a few months at a time. Love your blog. I'm going to keep watching for posts. Thanks

Holly said...

Paula, thanks for finding me! That's a great blog. Mwansiti is in Juja. Are you familiar with that project? When are you going back next?

Paula said...

Hi - Yes, I'm familiar with the Juja project and Sr Louisa who runs the project. What an inspiring woman! Hope you go on a Mission Awareness Trip and meet your sponsored child but you'd get quite a bonus by meeting Sr Louisa. Don't know when I'll be going back yet - gotta save some $$$ first. Blessings to you.

Marketing Mama said...

Hi - I found you from your wall post on the CFCA facebook page. I've been a sponsor with CFCA for 8 years. Our first sponsored child just left the program because her family no longer qualifies - they overcame their poverty! We now sponsor 2 of the finish-line students. One from Honduras, another from Kenya. You'll really like CFCA and I imagine it will be a very rewarding experience for you.

Jen P. said...

Just saw the post linked from CFCA page. We sponsor 2 boys and a girl in Kenya (as well as a boy and a grandma in Chile). Both my husband and I have visited Kenya in successive years on Mission Awareness Trips. If you can find the time and resources, you will find the trips life changing. We are hoping to make it to Chile for a MAT to coincide with Bob's arrival from his walk. God Bless!

HIGHTONE said...