Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Armor of God - Belt of Truth

I've just started a new series of letters to send to my sponsored kids. This series is on the Armor of God and last month I sent an introductory letter. This month I'm focusing on the belt of truth.  As always, feel free to use this in any way that is helpful.


Hello friend! How are you?

In my last letter I introduced you to the Bible passage from Ephesians 6:10-18. I would encourage you to read those verses regularly - every day even. You can read them as a prayer. When I was younger I read them every morning with my mom before going to school. When we got to verse 13 and it says to stand, we would stand. Then we would start pretending to put on the pieces of armor that are listed in the following verses. 

Today I want to talk about the belt of truth, which is the first piece of armor listed in these verses. Do you have a belt or have you ever worn a belt? I'll be honest...I don't love wearing a belt because it can be uncomfortable, but sometimes it really helps me keep my pants or skirt up and that's important! 

I like the image of wrapping our waists in truth. When we put truth in place like a belt, we keep everything else in place! For a soldier wearing armor, the belt served as a place for them to hang their sword. If you read ahead in these verses a little bit, you'll see that the sword of the Spirit is described as the Word of God. John 17:17 says "Sanctify them by your truth. Your Word is truth."

When we know what God's Word says, we know truth and we can stand firm in that truth in times of trouble. I don't know about you, but I find this very encouraging. Just like a belt holds everything together, so does the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus says, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  And in Colossians 1:17 Paul tells us "He is before all things and in him all things hold together."

Jesus is our truth. Jesus holds all things together. 




Friday, May 18, 2018

Learning About...a Series for Teens



I was so inspired by Hannah's Learning About (insert country here) series, that I decided to do my own series aimed for older kids. My girls are currently aged 11 and 13 and are ready to dive a little deeper into learning about the rest of the world.




My plan is to focus on countries/areas where Compassion ministers first - especially countries where we sponsor children. We'll read a book (or several) about the country, watch videos if available, learn about Compassion's work there and ideally incorporate food from that country into our study. We live near a city with a lot of ethnic food options, so I'd love to visit some ethnic restaraunts and enjoy authentic food. 


This past school year (the one we are just wrapping up), my oldest daughter learned every country in the world. The goal was to be able to draw the entire world and label each country by the end of the year and below is her final map. 

My younger daughter will attempt this same thing next year, and I'm hoping that our study of the world will be enhanced by this experience. Who knows....maybe we'll even get to visit a country different than ours during the year. 





Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Armor of God Series - introduction

It's been a while since I've shared a letter writing post, but I've recently decided to write another series to my Compassion kids and thought I'd share the letters here as well. I share these here so that you can be inspired and encouraged to write to your own sponsored children. Feel free to use as much of this letter as you want when writing to your own kids.




Greetings from Oregon!

     How are you? We are well. Today are enjoying a day of warmer weather and lots of sunshine. Normally during this time of year it rains a lot. We are very happy when the sun decides to come out and warm things up. All the rain allows for all the beautiful flowers to grow and this is one of the most beautiful times of the year. We have trees blooming that have so many blooms they look pink! I'll include a photo for you to see.

     When I was younger and still in school, my brother, mom and I would eat breakfast together every morning. We would do a quick Bible study and pray together. We would our time together each morning by putting on the armor of God, which is found in Ephesians 6:10-18. It didn't take long for me to memorize this passage, and I still remember it to this day. Have you ever read these verses?

     "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. "

     Have you ever thought of your relationship with God as a fight or a battle? Most soldiers wear some sort of armor when they go into battle so that they have protection when the enemy attacks. When we become children of God, we enter into a battle with God's enemy - Satan or the devil. Satan hates God and wants to us to hate God too. We must put on armor - God's armor - to protect ourselves and our relationship with Christ. I'll be talking about each piece of armor mentioned in the passage above in my next few letters, but today I just want you to know that I am praying for you and for your protection against the evil one. Would you also pray for my family and our protection?

Love, Jill ( and Kevin, Sydney and Kayleigh)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Learning About Australia!

We spent some time learning about Australia, with a short visit to New Zealand. Our booklist was inspired by Give Your Child the World:


  • Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan
  • Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles
  • Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
  • Diary of a Baby Wombat by Jackie French
  • Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes
  • Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein
  • Possum Magic by Mem Fox
  • Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox
  • The Biggest Frog in Australia by Susan Roth

    I loved the aboriginal dot paintings in Big Rain Coming, and Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas about New Zealand was really fun! The kids loved Diary of a Wombat and Diary of a Baby Wombat.


    Juanito's narration:

    The wombat ate grass, and slept, and found the perfect dustbath. And he found new neighbors; the new neighbors had oats and carrots and the perfect scratching posts. And she dug a hole under the ground to be closer to the neighbors.
    - Diary of a Wombat


    Rosie's narration:

    The baby wombat wanted to eat flowers and he wanted to play. He found the baby. They played a game. The baby wombat was trying to get a new hole. They digged a new hole, it goed to the neighbor's house. The new hold was inside, in the baby's room.
    - Diary of a Baby Wombat


    We made anzac biscuits for co-op!


    For co-op activities, we played Mr. Crocodile and then created traditional aboriginal dot paintings, inspired by the artwork in Big Rain Coming.


    And that wraps up our school year!

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Central and Southern Africa
  • The Middle East
  • Japan
  • Central America
  • Northern Europe
  • Canada & Arctic
  • The Caribbean
  • Russia
  • West Africa
  • Argentina
  • Korea, Indonesia & the Philippines




    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
  • Friday, April 20, 2018

    Learning About Korea, Indonesia & the Philippines!

    Most of our books were about Korea, but since we have Compassion children in Indonesia and the Philippines, I wanted to also visit them! Our booklist was inspired by Give Your Child the World:


  • The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
  • Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park
  • Firekeeper's Son by Linda Sue Park
  • My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
  • Dear Juno by Soyung Pak
  • Goyangi Means Cat by Christine McDonnell
  • Jin Woo by Eve Bunting
  • The Twins' Blanket by Hyewon Yum
  • Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Lazo Gilmore
  • Pan de Sal Saves the Day by Norma Olizon-Chikiamco
  • A Crocodile's Tale by Jose Aruego

    Juanito loved A Crocodile's Tale since the main character had his name (in addition to the story being fun!). He also really enjoyed Firekeeper's Son and Pan de Sal Saves the Day. Rosie loved Cora Cooks Pancit, and the illustrations are just gorgeous, with a recipe in the back! And Bee-Bim Bop! was a favorite with everyone, including José, since the book rhymes; it also includes a recipe, and I want to buy both books now for future reading and reference!


    Since we sponsor Jenny in Indonesia and Earl John from the Philippines via Compassion, we wrote to them and spent some time watching Compassion videos!







    Juanito's narration:

    Juan salva el cocodrilo. El cocodrilo quiere comer Juan. Vieron una canasta, y la canasta dice, "Puede comer Juan." Luego, vieron un sombrero, y el sombrero dice, "Puede comer Juan." Y Juan dice, "¡No! Permíteme a pedir el mono." Y el mono salva Juan. Y Juan dice a su papi, "Sembra arboles de bananas."
    - A Crocodile's Tale


    Rosie's narration:

    Cora lame la cuchara. Cora quiere ayudar la mami cocinar. Cora quien cocinar pancit. Ella come un mordisco de pollo. Las hermanas grandes de Cora fueran afuera. Ella mezcla y se cayeron champiñones. La familia comieron pancit y le gustaban. Cora se siente feliz.
    - Cora Cooks Pancit


    We made Korean beef bowl, eggplant stir-fry, and chicken curry! All of these were based on recipes I often make. And the for co-op snacks, we bought rice buns filled with meat from the local Filipino market! And litchi jellies!


    For co-op activities, we created Filipino Sarimanok birds and Indonesian Batik art! I also found these fun coloring pages of traditional Filipino clothes!


    Next we are heading to Australia, the last country for the year! I had originally planned on "visiting" Ethiopia and Egypt, but we'll head there in the fall when we study Ancient Civilizations.

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Central and Southern Africa
  • The Middle East
  • Japan
  • Central America
  • Northern Europe
  • Canada & Arctic
  • The Caribbean
  • Russia
  • West Africa
  • Argentina




    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    Belky in Colombia

    Belky Tatiana Ortega
    October, 3, 1999


    We began sponsoring Belky in February 2018. She lives with her mother, Elediz Viloria, who is not employed.  She also has a brother, Juan DavidShe attends Estrella Integral Development Center near Cartagena, Colombia. So far we have received 1 letter.

    Favorites:

    • food - meat, rice and tomato juice
    • color - black
    • subject - science
    • animal - cat
    • hobby - music and watching tv
    • game - cards

    Belky is a freshman of Foreign Trade Administration. She describes herself as happy, kind, easy going and intelligent. 



    Friday, April 6, 2018

    Learning About Argentina!

    We took some time in Argentina (with a few books about Chile and Ecuador)! Last year we looked at Colombia and Peru, and it would have made more sense to include Ecuador there, but I hadn't previously discovered certain books. Our booklist was inspired by Give Your Child the World:


  • On the Pampas by Maria Cristina Brusca
  • My Mama's Ranch on the Pampas by Maria Cristina Brusca
  • Gauchada by C Drew Lamm
  • Me Llamo Gabriela by Monica Brown
  • The Gullywasher by Rising Moon Editors
  • Up and Down the Andes by Laurie Krebs
  • We're Sailing to the Galapagos by Laurie Krebs

    The Gullywasher is actually about about Mexican vaqueros (I hadn't read the description carefully enough!). The kids were fascinated by On the Pampas and My Mama's Ranch on the Pampas, and we had a great discussion about how calves are birthed and what cesarian-sections (in cows) are. I thought Gauchada was a beautiful book about Argentine culture and just loved this explanation:


    Mate is a tea, and I drink it daily. My kids were surprised to learn that most people in the US don't drink it and that it comes from Argentina.


    I spent a summer in Argentina, and it is a country dear to my heart. It was so fun to both take time to pray for my friends there and share some of what I love with my own children. We also took time to write to our Compassion children in Ecuador. We watched some travel videos about Buenos Aires and some of Planet Earth about the Galapagos. And I pulled out old photos to show the kids the Iguazu Falls!


    Juanito's narration:

    La niña va a visitar su abuelo y abuela y va a las Pampas. Y el abuelo traerlos en su camión a su prima. Y la prima tiene un caballo y después de un tiempo, la otra niña tiene un caballo. Y quiere un cinturón con coins y initials como un gaucho. Toman un huevo de ñandú y cocinarlo para un pastel para su abuela. Tienen una fiesta para su abuela. En la noche, la última noche, el gaucho muestra a las niñas las estrellas del Southern Cross. El último día, ellos le dieron relatos de un caballo y buckle con initials y un cinturón con monedas.
    - On the Pampas


    Rosie's narration:

    Un guacho hace una collar de una luna. El gaucho bebe mate. El gaucho da un collar a la abuela. La abuela dale a la mami. La mami dale a la niña. La luna es para muchos amigos.
    - Gauchada


    I attempted to make empanadas, and we also had scalloped corn thanks to Extending the Table.


    And then I made alfajores! Since Rosie can't have lactose, I also made coconut dulce-de-leche (it came out a little runny, so I made most of the alfajores with store-bought dulce de leche).


    For co-op activities, we played a Chilean sidewalk game from Sidewalk Games Around the World.


    Then, in addition to coloring pages (Argentina, Gaucho and dancer), we mimicked the artwork from Cuevas de las Manos.


    Next we are heading to Asia!

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Central and Southern Africa
  • The Middle East
  • Japan
  • Central America
  • Northern Europe
  • Canada & Arctic
  • The Caribbean
  • Russia
  • West Africa




    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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