April 19, 2012

Second Letter... Check!

Our first letter wasn't gone but a few days and I was already thinking about what to say in the next letter to Carlin and what to include for fun extras. I had a few things bookmarked from the last letter that weren't sent because of the thickness limitations, and I had come across some great shared ideas on the website for the Compassion community.

The problem becomes what to send and what to keep until another time. There is a pile of ideas available and so much that can be printed off to add some extra fun to your letters. This second letter to Carlin ended up having a Child of God and Princess of a King kind of theme to it.

A little bit of everything.

At first, I wasn't sure what to write or include with the letter. This would be my second letter and we have not received one from Carlin yet (it's too soon) so there are no asked questions to answer. It's basically a one-way conversation at this point but I keep in mind there could be up to a three month long journey for each letter. By the time our letter arrives, and hers returns (or vice versa), it could be up to 6 months! We plan to write more than twice a year so there will certainly be letters crossing paths as we write.

Anyway, one of the Compassion sponsors posted a link to a Father's Love Letter. I really like this idea - a letter from God - and I wanted to include it in the next letter we sent out. From there, the package grew until it included the following items...

- A Father's Love Letter quarter-fold print-out found at the media center link. I trimmed the letter slightly so it would tuck inside the 'envelope' a little nicer. The envelope side of the print-out was folded and closed with a small sticker. At the Children's FLL link was a nice poster version so I printed one out on cardstock. I also printed out the translation in Indonesian. The poster and the translation were slipped into a page protector. The FLL was attached to the front with a small piece of tape.

FLL Poster and Framed Picture of Carlin

- A picture of Carlin printed on photo paper. I have read that many of the families do not have a photograph of their child and other sponsors have made copies of their sponsored child's photo to send. This picture was covered with a page protector cut down to size and framed with patterned cardstock. Then I decorated it with stickers I used throughout this package.

- Assorted activity pages. Coloring pages including princess pictures and a funny fish. Three easy mazes. Paper airplane instructions for the second Glider, and colored paper to create it. We have a whole collection of mazes that gradually get more diffcult, and the paper airplanes slowly become more difficult as well. I plan to send these items each package, a few each time. The princess coloring pages were chosen to match the letter.

- Maps showing our locations in relation to each other
   (letter reference).

- The Gingham Paperdoll set. The dolls and the stroller were printed on cardstock. I didn't include any of the other furniture. They didn't seem appropriate. The clothes were printed on paper.

Sarah Gingham

Once again I was mindful of the items bunching up and creating a thick spot that would be more than the allowed thickness. Little envelopes were made and attached to cardstock, two to a page. This will keep the pieces together, organized and in place. The cardstock was hole punched so it can be strung together or slipped into an office folder (duotang) or binder.

The Gingham Dolls 

- A homemade photo album with pictures of our silly dog, our family and another picture of Carlin. This was put together with cardstock and page protectors, and decorated with stickers.

Pictures from Us to Carlin

Each item had Carlin's name and child number wrote in somewhere and then the item was placed in a folder that would keep everything together and prevent bunching and thick spots.

Ready to Go!

Finally, our letter was written out and added to the folder and it all slipped inside a zipper-close baggie for a safe trip to the Compassion Canada office.

This is the letter that we sent. It helped to have a topic to write about. I hope Carlin is able to read Indonesian or maybe they will translate the Father's Love Letter for her if she doesn't. Although many people speak Indonesian on the Papua side of the island, it may be that Carlin only speaks Moi, the language most common in her area. I am praying she also speaks Indonesian because I'm not sure there is even a bible translation for Moi.

Dear Princess Carlin 
We hope this letter finds you and your family well in health and spirit. We include all of you in our daily prayers and you are in our thoughts. 
We are doing well. The weather is warmer and that always makes us happier after our winter season. It will be time to plant gardens soon.
We were told by Compassion that you would be writing us a letter. We live very far away so your letter has not arrived yet as I write this to you. I tell this to you because maybe you asked questions in your letter and now you know why I wont be able to answer them in this letter.  
Do you enjoy your time at the Efata center? I looked at a map to see where the Efata center is. I thought this was interesting and maybe you will think so too... so I include some maps of our countries. One map shows the Efata center between Jayapura and Depapre. Another map shows Indonesia/Papua. The last map shows where we both live. 
I think it would be a very, very long swim, from our house to your house. I do not swim very well but I enjoy playing in the water. Do you enjoy swimming? 
I hope it is okay if I call you Princess Carlin? Sometimes we call our daughter, Princess too.  But it is true! She is a princess and so are you! You are both the daughters of the Greatest King.... God, our Almighty Father.  The bible says:The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:19) 
Of course, you are the daughter of your parents too. They are the people God chose to love you and be your family. God is such a kind and caring Father.  He wants you and your family to know His love and share it with each other. You are important to Him and very special. He will love you always! 
I want to tell you about a special letter. It is a letter that could be written by God, if He wanted to send us a letter. The letter was written by using God's word in the Holy Bible. Each line of the letter is from a verse in the Bible, and the verse number is given too.
I hope you will like this letter from our Father as much as I did. I will include it with my letter. There is also a copy in Bhasa Indonesian but I have read your language may be moi. Can you please tell us which language you speak?  
With this letter is a photo book I made. It has photographs of our family, and our silly dog. And one more photograph that is you! I did not know if you have the photo from Compassion and so I made one for you and your family. I like your photograph very much. It is in a frame in our house with other photographs of our children. 
And now I must say my prayers, thank God for my day and go to sleep. Sleep well and sweet dreams., Princess Carlin. 
With love from our family 

Now to start thinking about the next letter. I really should learn to scrapbook...

Do you have any ideas for my next letter?
Please share them with me.


  1. Were the folders allowed to go through to the child? even with all the stuff in it?

  2. Yes they were. I did not get any message/email/call that there was a problem or that they needed to be sent differently. Since then I have sent other folder style letters and a lapbook made from a folder. All of them have gone through. These folders are like the school size ones only a little larger than the 8x11. I made sure they would not be thicker than the 1/4 inch allowed.

    1. So you then mailed the folder in a 81/2 x 11 envelope, is this correct? I tried to fit a school folder into the 81/2 x 11 envelope, and I was not able to get it to fit.

    2. The envelope might have been slightly bigger? I think business size is 9x11. I just used the business size yellow envelopes that can be bought at the post office. What you mail it in to Compassion doesnt really matter as long as the contents are within the max size. At Compassion everything will be repackaged for a bulk mailing to the appropriate Compassion office in the country of your child.

  3. This is great! My 2 girls love putting together the letters to our Compassion kids who share birthdays with both of our girls.

    1. That's a great way to get the children involved. I love that they share birthdays.
      Using lap-books as an example is a great way to assemble little packages. We have so much fun putting them together.

  4. Im unable to find 8 1/2 x 11 envelopes. Where do you purchase yours. I like the folder idea. Keeps everything neat and organized for the child. I'm new to sponsoring a child through compassion so thanks for the ideas and tips.

    1. The folders I use are just the normal school folders. I think they are slightly bigger than 8 1/2 x 11 but I've never had a problem with them or been told to stop using them.
      The envelope I use to mail to Compassion is probably a 9 x 11 envelope (estimating the size - it's a yellow business sized one) but I don't worry about that because I know they remove it all from that envelope when they send their whole batch of mail. I've sent letters to more than one child in the same envelope to Compassion.


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