Author Archives: Panda

Writing your sponsored child is spiritual warfare


[For context: I sponsor a few children through Compassion Int. and correspond with another handful. Writing your sponsored child is encouraged as a key component of sponsorship.]

Why does it seem so hard? It should be simple – a few words, encouragement, love, and done – you have written your sponsored child. There are a lot of reasons and excuses that get in the way of writing our sponsored children – endless demands we face on our time chief among them…

As I read my children’s latest letters, responded, and prayed for them, I was really encouraged. I had been putting off doing it for awhile (which I hate to admit here – I am guilty!). As I finally began, I realized what joy it was creating in my heart. This made me begin to ponder why it can seem so hard to write letters to my sponsored children, even for a person who loves pretty stationary and writing notes.

We have the opportunity to speak truth and light of Jesus into dark places. The children we sponsor are fighting lies and strongholds of the enemy just as we are, and how much more so when living in poverty. The lie of poverty says: you don’t matter; no one cares about you; you aren’t worth anything. And a simple letter that says, I love you; I care for you; I believe in you; God has a great plan for your life; has the ability to shatter those lies.


Marianela, age 14, my sponsored child from Colombia

Just reading your sponsored child’s letter builds real relationship with them. As we understand their life, say a short prayer over their prayer requests, and take a few minutes to reply, bonds are forged. Lies can be torn down and lives can be changed – including our own.

There are great treasures for us to encounter as we read letters from our sponsored children. I received a letter today from Marianela, my sponsored child from Colombia who is 14, in which she shared a verse with me that pierced my heart. It was a Word from the Lord for exactly where I am today. A definite answer to prayer. I had to stop reading momentarily and thank God for speaking to me in this way. I am humbled at how much my sponsored children pray for me – sometimes for requests that I shared years ago.

So, I leave you, dear reader, with this thought…. If you sponsor a child, take five minutes to write them today. If you don’t sponsor a child – you are missing out on both receiving and giving real blessings! Don’t miss out anymore!

As a side note, I love the updated online tool that Compassion has to write letters. It makes my life a lot easier in terms of keeping track of past letters, knowing how much and what I have written to my sponsored child in the past, and allows for color photos as well as pretty stationary, all of which make me happy! 🙂


“My” dog



This is Lala.

She belongs to Monchi, a neighbor I play basketball with sometimes.

But I am stealing her from him. She likes me better anyways. 😉

I first met her one of her first days with Monchi, when she was a tiny little pup. It was the morning after my dad had told me he had to put down his dog. And she crawled into my lap and settled there and gave me kisses. And I was done.

Writing more…


It is my intention to write more. 

Not so much as a form of keeping in touch, because it is my sincere hope that if you would like to keep in touch, we would talk on the phone, Skype, iMessage, e-mail, write letters, or send smoke signals. 🙂 So if you desire to be in touch with me, please do! I love hearing from friends and family and despite the fact that I am very happy, living overseas, far away, can be challenging and has it’s lonely moments. 

But I will keep writing here as an outlet, to entertain myself, because sometimes I like to think that I am humorous, and as an attempt to share some things that are happening here that you might not find out otherwise, even if we are in touch. 

So, look forward to more updates here. 

And, also, I started a new blog that is just fun and won’t take too much effort. It may have been the result of too much coca-cola, salsa, and game playing at 1 am, but who can say? It also may be more funny if you were there, but it may be entertaining even if you weren’t.

Check it out – The Quotebowl

Mucho love, Panda

Body Surfing


One of the great things about living in Monte Cristi is that we are located very close to several beaches.

One of those beaches is El playa detras del Morro where the view is stunning and there are often big waves.

Yesterday afternoon we went to hang-out at the beach and the group was body surfing… my first and probably last experience.

After trying a few times I caught a big wave which eventually pulled me under and I got pounded by the following two waves and almost lost my swimsuit! The upside is that my sinuses are more clear than ever.

I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon from my towel, taking in the sun and listening to the waves while reading.

This morning I swept up the 2 lbs of sand I brought home with me inside my suit.

Outreach360 news


Hi there!

Things in the Dominican are going great! Busy at work as normal. We are spending a lot of time in these quieter months of April and May on marketing for our summer program and fundraising for our Learning Center.

We recently made a video about our program and my participation in the TMLP and you can see it here

P.S. Aren’t you impressed I learned how to embed a youtube video 🙂