Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meet Jonathan and John

Today I'd like to introduce you to two special people. My nephew Jonathan is 4 years old, and has a special connection with quite a few of his mom's Compassion International kids. A few of his favorites are Razac from Burkina Faso who is 6 years old, and Sattawat from Thailand who is 19 years old. Sattawat has taken special interest in Jonathan through letters, and Razac was close in age it made for an easier connection.

But shortly before Jonathan's 4th birthday, we did a search to find him his own sponsor friend. The thought was for a child with the same birthday, maybe from Mexico or Latin America where the two boys would possibly have some resemblance. Then there was John. Who fit partially into those categories. While Jonathan's birthday is June 12th, 2007, John's birthday was June 21st, 2006. Which made him almost a year older. But there was a striking resemblance between this young Filipino boy and my nephew. And to add to the equation, his name was John, and there initials are both JB. So my sister asked Jonathan what he thought about John being his very own Compassion friend. And Jonathan said yes, with much excitement!
                                                    Jonathan                                John

He prayers for John every night before he goes to bed, along with all his other friends. And everyday as we checked the mail Jonathan would ask "Is my letter here yet?" Until finally one day it came. I was off work early, and had come home to check the mail, and I saw his letter. So I tucked it away carefully and went to pick him up from preschool. As I got there they were outside playing. I pulled out the envelope from my pocket and asked him who's name was on the address line. He got a big smile, and then I asked if he recognized the cream color envelope and helped him read the words 'A message from your child' (though he seemed to recognize it by the cream color). He was so excited as he tore into that envelope, and looked at that very special letter staring back at him. Then he asks, Aunty will you help me read it. So we sat down, with some of his friends coming to look at what he got. And he was so excited to find they had even more in common. John's favorite food is a hot dog and so is Jonathan's. Jonathan wants to be a firefighter when he grows up, and John wants to be a police man! They could be quite the duo.

Jonathan right now is learning to reconginize and write his letters from the alphabet on his own. He basically can write his name by himself, he sometimes needs reminders as to which letter is next, but he can write all those letters in his name. Which means he can also write John's name if he is told the correct order of the letters. So we sat down one morning so he could write his very own letter to John. Here is what it looked like:
He even drew pictures of the two of them together. He said he was bent over because his mom was telling him to clean up his toys! I asked him if I could write him a little message and then he told me what to write. Then after writing the letter I let him go through the whole process of mailing the letter. Which was a new experience for him too!
So he picked out stickers from his box, and I helped him write John's name and number on the back. He was very proud of all the things he picked out and his letter!
The envelope was self addressed, but he put the stamp on...upside down :)
Then we walked down the driveway to the mail box!

And into the mailbox! He was so proud of himself for accomplishing all of this! I was proud of him for accomplishing all of this! He loves John very much, and is enjoying his Compassion from half way around the world! Jonathan has enjoyed reading books about the Philippines and when John's most recent letter came and mentioned flooding in his country, Jonathan asked if they had to travel by boat, as he remembered seeing people in the books traveling with boats. I told him we'll have to ask :)
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