July 21, 2011

Treasures From India

A six month wait ended last week with the receipt of treasures from India.   Not jewels or precious metals, but a veritable wealth of insights and information!  The first letter from our Compassion child, 11-year old Vinay, finally arrived in the mailbox last Thursday bringing a smile to my face and happiness to my heart.

Consisting of eleven lines and some drawings, the paper was filled with clues and details about his life.  For one thing, he is just now starting 3rd Grade, but doesn't yet write his own letters.  His translator succinctly conveyed Vinay's thoughts yet provided much desired specifics such as the personal names of his father, mother, brother and sister, and that of his very best friend.  I learned that he likes egg curry, the color red and the "sport of running race."  His family is Christian... very exciting news!  Oh… and ...

"Their house is made up of bricks."

Those exact words seemed so random in the middle of his letter.   However, coupled with the pencil drawing he included, the statement sure sparked my curiosity.

What prompted him to mention something about his home's construction materials? Perhaps this caught my attention because of my family's background in the building trades. Or maybe Vinay has a budding interest in architecture or engineering. I'm sure that in my excitement to hear from him I'm reading too much into it.  Or am I?

Vinay's house drawing is just a simple sketch, devoid of color but drawn with precision. A perfect square topped with an equilateral triangle depicts a one-story dwelling with a gabled roof.  Decorative lines accent the upper inside edges of the triangle representing scalloped trim.  He included a single window with 12 smaller squares that could be interpreted as window panes ... or perhaps steel bars.  Maybe there are safety issues in his neighborhood?  Either way, he is obviously detail-oriented.  

The item he drew and labeled "tree"  showed a massively thick trunk with foliage at the top and a tangled swirl on the ground.  Samples I found online show that he did a pretty good job of depicting a banyan tree … the national tree of India.  These trees have great significance in Hindu spiritual and cultural traditions, and are found at the center of every village.

I love getting letters from the kids. What a blessing to be able to go to the nations via the power of pen, paper and prayer.  Are you up for an adventure?  Check out Compassion's child sponsorship program

Already a sponsor ... what interesting insights have you gleaned about your child from that first letter?

6 comments:

  1. "My" child, in Colombia, wrote in his first letter that he and his family live in a big, beautiful house. That has puzzled me ever since because according to Compassion, they live in a huge slum. I wonder if the translator didn't translate correctly, or if he might be referring to the Compassion facility, or...??? Any insights?

    Linda

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  2. That's very interesting, Linda. It could be a translation error... or a reference to the project facility as you suggested. Maybe it's a matter of relativity such as comparing his own house to others in his area and concluding that his is indeed big and beautiful? Or maybe on the flip side... he didn't want you to pity him...?? Definitely a puzzling statement.

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  3. Very nice detail and sketching by this young boy. It shows great promise.

    What a blessing to him that you have a background in building. Who knows, maybe you can inspire his future schooling.

    Enjoy eachother and your relationship as it blossoms.

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  4. Thanks, Patricia. I look forward to getting to know him better. I love being part of what God is doing in his life even if I may never see or know all of it here.

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  5. Thanks for the comment on my post...Habeebun (who I received the quick letter from) is in Vinay's project! Hopefully this means that we will both get our letters more quickly now :) I'll ask Habeebun if she knows Vinay - they're only about a year apart in age.

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  6. Hi, Jessie, I waited quite a while for Vinay's first letter, but a second letter arrived very shortly thereafter. It looks like the flow of the correspondence with him is starting to roll. I'll also ask Vinay if he knows Habeebun. It will be fun to keep in touch with you on our mutual connection to this project in India. :) De

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