Her goal was to write her name for me... and then a letter in her own handwriting. I cheered her on.
Last summer, after receiving a note from her teachers asking for encouragement for Suwanna's handwriting to improve, I looked online for Thai handwriting practice sheets.
With my next letter, rather than the usual reading or coloring book I sent her a package of alphabet practice sheets -- one sheet for every letter of the Thai alphabet.
To encourage her, I did some research to learn if I could figure out how to write any of our names in Thai, but the only two I could find were Joshua's and Jillian's. I wrote "Joshua" on a yellow sticky note, and the best attempt at the Thai translation just underneath... and did the same for Jillian's name.
I hoped she wouldn't laugh too hard at me... and that she'd be encouraged to write her name for me.
A few months ago, our prayers were answered. She wrote her name to me for the first time. I was delighted to see her confidence grow and noted that the messages from the teachers pointed to progress in Suwanna's life. I celebrated this sweet victory and kept encouraging her through my letters to her.
I received a letter in the mail yesterday, puzzled to see that it was from Suwanna. The letter she had signed had arrived not too long ago, so it was unexpected to see another one so soon.
That wasn't the only thing that was unexpected.
She wrote the entire letter by herself, in her handwriting... and asked for a second piece of paper because what she wanted to pour out to me simply wouldn't fit on one page, in spite of her beautiful, tiny, perfectly crafted handwriting.
I've loved all the letters I've received from her, but this is by far my all time favorite, ever. I could see her personality finally shining through as her voice flowed through her hands and onto the page.
She had mentioned in a letter back in July of 2011 that the Princess in Thailand was visiting her area and that she was very excited about the visit... so in my response at the time, I asked what she would say to the princess if she could meet her, and what would she do if she could host the princess for a day -- what would she show the princess?
I received the answer today, in her own handwriting:
"I am very glad to write this letter to you with my handwriting. I have written this letter to you with my best. Thank you very much for letter, photo, books and stickers. I really like them. I am very happy when I receive your letter. Thank you very much for your gift also. I spent it on overcoat. I have kept the rest of money for using in necessary time.
We are preparing for Christmas party now. I will perform dancing on that day also. I really like dancing. My brother and I regularly attend the project's activities. There are many activities for us to do there. There are football club, volleyball club, Thai massage club an handicraft club. I have attended the volleyball club and my brother has attended the football club.
My father is harvesting rice every day. My mother always stays at home for treating Koon (new baby) and Normor. Koon is two months old and Normor is three years old. Normor likes to play with my mother, Koon and friends. My brother and I go to school every day. My brother and I always help our mother to do housework after school. We always cook rice for mother in the morning. My study is quite good and I can play with friends very well. Adventure is very exciting for me.
My most success is graduation from university. English is very hard for me but art is very easy for me.
You are my first sponsor.
If I can say something to princess, I would like to ask her that is she tired from her work? If I have whole day with her, I will bring her to watch trees which were planted by her twenty years old ago. I think that she will not be able to visit my school now because many places in Thailand have been flooded.
Thai names of Joshua and Jillian are very good (whew!!). I really like these names also. I will pray for Ghana children that they will be free soon. May God lead your ministry always. I would like to give you Matt 7:7 to you as Christmas present. I believe that God will never leave His children. He is always with them.
How many tourist attractions in your country?
Please pray for my health also. May God bless you always.
Love and care,
Am I proud of her?? Beyond measure. Watch out, University, Suwanna's on her way.
If you sponsor a child in Thailand and would like a copy
of the Thai practice sheets, just let me know
in the comments below, and I will email them to you!
What are some of your favorite questions to or from your sponsor child?