I’m sure that some of you are wondering why the spelling of your sponsored child’s name might change slightly from year to year. And how can an 8 year old become 10 or 11 in one year’s time? You thought he had three brothers, but now it says two. I would like to try to explain a bit.
We have a boy named Elandesse. One teacher may spell it that way, but another spells it Erlandes or Erlandesse. Since the “r” in Creole sounds like a “w” or is silently passed over, the name is spelled as the person hears it. Another example is a boy named Djery or Jerry. Would you connect the two? Then we have Micaelle and Micanel – yes they are twins, but their names are pronounced very much the same.
Ages: Many of the children don’t know their exact age, nor do their parents. In the mountains, these children will be lucky to have a birth certificate, much less know the year they were born. Their age is more based on an event that happened the year or their birth, or by what order of birth they came. Most say that their ages are older than they really are. A sixteen year old boy may look 10 or 11 years old. It is true that they seem to phsically mature later than we Americans, due to poor diet. We have documented information for four years now and find it pointless to argue over this. Does it really matter in the light of eternity?
Brother and sisters: As I ask the question, I can see their little minds working – Do I include myself? Do I include all my half brothers and sisters? Is he really my brother because he lives with us? Thus the number may change year to year. And then some of the younger children simply don’t know.
I hope that helps you understand some of the questions you may have had. I thank you for your patience and understanding. I thank you for your faithfulness in sponsoring these children who are the poorest of the poor and yet have a chance for an education because of you. May you be richly blessed.