I received a letter yesterday. Yes you read that correctly an actual letter, not an text message, not a email, but a letter. It wasn’t written out on a computer, or even a typewriter (if you remember those), it was handwritten. It wasn’t a long letter but when I opened it, my eyes misted up and my heart melted again. It was from Nelia. I have included some excepts from her letter, as the bulk of today's message. but before we get to her letter, a little bit about Neila.
This is all I knew about Neila,
Neila Joy was born in the Philippines on Oct 4th, 2003 (that makes her 8) Neila makes her home with her grandmother. Carrying water, gathering firewood and making beds are her household duties. Her grandmother is sometimes employed as a laborer. There is 1 other child in her family. Neila is not presently attending school. Swimming, singing and playing house are her favorite activities. She also attends church activities and Bible class regularly.
God doesn’t ask us to just know, He commands us to do. It really doesn’t cost me vey much, I live on a tight budget, so to help I had to give up something, I decided to give up drinking that diet soda that I bought from the convenience store every day. That’s all, one soda a day… in return for giving up that soda, I got a letter. It is the single best investment I have ever made.
An excerpt from her letter
"First of all, may I greet you a pleasant day, and in good health. How are you? By the way I’m Nor-Jade, Nelia’s aunt. Neila Joy is doing good, and she is in the pink of health.
June 6,211 is Neila Joy First day of school. She is so excited to be going to school. Neila Joy is happy for all the support you extend to her, especially for her school uniform, new school shoes and school supplies.
Neila is active in attending he weekly learning activities in the center every Saturday. She is happy about the things she learn and some game that she joined. Every Sunday she attended Sunday Service with her grandmother. Neila and her grandma join in the Parent and Child Day celebration last May 20, 211. Neila was very happy joining some games together with her Grandmother. Last May 28, 2011 our center was able to conduct medical Check-up, she was able to undergo check-up, and we are thankful that she was given some vitamins and medicines." ……………..
"Could you please pray for Neila’s health and well being to keep her from sickness. We are also praying for your safety. Thank you very much for all the support you extend to Neila and also for your trust. God Bless Always."
Neila Joy's Message to me and all of us.
School, clothing, medical care, and hope; all it cost me was to give up that one soda a day. It is not what you hear, it is not what you know, it is definitely not what you get, it is what you do that shows the truth of your faith. Does helping a child like Neila make me a Christian? No, but if I know that 1 child dies of starvation every 5 seconds and I do nothing – what does that make me?
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18
Compassion International is a good place to start. Check out the website at by clicking on Neila's message (God is Love) to all of us, or follow the permanent link at the bottom of this page.