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This week, we’d like to share with you an inspiring update from the children from New Hope Center and their vision for the future!
“Where there is no vision, the people perish!”
Our children in New Hope Center have every reason to give up! For many of them, life has seemingly dealt them a losing hand. All refugees from war in Congo or survivors of the massacre in Burundi, they have been forced to leave what had become home for them in our Center in Burundi, and now find themselves living yet again in another country. Most of them have lost parents, family members, and friends along the way, and in many cases survived both physical and emotional wounding. And yet, rather than giving up or becoming bitter and resentful, they have survived and even thrived. They have had to learn another language, pick up their studies all over again, this time in English, and settle again in new and strange surroundings. But they have thrived, determined to be better and not bitter.
Recently, the children have been asked to share what vision and dreams they may have for their lives, and how they think they can make a difference. I have been blessed and overwhelmed with their passion, vision, dreams, and determination to be difference-makers wherever God would lead them. Here are a few of their responses: cardiologist, surgeon, doctor, writer, journalist, professor, businessman and businesswoman, engineer, pilot, pastor, evangelist, professional football player, lawyer, government minister, military officer, and even President. In every case, it was not to be successful for themselves, but rather so they could give back and be agents of change in their country or wherever God should lead them.
When Jeanne arrived at New Hope Center she received the first nice clothes and shoes she had ever had. It so impacted her that she began thinking about all the children she had seen in Congo and began to have the vision to start a clothing manufacturing company which will provide clothing and shoes to orphans and the poor. With vision and dreams continuing to live in and through them, they surely will not perish but rather live life to the fullest.
Learn more about the New Hope Center in Burundi.
This September, our ambassador of HOPE, Nadine, set off with her team of volunteers to visit our friends in Kenya. HOPE was fortunate enough to have Mike Ayers, a certified counselor, and Charlene Nguyen, a doula, join Nadine on this trip.
Pregnancy, poor nutrition, and childbirth are significant risks to mothers and their newborn babies born in the slums. Charlene put together a unique training session focussing on basic nutrition, prenatal care, and emergency delivery techniques and breastfeeding. The highlight of the class was the opportunity for these women to hear their baby's’ heartbeat for the very first time. The overwhelming turnout for the class showed a real hunger in the community for more understanding. It has set the ball rolling forward as we look at these challenging but life-changing issues in the slums.
Mike and Charlene spoke openly about addictions and struggles in the slums. This class went so well and sparked a passion in the young men to continue meeting and supporting one another on a weekly basis. Mike will be working with local groups in Chilliwack, BC to ensure they get all the resources they need to move forward together.
HOPE has also been working hard to help set up a “community library” for our school, Hope and Bright Future. We are so thankful for the very generous gift, given by a HOPE donor in loving memory of his late wife. Additionally, through the generous donors of HOPE, the team purchased books, set up shelving, flooring, and provided cozy cushions for sitting. Final touches came together with this quote being painted on the wall: “Write to be understood, Speak to be heard, and Read to grow.”
These are just a few of the highlights from the Kenya team trip. If you are interested in going on a volunteer trip to serve, contact us for more information.
Support Hope & Bright Future Future Center Here
The Fall is always a busy time for our volunteer teams. This September our Country Director, Carol Jones and her skilled team, traveled to India for some very exciting work.
Carol and her team have been working hard to bring the issue of women's hygiene to the forefront and help find creative solutions to solve this crisis. Did you know that 23% of girls in India drop out of school because they don’t have sanitary pads? Those who do stay in school are unable to attend up to 50 days in a year. Only 12% of the 355 million women and girls across India use sanitary pads due to cost and unavailability. That number drops to 3% in rural areas. They resort to sitting on sand, sawdust, corn husks, leaves, newspaper, dirty rags, etc. Approximately 70% of all reproductive diseases in India are caused by poor menstrual hygiene, which also contributes to maternal mortality.
Country Director, Carol found an awesome organization, Days for Girls, that provides patterns and has a whole system to make washable, reusable sanitary pads. Carol then started up a group locally who met regularly on Mondays to create the kits to bring on the trip. Carol and team also received kits from other groups and took about 300 kits with them to distribute. In addition, the team taught Indian women and girls how to sew their own sanitary wear and how to turn it into a small micro-enterprise making these kits affordable for even the poorest.
The team not only provided workshops on the basics of female puberty and feminine hygiene but also trained several young women how to sew their own sanitary wear. They left behind several sewing machines, serger, tables, scissors, and notions to start their own small businesses.
They also had the honor of visiting two villages where water wells, thanks to you, our generous donors, have been drilled and installed. The people are so thankful and this simple commodity that we often take for granted is changing their lives.
These are just a few highlights from the trip, if you are interested in putting your unique skills to use, and would like to serve on one of HOPE's volunteer teams, please contact the office.
HOPE Agent, Marcus Young, from Divine Inheritance in South Asia, recently shared an exciting update with us that we wanted to pass on. Working to save children from being conscripted to become child soldiers, the team at Divine Inheritance has been working diligently in dangerous areas to ensure children at risk are given the opportunity for a better life. Here are a few highlights from the past few months:
Sometimes an advocate is necessary to get things in motion. Last year, our dear friends Rob and Stephanie came to us with a dream: expand the Children’s Border Home. During their annual trips to visit this home of roughly 50% child soldiers, they formed a special bond with the children and team.
When the local puppy is dubbed “Rob The Dog” in Rob’s honor, you know community trust is forming. During my recent trip in August, I kept moving Rob the Dog and his persistent tongue away. A staffer grinned, commenting that after the dog was named Rob, it developed an unusual interest in bathing white-skinned visitors with a nice licking.
Last year, this border home was at capacity and in really sad shape. But with portions of Myanmar stabilizing, we felt like we could nally give the children a better home! Rob and Steph gently pushed funding for the rst part of the project and together, with our Canadian partner Hope for the Nations, and our PAK-47 community, the dream became a reality!
Many of you know the Wa State hosts one of the highest concentrations of child soldiers in the world, with thousands more at risk of being conscripted. The need can seem overwhelming but as an advocate you know that every new bed added to a children’s home, or seat added to a school, empowers a child who has the God given ability to do amazing things and be a blessing.
So today, with the addition of two new bedrooms, bathrooms, and an open-air common space, the Children’s Border Home is now impacting 16 more precious lives who are cared for, loved, and protected from front line duty. The children love the coziness of the bunk rooms with comfy beds and cubbies for their belongings, the new dining area for sharing group meals and the common space for playing games, doing homework, and just being kids.
It is truly an honor to watch these children grow in God, ourish and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams!
- Marcus Young, Founder of Divine Inheritance
If you’d like to get involved and help support the Children's Border Home you can check out their project page for more information.
HOPE Agent, Ray Bale, and his son, Boss David, in East Africa recently sent an update from the Congo. After the children at New Hope Centre were forced to flee amid political upheaval, they’ve since settled in Rwanda and are doing well. While there are still many challenges, Ray and the team at New Hope are accomplishing great work throughout the Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda. Here are some of the highlights from the update:
I want to thank all of you dear friends, family, and supporters for your prayers for our recent journey to Marungu and Emmanuel Center in the High Plateau of Congo. We had waited for a little over a year since our last trip due to security and road conditions at various times. Our recent trip was not without its challenges and delays but we did make it both up and back safely.
It was also a blessing to be at Ecole Shalom which had just reopened for the new school year. Again, we were blessed to see that we had attained a 100% pass rate for our students from primary into secondary school (89 out of 89 students). This is the 9th year running that this has been accomplished which is a testimony to the teachers, staff, and the regular input of David Freeman with our teachers and staff.
The whole village as well as the children from Emmanuel Center were waiting for us as we arrived (in Marangu in the High Plateau of Congo). Singing, lots of hugs and some tears greeted us, and the effects of the long journey suddenly melted away. We trekked down to Emmanuel Center with our traditional stop at Carmel, our prayer hut, to give thanks for a safe journey and health experienced by all the children.
We had quick bucket showers, some bugali, beans, and meat, and then were off to our first meeting of the crusade (No rest for the weary)! We started off with amazing worship in very intense heat and sunlight but by the end of our 3 hour service we were freezing. The dry season in the mountains makes for intense heat during the day, and temperatures plummeting as soon as the sun sets, by close to 25 degrees C. We donned our fleeces, sweat tops, and in some cases parkas, and began to enjoy time with the children, mamas, and many of those who had come for the crusade. Immediately after the service, we trekked back up the valley to the top of Emmanuel Center property where we had the privilege of laying the cornerstone for Emmanuel Center Church building. With Pastor Elisha, Ruben, Pastor Donato, and the local chief, we laid this stone and prayed for all that God wanted to accomplish concerning this Center.
The next two days were filled with amazing fellowship, captivating beauty of both the people and the surroundings, and stirring worship and preaching. Pastor Ruben, Pastor Donato, Pastor Elisha, and I were privileged to share the word with all who had gathered.
Among the highlights, one, particularly for Boss, was meeting many relatives of his father’s family who happened to live in a village a few kilometres away. Uncles, Aunts, cousins etc. all gathered around us to meet Boss, who had only been a story to many of them. Of course many gifts were given to Boss, among them, another 2 sheep, and chickens. We committed to spending more time with his family next time, but it was equally encouraging to know that many of the children come to Emmanuel Primary School, walking each day over a very rickety bridge to come to school.
Sadly, our time came to an end, as we have to travel on official market days due to the security issues. We finally trekked back up the valley, with our obligatory and necessary stop at Carmel, to our vehicles, ready for the journey back down the mountains. This part of our journey started with a new addition to our family; a chicken presented to Boss by the children of Emmanuel Center.
Thanks to all who prayed for this trip and for our journey to Rwanda a couple of weeks before. Our children at New Hope Center, now still temporarily in Nyamata, Rwanda, are doing very well. Some have had some medical challenges, but are now recovering. All are doing very well in school! We are still in negotiations with the authorities in Rwanda as to allowing us to remain there. It remains impossible to return the children to Burundi due to security issues.
Please continue to pray for the children here in Burundi, Rwanda, and Congo. The situation currently in Burundi remains unstable, and recent events in DRC are not looking good. We are thankful for this window of opportunity we had to travel into the mountains. We will continue to travel to Uvira to oversee our Najenga Project as well as Ecole Shalom and, as time permits, travel to Rwanda to keep in contact with our children in New Hope Center. Continue to pray also for Mary Anne who is still in Canada, and now travelling with our dear friend Chrissie Chapman across Canada. We are trusting for her return in early November.
Blessings from Ray and Boss David and all the children, mamas, and staff we work with.
If you’d like to lend your support to New Hope Centre and the numerous other projects that Ray helps to oversee, you can learn more on the official project page.