Our Blog

  • Dear Friends and Supporters.

    I do apologize for the lateness of an official update letter. We have tried to keep everyone up to date through facebook, Instagram and emails, but do realize it has missed many of you. I am trusting this fills everyone in on recent and current events, challenges and needs before us.

    The High Plateau area has been the scene of ongoing “wars” for the past 9 months. It has been difficult to ascertain who is fighting who at times with various tribal militias as well as rebel groups with Rwandan and Burundian ties. The ongoing instability of the government in DRC has meant the army has had little effect in bringing peace and stability to the region.

    In Uvira, we have helped in providing humanitarian aid and education to many individuals and families in desperate need, thanks to the generosity of many of you. Our school in Uvira (Ecole Shalom) has integrated over 150 students into classes, providing educational stability for this school year. In Emmanuel Center we have hosted many fleeing families also, providing security and basic care for the time they are forced to leave their homes and villages. It has stretched our resources considerably both helping to feed these ones as well as the military in our area providing security. In recent weeks, there has been another influx of displaced (over 20,000 in Uvira alone) whose homes have been destroyed in ongoing fighting. Emmanuel Center has been spared the fighting due to the military presence, but getting to and from Emmanuel Center has been challenging at times.

    Our children have been doing very well in school and are all healthy. We have had 2 children recently brought down for tests due to unexplained ailments. One has already returned to Emmanuel Center and the other is currently receiving medication and is hoping to return next week. The students in Emmanuel School are writing exams beginning next week. Our 3 university students here in Bujumbura are all doing well. The 2 students in their final year of secondary at Ecole Shalom in Uvira are also well and sitting final national exams as we write. Thank you CC4Africa and our many other sponsors.

    Our thanks goes out also to Team Hope Ireland for provision of shoebox gifts to DRC part of which we transported (by foot) to our Center, and for their generosity in provision of a new flour mill. The flour mill in particular is a huge blessing as it is a means of provision for our homes for flour but also a service and outreach to the surrounding community.

    We are hoping, security permitting, to travel to Emmanuel Center in July or early August.  Thanks again for your prayers and ongoing support.

    Blessings from Ray, Mary Anne and Boss David

  • Here at HOPE, our narrative has been woven over the last 25 years from the threads of hundreds of children's stories around the globe. We hear stories of injustice, desperation, trauma, recovery, joy, victories, and so much hope.

     

    Every story, every child, every victory, no matter how big or small is a celebration of justice, of overcoming odds that once looked impossible.

     

    One such example is the story of Caris:

     

    Caris came to us directly from the hospital at just 5 days old. We received her with the paediatrician report that stated she might live a week, or a month, but she would never live to see her first birthday. We decided we would make each day of her life the best it could be.  One year passed and then two . . . and now Caris is about to turn 15! Caris was born with hydrocephalus, which didn’t allow her brain to develop. She faces many challenges and requires a great deal of care. She has a sweet spirit, and her smiles erase any fatigue that comes with her care. She changes the heart of everyone who has the opportunity to know her.

     

    Every young lady in Mexico looks forward to her 15th birthday, or “quinceañera”. A big party is planned and the young lady is celebrated by friends and family. As Caris’ Hogar de Amor family began to think about and plan the event, it was decided to bump up the event a few months so it would coincide with the visit of “Papi Dennis” and “Mami Diane”. Everyone pitched in with the preparations, food, decorating, set up! It was a beautiful party, befitting a beautiful girl! Balloons, flowers, delicious food, cake, dessert bar, and her very large family celebrating with her. Caris’ smiles were plentiful and she loved all the attention. In the midst of the celebration we couldn’t help but think of the miracle we were witnessing. The paediatrician’s report said one thing . . . God’s report says another! Happy Birthday Caris – we love you!

     

  • “The devastating cyclone that hit south-eastern Africa may be the worst disaster to ever strike the southern hemisphere, according to the UN. Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe last month destroying almost everything in its path, causing devastating floods, killing and injuring thousands of people, and ruining crops.”- The Guardian, 2019

     

    Hope for the Nations project, Hope Village in Malawi, runs a village complete with schools, a clinic, farming, children's homes, and warehouses for storage. We serve thousands of families in this riverbed community.

     

    The village itself and the surrounding communities were hit hard and needed our immediate support. In a short period of time we were able to raise over $15K to assist with the recovery efforts. There will be a long road ahead, but we are already hearing positive reports.

     

    “Together, we have served 1985 people; over 300 families affected by the floods in our region. Most of these families have been placed in a small facility a few kilometres from where we reside. We have provided these families with maize, beans, sheets, medication, and seeds.” - Albert & Melody, Directors of Hope Village, Malawi.

     

    Thank you to everyone who gave their support - we couldn't have done it without you!

  • We couldn't agree more with this years theme for the 2019 National Volunteer Week. Without our many volunteers, both globally and locally, our programs simply would not be sustainable.

     

    We are so grateful for our committed team of volunteers each and every day. However we want to take this opportunity to honor all our volunteers who give so much and expect so little in return, and celebrate them throughout National Volunteer Week.

     

    Without your support, we would not have the opportunity to provide breakfast to over 1500 students in our community who are coming to school hungry. Without your help, we would not be serving thousands of vulnerable children in over 25 countries. Without you, none of the work we do would be possible!

     

    On behalf of our Board, our members, and staff we would like to say thank you for your unwavering support and the gift of your generosity, your heart, and your time.

     

    “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

     

  • I was recently introduced to a picture of despair, depression, and hopelessness.

     

    Painted in the late 1800’s, ‘HOPE’ is a portrait of a lady in deep depression. The painting is void of color and the woman’s posture reflects hopelessness. Sitting on a tarnished globe, hunched over, blindfolded, and leaning against the broken strings of her harp . . . surely the artist has missed the point. The colors, the posture, and the absence of any help on the horizon completely signal a life that is doomed and beyond help.

     

    Yet, look again!

     

    Upon close observation of the harp, we see there is one string still intact. Our subject is plucking the only string left and is intently listening to its welcoming sound. The sound of one string strummed with the strength of a dying breath ushers ‘hope’ into the gloom.

     

    Look closer!

     

    No, look again. Let your eyes move to a pinpoint of light located straight above her shoulder and up to the very edge of the canvas. Lo and behold, a ‘star’. A glimmer of hope breaks into the darkness only waiting for its illumination and warmth to break forth. The star shows that ‘hope’ will attract the help that is on the way.

     

    I have just returned from Liberia where, twenty years ago, HOPE FOR THE NATIONS entered a post-war nation of despair, depression, and hopelessness. A few of us crossed a small river from Ivory Coast into Liberia in a dugout canoe and planted the flag of HOPE in Ganta, Nimby County. After 8 years of rebel insurgency, the nation was left in ruins and poverty. Children had not been in classrooms for 8 years, the economy was in shreds and yet, there remained one string left on the harp!

     

    We bought some acreage, planted a flag and called it HOPE VILLAGE. In short time, UN trucks loaded with refugees from Guinea and Ivory Coast, told their drivers to stop as they were going to disembark. In the next few years, thousands of refugees settled around our ‘flag pole’. When asked why they alighted in a region far from their own communities, they said: “We believed in ‘hope’. We knew that wherever there is ‘hope’, there follows education, development, and a bright future”.

     

    Today HOPE VILLAGE runs HOPE ACADEMY, HOPE FARM, HOPE MALNUTRITION CENTER and 33 HOPE Homes. Around us has grown a community of thousands of individuals whose lives have been transformed from despair to relative prosperity through ‘HOPE’.

     

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