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If you walked among the smiling and friendly people of Myanmar (Burma), it might be hard to imagine that the country has over 75,000 child soldiers - more than any other country in the world.
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HOPE founder, Ralph Bromley, recently visited Kharkiv, Ukraine and shared a moving story of...
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HOPE founder, Ralph Bromley, recently visited Kharkiv, Ukraine and shared a moving story of the courage of an orphan . . .
“I want to share an amazing story from Kharkiv, Ukraine where Donna and I recently visited. It is a story of Destiny Center’s deep love and care for the orphan. It is a story of touching lives in a significant way, one person at a time.
When we were greeted at the airport by Kostyantyn (Destiny Center), we were asked if we would like to drive into the countryside to meet with an orphaned mother and her child in their home. We welcomed the invitation.
We drove through the lush countryside for over an hour and I was beginning to wonder if we were going to wind up in Russia. Our host informed us that it would be just another 45 minutes. It was then that I began to ponder, “wow, they are taking us on a two hour drive just to visit with one orphaned mother that they disciple and care for! This is quite a demonstration of love.”
We finally arrived and drove up to a somewhat dilapidated house and met Yessa and her son, Daniel. She was shy and ashamed of her poor home but welcomed us in. There was no indoor toilet or running water. The floors were uneven boards and the three windows sat loosely in their moldings. I sat on the one chair in the room and watched quietly.
Yessa was abandoned as a young girl by her parents and raised in a government orphanage. Life was difficult but she survived and soon ‘aged’ out. Cast into a troubled world of poverty, unemployment and no education, Yessa soon found herself pregnant. In her distress she made two important decisions.
1. To Follow Jesus - Yessa had learned about Jesus from the Destiny team who visited the orphanage. Her knowledge was very limited, but it made the difference between making wise decisions versus entering a world of prostitution and drugs which so many others choose.
2. To Buy a House - Upon exiting from the orphan institutions, the Ukraine government gives each orphan a lump sum gift to get them started in life. Most orphans squander the funds soon after the money is in their pockets and wind up destitute, but Yessa found this dilapidated house owned by the government and bought it! She freezes in the winter and swelters in the summer, but this house is her home. She was somewhat ashamed of it (she told our host 3 times that she was ashamed and embarrassed), but I was so proud of her. This was a lady of courage and determination!
I began thinking of practical ways we could help Yessa. My eyes turned to the windows. I knew from the cotton stuffed in the cracks for insulation that the cold winds of winter would enter the room unchallenged. Why not ask questions about replacing the three windows?
Kostyantyn got on the phone to a local friend in construction. Over the phone he estimated the total cost of replacing two non-opening windows would be $100 (including labor). I said “let’s do it!” A good friend had provided me with ‘donor’ funds prior to my travels to the Ukraine. I made the commitment.
The third window, which could be opened, would cost $150. Rather than ‘gift’ this window to Yessa, Kostyantyn felt it best that she learn to budget funds from her meagre monthly government pension. I suggested that if she raises $50 towards the window, that HOPE provides the balance of $100 as a gift.
When we went to leave Yessa’s home, she ran to her small garden patch and picked the remaining beets she had grown, cleaned them, and placed them in a bag for us to take home.
Knowing these beets were destined for her root cellar, we tried to decline her offer. In the end we accepted four of the beets, kissed her goodbye and returned to our comfortable hotel.
I left Yessa’s home deeply blessed. She, who had so little, gave us so much. I understand just a bit better why God’s heart is so lovingly turned towards each orphan.
A book written by a Kelowna local author is improving the health and nutrition of a community in Kenya! ‘The Urban Farmer’ is a book written by a Kelowna resident named Curtis Stone. The book details different methods of planting a sustainable farm on borrowed and leased land. Curtis’ book found its way to Kenya and HOPE partner Bethlehem Children's Care Center.
The Bethlehem home was founded by Joseph and Linet and provides a home for displaced children following post election violence that took place in 2008. The families at the home have worked hard to create sustainable food sources through farming and a fish pond.
Joseph recently received a copy of ‘The Urban Farmer’ and wasted no time in implementing what he’s learned to help improve the properties agricultural farming practices:
"For sure if I had this course when I started, I would have saved hundreds of hours and saved thousands of shillings. It has inspired me. Thanks to Mr. Dale Bolton for connecting me to such a course so that I can practice, educate, and change the living standards of the community. Also, for the author, I salute you".
Among farming practices, Joseph also stated that the book helped change record keeping, and introduced new concepts like community supported agriculture and specialized growing.
It’s great to see the Bethlehem Home flourish and become sustainable through hard work and community partnership.
HOPE Founder, Ralph Bromley, is visiting HOPE Agents in the Ukraine and shares his story from the road . . .
“Greetings from Kharkiv.
We were met by Kostyantyn (from Destiny Center) at the airport and driven to our hotel to drop off our luggage and then driven to the city center for a lovely Ukrainian dinner. We were surprised by the warmth and beauty of Kharkiv.
The following day we visited a vocational/technical training centre for 300 students. 70 of the students enrolled are orphans who reside in an adjacent dormitory.
Students train for one to two years in 'trader's courses' and are all employed at the end of their training. The courses are taught with a high level of excellence . . . both academic and 'hands on’ training.
I was most impressed with the heart that the school director and staff had for their students. The academic program is integrated with sports, the arts, exposure to social issues and local exhibitions.
Kostyantyn and HOPE work closely with the school director and run an Alpha course in the college residents facility. The relationship between the school, the students and Destiny Center is very impressive.”
Here are some pictures from the Trade's school, showing the masonry and carpentry training facility....
For more information click here
Fundraisers don’t all have to be cake drives and raffles! You are cordially invited to join us for an evening of humour, pub-grub, live entertainment, and good times. The HOPE Pub Night is a time to come together, enjoy good company, and raise money for an important project taking place in the Solukhumbu District of Nepal.
Following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, our agent, The Small World, were able to provide multiple temporary structures to serve as classrooms that allowed children at risk to remain in school. Now, we are looking to raise funds and support for a permanent solution.
Earthquake resistant schools provide a safe place for children to receive an education. Those that were built prior to the earthquake are still standing today with no significant structural damages. Working with the Small World in Nepal, we’re looking to raise $30,000 to build an earthquake resistant school so students can continue to attend school and receive an education in a safe environment.
Join us on Friday October 13th at Rusty’s Steakhouse & Sports Lounge at 6:30pm for dinner, drinks, and live comedy featuring Ivan Decker from Train Wreck Comedy. There will be a silent auction at the event, so bring your bidding shoes.
We look forward to seeing you there!
The Important Info:http://rise.hopeforthenations.com/events/night-for-nepal
When: Friday October 13th, 2017 - 6:30pm
Where: Rusty’s Steakhouse & Sports Lounge, 1-1525 Dilworth Dr.
What: Comedian Ivan Decker from Train Wreck Comedy & Silent Auction
Cost: $45 per person
Includes: Dinner (Burger bar), one (1) drink ticket, and live comedy
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at the above link
“Teachers from other villages started asking us how we were able to enroll so many girls in our schools. We have become known in our district as leaders in girls’ education.” Kambale, Justice Rising Primary School Teacher in Kalembe
We are extremely proud of the fact that our schools have achieved complete gender parity inside the classroom, a rare feat in rural contexts!
Learn more here: https://www.hopeforthenations.com/project.aspx?asset=2068