Could you?

As I prepare for my 3rd trip to Uganda in just a year and half, my mind wanders to all the many examples God has given me to see His word is true and good.   God has my heart firmly planted on relationships.  Connecting hearts and souls together is God’s plan and it is what can cause us to lose control and melt into being God’s love to others.

I am completing a marriage study with my husband and just as God always does, He is using it to branch out my understanding of all relationships.  Like in Titus 2:3-5 where older women, wise women, are told to encourage the young women.  This causes my thoughts to wander to Florence, the young woman who has courageously decided to lose control and let God melt her into His love for 7 orphan boys.  Florence had older, wiser women, give her the example she now lives by taking care of the orphans.   

I also begin to think of the village women who have a community like none other. I see encouragement in Rose and Hajala.  Rose who chose to lose control and melt into being God’s love for vulnerable women like Hajala who didn’t know there is a great rescue plan for their life.  But now they do because Rose chose to look beyond her own hard circumstances and melt into being God’s love to these other women. 

And then there are the new families I just met back in June.  How many of these mommas and grandmommas told us they eat one meal a day because they must choose between school fees for their children and proper nutrition for all of them.  They LOVE those children.  They have the incredibly hard choice to forgo sustenance and melt into God’s love for the little souls He has entrusted to them. 

And maybe God has called you to some of these stories.  Our part of losing control will likely look more like this:

Could you forgo your coffee run, or better yet, that latte run, and take the money saved to sponsor one of these children?  For $35 a month, you get to help a child become educated which is the most important way to raise them out of poverty.  Bonus?  That momma can feed her family and you can connect with all of them through letters and pictures.

Could you dump all your loose change and give an online donation to the Village of Grace?  1 brick costs 7 cents.  How many could you buy?  My sons’ 2nd grade class raised $490 with loose change.  You would be investing in Florence and the 7 boys who call her momma.  Bonus?  That house will be there long after these 7 boys are grown.  You get to see your investment multiply as other orphans are given family. 

Could you make a donation to our Families of Hope program?  In the coming months we will have one time needs - like Naomi who needs a small refrigerator in her store so she can continue to make enough money to pay school fees for her 8 children.  Bonus?  You are helping rewrite Naomi’s story as her children are educated and able to rise above the poverty line.

"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ - Matthew 25:40

Could you?  Will you? 

Written by Sarah Jackson, Families of Hope liaison

This is not their legacy.....

This morning as I was beading, I was listening to Matthew West.  His song "Family tree" was playing and my thoughts were wandering through just how much dysfunction there is in our world.  How families have become so broken because of our fallen world.  My thoughts began to wander to the precious Kigongo boys in Uganda.  Their story is so tragic...so heartbreaking...but piece by piece, God is redeeming their lives. 

Oh, this is not your legacy.
This is not your destiny, yesterday does not define you.
No, this is not your legacy. This is not your meant to be!
I can break the chains that bind you.

I have a dream for you.
It's better than where you've been.
It's bigger than your imagination.
You're going to find real love, and you're going to hold your kids.
You'll change the course of generations!

 

After I finished playing with my beads, I came inside and checked my email and saw the giving log from yesterday.  Tears fell as I saw another $5000 had been donated towards Village of Grace, the home being built for the Kigongo boys!

We are at 35%!  GOD IS DOING THIS!!  And once again, I stand humbled by God's provision...by His faithfulness....but His love.

I must confess...my faith has been weak lately.  I was reminded of Matthew 17:20 this week:  He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."  I even found myself saying out loud "I believe Lord". 

We will be with the Kigongo boys in just 2 short weeks and will have lots more updates and photos we can't wait to share!  Would you join us in praying for them to feel God's love and presence in their lives?  Would you also join us in praying for the remainder of the funds for Village of Grace?

If you feel led to donate, please visit the Village of Grace page and follow the donation link.  We are so grateful for your generosity.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ - Matthew 25:40

#givingtuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global day set aside for giving and this year, we are hoping you will parter with Genda Uganda to give these boys something they desperately need....a home to call their own.  (to read more about the boys, please scroll down to the "Kigongo boys" blog post or visit our Village of Grace page

These precious boys have lost everything....their parents, their home and they almost lost hope.  But, buy God's grace, He has started to rebuild their lives.  The oldest child, Sadiq, has accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.  That smile on his face?  It never, ever goes away. 

God has provided them with a loving foster mother and they are thriving in their new school, but they need a home and that is what we are praying the Lord will provide.

$7000 has already been raised toward building their new home.  Recently, several board members participated in a ground breaking ceremony to build "Village of Grace".

All donations are tax deductible and every dollar matters.  7 cents purchases a brick.  $12 purchases a bag of cement.  $85 purchases a window. 

During this season of giving, please consider giving the Kigongo boys a home of their own.

villageofgracelogo.jpg


Bibbo school

The following is written by Steve Sanchez.  Steve is the brother of our global outreach pastor (and dear friend) Tom Sanchez.  We are so excited about what God has laid on his heart and hope you will consider partnering with Steve and his wife as they celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary!

As of August 10, 2014 $11,000 has been donated to the Bibbo school project!

Greetings from Steve and Nancy!
On August 16th we will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary and 50thyear of knowing each other (we dated for 4 years and were engaged for one)! Since we don’t have children, we aren’t in the habit of having big celebrations on our anniversary dates, but this year we are considering something a bit different.

In 2013 I (Steve) returned to Ethiopia to do some follow-up training with Food for the Hungry social workers.  As part of that trip I was also able to visit True Vine Ministries, a national ministry in Uganda.  As part of my time in Uganda I visited the small community of Bibbo some distance from Mukono.  A minister and his wife, Mama Agnes, had built some very rough school rooms for this community in the early 2000’s and then began one of two proposed permanent school buildings and church in 2012. In April of that year, Agnes’s husband was brutally murdered.  Agnes has been committed to carrying on the vision of providing education and a ministry to this community. When I met her in 2013 she was teaching in another community and using all her salary to pay for the teacher’s and expenses of the Bibbo school project. I was informed that for just $6,500 the one school building and church could be completed and came back dedicated to raising that money.  It only took one month and some very generous friends to come along side us and get that done. 

After returning I discovered that the second building for the school still needed to be completed in order to house all the grade levels and remove them from their original rough beginnings.
In May of this year I was able to return to Bibbo for the dedication of the church and school building. There are now about 300 children attending the school and the community is receiving assistance in other areas from some other ministries. 

When I returned from the trip, Nancy and I decided that we would like to try to raise the funds for the remaining school building as a celebration of our 45th anniversary. I have attached a word/pdf document so that you can see pictures of the progress being made in Bibbo. The school building will house four more classrooms, the offices for the school, and can be completely constructed for $17,000. It would cost more than that just for the permits here in the US! Nancy and I have already committed $45 for each of the 45 years we will have been married, so $2,025 has already been sent leaving a little less than $15,000 to go! With the money they have received, they have already begun the footings and the foundation. The school and church have brought new hope and purpose to this community.

Nancy and I are asking you to consider joining us in funding this project as a celebration of our successful 45 years together.  You can join us in making a donation by clicking on the red Project Hopeful hand on the right hand side bar. 98% of the donations made on this site reach their destination – the 2% is used for wiring the money.  When you reach the donation page you will see a designated dropdown. Click on it and choose the Hope+Uganda Bibbo School designation and go on to complete the rest.  Project Hopeful is a 501-3c and your donations are tax deductible.  If you would prefer, you can write out a check and mail it to us at 1745 Yew St. SE, Salem, Oregon, 97302.  Checks should be made out to “Project Hopeful-Uganda” with the designation to “Bibbo School Project”. We will consolidate the checks and send them to the Austin office of Project Hopeful. 

Please send us an email letting us know if you’ve decided to join us – we want to keep you informed of the progress so you can celebrate the school’s completion along with us. 

We’re hoping to have two reasons for celebrating our 45th anniversary this year: God’s grace and provision in our marriage and the wonderful completion of this school.  For years, children in Bibbo, Uganda, will have hope and opportunity as a result of what we are all doing. Thanks for considering being a part of our celebration!
Steve and Nancy






Zaina



There is so much I can say about Zaina.  This woman is amazing.  The first time I met her, ther was a distrust in her eyes.  You could see that she couldn't possibly understand why we wanted to help her.  She was also Muslim.

Fast forward 9 months.  We are driving through Mukono town and we park on the street.  As we got out of the car, I could see the the excitement in her eyes.  As we crossed the street, she literally wrapped her arms around me and picked me up off the ground!

She was so proud to share with us all her projects.  She is selling roasted corn, roasted plantains and rearing goats.  She as so excite to tell us hat she is making a profit and is saving money.

She shared with us that she has accepted Christ and "loves Him with her whole heart".

Then she told us about Veronica.  One day she found this precious 13 year old girl sleeping on the roof of a house.  She had been abandoned and would sleep there to keep herself safe from animals.  She proudly told us that she is her foster mom and raced in the house to show us the "official" paperwork.
  

We are so proud of Zaina!  From a place of despair to opening her home to an abandoned child....Gods redemption is a beautiful thing.  

We want to help Zaina help Veronica so if you If would be interested in sponsoring Veronica, please email dawn@projecthopeful.org.  Sponsorship is $35 per month and covers school fees, iniforms and school supplies.

In Christ,
Dawn

Jesca

We met Jesca the first time in January 2013.   She was just 23 years old and a mother of 2, with her 3rd on the way.  She wasn’t sure whether or not she could trust us and you could see the hurt and anger in her eyes.
As we spoke with Jesca, we began to understand her hurt.  She was born with HIV. Then, when she was a child…both her parents died of AIDS.  She felt so much hurt and anger that her parents gave her a disease and as she put it “left her”.  Her life was extremely difficult and those who were supposed to take care of her….hurt her and she conceived her first child at just 17 years old.
She met a man and married.  She was forced to send her son to the village because her new husband did not want him.  After they conceived their first child together, he became abusive.  By the time we met Jesca, she was pregnant with their second child and just broken.  She feared for her life.
In January 2014, we saw Jesca again.  She came running to me with the biggest smile on her face.  There was a joy in her eyes that wasn’t there before.  With funds from the HOPE+ sisterhood, she opened a store.  She shared that every week, she would try to save 1000 to 2000 (30 to 90 cents) per week so she could take care of her children.  She said she was still with her husband but now that she was making money, it had gotten a little better.
We visited Jesca this week.  This young woman is amazing.  She is determined and strong.  She has opened a saving account at the bank.  She shared with us that she tithes to the church.  She shared with us that she is profiting 130,000 to 150,000 shillings per month.  To put that into context, that is between $52 – 60 USD per month.  The average Ugandan lives on $1 per day.   Jesca has plans to expand her business and we can’t wait to see the story God writes for her life.

Jesca shared with us that she is concerned for her child who is living in the village.  We are making arrangements for Jesca to travel and get her son and bring him to Victors Christian school where he can board there.  He will be safe, well loved get a proper education but most importantly,  Jesca will be able to visit her son.  
Joel will need a sponsor.  If you feel led to sponsor this sweet boy, please emaildawn@projecthopeful.org
UPDATE!  Jesca got Joel and he is officially enrolled in Victors Christian school!
 

Please pray for Jesca as she continues to work toward her independence.

Hajara

January 2014

Age 11.  When I was 11 my mother began pursuing her dream of becoming a college graduate.  She dropped out the first time to have me.  My baby brother was just one year old and her studies required much of her time.  I was so excited for her that I didn’t hesitate to learn how to cook and swooped up my brother each night from his crib to sleep in my bed.  In fact, today my brother would say I am his second mom. 

This is why Hajara’s story struck me and pierced my heart.  At 11, she was having her first baby.  The first of 7.  She was cooking and coddling at the same tender age but in a much different role and in a much different environment.  As her family grew, so did her responsibility.  And at the age I was able to let go of family responsibilities to pursue my own college degree with never ending tests, she was taking a test of her own.  One that said she was HIV+.  While my whole life was ahead of me, hers was looking more and more bleak.  And not only was SHE given this diagnosis, so was her husband and infant son, her seventh child.

Her story broke me.  As I wrestle with stateside comments about how on earth I get through my days being the mother of three boys, she is just trying to live.  Trying to feed her family and stay healthy despite HIV and TB.  God had me on the best collision course I could have ever asked for.  This woman, my HOPE + sister, has changed my life despite living an ocean away.  I could tell you that I no longer take my amazing health for granted or the fact that I can choose between Italian food or Mexican food on any given day.  But what she has offered me is a new perspective on my own Hope.  I think I mostly took for granted that my Savoir offered me the only hope I will ever need in this life.  Every day is a gift from Him.  Every day that I get to have relationship with Him and others is now more purposeful.   And I am humbled that I get to pray for and write to my HOPE+ sister about THIS hope I have.  This HOPE is the anchor for my soul and I desperately want Hajara to have this anchor too for she is muslim.



March 2014

The latest update on my sweet sister is that she purchased goats.  I am pretty sure this is my first time to cry over goats but whatever.  She looked healthy, healed from the TB, and her smile in the photo makes me happy x10! 

April 2014

My husband just phoned the best news to me today.  He is on his first trip to Uganda and what a trip he has had!  As he left I told him he would likely not meet my sister.  She lived far from the house he was building a pit latrine at.  However, a great new collision would happen.  As the men finished their building they arrived at the village church to see the new building that was recently built.  The whole village was there.  Including Hajara!  He wept as he relayed the meeting.  He was moved that she would walk the 40 minutes to get to the church.  And then she presented him with about 20 avocados.  What a sacrifice on her part.  A mother who said she didn’t always get enough food!  What a day to rejoice!

Yesterday, June 22 2014

I can barely hold back the tears today.   I arrived in Uganda 4 days ago with the anxious excitement of seeing my Hope + sister.  However, the news I received 2 days ago has me more excited than ever to get to this day.  You see I received the news that Hajara had accepted Christ as the Savior of her life.  And today I worshipped OUR Savoir with my sister!  She arrived late and I ran to her, tears streaming down my face to embrace her neck and meet her beautiful 5 year old son.  Her son held my hand and slept on my lap.    And my sister sat next to me radiating the hope she has found.  To celebrate my sister receiving her HOPE, her Anchor, is an overwhelming feeling.  A feeling that kept me from eloquent words at her home.  A feeling that had me crying once more over goats and sheep and cows.  A feeling that will undoubtedly change me once again as I return home. 

 

You will not regret your decision to give a hand up to a HOPE + sister.  And I guarantee God has something to give you too!  Become a sister and change a life.  Change YOUR life!

In Christ,
Sarah

We have 20 new sisters entering the program!  If you are interested in becoming a sister, please visit:  http://www.projecthopeful.org/mom-sponsorships-hope

The Kigongo boys....



Last January when we visited, we found out about a family of 6....a widowed man with 5 boys.  He was very sick and was having difficulties caring for his boys.  The boys feet were covered in jiggers and they were not attending school.

True Vine did not hesitate to scoop these boys up and enroll them in school.  Many people donated to their care and we were able to get the boys new clothes, mattresses, school uniforms and food.  The father was so relieved to have his sons being cared for.

Yesterday, we visited the boys.  They were delightful.  They are doing so well in school and their behavior is so good.  Several woman at the school love on the boys as if they were there own.  It is beautiful to watch the interaction and see the affection between the "mamas" and the boys.


Today, as we were visiting a sister, Richard got a phone call.  The boys father passed away.  We were heart broken.  5 boys...now orphans.

But for Christ......

God is in the details.  One of the "matrons" and the school adores these boys and loves children.  We are fairly sure that she will come their foster mom.  When we have more information, we will be sharing details but for now we know that someone has committed to paying their school fees for as long as the boys are in school.  But the boys will need more than school fees so we want to create a savings account for them.  

If you feel led to donate, please use the following link:  https://www.egsnetwork.com/gift/gift.php?giftid=47F85C3195BC42A and select "urgent needs" and put "Kigongo boys" in notes.

Most importantly....please pray for these boys.  Their hearts are just broken.  Pray that God would meet their every need.

In Christ,
Dawn

Ministry of Apollos

I love Uganda and I love visiting the Source of the Nile River every time I visit. There is something special about a simple, yet obscure, water source that has given life to millions of people down stream for thousands of years. Every time I visit the Source of the Nile River, I’m reminded of the simple and obscure source of life found under the cover of the Bible, that has given spiritual life to millions for thousands of years as well. So I find it so very interesting that the ministry that the Lord has called me to here in Uganda would represent and link both the “water” with the “Word”!

On Tuesday, May 6th, after the team had departed back home, I had the privilege of teaching at a pastor’s conference at which over 600 pastors and church leaders attended. I shared the vision and path of the role of Pastor Teacher found in Ephesians 4:11-15. The following day, Wednesday, May 7th I taught at a marriage conference for over 500 people where I shared the vision and path of marriage and the roles of husbands and wives found in Ephesians 5:22-33. That evening, while resting in preparation for traveling to east Uganda to teach at similar conferences, the Lord brought clarity to my calling. Out of nowhere the Spirit led me to 1 Corinthians 3:5-7:

“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

Those three simple verses set the direction and confirmed the work that the Lord had for me, to bring the living water of the Word of God to the pastors of the churches in Uganda. The churches associated with True Vine Ministries and the National Association of Evangelical Born-again Churches are planting the seeds of the Gospel throughout Uganda, but they need water. The church pastors, many of whom are faithful labors have no bible training or education. Their faith in Christ is contagious and the seeds of the Gospel are being planted with great success, but they cannot raise up enough qualified church leaders to equip, build up and mature the new Christians. They are doing the work of Paul and planting, and I felt called to begin the work of Apollos through watering with the Word. Together, with God’s power and grace, the new Ugandan Christians will be equipped for ministry, built up in unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God and fully mature in the image of Christ Jesus! Could you imagine what a spiritually mature church in Uganda could do for the Great Commission in Africa?

So how can you help? Right now we are currently working with True Vine to finish the construction of their church in Mukono. The vision of this church is to be a place of training to equipping pastors for their work of ministry and a hub for discipleship training for the body of Christ. The church plans include a pastoral library and resource center with a training room for Bible study and instruction. Please continue to pray for the church for the purpose of being an equipping and sending church for the region and ultimately the nation of Uganda and beyond. In addition to prayer, we will need funds to complete the pastoral library and resource center. Stay tuned for more updates on the funds needed to complete this project and together, with your prayers and support, we can be united with Apollos in watering the church in Uganda!

Blessings in Christ Jesus!
John