26Jul/18

When They Cry

Abandoned by her husband even after he was released from prison, she did not know where to turn or even how to make ends meet. What were her options as a single mother in rural Africa without an education or skills? The stigma of being alone must have been oppressive, but trying to find a way to pay rent was overwhelming.

This is a common issue for many women in Uganda who have been widowed or abandoned, leaving them helpless and sometimes even homeless. Her landlord had no mercy, after all, he had his own expenses to cover and probably many renters facing similar situations. It was not long before she and her children were evicted from their one-room rented home, alone and abandoned once more. The shame this little family faced as a result is difficult to comprehend.

But thankfully, God’s mercy came through their loving church who paid for a place for them to rent. While they finally had a place to live, there simply was not enough food to sustain them. When our Ugandan Hope Africa staff heard that this sponsored child’s family was suffering, they stepped in to provide food, demonstrating the love and compassion so greatly needed.

As we learn of these stories, we are reminded how extremely important sponsorship is in the lives of our children and their families. This child is being given opportunities he would never have without sponsorship…opportunities to reach his potential and to then impact his own family and his community. As he grows up in Hope Africa, he will most importantly learn what love truly looks like and how to show mercy and compassion to others in their deepest times of need.

“For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and the needy.” Psalms 72:12-13

 

27Jun/18

Relying on Faith

Wycliff is one of many of our students who has truly risen above his circumstances and already has a powerful influence on his peers and in his community. When he was just a baby and living in Kenya, his father passed away, leaving his mother no choice but to return to her home in Uganda with her three small children.

Life was difficult, as it is for so many single parent homes in rural Uganda. They shared a small mud house with a thatch roof, sleeping on one woven mat together and subsisting on no more than two meals a day. Each day was a fight for survival for this little family, with education being the lowest priority.

Even in the midst of these challenges, Wycliff was determined to go to school. While government school was not as expensive, he still had to sell firewood to cover exam fees, books, shoes, and uniforms. He proved to be a diligent student, making the best of his situation and the education he received.

Then, his mother applied for sponsorship with Hope Africa International so he could be enrolled in a private school, where his fees, uniforms, and medical care were covered. Wycliff said that when the news of his sponsorship came, “We had tears of joy as we already had seen what Hope Africa had done for children in our community!”

Once in school, he performed well, passing the most rigorous government examination after seventh grade which allowed him to progress to Secondary School (High School). He is currently in his second year of Secondary School striving to become an engineer one day.

Wycliff is most grateful for how Hope Africa has helped him to grow in his faith and relationship with Jesus, giving him the hope he desperately needed. Today, he faithfully serves as a leader with Hope Africa, mentoring the younger students, leading in community outreach events and acting as a positive example to his classmates. In addition to becoming an engineer, he dreams of serving as a pastor.

Our vision is to see the lives of these sponsored children changed so that they can, in turn, impact the lives of others. Wycliff is another powerful example of how being part of Hope Africa International has dramatically changed his life physically and spiritually, giving him confidence so he can bring change to his community.

Learn more about all Hope Africa International is doing in the lives of over 700 children here.

06Jun/18

Hope Restored

When they were very young children, tragic, sudden loss of their parents left Morine and her two siblings completely alone. Their extended family struggled to decide who would take on the responsibility of a three year-old, two year-old and struggling infant.  Finally, one day as the toddlers were playing in the village, their grandparents came to take them to their home. While they did all they could to care for these children, Morine’s grandparents barely had enough to provide for clothes and food. Morine’s infant sister survived on cow’s milk, the only way they could afford to feed her. The children faced many difficult days, hungry and walking to school without shoes. Often, they would have to stay home because they did not have the money to pay for the school fees.

Years later, Morine’s grandmother heard of our child sponsorship program and registered the children for sponsorship. After waiting for one long year, they were sponsored so they could attend a quality school, receive uniforms, shoes, and meals at school!

“I saw hope restored in my life after the death of my parents, and I really thank God for the miracle of sponsorship!” Morine reflected.

Morine never took this miracle for granted, but worked diligently, achieving top scores on her government exams after 7th grade. These scores admitted her to an excellent High School where she is completing her last year of school in December 2018!  Morine is confident she will pass her final government exam to receive her Advanced Diploma which will admit her into a University to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

Our vision at Hope Africa International is to invest in the lives of children with the goal that they will develop a passion and desire to lead in their communities. This leadership may come in various forms such as teaching, medicine, business, church ministry, and through parenting the next generation of children. Because of the simple gift of sponsorship, Morine is a beautiful example of someone who has risen above her circumstances, choosing to lead and give back to her community as a teacher.

 

 

30May/18

Reaching into the Darkness

“Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.”—Norman B. Rice

How often do we ignore the darkness in the world around us, not wanting to engage with what brings us discomfort? We are grateful that a man years ago reached out to David and gave him the opportunity he desperately needed.

David came from a humble home of eight children, raised by his widowed mother. His father passed away when he was only five years old. Without any family income to speak of, David spent a great deal of time selling charcoal to pay his own school fees. He worked hard day after day cutting trees and making charcoal to progress all the way through Secondary Four (11th grade). He performed very well on his exams and was admitted to Sebei College for Secondary Five and Six, but his charcoal business was insufficient to cover the school fees.

One day, when David had lost all hope of continuing his education, he was walking down the street in Kapchorwa and he heard a voice calling him by name, “David, David!”

David turned and replied, “Yes, please!”

The man told him, “I heard you passed very well on your government exams, but cannot attend Sebei because of the school fees!” David told him it was true, and the man said he must go to school first thing on Monday to register for classes. All his fees, uniforms, books and anything else needed would be covered! This is how God intervened in David’s life enabling him to progress all the way through University.

When David graduated from college, he managed a local hotel, but was not at peace with his career and unhealthy working conditions. He entered into a time of fasting and prayer, seeking the Lord’s direction in his life. During this time, he had a dream that he was walking on a very slippery rock and below him were children who kept sliding back down every time they attempted to climb the rock. He had to reach below to pull them up one by one. He was comforted by this dream as he realized God had lifted him up out of his own situation and was calling him to do the same for the oppressed, the orphans and the most vulnerable children.

Just after he was married in 2004, he was approached by African Renewal Ministries to manage their child sponsorship program in Kapchorwa, an unexpected answer to his dream to serve children living the same story David faced! Today, David continues to serve with Hope Africa International, often acting as the only father figure in our sponsored children’s lives, truly reaching into the darkness to lift them into the light!

David’s life is an example of how investing in just one person can have a far greater reach than we can possibly imagine. One man provided for one fatherless boy who is now caring for the needs of hundreds of children, many of whom are also fatherless and vulnerable! When we hear stories like this, we must ask ourselves what could happen if I just cared for one child?

Today, Hope Africa International sponsors children in two areas, Kapchorwa and Ngenge, Uganda, providing school fees, uniforms, medical care and camps for over 450 children. Since 2005, over 675 children have been impacted through sponsorship!