Today is Giving Tuesday, a new tradition of giving generous gifts in a season of crazy sales and bargains. We are asking for your generous gifts today that will go to purchase Christmas gifts for our children around the world. Thank you as always for your support!
This is one of the current buzzwords in missions and humanitarian work around the world. In the face of too many projects that have failed the test of time after western leadership and money departed, most good organizations are looking for ways to insure that the work they are doing will continue into the future with local leadership and local resources. This is a noble goal, but one that is very difficult to truly achieve. When you consider the humanitarian and spiritual work that New Hope Initiative does among some of the materially poorest people on the planet it is hard to imagine any scenario in which these works could one day be self-supporting. To help us realize the worthy goal of self-sustainability, we have embarked on a very ambitious project in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 2017 we hope to open the Acacia Tree Lodge; a 20 room boutique hotel that will not only provide lodging for our many teams in the region, but also should be able to capitalize on the healthy business and tourism travel market in Kenya. We will give 100% of the proceeds of this project back to our works in East Africa and thereby provide a lasting funding stream that will allow these works to progress even further in the short term and to remain stronger and viable longer with a self sustaining funding stream. We still need a substantial amount of financial help in the next 6 months to see this project completed and we would love to have you help us in this work that will give back for decades to come. If you would like to contribute to this project, please email Sandy Baird (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The children and their families that we serve at our New Hope Initiative facilities around the world are understandably the focus and primary attention of our ministry. However, it is also very important to remember that it is the staff at our schools, clinics, and orphanages that are responsible for the daily victories that we experience. Each of our works worldwide have dedicated, caring individuals who not only work in a consistent professional manor, but also strive to be excellent representatives of Jesus Christ to the people they minister to.
A great example of our wonderful staff is Faith Afandi, the class 3 teacher at our New Hope Academy in Kibera, Kenya. Faith has been a valuable member of our team for several years not only as a skillful teacher, but more importantly a great Christian mentor and role model. Recently Faith had been carrying around a very painful burden as new educational regulations in Kenya were going to prevent her from being renewed as a teacher. For several weeks she believed at the end of November she would lose not only her job and only source of income, but also the entire profession for which she had given her life. New Hope Initiative was able to lift this burden from Faith by offering her a college scholarship to change her degree major and receive new required teacher training. She will be able to complete this degree course on her off months whereby she can retain her job, remain on our staff, and continue her positive influence in the lives of our students. When Faith heard this news it was like a gigantic burden was lifted from her and she sincerely wept tears of relief and joy. It is wonderful that as an organization we are able to change the lives of the people we minister to, but it is equally rewarding to know that we are making a difference in the lives of our dedicated staff as we partner with them to make a difference in our world.
Success most of the time in our world is defined by wealth, power, or fame. At New Hope Initiative we define success with a completely different standard of measurement. In the work we do with the materially disadvantaged around the world our goal is for them to grow into productive self-sufficient adults. This process involves education, mentoring, spiritual development, and practical career awareness. Elizabeth was one of our student at our New Hope Academy in Kibera. She was one of the very first of our students to be sponsored to secondary school through Kibera Penda Project. She excelled at Langata High School and earned a continuing education scholarship to college. We have literally watched her grow up. Elizabeth recently got a job as a chef at a local hospital which will allow her to support her family and put her on the road to a productive adult life. We are so happy for Elizabeth and the part NHI had in her development. That is how we define success at New Hope Initiative.
I am back in Sierra Leone and loving every minute of it.
Our welcome at the home was amazing as usually. The kids all ran to us shouting their greetings and hugging us. Even the new team members were greeted that way. After the introductions the kids sang a welcome song to us. As it seems to be the norm, I got choked up and my eyes welled up a bit. I tried to maintain a straight face, but I think some of the kids saw it. The children are not just kids I know; they have become part of me. I may not remember all of their names, but each one has affected me more than you will ever know. That night I asked two young men on the team their first impressions at the home. The answer was “Excitement! The kids are so happy to see us and genuinely greeted us out of love.” My response to that was that the children know what they will bring to the table this week. That does not mean material goods, but rather true love displayed and expressed to all the children. Each team I have brought in the past has set that precedent. Christ is the center of this entire project. We are but His hands and feet. The eight of us are blessed to be here for the next week serving our Lord and savior and serving the amazing children and staff of our New Hope Initiative Orphanage in Sierra Leone.