Viewing entries tagged
hope

Help Bring Light into Darkness

Comment

Help Bring Light into Darkness

BRING-LIGHT-BLOG-BANNER.jpg

bring-light-post Murana Umara has had a very difficult life in Sierra Leone. At an early age his mother became sick. The father took her to a witch doctor and “treated” her. She died in agony a short time later. Three months later, his father died. His brother, sister and he were all alone. With no other choices available the police put them into the care of their elderly grandmother. This strong woman loved them so much but did not have the means to care for them. As times became worse for them and food became more and more scarce, the grandmother sent his sister to the city to live with a woman. This helped for a little while, but when the sister returned the situation became worse than ever. The siblings turned to the streets doing odd jobs or stealing anything they could put their hands on. They were desperate to put food in their stomachs. The situation got to a point that the sister sold her virginity in order to feed the siblings.

This is when the group met Pastor Rogers. He was determined to help the children but had little means of his own. He enrolled them into a church run feeding program and planned to move them into an orphanage he was building. Their lives began to look brighter until a hurricane destroyed the building the Pastor was building. What they did not understand at that point was that God was working in their favor. Shortly, there after Pastor Rogers met an American missionary who connected him to New Hope Initiative. NHI came on board, aided the feeding program, and built the Karen Baird Children’s Home. Murana and his siblings were among the first children to move in. As the children grew to know Christ and gave their life to Him, life began to look positive for them and they had the hope of a good future.

Murana enrolled in school and excelled. His language and writing skills improved. Although quiet in nature, he became very well spoken. It seemed as though he was on the right track and he was thankful to God. That is when he began having headaches.  Soon he was having problems seeing. The local clinic gave him eye drops. With the lack of qualified medical care and doctors his vision worsened quickly. In less than a year he has now become almost completely blind. The young boy can no longer attend school and is becoming discouraged.

Pastor Rogers and I met with the headmaster of a school for the blind. He is willing to bring Murana in for re-habilitation. He feels that within the next 6 to 9 months Murana would be able to learn to read braille, learn to type, and be ready to move back to the children’s home. At that point he would be able to rejoin his class mates in school by using a tape recorder and a typewriter. Please help NHI make this happen for this young boy. He needs to be equipped with all the items necessary at the blind school including the typewriter, tape recorder, a bed and mattress, other school materials, and every-day items. Help NHI prevent this from happening in the future by supporting the Children’s Home each month to provide for better medical care for all of the children in the home.

Thank you and God bless,

Phil d’Entremont - Project Director: Sierra Leone

Comment

Meeting Wisdom in Sierra Leone

Comment

Meeting Wisdom in Sierra Leone

meeting-wisdom-banner.jpg

As I look back on my recent trip to Sierra Leone I must go back to my first trip in 2009. It was on that trip that I first encountered a young girl with the saddest eyes I had ever seen. We had split up into groups to share the gospel with the children and this young girl was in my group. Like the other children in the group she spoke little English so I needed an interpreter to communicate with her. That night as I lay in my bed reflecting on the day I could not get her out of my mind. So I asked God to show me how to reach out to her. The next time I saw her, I taught her how to say I love you in American Sign Language. From that time on whenever I saw her I would sign “I love you” and each time the hint of a smile would appear on her face. After returning home I emailed Pastor Rogers and shared my experience with him. He wrote back and told me her story which explained the sadness I saw. Over the course of the year I corresponded with “my girl” through Pastor Rogers. Then when I returned in 2010 for the dedication of the Karen Baird Children’s Home I was excited to find a different little girl. The sad eyes I saw the previous year now reflected joy. Flash forward to January 2013 when I returned to Sierra Leone for the first time in three years. How she has grown! My heart filled with such joy when Pastor Rogers told me he has given her the name “Wisdom” because she works hard in school and is very smart. Sometimes I wonder why I have remained single with no children of my own but then I think of my kids in Sierra Leone and I realize that God had other plans for me. He saw a woman with no children and two kids needing a mum and brought them together. He is amazing!

meeting-wisdom-post

God is doing wonderful things through the Sierra Leone project. It was exciting to see the addition of a second building and with that the increased number of children whose lives are being changed. The children are healthy and happy. They know they are loved by people they may never meet and they are very thankful for them. Children who once had no hope for the future now think about where God will take them.

My life has changed tremendously since that first trip in 2009. I thank God for taking me out of my comfort zone and blessing me in ways I could never imagine.

Written by Lorraine Wood

Comment

Zainab's Story

3 Comments

Zainab's Story

zainabs-story-banner1.jpg

My name is Zainab Precious Umara and I am a Sierra Leonean.  I was born in a village called Morkaba to a very poor family.  I was the first born and the only child to live here.  We moved to another village where my parents would be able to farm.  It was here that my brothers were born.  We stayed there for quite a long time. One day when my youngest brother was about three months old my mother felt very sick.  My father took her to a nearby village to see the local witch doctor.  He treated her but she grew continually worse.  On one early morning she jumped on the bed that she was laying in, screamed out of her mind and gave up her last breath.  Our father died three months later and life became more difficult.

zainabs-story-post

My grandmother took us in and we lived with her for three good years.  When I was nine one of grandmother’s nephews came and took me to Freetown, our capital city.  He left me with a woman who took me in and loved me as her own.  She took great care of me and everything was good and the future looked bright. I began attending school in Freetown at the age of 10 and I was put into grade 2 and sat for the national exam at the end of the year.  I scored the highest out of all of the children.  My teachers grew to love me for my hard work and effort.

However, for some unknown reason the woman I lived with grew to resent  me.  She stopped sending me to school with lunch and I went to bed with an empty stomach on most nights.  Life became dismal living with her.  I don’t know what caused her sudden hatred.

I grew stubborn and began sleeping on the streets and doing anything to get some food.  One day the woman took me back to my grandmother’s village.  My grandmother was forced to take me in, even though she was unable to care for both my brother and I.  At that time I was 14 and in grade 5.  It was here that I first met Pastor Francis Rogers.  He enlisted my brother and I into his feeding program and planned to move us into an orphanage he was building.  God had other plans for us and allowed a fierce storm to destroy the orphanage building and delayed any consistent care.

In 2008 I was in grade 6.  We had nothing or very little to eat.  My grandmother loved us, but had no good means of taking care of us.  I began hanging out with the wrong group of people.  I attended church only to get some food or financial assistance from the congregation.  My outlook on life was poor and I chose to sleep with a boy just for money.  I know God allowed me to get to this point in my life to bring me to my senses so that I would commit myself to following Him.

Ephesians 6:13 says “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

James 2:26 says “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

James 1:6 says “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he that doubts is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

Luke 15:17 says “And when he came to himself, he said, “How many hired servants of my father have bread enough to spare and I perish with hunger.”

When I read these four scriptures I repented of my sins and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.  I am thankful to the Lord for making me who I am today through all of the struggles I faced. Since then my story has drastically changed.  I am now a new woman according to 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”  I grew spiritually each day and began serving the Lord.  God brought David Tanner, Phil d’Entremont, and Karen and Sandy Baird into our lives.  These individuals set us in a direction that God ordained.  Two children’s homes have been built, a fresh-water well has been installed, communication with Christians in America has been established and relationships are growing and giving us further hope.  We all attend school and we receive medical care.  All of this has been done and accomplished through the love of Christ and to the glory of God.  The Sierra Leone Project of New Hope Initiative has become a beacon of light in our dark country.  This project has led many to Christ and is a witness to all of His love.

I thank Pastor Rogers for all he does for me and all the children in the home and in the surrounding villages.  He has become my mentor, given me the name Precious, and is training me to be the future orphanage director.  When my grandmother passed away, he wept with me for days.  I also thank New Hope Initiative and all those contributing to our life through finances and prayers.  We would not be where we are without you following God’s will.  May God bless you all.

By Zainab Umara

3 Comments

Penda Goes To College

Comment

Penda Goes To College

Penda-goes-to-college-banner.jpg

A Word From The Directors

As we strive to bring excellence to our school in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, we must be reminded of our foundational goal of bringing real hope and real change to the children that we work with. We have been reminded this season that to accomplish such a lofty goal we are going to have to offer quality in education to our children. We are very excited about the foundational processes we have in place through the New Hope Primary School and the Kibera Penda Project scholarship program to accomplish these goals. For the first time in NHI history we are seeing some of the long-term fruit of our programs as we have admitted five of our students into college and university. In order to move these precious children from the Kibera slum into more adequate lives they must complete an upper level degree that will offer them the hope for a better job and a better life.

Penda-goes-to-college-post

It is our five-year goal to have 125 secondary school students in our Penda program as well as 100 university students completing their upper level degrees. It will be our ongoing goal to maintain these numbers into the future so that we can develop a growing base of students who begin in our elementary school and end up as university graduates. That is the blueprint for changing a community. It is not fast, it is not cheap, is it not easy, but it is achievable and it will be effective.

By Sandy & Karen Baird

Comment

Diane meet Irene - Irene meet Diane

Comment

Diane meet Irene - Irene meet Diane

irene-diane-banner1.jpg

One of our precious young ladies from Penda Project is Irene Misena. She was a part of our very first class of Penda students that entered secondary school four years ago. Irene excelled both as a student and as a leader and now is the primary leader of the children's Sunday School at New Hope Church. Irene recently began a new phase of her life as she enrolled at Nairobi Aviation University in their hotel management program. We are excited that she is among our first class of university/college-level students and are expecting great things from Irene.

irene-diane-post

In July we had a very heartfelt reunion as Diane Peters from Sagemont Church in Houston was privileged to be with us in Africa and to meet Irene for the first time. Diane has been Irene's sponsor for the past three years and it was an emotional meeting as each party got to meet the other for the first time. These are moving relationships for both parties and we love the close bond that develops between our young people and their sponsors. You may never get to be like Diane and meet your student personally, but please be assured that our Penda students love and appreciate each of their sponsors and realize the vital role they play.

 

 

Comment