September 2011 Newsletter
Renovations at DHCV through Project Hope funds
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." ~Ephesians 3:20-21
In the last few days, three donations have come in for Project Hope pushing the total ($36, 314) beyond the goal that God impressed upon us to set of $35,000!
For those of you who have been following Project Hope's progress, you will remember that $35,000 seemed like a crazy goal for our little band of Liberia lovers to trust God for. But knowing that God is in the business of taking small things (like mustard seeds of faith and a little boy's lunch) and turning them into mountain movers and lunch for five thousand, we pressed on in our belief that God could do the impossible.
Isn't it something that God would use our desire to project hope in Christ throughout Liberia to increase our own hope in Him?
I wanted you to see a glimpse of how Project Hope funds are being used already;
Daniel Hoover Children's Village Boarding School is in continual need of repairs. With six months of hard rain a year, constant high humidity, and 150 children creating significant levels of wear and tear, you can imagine that it's quite costly to keep the facilities in decent shape. Here is a photo of roof repairs that are in process with funds from Project Hope. In addition, beds and chairs have been repaired. New doors have been replaced in a couple of dorms, and tile has been laid in the dining room.
Another focus area of Project Hope has been to provide a year's worth of staff stipends for key ACFI leaders. We hope to continue to expand other self-sustaining initiatives for the ministry, and in the meantime, these staff stipends will enable the leaders to care for their families while staying committed to serving the Lord through their work with ACFI.
I want to share a photo and letter from one of the ACFI leaders who receives a stipend from Project Hope.
Meet Augustus Kumeh... who wrote this in his letter to his sponsor:
"I bring you love, peace and goodwill in Jesus name. My name is Augustus D. Kumeh. I am member of the African Christians Fellowship International (ACFI) Church, serving in administration as Vice President for Outreach. I am 59 years old. I am married with nine children. I got save and was baptized in 1984. I have been serving the Lord ina volunteer capacity for over 25 years now. I sincerely bless God and also thank you ever so much for your prayer and sponsorship. My family and I will also pray for you always."
In Memory of Sarah~
Sarah and Corrie
My husband and I have sponsored kids before... kids we prayed for but never met. Kids whose names we knew, yet we had no knowledge of their lives. When we met Sarah, our perception of what a sponsorship relationship could look like changed forever. In June of 2010, we were part of the Liberia mission trip, and spent time at both DHCV and at the Deaf Mission.
Sarah was deaf. She did not demand attention, but simply stood back and watched us interact with others. It was obvious that she wanted to be a part but just wasn't asserting herself. We later found out that she had only been at the Mission for a short while and had very few sign language skills... so her communication was severely limited and had been for her entire 8 years of life. We knew no sign either, but we both fell in love with her and decided to sponsor her. Our time together was spent simply holding her, smiling and playing little hand games.
When our family spent a month in Liberia this past winter, we spent significantly more time with Sarah and the other children. She'd learned so much sign language, and we'd done our best to learn the alphabet and some basics... but still... pretty tough to communicate. She was THRILLED we were back, however. She'd spend all the time she could in our laps. We were able to bring a package and some pictures from our previous time with her as well. It was hard for all of us to say (sign) our goodbyes.
Sarah had to leave the mission several months ago, and return to whatever family claimed responsibilty for her, after she started to frequently faint or have seizures. (I'm unsure which is accurate.) This week, we learned that she died tragically while staying with her family, in circumstances that seem to have nothing to do with her medical concerns.
No, we didn't know her extremely well. We didn't know her hopes and dreams, or if she had any at all. We didn't know her history or the circumstances of her life before the mission. But, I have held her while she was sick with a high fever... and Jason gave her his big 'ol sandals to wear one day, which she thought was quite funny! My children have met her. We wrote her letters and picked out pretty dresses for her. We have a framed picture of her in our home. My point is, we loved her. And we are extremely saddened that when we return to Liberia one day, we will not get to hold our Sarah.
I will never know what we meant to her, but I am confident that she knew we loved her. I have been thanking the Lord that we had a chance to love her in ways that were tangible to her in the short life she had. I am grateful to have had the privilege of showing her that somebody cared... that she was of great worth to Jesus... if only through a smile, a letter, or a hug.
Whether you realize it or not, your sponsorship of a child does the same thing... it shows them that they are worth something to Jesus, and that someone loves them. So, thank you. The reality is that you cannot know what may be down the road for these children. When you pour into their lives, it is not in vain.
In Honor of Sarah,