Wow. What a year this has been. I am in the process of putting together our second annual report which has required me to look back on all that we have been able to accomplish this year thanks to many generous financial teammates. So if it’s ok, I would like to share the impact that we as a team have been able to make…you’re going to love it…
- We have 5 Christian schools still operating in Africa providing education to over 500 children and employing 34 teachers. 90% of our children come from Muslim families. Go figure!
- We have a pre-k school in Guatemala that currently has about 60 children and 3 teachers.
- A Guatemalan music teacher is using the incentive to play in the band as a way to reach children and keep them interested in school and making good grades. The band dreams of someday marching in the Macy’s Rose Bowl parade, and they had all the instruments they needed with one exception…they didn’t have a Tuba. We got them a Tuba.
- We purchased and shipped six school buses to Africa filled with school supplies. The buses are now being used to take people throughout the region.
- We provided a Fire Truck that was donated from the City of Tyler, TX to the Guatemalan city of San Jose Pinula. This has also opened the hearts of several fire fighters that want to adopt the Guatemalan station as a “sister station.” We actually brought two firefighters from Tyler with us to Guatemala this month.
- We shipped a container full of Medical supplies to Guinea, West Africa in response to the Ebola epidemic. The container was filled with protective suits, medical gloves and unfortunately…body bags.
- We held five medical clinics in Guatemala and treated approximately 1587 people.
- We held a Pastors conference in West Africa in March and trained over 50 pastors.
- We held a Pastors conference in Guatemala in December and taught over 100 pastors.
- We provided 20 sewing machines to a group of women in Guatemala to begin making items to sell in the marketplace. Many of the women had never sewn before, and the learning curve is very steep. However, while they learn they are also engaging in Bible study!
- I experimented with a solar light bulb for people in Guatemala to use. It’s a liter plastic bottle that sits halfway in and halfway out of the roof. Light come in through the top and is emitted from the bottom. It produces the light of a 60W bulb and will last about eight years. We have installed several so far. They love them. The only problem is getting on the roofs to install them…many of the roofs are not stable enough to hold the weight of a person.
- We provided over 26 smokeless stoves for families that had been cooking over an open flame with no exhaust in their home. This $250 addition to the home has been life changing to families. It is one of the best things we do!
- We came upon a young girl in Guatemala that lost her parents and, is raising her five siblings in addition to her two children. All of them (9 people) have all been living in one room that a neighbor is letting them use. I’ve seen the room…it’s horrible. We are building them a home now. It’s under construction, nothing fancy… but hopefully it will be ready by Christmas.
Technology & Social Media
- We have a Facebook page that has grown to over 167,000 followers! That is more than many of the fortune 500 companies! We engage an audience of over 20,000 people every day from countries all over the world. We have even had 20 decisions for Christ this year!
- We started a similar Facebook page all in Spanish as well. It mirrors much of the content we have on our main page, but we just wanted to engage our Spanish speaking friends in Central America directly.
- Chuck’s son, Adam developed a training platform called Conscientia. We have been meeting with churches and hospital groups so they can put their training content on the platform. It’s a great tool, and we just have to figure out how to market it better. So far, we have one church using it and one hospital group (UT Southwestern Global Health Program). They have put about 15 courses on it and are loving it.
Creating Partnerships and Relationships
- By investing all of our time and resources in one common area in Guatemala, we have developed a very strong relationship with the Mayor of San Jose Pinula in Guatemala. He is also the Mayor of over 26 additional cities and settlements in a much larger geographic area. This is fascinating to me because it is rare for a governmental agency to be such a fan of a faith-based non-profit organization…especially from the U.S.
- We have developed the same type of relationship with the government of Conakry in Guinea, West Africa. We met with them in March, and they will be working with us to get land to build a community medical and training facility on. Again, how does an African Muslim country partner with a U.S. Christian non-profit?
- I bought a computer, a projector, church presentation software and had it delivered to our Pastor friend Karim Koroma in Guinea. Having these simple tools is unheard of in that area and it allows Pastor Karim to do Christian outreach throughout the region. Within days of receiving the equipment, he had an outreach event in a city called Kindia. About 75 people attended to watch the Jesus Film, worship and learn about Christ. The following day 11 people were baptized.
- We have also passed out over 15,000 gospel stories called “The Gift.” It is written in both English and Spanish. One interesting observation after giving them away…I’ve NEVER seen one of them ever discarded on the ground.
Personal Transformation through Mission Trips
- We took a group of six men to Israel this year and hiked what is called the Jesus Trail. It’s a route from Nazareth to Capernaum, and we calculated we hiked over 100K. We did it over four days, and the trip was deeply personal for each participant. Walking the route that Jesus walked has completely changed the way I read the Bible. I highly recommend putting this trip on your bucket list.
- We have taken 57 people to Guatemala this year! These trips are amazing in so many aspects. Each one is different, and my favorite part is watching the Lord move in the hearts of each person uniquely. Mission trips are special in so many ways. I don’t know who blesses gets blessed the most…the people we serve or the people we take!
So, not bad for 12 months of Ministry huh!
I have never been more uncertain about what the future holds. But I’ve also never enjoyed the level of pure joy and peace that this year has brought. I’m working extremely hard. I’m working on something related to the ministry just about six days a week and about 13 hours a day. But I love it.
Added to the workload is the fact that I’ve gone back to school in order to gain the necessary knowledge and expertise that will allow me to teach better and lead in a multi-cultural environment. I’m enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary and I’m working towards a MAGL degree (Master’s of Global Leadership). That’s what I want to do…train leaders in underdeveloped countries. School is tough, but I love all the work that is involved because I can apply what I learn immediately to the
ministry. So far, I’m straight A’s!
I’m hoping this update has brought you a little insight into what 2014 has meant to me and I hope it has demonstrated how God is using Hope Ignited in a unique and significant way to help bring the light of Hope to some very dark places on our planet.
I cannot begin to tell you how much doing this type of work has meant to me. We’ve got a lot of work left to do and 2015 is already shaping up to be a very busy year. I can’t wait to see what God has in store!
Thank you so very much and I hope you enjoyed this report.