The Hands of Hope Foundation has a major footing in Liberia and has been there for almost 10 years. We have been a part of starting over 150 churches, building medical clinics, bringing clean water to villages, and building schools as well as sponsoring hundreds of students to receive an education that was previously impossible.
With one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, and an average life expectancy of just 58, Liberia is a country in desperate need of quality health care. Providing medical care is one of the core of activities Hands of Hope Foundation is involved in. The addition of the surgical clinic in 2014 has really strengthened the effectiveness of this work.
Each year we take a team of medical professionals to provide medical care at the United Methodist District Center in Weala. These teams can provide help in our clinic for general conditions and also dental care, eye care, provide much needed medicine at our pharmacy, and even perform surgery, both minor and major procedures. We typically see around 1,000 patients per week while our team is in country. We also provide training to local doctors and health care workers. While we have our medical team in Liberia, they provide valuable peer to peer training and conduct medical seminars.
Currently most of this work is performed in temporary facilities, but we are working on building a full medical surgical at Weala that will complete by the end of 2013. Our goal is to raise enough financial support to staff this new facility and provide year-round care.
Over the past few years we have provided millions of dollars in medical equipment, medicine, and relief supplies. Much of this equipment and medicine is not available in Liberia. Almost all of the supplies we have sent in the last six years has been donated from so many of our incredible partners and U.S. hospitals and medical companies. We are so grateful for tens of thousands of lives these supplies have impacted.
In 2014, the Ebola outbreak affected many of our friends and colleagues in Liberia. This halted many of the plans and projects we had to serve the people. The goal then became to aid our brothers and sisters in the Ebola fight and keeping our clinics open. In November, we completed a tour that saw $35,000 raised to send 6 containers full of millions of dollars of supplies to Liberia to bring Ebola relief.
"Through education people are redeemed from darkness."
-Bishop John G. Innis, United Methodist Church, Liberia.
We understand that in nations like Liberia, education is the only way out of a cycle of darkness and poverty that can last for generations. The Hands of Hope Foundation is working to provide education to as many children as possible. We do this through our partnership with the John Wesley School in Weala, along with area colleges and universities. Sponsorships provide for education and uniforms for children in grade school and high school, and to provide college education through our "Hope Scholars" program. Education creates power, and that power grants freedom from the cycle of poverty. We have the impact of education on the lives of hundreds of our scholars. Learn more about our scholarship program.
It has been our great privilege during our time in Liberia to be involved in evangelistic crusades and the formation of several churches. During our last visit, for example, we held a crusade in the community of Jenneta and the response was so great that we were able to secure land, hold a baptism service and start a brand new church all during our time there. This new church is already growing and bringing life to the community. We have great favor with the local leaders and look for great things to happen in Jenneta. Similar stories can be told of our other church plants. We are committed to this process of starting and sustaining solid, Bible-teaching churches all over Liberia. Please check back here soon to see a video update on the churches we are currently working with in Liberia.
Clean Water Initiatives
Access to clean, safe water is said to be the number one medical crisis in the world. So much of the diseases we see and treat in Liberia can be prevented if people had clean water to drink. Working with the United Methodist Church of Liberia, we have established deep water wells at all of the locations where we have planted churches. In these communities the church brings spiritual life and hope, and the well brings physical life and hope. Our work in this area has only just begun and we are currently working on forming partnerships with other organizations who specialize in deep water wells.
We are partnering with two local non-profits in Thailand: The Tamar Center and the Hand to Hand Foundation. The Tamar Center’s mission is to help men and women out of the human trafficking industry and equip them with an education and skill set that allows them to make a living and sustain their families. Hand to Hand Foundation focuses primarily on the slums and prisons. They work to love on the people, educate the children, provide medical care and hygiene, and point them to Christ. These two organizations have seen tremendous success in their missions and have incredible testimonies of lives transformed forever by the gospel.
Working with our local partners and Community of Faith Church, we planted four churches in Pattaya in Summer 2015. These churches have become a center of life and hope in their areas. They are staffed by local Thai people and the elders are comprised of leaders from Tamar Center, Hand to Hand, and Community of Faith. These churches have become our main vehicle to minister in the realms of human trafficking, slum outreach, and education. They create a stable and consistent voice and location of hope in the area.
Two of the churches are planted in the middle of two of the worst slums in the city. What is happening here is incredible! People are being delivered from drug and alcohol addictions, cycles of abuse are ending, and the communities are being transformed. The chief of both slums have given their hearts to Jesus and are leading their communities. The people are running their own churches and are taking pride and ownership in their new faith.
The third church is stationed in the most intense party street in the city. The fourth is in a bakery and shop run by women the Tamar Center has freed and given work. Both of these venues have become a massive beacon of light and hope for bar girls and locals. The pastors running these venues are former trafficking victims and their testimonies have incredible power and authority in the streets. In the middle of chaos, God is changing lives!
The Tamar Center is our focus point for Human Trafficking work in Thailand. The Tamar Center takes men and women that are open to the gospel and begin to create opportunities for them to become free from the sex trade. They do this through their training programs. This gives the girls an alternative job to working in the bars. Salvation for these women creates an opportunity for God to lead them out of the darkness and into a new life and a beautiful and wonderful plan to prosper them and give them life to the full. This makes the alternate jobs a game changer that helps to free the women from their bar work and begin a new life.
These programs also instill creative value and self worth in the women. This is a big mindset shift and opens the door for them to accomplish more than they previously thought possible. But, the most important core value in these programs is to build relationships with these people and to point them to Christ because ultimately, he is the one who can change their lives and make them new. The healing in their hearts comes in knowing God and growing closer to Him.
There are two great ways to support this ministry. You can purchase some of the handmade products and sustain the women in there new lives. You can also donate money to help sponsor a girl's education.
The Hand to Hand Foundation is working to make an impact in this area. Hand to Hand Foundation began working with children in slums from the beginning. This foundation started to clean, clothe, and feed these children. They would teach them Thai and English, artistic expression, and share the hope of Jesus. Consequently, they began to build relationships with the slum communities as a whole, becomingly highly respected for the hope they would bring in the name of Jesus. They also work to help the adults get new birth certificates which in turn allows them to instantly triple their income at the very least. Thailand is a Buddhist country that believes strongly in Karma and this becomes the main reason they don’t have any welfare systems in place. The people in these conditions “deserve” to be there. This has allowed us to have a significant impact in sharing the hope and love of Christ.
Hands of Hope Foundation is partnering with Hand to Hand Foundation to increase their impact in the slums of Pattaya and Isaan. Our teams aid by ministering to the people through medical outreach, building projects, and simple acts of love. We have also started churches in a few of these slums which have become a beacon of light and a center point of life and hope in the slums. The churches have changed the atmosphere of the slums and brought new life and energy and opportunities to reach and educate the people.
Although education is compulsory until grade 6 it is often not an option for the children of the slums and homeless children. Hand to Hand Foundation is currently providing education and care for many of these children in Pattaya. They provide an exceptional education opportunity for children doomed to poverty without it. Their facility provides meals and has showers, since many of the children come without both. Margie and her staff provide a Christ-centered, loving atmosphere where the children can feel loved and comfortable. All of the children are attending for free and are almost exclusively picked from slums and areas where our ministries are directly doing outreach. This allows for followup through our churches and continued outreach. Learn more about the school here.
Some of our Hope Scholars are through this ministry. Change a child's life by sponsoring their education.
One very big problem in Thailand is that children have little to no rights or protection. Hand to Hand Foundation is the leading voice for child advocacy in Thailand and is currently working directly with the Thai government to develop rights for the children. Whether a child’s needs are not being met or a child is getting repeatedly abused, there is really nothing that can be done to protect the child. Children often get sold into the trafficking business to pay off a parent’s debt or to provide money for drug habits. Many children are getting abused in their homes without a hope of being able to leave. Whether this be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, there is not a lot that can be done for these children, even if the problem is well known. Children are often even sold to support a parent’s drug habits or to pay off a debt. Sometimes these children are returned, but a lot of times they become victims of the sex trafficking industry. We are proud to partner with Hand to Hand Foundation while they fight for change and freedom for the children of Thailand.
The Hands of Hope Foundation has formed a partnership with the Hope for the Little Ones Foundation in Bulgaria. In collaboration with Rev. Ventsislav Stoykov, General Overseer of the Bulgarian Church of God and the Senior Pastor of Crossroads Church of God in the Capital city of Bulgaria, we are joining forces to stand for the "little ones", the orphans of Bulgaria.
Malnourishment, lack of basic necessities, no education and absolutely void of love, are just a few of the many crimes being committed against humanity and the orphaned children in the country of Bulgaria. The crimes are being committed by institutions under the supervision of the Bulgarian government and have recently been brought to the light and exposed to the world through a BBC expose.
We are not talking about a remote location in the depths of the jungle, but in the south-east corner of old Europe. We are talking about the small country of Bulgaria where orphaned children are institutionalized to a life of severe abuse and neglect. It is heartbreaking to see a 10 year old child weighing 22lbs. It is believed a blind or a deaf orphan should never go to school because he or she is "damaged". This is their reality
Hope for the Little Ones has developed a solution and has successfully implemented that model for over a year, with some incredible results! The Bulgarians have nicknamed it the "The Little House". In this small home, 6 to 8 children live with the appropriate caregivers, in a normal home environment, where they are loved, sang to, read to, nurtured and yes, nourished! "The Little House" is designed to be an in-between oasis of love, where a group of dedicated child development specialists and social workers work around the clock to find loving homes for each child!
The Mission of the "Hope for the Little Ones" foundation is aimed at improving the welfare of children deprived of parental care and creating better conditions for their care, growth, and development into healthy and complete individuals. The foundation is working to accelerate the deinstitutionalization of these children by developing alternative social services, such as the establishment and management of centers for the rearing of children in a family-style home, and the encouragement, promotion, and support of foster care, all in a loving Christ centered environment.
Hands of Hope Foundation, in collaboration with Hope for the Little Ones, and in partnership, with the Bulgarian Church of God, has committed to helping stop this crime against humanity. The Hands of Hope Bulgarian project is focused on raising financial support to help build more of these "Small Homes".
It costs $60 000 to fully fund a Small Home for a year. Each home hosts 6-8 children at a time and will minister to and place in permanent and loving homes some 12-16 children in a year. We have one model home established and it is our plan to begin by adding another one, and more beyond that, as the Lord provides.
We are also working with our Bulgarian Church Partners to send medical mission teams to the country, as there are nearly 15,000 institutionalized orphans in Bulgaria, all in desperate need of a home where nourishment, education and love will be provided by qualified caregivers, committed to love and believe in every child!
On behalf of Fatherless Little Ones in Bulgaria, your support is greatly appreciated and it may make the difference between life and death to one of God's little ones!