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Sponsorship Opportunity with the HOPE+Sisterhood Ethiopia

Imagine being a young, uneducated mother, widowed, in Ethiopia, a third world country struggling to modernize. You now know that the illness your husband died of was AIDS, and you are HIV+. The medicine helps the illness, but what do you do to support yourself and your children? People who know of your HIV status avoid you, even your own family! How do you earn a living and help your children have enough to eat and a roof over their heads? You may decide that the best thing for the children is to take them to an orphanage and give them up for adoption. You reason that at least they will have food and shelter, something you may not be able to provide them with. It breaks your heart, but what else is there? Prostitution? Theft? Some women are reduced to those choices.

Project Hopeful is working to change that. The Hope+ Sisterhood Ethiopia is a program that reaches out to HIV+ widows and their children, and gives them hope for a better future. We want these families to stay intact. This is done by educating the ladies about their HIV status, helping them to get and remain healthy, and helping each lady to begin a small, sustainable business to support themselves. They learn from professionals the importance of correct medicine management, the nutritional needs of an HIV+ person, hygiene, sanitation, money management, and business training. They receive business counseling to help them choose a business by which they can learn to support themselves. Each lady is given a small amount of capital to begin their business. These businesses start out very small, but can grow exponentially when these ladies are given a chance. We’ve […]

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    Dental Team Arrives at Project HOPEFUL’s Walk on Water Initiative in Guatemala

Dental Team Arrives at Project HOPEFUL’s Walk on Water Initiative in Guatemala

From Ronnie Mosley:

Our first day of work here in Guatemala took the Project Hopeful team 30 minutes outside our base of Antigua to the village of Santiago Zamora. Partnering with Casa del Redentor (Redeemers House), our dental team attended to over 30 children and adults who were in critical need of dental assistance. These are people have never had access to normal dental care and there needs would go unmet if it were not for teams such as this that Project Hopeful has put together.

As I watched God’s grace, love and mercy unfold through the lens of my camera I could not have witnessed a more beautiful manifestation of Project Hopefuls Faith Statement being carried out.

FAITH STATEMENT: We are committed to bringing everyone we encounter to the knowledge of their true identity in the ONE that calls us out upon the water. We will make Him known through the reality of the cross and the unconditional love, grace, healing and hope it brings. We will love and serve as equals, restoring dignity through humility and loving through long term relationships with the people and communities we serve. GRACE will abound in all we set our hands and hearts to.

Amen.

To see more pictures from Day one, see this POST

FOR MORE ABOUT PROJECT HOPEFULS WALK ON WATER INITIATIVE – http://www.projecthopeful.org/walk-on-water-initiative

By |March 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

A Desperate Plea

For me they all have a name and a story.

They are not just children in a Facebook album or a blog post.

They have each been created by God and in His image according His plan and purpose for each of their lives.

They are children that we have held, prayed over and advocated for.

Children that we have longed for to have a family.

Children we have worried about, wept for, and lifted in prayer in the middle of many sleepless nights.

Children that our teams have rocked and held and fed and loved.

Children that we have placed our hands upon and cried out to God for.

The staff tirelessly cares for these children and love them deeply. It’s not just a job.

Currently the financial struggles are overwhelming.

Last month (January) the staff worked without being paid because there simply were no funds left. They are actively seeking local support in country and we know some local supporters are making donations.

They work hard to keep costs low. They have moved to a new location to save on rent, they have reluctantly had to let some of the nannies go out of sheer necessity to cut spending.    But it is not enough.

Formula and food costs alone are staggering for 40 plus children.

If you had any inclination at all to sign up for sponsorship for one of the children or give direct donations support to the operation of the orphanage through the sponsorship of a nanny’s salary……PLEASE jump in.

Email me at charisa@projecthopeful.org to be connected with a child to be a FIG for or any other questions!

Children’s lives literally are in the balance…..as well as welfare of the families of the nannies and guards.

Remember:  international adoption, other than special needs, is not […]

By |February 12th, 2015|Awassa, Ethiopia, FIG Awassa|0 Comments|
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    I have HIV and I want you to know it: Selah Twietmeyer Stomps Stigma

I have HIV and I want you to know it: Selah Twietmeyer Stomps Stigma

Our own Selah is featured on Today.com in this post.

‘…The only thing that released me from this prison of shame was when I was adopted. There was no segregation. There were no secrets. I learned about the ways the virus is contracted and how it was not. I was relieved to find out it wasn’t spread via chicken bones (I like chicken). ”

 

Read more by visitng Today.com

 

By |October 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

The house you are building in Awassa, Ethiopia!

Hear more from Greg (Project HOPEFUL’s Awassa director) about his trip!

We had the pleasure of visiting some of Ethiopia’s newest business ladies who are in the Enabling Independence Program in an area called Boricha. We met in the home of a lady named Ashile who some may remember as the lady whose home was run down and not secure which created her greatest fear that hyenas would get her children as they slept at night. Charisa and the team had the pleasure of meeting her in May.

You can see the video from that visit here: http://vimeo.com/102190642

 

We were met by the five of the six ladies that are part of the EIP  program along with Ajuuja’s representative who champions the EIP initiative and a local government official who also provides oversight. About 15 or so of us huddled into Ashile’s small house as the rain began to pour. The group’s leader Hannah (with the Ethiopian scarf) praised God for all He is doing and hugged and kissed us as we were introduced to the group.

The other ladies and their children all greeted us with warm smiles and we then heard from Ashile on how the program was changing her life. The word change was used over and over.

The roof sheets rattled and lifted with the wind as the storm grew and rain poured downs the inside walls and sprayed in through the open spots above us as we shared a coffee ceremony and kolo. I couldn’t imagine living in the home that she currently lives in with her children.

Before leaving we went behind the home where Ashile’s new home was being built. Funds from generous PH Awassa donors are being used to build her a new, […]

By |September 30th, 2014|Awassa, Ethiopia, FIG Awassa|0 Comments|

Does it really matter?

Greg Knight, one of our Awassa directors, shares below from his recent trip.

Some of the most vulnerable people we meet in Awassa are the older students who are orphaned. They are old enough to care for themselves but they have not finished their education and many times have no one to look out for them and encourage them. As we were finishing the worship time at Ajuuja, an opportunity was given for those present to speak. One of our university students had prepared a letter to read to us. He asked we forgive his weak English but I think you’ll agree it is perfect! In the letter below he is addressing Pastor Rob and I because we are present, his FIG family specifically and the rest of the Project HOPEFUL Awassa supporters in general. His letter is below.
“First of all, I want to say welcome our loved and blessed family.

I’m so happy to see you here and for my being with you today. On behalf of me, when we say “AJUUJA”.

AJUUJA is my mother’s my hope and my power. AJUUJA is my refuge and my trust;

In help and assistance I get from you made me a human being. Your help and assistance made me to be equal with my friends whose parents are alive.

Your support and assistance gave me the strength to continue my education; helped me to be a university student.

I was naked, but you clothed me.

You brighten my day; gave me a hope.

The death of my parents had put me in a chaos; but, your effort strengthen my heart, gave me a pleasure and a satisfaction. If it hadn’t been your assistance, where would I have been?

For all what you have done […]

By |September 16th, 2014|Awassa, Ethiopia, FIG Awassa|1 Comment|

So it’s not all unicorns . . . now what?

We at Project Hopeful believe in the power of prayer.  And not just a little bit.  We pray for things like the complete eradication of HIV in our lifetime, as we did last month.  We know that we serve a mighty God who is able to do all things, in His will.  So we pray, and pray a lot.

In addition to prayer, however, we also encourage adoptive parents to take advantage of the many God-given resources that are available when the difficulties of parenting children who were adopted arise.  Just like we would never tell scientists to stop searching for the cure to HIV because we are praying, neither would we suggest that someone who is in the valley with their child “just pray” and fail to take advantage of the lifeboat that God may have sent to them.  Last week this point was driven home for me as I was speaking to a friend of Project Hopeful.  She was just finishing her first Empowered to Connect conference with Karen Purvis and was sharing some of her learnings with me.  She wrote:
[Purvis] believes that the neuroplasticity of the brain makes it possible for the brain to overcome almost any prior insult with purposeful parenting.  But simple prayer and love  . . . will not be enough. [Purvis believes] reprogramming WILL NOT happen unless parents approach it knowing the science and how to use injured brain areas to get to ones that are currently offline.  That was sobering for me. I feel a new responsibility to approach my kids mindfully, purposefully. 
As I read my friend’s email, I was convicted about how often I choose to overlook warning signs that my children’s brains may be experiencing […]

It isn’t all Rainbows and Unicorns

We at Project Hopeful believe children should live in families, not institutions or temporary families.  Ideally, children would be able to stay with their first (biological) families, even if external interventions and support are needed to make the first family a safe, healthy, and feasible option.  That said, we recognize that the first family may not always be a real option, and if all means of keeping a child in their first family are exhausted, we support adoption.  In fact, most of our volunteer staff and Board members are parenting children who were adopted.  A big part of our lives is raising adopted children and educating other families who have adopted or are considering adoption – we believe in it that much.

Since we have walked through many adoptions – our own and ones we helped other families through – we have come to realize that many of the public messages about adoption are dangerously one-sided.

Celebrity adoption photos, dreamy Facebook posts, and “Merry Christmas-from-our -‘happy’-growing-family!” cards may have minimized the commitment that comes with parenting children from hard places.  We absolutely believe in celebrating adoptions but it is imperative that we begin to communicate more clearly:  adoption is hard.  While the anticipation during the paper stage, the process of being matched with a child, staring longingly at beautiful pictures of a child from another country, and even the first meeting can feel very fairy-tale like, this is not the reality of adoption.  There are rarely unicorns and rainbows.  Adoption is hard.

Children who were adopted come from broken places.  Even those who are adopted at a very young age have experienced trauma (or at minimum, great stress) in utero, which will impact their behavior and development […]

What if your mom was a T-Rex?

What if your mother was a Tyrannosaurus Rex?  You desperately need your mom to keep you safe.  You turn to her when you are afraid, you rely on her touch to comfort you.  Human babies need mommies (or daddies- a safe, loving caregiver) for survival.  What if the one person who could keep you safe was a scary, loud, rough Tyrannosaurus Rex, with a terrifying roar and sharp pointy teeth?

What happens when you come face to face with a velicoraptor?  What do you want to do?  Where do you want to run?  You run to the person who keeps you safe- your mom!  So, what if your mom is a Tyrannosaurus Rex?  Then what do you do?

Humans are blessed with an attachment system that serves many purposes.  The attachment system lays the building blocks for mental health, relationship skills, and self-regulation.  The attachment system is also a biological system that ensures our survival.  It is through the attachment system that little babies keep their parents close.  When babies are distressed, they behave in ways that brings a parent toward them.  As babies get older, they move toward their parents- with their legs or with their eyes- seeking out closeness and safety.  This system works because parents aren’t supposed to be scary.  When a small child is feeling anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, scared, or terrified their attachment system becomes activated and draws them closer to their attachment figure.

When the attachment figure is the source of the anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, scared or terrifying feelings children are left with an unsolvable dilemma.  When your fight/flight/freeze system is activated by the same person who activates your attachment system, you’ve got a big problem.  It is this unsolvable dilemma that […]

It works!

I love Uganda.  I have two children from the gorgeous country and have traveled there many times.  When Dawn asked me – just 18 months ago – if we could start a Hope + Sisterhood in Uganda, it was pretty much a no brainer for me and for Project Hopeful.  We wanted to expand our programs in Uganda and this was the perfect opportunity.

Since we launched the Uganda Sisterhood, I have supported a sister and advocated for others to do so.  “I believe in this program,” I told people.  And I meant it.

This trip is the first time I have seen with my own eyes what God has done in the Uganda Sisterhood and I want to shout from the rooftops:  This program works.  It really works!!!

Perhaps that conclusion is a bit anti-climactic.  You may be left wondering why I’m so surprised and excited.  But here’s the thing:  I knew from being told that it was working and that women were rising up out of poverty, finding hope, and becoming independent.  Seeing it with your own eyes, however, is something quite different.  It is working!!!!

Women who were lost have found hope.  Women who never knew Jesus raise their hands in worship and praise to the One True God.  Women who could not afford to care for their children are parenting children who are thriving.  Women who lacked a regular income are running businesses that are thriving and successful.  Across.the.board.  All of them.  The testimonies I heard at the graduation were incredible.  Sisters are succeeding because of your short-term (12 month) “hand up.”  And so I say again, it is working.

We at Project Hopeful are praying about whether to expand our sisterhood to other countries […]

Bringing Hope Uganda: Zaina

There is so much I can say about Zaina.  This woman is amazing.  The first time I met her, ther was a distrust in her eyes.  You could see that she couldn’t possibly understand why we wanted to help her.  She was also Muslim.

Fast forward 9 months.  We are driving through Mukono town and we park on the street.  As we got out of the car, I could see the the excitement in her eyes.  As we crossed the street, she literally wrapped her arms around me and picked me up off the ground!

She was so proud to share with us all her projects.  She is selling roasted corn, roasted plantains and rearing goats.  She as so excite to tell us hat she is making a profit and is saving money.

She shared with us that she has accepted Christ and “loves Him with her whole heart”.

Then she told us about Veronica.  One day she found this precious 13 year old girl sleeping on the roof of a house.  She had been abandoned and would sleep there to keep herself safe from animals.  She proudly told us that she is her foster mom and raced in the house to show us the “official” paperwork.

We are so proud of Zaina!  From a place of despair to opening her home to an abandoned child….Gods redemption is a beautiful thing.

We want to help Zaina help Veronica so if you If would be interested in sponsoring Veronica, please email dawn@projecthopeful.org.  Sponsorship is $35 per month and covers school fees, iniforms and school supplies.

In Christ,
Dawn

Bringing Hope Uganda: Nakubuli

It’s Wednesday night and your pastor calls you at home. He tells you that there will be out of town visitors to the church on Sunday and that he wanted to make certain the guests would feel welcome. Naturally, you agree to help. Then the pastor asks you for something extraordinary: He asks you to bring to church one day of your salary. All of it. If you earn $45,000 a year, that’s about $180. If you earn $100,000 as a household, that’s $400. You don’t really have time to question the pastor before he thanks you and hangs up to call the next congregant. And so, Sunday rolls around and you oblige – even though it’s hard.
Some variety of that is what happened to us in Uganda this week. We went to attend church in Nakibule (where many of our Hope + Sisters attend church) and toward the end of a lovely service, the pastor asked the congregation to come forward for the offering. As the offering came to a close, the pastor asked his people to rise again and bring gifts to the alter for their guests. Us. And in that place, with tears streaming down my face, I watched as a village full of people who earn on average $1 per day brought a literal mountain of food to the front and placed it at our feet. When they were done, it was announced that not only was the fruit for us, but they were going to pack up the money offering to give to us as well – to use to purchase water […]