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Host Families Needed: You can help!

“Without intervention, upon leaving the orphanage, 60% of girls will end up in prostitution, 70% of boys will be on the streets or in jail, and 15% will commit suicide within the first two years on their own. YOU can revolutionize the life of an abandoned child.”                                                             - New Horizons For Children

Project HOPEFUL has been informed of a cutie that has an opportunity to be hosted. You have the opportunity to make a HUGE difference in the life of a child. Every child deserves to know what the love of a family feels like. We don’t have much time left to find Vlad a host family! Please inquire quickly if you are interested in showing this handsome guy the love of Jesus!

Ten year old Vladyslav is a very diligent student and his favorite subjects are math and PE. His director describes him as very active, polite and kind. He thinks logically and likes to analize things. Very friendly and likes to socialize with friends. Vlad attends an art studio where he likes to draw, paint, and work with clay. On his free time he plays soccer and loves to read and watch cartoons. His greatest and most cherished dream – life! Vlad is HIV positive.

Vlad is being offered for hosting via New Horizons for Children (www.newhorizonsforchildren.org) for 5 weeks this summer anywhere in the U.S. Please contact Stacey at smaljian@newhorizonsforchildren.org for more information!

Help us build a playground!

From Project HOPEFUL FIG Awassa Director, Charisa Knight:

Want to help purchase a playground?

At this orphanage? in Awassa, Ethiopia?

For these children? (and many more)

The plans are for a slide, a swing, and a seated merry go round. A designer has drawn up the plans for it and is ready to go. We just need the funds!!  The estimate is for $1,200 and something that would give fun playtime for the children who live there.  (can’t you just hear the shouts, screams and giggles?) 

Many of these children have lived here since they were tiny infants and are still here. We really want to add some laughter and fun to their lives!

Our goal is to have this funded by my April trip! Sooner is just fine too! :)

If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to this please donate HERE and put PLAYGROUND in the message.  If you would like to send a check—message me at charisa@projecthopeful.org and I can give the address.

Thank you!!

HOPE+ Sisterhood Ethiopia: More Sisters Needed!

By Nancy Porter

The HOPE+ ET program seeks to alleviate the need for HIV+ mothers to relinquish their children and was born out of a desire to honor the birth mothers of Project HOPEFUL children. The goal of the Project HOPEFUL HOPE+Sisterhood program is to Help Others Perform Excellently through a determination to provide HOLISTIC care for infected mothers and their families in order to prevent unnecessary loss. These goals will be achieved by emotionally, spiritually and physically supporting families with HIV+ persons (primarily mothers) by providing them access to vital medical care, helping them obtain self –sustainability, and linking mothers to “sisters” in the US who will develop relationships for support and friendship.

Our goal is that Mothers won’t have to place their children in orphanages because of inability to provide for her family. Women will NOT be vilified because of their HIV status. We want these women to know that THEY MATTER! Project HOPEFUL wishes to provide HOPE to mothers in Ethiopia and connect them to women in the U.S.

The Program is broken down into 3 phases:

Phase one: Rehabilitation program in the recovery center. This “in-house” phase includes counseling, nutritional education, sanitation education, as well as medical evaluation and treatment for the women and their children. It lasts approximately 2 months. While in phase one, the women also identify possible job skill training opportunities. A home visit is performed to assess whether or not the occupation they choose is appropriate for their living situation. We also provide 3 meals a day as well as a snack for the mothers and their children during their time in the program in additional to covering transportation […]

Have “Faith”…

by Dawn Patterson

When I accepted the position of Director for the HOPE+ sisterhood, Uganda, it wasn’t probably 10 minutes later that I thought “what have I gotten myself into?” I was comforted slightly by the fact that there wasn’t an immediate need to get the program up and running and there was much grace extended on the timing due to our adoption.

When I returned from Uganda and started thinking more about the responsibility and my “skills” (or lack thereof), I panicked. Enter the voice of doubt. I quickly called Deb and said “look, I am not cut out for this. I don’t have the skills to do this. I MAKE JEWELRY. That is what I’m good at. I don’t “direct” anything. Deb was kind, patient, wise & encouraging. She said 2 things that really stuck. The first was “I tell everyone to not make any major decisions until 6 months post adoption” and the second was “and for the record…you are cut out for this. You are exactly who God wants for this”. Enter the voice of truth.

It didn’t take 6 months….only about 4 when I heard God say “go…the time is now”. God perfected every detail, funds were raised almost effortlessly and we were on our way to Uganda. And I felt a tremendous amount of peace.

When I left the U.S. I was under the impression that there were 18 sisters. So, when I asked “how many sisters do we have” and the response was “about 35”…..I panicked. Again. But this time it lasted all of about 30 minutes. God had perfected every detail of this trip and I knew He had this. Peace came over me as I heard the words “Trust […]

So What is the HOPE+ Sisterhood?

The HOPE+ Sisterhood program was developed in honor of the mothers of
the children of Project HOPEFUL volunteers who have died of
complications related to AIDS. This program seeks to offer HOPE to
HIV+ mothers and to prevent unnecessary loss for their families. The
original HOPE+ Sisterhood started in Ethiopia with 14 mothers. It was
a residential facility that brought hope to mothers by offering them
skill training, jobs and even micro-loans to start small businesses.

Project HOPEFUL has wanted to have a presence in Uganda for some time
but simply didn’t know where to start, but because our God is such an
awesome God….He paved the way.

The first phase of the HOPE+ Sisterhood, Uganda will begin with 34
“Sisters”. Each woman is HIV+, on the proper medications and is in
need of a “hand up”. With your support, these sisters will begin
small business, expand their existing business or become educated in a
trade they wish to pursue.

We had the honor and privilege of meeting each and every one of these
sisters in early January. We were even able to visit many of them in
their homes and see their precious children. Their stories were
heartbreaking and touching. Some were still grieving and some were
exclaiming “I am HIV+ and I have no shame”.

The sisterhood program costs $40 a month for 6 months. We are calling
this phase 1 because we want to leave the door open for God to
determine the next step.

At Project HOPEFUL we believe in the beautiful gift of adoption but
recognize this isn’t always the answer. This is a wonderful
opportunity to walk along side a precious woman and help her preserve
the family that God has blessed her with.

If you are interested in becoming a sister or if you […]

Game Changer – The End of Stigma

From Dawn Patterson.

The best laid plans are plans at best. I’ve heard this quote many times. It’s held true so often in my life. This trip to Uganda was no different. I went there with a plan…many plans in fact. But one of my plans took a turn, a radical turn.

The HOPE+ sisterhood has always been about enabling HIV+ women to live longer, fuller lives through a Jesus centered relationship with a sister here in the US. But, because there is so much shame & stigma surrounding HIV, many of these women wanted….and needed….to remain private. Although Project HOPEFUL stands by the TRUTH “No shame in our game”….we needed to respect this. It’s so important for these women to understand that they have a disease….but they are NOT the disease! But, to help them….we need to understand them first.

I went to Uganda fully expecting each woman to want their “status” to remain private to everyone except to their sister.

I can joyfully tell you, that was not the case. AT ALL. Were there women who had not shared their status publicly? Yes. And we will respect that. But there are women who are joyfully sharing their stories and I would be doing them a disservice if I did not share them with you.

Take for instance Lazia. I met Lazia 2 years ago for the first time when I traveled to Uganda with my friend Cathy. She was one of our home visits. She was not strong, she was not physically well and had a relatively new relationship with Jesus. Lazia was a muslim and after her husband died from AIDS, she discovered she was HIV+. A few years later, a local pastor heard about this […]

Uganda Day 5: The Health Clinic

Their hope was empty just like these rooms. But soon, both will be filled.

Last June, our church, Grace Covenant of Austin Texas raised funds to build a much needed medical clinic in Mukono, Uganda. When we adopted our son this past summer, we broke ground.

Yesterday we visited the almost completed clinic. It’s been amazing the progress that has taken place.

Why am I sharing this and what does it have to do with the HOPE + sisterhood? The board members of the medical clinic have decided that every sister will receive a card that entitles them to free health care!

The blessings just keep coming and I look forward to sharing what God does for the HOPE+ sisterhood, Uganda over the next few months.

I am en route heading back home to beautiful Austin, Texas. I’ve received several emails asking about becoming a sister. I PROMISE that as soon as I am home, rested and have my brain on straight…..I will email each and every one of you.

If you are interested in becoming a sister, please email me at dawn@projecthopeful.org.

To God be the Glory…..ALWAYS!

Uganda Day 4: For the King!

Follow along with Dawn Patterson, our Director of HOPE+Sisterhood Uganda as she visits Uganda this week.

I have been so inspired by these women. Each and every woman has hopes and dreams. Every woman prays for “health and long life”. They want to have work so they can take care of the children God has blessed them with. Even the ones who have small business that provide just what they need desire to grow their business. Not because they want nicer “things” but because they want to leave a legacy for their children. Every mama wants what is best for their children….the sisters of HOPE+ are no different.

Some women are trained to be tailors….but lack a sewing machine. Some women know how to rear pigs…but lack the funds to purchase piglets. Some women have homes in perfect locations to set up small stores…but lack the funds to purchase inventory. One woman is a trained baker….but lackes the funds to purchase baking supplies.

Every woman we met WANTS to work. None of them expects anyone to “fix” their situation or desires someone to take care of them. The one thing I heard over and over was “no capital”. Most people have just what they need to “survive” so trying to plan for any future is impossible. Most of these women do not husbands. They have either passed away, abandoned them or are very sick themselves.

They just need a hand up. That’s where YOU come in. You can partner with a sister and help to make a difference in her life. Be the change these women so desperately need. For 6 months you can walk with your sister, encourage her and offer the financial support she […]

Uganda Day 3: HOPE and a Future

Follow along with Dawn Patterson, our Director of HOPE+Sisterhood Uganda as she visits Uganda this week.

Today was an amazing, unbelievable and powerful day. The women of the HOPE+ Sisterhood are truly inspirational. Their stories were heart breaking yet somehow their spirits spill over from the love of Jesus. Seriously, you can see Jesus in the eyes of some of these women.

One of these women is Rose. I wish each and every one of you could meet Rose face to face so she could inspire you the way she inspired us. Rose has given me permission to share her story with each and every one of you. She is courageous and strong in ways I can’t even explain. She loves Jesus with everything she has and spends her time encouraging other women with HIV to “live positively”. She speaks to large groups to educate them about the TRUTH of HIV. She is so proud of the work she does and can’t believe the things the Lord has done in her life.

Today she shared with us about her life before Jesus. She was a bartender and owned 3 bars. She had men in every village she would go to. She had a very promiscuous lifestyle even though she was married and did not know the Lord. In 2005 she gave her life to Christ. Shortly after, she discovered she was HIV+. In 2007, her husband died of AIDS.

Today she is the leader of the Mamas of HOPE. These are the mamas who are entering the HOPE+ sisterhood. She encourages all the women to live positively and ministers to the women daily. She says “I am so happy with Jesus”. Rose attends church regularly and is also […]

Uganda Report Day 2: Meeting Sisters

Follow along with Dawn Patterson, our Director of HOPE+Sisterhood Uganda as she visits Uganda this week.

When God brings you full circle:

There are so many things I want to share with you about today. It was an AMAZING God filled day. Beautiful testimonies were heard, tears were shed for the broken, prayers were said and encouragement filled the air. But, it was a 13 hour day today and this mama is so very tired. I promise to share so much more but for now, I have one very special story I want to share.

Last April when I came to Uganda I visited the pediatric unit of a local hospital. It was one of the most heart breaking days of my life. You can read about that day here. I met this beautiful boy, John and his mother. I can’t begin to explain the pain and burden on my heart that day. I was visiting the hospital to get a better understanding of why the town of Mukono needed a medical clinic. That visit had nothing too do with Project HOPEFUL or the Hope + Sisterhood. The young Mama was in a dire place. She didn’t have a relationship with Jesus and she was lost.

Today, as we traveled to Mukono to meet with the sisters, we picked up a young mother and a boy who needed to be transported to the meeting for the HOPE+ sisterhood. It was John and his beautiful mama! They were both healthy and happy. Both Mama & John are taking their ARV’s and understand the importance of adherence. Most importantly, Mama had given her life to Christ and was attending church. She is also one of the “Mamas of HOPE” that […]

Uganda Report – Day One

Follow along with Dawn Patterson, our Director of HOPE+Sisterhood Uganda as she visits Uganda this week.

What makes a 21 year old girl leave the comforts of her home, family and friends? Jesus

What makes a 21 year old girl start a ministry in a foreign country so far from home? Jesus

What enables a 21 year old girl to pour her heart into caring for the least of the least of the least of these? Jesus

Today we visited Ekisa ministries run by two beautiful young women….”the Emilys”. To say that we were humbled is an understatement. I can not wrap my mind around the courage it would take to do what they do on a daily basis. They are caring for special need children in Jinja, Uganda who have been orphaned or abandandoned. These children are priceless. They are beautiful. Most importantly, they are children of God who are being shown the love of Jesus through these amazing women.

I truly look forward to seeing how Project HOPEFUL will be working with this ministry in the future. Please keep these sweet women and the children they lovingly care for in your prayers.

Project HOPEFUL HOPE+ Sisterhood Uganda!

A Report from our HOPE+ Sisterhood Uganda Program Director, Dawn Patterson:

In January 2011, I made my first trip to Uganda. While there, I was blessed to meet a beautiful mama named  Robina.  She was HIV+ and so was her son 11 year old son Julius.  He was a sweet quiet boy who was often taunted because of his status.  When I said goodbye to him, he put his arm around me and whispered “I love you.”  My heart was so moved by him.  In October 2011, I received news that he had died to AIDS related complications.  I was broken.

I’d been involved with Project HOPEFUL since 2010 when a chance meeting with the founder, Carolyn Twietmeyer opened my eyes to the truth of orphans living with AIDS. After learning of Julius’s death, we began to investigate whether we could duplicate their HOPE+ Sisterhood program in Ethiopia that had proven to be a success.

In April 2012, I returned again to Uganda and met a group of HIV+ mamas under the care of True Vine Christian ministries who call themselves maama watumaine which means “Mamas of Hope”.  After discussions with Project HOPEFUL, it was decided that we would launch the HOPE+ sisterhood, Uganda.

I met about 14 women on that trip and one of them was Ida. She was so full of joy, LOVED Jesus and her smile was as bright as the sun.  Just a few weeks ago, Ida died from AIDS related complications.  Sadly, Ida was a widow and a mama so now her daughter is an orphan.  It became aware that the time was NOW to get this program started.  So, I will be returning to Uganda in January to get this program up and running.

But, we need your help!

The first need is travel.   This is a great time of year to […]