Every time I found a penny or quarter on the ground or behind a couch cushion I would put it in my mason jar titled "Anchorage, Alaska".
I had just been accepted to HOPE Youth Corps and words could not fully describe the excitement that I felt to have the opportunity to go and serve. I had just started working a part time job but after calculating my expenses it started to look like I would not be able to afford the trip. A few people had even told me to give up the hope of going since it did not seem like a financially realistic goal. I needed to raise $1800 in the span of 3 months. I decided to set up a gofundme account and posted the link on Facebook hoping to help get donations for my trip.
Two weeks went by and I was still $1800 away from my goal. I started praying and asking God for help and to give me wisdom on what to do. That night at the dinner table my dad suggested that I should send out emails to friends and family and see if I would be able to raise just a little bit of money. He reminded me that most adults use and check their email multiple times a day but rarely check social media. Later that night I sent out an email telling friends and family about my trip and then attached my gofundme link at the bottom of the email.
Within ten minutes of sending out the email I received $75 in donations! Within the end of the day $375 had been raised. One of the church leaders that saw my email told his church about my project and invited me to go and share about what Hope Youth Corps was since many people had never even heard about it. They then took up an offering and helped me to cover more than half the cost of my trip. Everyday I continued to receive donation after donation until my trip was completely funded. My prayer had been answered! It was through prayer and faith in God that I was able to go and serve in Alaska.
Through HOPE Youth Corps I was able to grow closer in my walk with God, learn to serve wholeheartedly, gain friendships that will truly last a lifetime, and build memories that I will never forget. For those of you that are interested in HOPE Youth Corps but are worried about the funds, I encourage you to apply and put your hope in a God who is able to do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine".
The team at Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary. SKMH opened in April 2012 with the mission to meet the needs of poor children and women of Southern Cambodia. It is managed by HOPE worldwide . Since its opening, nearly 50,000 patients have been touched by the team. On May 26, the hospital honored 31 employees who have served since the hospital’s opening day. Through the dedication of its staff and supporters, SKMH has seen tremendous growth. Since its opening, the hospital has accomplished the following:
· More than 140,000 patient consultations with nearly 50,000 new patients
· 71% of visits have been for women and children
· Nearly 800 children have been born at the hospital since the opening of the Maternity building in November 2014
· 7 Cambodian doctors have graduated from three year hospital training program.
· Currently employs over 180 people
· The Neo Natal Intensive care unit opened November 2015. To date the NICU has served 49 children
· Centralized Medical Gas System for NICU and campus opened in November 2016.
· Surgical department opened in 2015
· Surgical team has performed over 360 surgeries in 2016, not including C-Sections. 86 surgeries have been for children
· Blood bank opened in August 2016
· A Learning Center for children of hospital staff opened on June 12
Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital has been blessed with international support from medical and administrative partners as well as volunteers from around the world to serve and teach. The local Cambodian staff continues to grow and serves as the primary patient care providers.
The team is grateful for all the support that has been given this past five years; however, there remains more to do. Future development includes the addition of a CT scan, upgraded X-ray diagnostic equipment, continued development of staff training programming and pursuit of international accreditations. Please consider how you can make a difference at the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital. Go to https://www.hopeww.org/donate . Use the drop down box and select Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital. If you wish to learn more about the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital, please visit www.skmh.org .
Dr. Rin Receiving the Empathy Amplified AwardClick here to watch .
Jenny Harkabus spent Christmas serving in the Philippines. She wrote this, and also made a short video:
I did not imagine that I would be spending Christmas in the Philippines for my first HOPE Youth Corps experience. This opportunity has deeply changed my perspective on the importance of service in my daily walk.
We are created in God's image, therefore we are meant to help and serve others. I know this to be true because I have never felt so used by God and fulfilled, than the times spent serving and pouring out my love in the Philippines.
James 1:27 says, " Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Some translations refer to this as true religion. The bible also stresses the importance of giving to the poor (1 John 3:17, Matt 9:21, Proverbs 14:31). God considers caring for the poor and orphans as true religion, yet this can be an area of faith that is overlooked.
I was privileged to spend time with girls who have experienced trauma and abuse at the HOPE worldwide center in Laguna. Many of these girls have been separated from their families, becoming orphans, as a result of the abuse they have experienced. I also received the opportunity to play with children within the community as we rebuilt their homes and provided them with medical care. I witnessed the children’s precious value for human relationships, as they clung to me emotionally and physically. They showed me instant love and respect, which I find to be rare in today’s society. Our focus should be about investing in others just as the children in the Philippines invested in me.