HOPE Youth Corps has a deep spiritual impact. Apart from serving underprivileged communities, every day, the participants hear Bible lessons, have quiet times together, have discipleship groups, and deep spiritual conversations. They share their faith, lead Bible talks, and strive to be more like Jesus.
Again and again, we hear of young people turning their life over to God after attending one of our volunteer trips. Listen to what this young lady, Kaleigh Sunderlin, has to share. She was just baptised earlier this month...
"I've grown up going to church my whole life. I lived in Texas until I was 9 years old. Moving to Illinois was very difficult, having to leave the only friends I'd ever known. I remember crying and praying several nights begging God to move my family back to Texas. Eventually I made some great friends in Illinois, but after getting close to them we had to move again. This time we moved to California. I was super excited when we first moved there because of all the fun things there were to do. I became consumed with so much in the world that I started to lose sight of God. I still participated in all the church functions but only half-heartedly.
I began to pursue my dream of singing and playing piano; I auditioned for Orange County School of the Arts, and began recording songs. My life was all about me; how I looked, what I wore, and what people thought of me.
I had previously applied to go to HYC Dallas because of the changes I'd seen in my brother and my friends. What I didn't know was I'd be moving to Dallas the same summer! I was excited that after 7 years God finally answered my prayers and brought us back to Texas, but this meant I would have to leave my new friends and the lifestyle that I was pursuing.
I had a lot of questions about God, and one day at HYC, I decided just to let it all out, and ask Derik and Leigh Anne Vett for advice. I thought they would just say, read your Bible and pray, but they actually took the time to give me direction on how to pursue a relationship with God.
My experience on HYC and the love of the people in the Dallas Church inspired me to study the Bible. I began to see how much God loves me and sacrificed for me. I fell in love with God's Word and wanted to learn more and more about Him. The more I learned, the more I recognized how much I need God. A little over two months later, through God's grace, I was baptized on October 3rd, 2015. I'm no longer living for myself; now I am living for God. I am so grateful for His unconditional love!"
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.