“To me this was more valuable than anything money could buy.”
Jane Doyle, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, writes about her family's trip to Nepal with the Kathmandu 2015 Christmas HOPE Youth Corps.
"This is the story of my family trip with HOPE Worldwide to Kathmandu, Nepal at Christmas 2015. Our family consists of my husband Daniel, our two girls Hannah (15) and Sian(13), and our son Rory(10).
Even though we had wanted to go on one of these HOPE worldwide trips for a few years, when God opened the door for our family to serve in Kathmandu, the reality of it brought up fears in me, and challenges that only faith in God could overcome.
First of all, I am ashamed to say that I was tempted to think about what else we could spend the money on, if we did not go on the trip. I could feel a pull on my heart to want to use the money to serve our own needs rather than on traveling to help the poor. I knew that this would be empty and unsatisfying. It was really a decision for us to trust God, when he said that "whoever refreshes others will be refreshed". Personally, I didn't go this trip because I loved the poor, but because I wanted to learn to have a compassionate heart like Jesus towards those in need, and it was important for my husband and I to help our children with this also. To me this was more valuable than anything money could buy.
A large challenge for us was that our two daughters were incredibly unhappy about missing Christmas at home, and didn't want to go. It was a real challenge for us to trust God, and have the faith to make this decision for them, not knowing how they would respond to the trip. As a mum, I also had fears that the kids could get sick going to a third world country.
A month before we went to Kathmandu we decided as a family to do a ten mile sponsored swim to raise money to help support HWW's work in Kathmandu. This was so encouraging to see how generous people were, and see people's hearts to want to support the work in Nepal. God helped us to raise approximately £3000, which is more than we could have asked or imagined. I had the complete blessing of helping use some of the money that people gave us to help meet needs in Kathmandu. So many people are still in temporary accommodation since the earthquake eight months ago. They live in small corrugated tin huts, and the temperatures are very low at night in winter. We bought blankets and had the blessing of distributing them to these people. We discovered later on that night that 26 people died in another area due to the cold. I didn't realise how desperately they needed these blankets until I heard that news.
We were also able to buy and distribute school jumpers and other uniform to kids in the school that needed them. We bought badly needed classroom equipment, and a freezer for the school. It was great to be able to let people know how their money had been used. True to his word, where Jesus said, "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven", I heard God's name being praised simply by stepping out in faith to do these good deeds that he had orchestrated in advance. All of this inspired, encouraged and built our faith. Raising money raised awareness of our trip, and opened so many doors to us sharing our faith. It inspired me to see what an impact deciding to love and help the poor had.
As a family in Nepal we helped take classes in the school while the teachers received training from one of our volunteers. I had a lot of concerns about what I would be able to give, and how I could help, and I knew that if I was feeling this way that my children would be feeling it more. Again, through stepping out in faith God used us. My girls loved teaching the nursery children who had an insatiable appetite for high fives and hugs. They also helped me to teach the tin whistle, to make bracelets out of loom bands, and play lots of games. All of these things were out of our comfort zone, but the whole experience helped us to grow in our confidence in God to step out in faith, and allow God to worry about the details. They were victories for our kids and us.
My husband helped to build an extra room in the school and in the afternoons taught 14 year olds to build web sites. The power cuts which are just part of daily life in Kathmandu sometimes caused obstacles which they managed to find ways around. These things also helped us to appreciate the things that we take for granted in the UK.
Our Christmas day was so special, as we helped organize a party for the children from the school. It really struck my 10 year old son that the children were so grateful and excited for the small presents that we gave each of them. Also, my children were impacted at how happy the school kids were with a lot less and by the warmth and welcome that the children gave them every day. It definitely made me think that it is the poor that are the blessed ones rather than us, with all our material possessions, which I think a lot of the time only make us more dissatisfied and greedy. In Luke it talks about how God fills the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. Seeing the joy of these people helped me understand this.
A huge highlight for us as a family was to spend time all day everyday with disciples for two weeks. It was like a taste of Heaven being together. My kids’ favourite thing about the trip was the friendships they made. They are so excited about meeting their friends again in teen and pre-teen camps, and as families we are planning reunions again soon. Also, we come from a small church in Belfast where there have been no young singles, so it was so encouraging for my girls to spend time with young single godly women each day, who would take them round Kathmandu every evening after work.
I was so moved when one of my daughters, who while being very sick, prayed that God would make her better, so that she could have a quiet time with one of the single girls who had been a great friend to her. This was priceless for us to form strong bonds with the Christians, and see our children do this too. We also loved forming connections with the church in Kathmandu who welcomed us with open arms. We are so grateful for how the disciples in Kathmandu who were working with the HWW program sacrificed their time to tirelessly serve us.
It is so hard to express in words what an encouragement to our faith and our souls that Christmas serving with HWW in Nepal was. We are strongly considering and trying to figure out how we could make another trip in the future possible. I would so recommend this to anyone who is thinking of doing this."
If a church or a ministry wants to organize their own volunteer trip, the International Volunteer Programs department can take care of the logistics and organize it for you. If you are interested please contact Nadine Templer at firstname.lastname@example.org
The airport on the holiday island of Bali has reopened after tens of thousands of travelers were stranded for two days due to an erupting volcano, but Indonesia's President said the danger has not passed and urged anyone within the mountain's exclusion zone to get out "for the sake of their safety." Mount Agung’s hazard zone has up to 100,000 people that are called to evacuate the area around the crater, however only 43,000 people have followed the order. Villagers around the Bali Volcano are refusing to leave despite warnings of an “imminent” larger eruption, with the state of emergency extended to at least December 10. HOPEww is on the ground and is closely monitoring the situation for ways to provide relief.
Prayers for Indonesia!
Mount Agung on the Indonesian island of Bali continues to release volcanic ashes after several days of eruptions. Ash and debris are shooting as high as two miles high causing mass spread of hazardous pollutants into the air. As many as 40,000 residents are encouraged to take shelter away from the danger zone. The international airport has been shut down and many people are in need of shelter and essential supplies.
Our own Charles Ham, Disaster Response Coordinator, and the HOPEww rapid response team are on the scene. They rushed to deliver masks and assess the situation on the ground. Many of the residents need food, shelter, blankets and possibly health care depending on the severity of the upcoming days. We ask for your prayers for these individuals who are experiencing this displacement right now. Please pray for their safety, for their needs to be met and for our staff and volunteers to have the wisdom and the resources to help them in the best way possible.
Come join us in 2018 as we learn to walk “In His Steps”! We are excited to offer 27 life-changing trips all over the world throughout 2018! Many of our most popular sites fill up within the first month of registration so to increase your chance of getting your top choice, make sure to apply early! This year most of our programs are open to all – teens, campus, singles and families.
Click here to take a look at the detailed site descriptions to learn more about HOPE Youth Corps, HOPEww Volunteer Corps, HOPEww Medical Corps and HOPEww Agriculture Corps sites. Many of these sites are open to all! If you're single and want to learn more about our 2018 HOPEww Singles Corps sites - including our Houston Singles Disaster Corps - click here. Some sites have specific age restrictions. Most North America trips (Canada, U.S., and Mexico) are open to all teens 15 years old and above. The minimum age for U.S. teens is 18 to go on all other trips. Non-U.S. teens can travel internationally from the age of 15.
Our 2018 theme will be “In His Steps”, and our curriculum will be based on the book of Mark.
There will be scholarships available for teens and campus students who need financial assistance. Email email@example.com with any questions.
As we travel to foreign countries to serve and learn, we encounter amazing individuals, whose lives have been transformed by the work of HOPE worldwide . We strongly believe in respectful service. On our Volunteer Corps, we assist existing programs, and provide additional help. We do contribute, but we also learn from the incredibly resilient individuals we meet. While serving in Africa these past few months, we met these courageous women…
Matching Gift Challenge!
Challenge accepted!! Recently, a member of our community challenged our supporters and friends to raise a total of $50,000 by December 31, 2017 for HYC Scholarships. Our generous donor will match what we raise dollar-for-dollar! The money raised to meet this challenge will help students experience this amazing program.
Double the impact of your gift by donating today!
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Every year, hundreds of students volunteer their time to plant, rebuild, mentor, train and encourage. Thank you for making it possible for those with limited financial resources to share in this incredible opportunity to serve those in need.
Click here for our HYC Scholarship Fund Brochure.
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Churches in South Florida are continuing to bring hope to Bolivia through the 5th annual “Celebration of Caring Golf Classic.” The fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, November 17 on Key Biscayne off of the Miami mainland.
The Golf Classic benefits HOPE worldwide Bolivia, providing funding for programs that serve Bolivia’s children and most vulnerable populations. Since HOPEww was established in 2011 in the capital city of La Paz, the country’s health care and social services systems have been positively impacted. The tournament has raised $157,000 since its inception!
There are six levels of sponsorships ($1,500 - $5,000), and individuals can golf for $225. All information is included on the website ( www.CelebrationofCaring.com ), including a registration portal and links to videos, stories and blogs about the work in La Paz. Individuals can also donate through the website.
The Crandon Park golf course is considered one of the most picturesque in Florida. Golfers are surrounded by tropical foliage, mangroves and breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay as they encounter seven saltwater lakes and challenging sand traps during their round.
Former Florida residents Dr. Kevin & Noelle Broyles lead HOPE worldwide Bolivia. The Duke-educated Dr. Broyles was behind the building of Centro Médico Internacional Hope Clinic in Bolivia, a cutting-edge sustainable social enterprise that will generate revenue to meet increasing medical needs in the La Paz community. CMIHope is the result of a joint effort between Foundation Arco Iris and HOPE worldwide that integrates high quality health services to the population of Zona Sur of La Paz with financial support to the charitable work of HOPEww and Hospital Arco Iris, who partner to serve Bolivia’s large indigent population.
“Celebration of Caring” welcomes all golfers to join in this “fun”draiser.
It’s taken me a long time to process what happened in Africa. I’ve been home for over a month. It didn’t help that two days after returning to the States, I was thrown back into the routine of starting a new school year, half asleep and still hungover from a three week adrenaline rush. And it didn’t help that as soon as I got back, people were asking about the trip – “How was Africa?” “Did you get sick?” “How was the food?” “Were you scared?” “We’ve been praying for you.”
I was overwhelmed and frustrated with their simple question. “How was Africa, how was Africa?” I didn’t want to diminish the effect this trip had on my heart by spewing out words that didn’t give it justice. I didn’t want people to ask, because I wasn’t ready to answer. My standard answer to people asking became “It was amazing!”. I tried to leave it at that, though in saying it, I felt both trivial and fake. It was amazing, but that wasn’t enough.
There is no perfect way to describe serving in Africa. I guess I can start by telling the story of how my family came to be there. After all, the ‘getting to Africa’ had a huge impact on my life, as well. January 1st of every year I choose a spiritual quality that I want to grow in, and I work on it for that year. This year, I decided I wanted to grow in my faith. Through the process of getting to Africa, I did grow in my faith.
This year I was realizing that it is very easy to be faithful when you have everything you need. I wanted God to test my faith, and to help me grow in it. I had no idea of how he would do this, but I fully believed he would do it.
Africa had never been on my bucket list (and I’d never heard of Zambia!). But I guess God had other plans, because a Bible study at our home led to an idea, which became a conversation, which quickly turned into a vision. And that vision was that Dru and I take our girls and go with the HOPEww Volunteer Corps to Zambia, Africa to renovate a preschool. The project was such a great fit for our entire family. It was obvious God had his hand in it. Dru is an electrician/plumber/handyman, who was perfect for building renovations. I am a teacher, able to help with teacher training and planning in the classroom. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It fit in a perfect window in our summer vacation.
We have 27 trips all over the world throughout the year.
Registration opens on December 1, 2017.
Apply early to ensure you get your top
choice. Some of our more popular trips fill up within the first month of
registration. The Houston Singles Disaster Corps will open registration sooner,
as the program will take place early in the year (February).
Our 2018 theme will be “In His Steps”, and our curriculum will be based on the book of Mark.
So start planning, and start saving! There will be scholarships available for teens and campus students who need financial assistance.