A year ago Anthony Herrera, a young student from Los Angeles, signed up for the Novosibirsk, Russia, HOPE Youth Corps. He doesn’t speak Russian, but he, along with a group of 15 non Russians, joined 40 teens and campus students from Russia and Ukraine (yes, you read that right… Russia AND Ukraine) for two weeks of service followed by one week of camp, in Siberia. It took faith and guts, but Anthony was game!
The group needed translators obviously, so everyone paired up with someone who could help with the language. Anthony joined a young Russian man named Makar Donskoy. They served orphans, the homeless, and veterans. They had fun, and they built a strong friendship over the three weeks. A few months later, Makar was baptized. We published that story a few months ago, about how the HOPE Youth Corps program played a big role in Makar’s transformation: Read the story here!
Anthony Herrera on the left and Makar Donskoy in the middle
In that article, Anthony wrote about how he and Makar went and shared their faith together. HOPE Youth Corps is a spiritual program. We serve, we pray, we have daily devotionals, discipleship groups, and yes, we share our faith! We try and follow the “whole gospel”
While out evangelizing for a Bible Talk in Lenin Square, Anthony and Makar reached out to a group of teen skaters who were smoking and drinking. They were not spiritual, but Anthony was very bold, and explained to them about Jesus (with Makar translating all this), and how he had himself turned away from his sinful life.
Out of that whole group, two young men came to church, but they were not very interested. One of them, however, told his brother about the Novosibirsk church, and his brother started going to church. He studied the Bible, and a week ago, Dima was baptized. Now his mother is studying the bible!
In Anthony’s own words, “ President Roosevelt said,” The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” If fear had conquered my mind, I wouldn’t have been able to advance God’s kingdom. Fear put Makar and me in a situation where we had to trust God. HOPE Youth Corps sometimes puts us in uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations, but the fear that we endure brings hope. I walked away from the Novosibirsk HYC knowing that this experience was so much more valuable than the money I had spent ! HOPE Youth Corps is an investment in other people’s lives, giving students a chance to see that their money is being spent in the most impacting way ! I know God is at times hard to see, but on HOPE Youth Corps, you see God, and you witness the way God intended the world to live. We now have a new brother in Christ. Please pray for his mother studying the Bible.
Amen, glory be to God!
“Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with man is possible with God.'" - Luke 18:27 NIV
“This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” - Isaiah 48:17 NIV
Next month Anthony is going to Croatia on the Zagreb HYC!
HOPE Youth Corps can change your life and other people’s lives. Sign up for one of our amazing programs:
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.