A Tale of Two brothers..., one Russian from Moscow, and one American from Los Angeles... and another HYC baptism!
Anthony Herrera and 16 year old Markar Donskoy met on the first day of the Novosibirsk HOPE Youth Corps. They did not speak the same language, and they came from opposite sides of the world, but they felt an instant connection.
They shared a love of sports, and they immediately bonded, talking about their lives, and becoming fast friends.
Makar grew up in the church, but had not sought a close relationship with God yet. HYC opened his eyes and his heart.
Hope Youth Corps allowed Makar to make decisions on his own and be away from home, focusing on serving and learning more about himself. He prayed with brothers, and the friendships on Youth Corps allowed Makar to see the beauty of being a Christian at a young age and the benefits of it all! One moment that transformed Makar was Bible talk at Lenin Square. This Bible talk gave him the opportunity to share his faith and invite others to hear more about God and learn about being the 'Salt of the World'. Makar and Anthony met some teenagers who were their age.
Anthony says, "At first, Makar and I were so scared because they were smoking and had a group of skaters with them. The two guys who came out were heavily involved in drugs and did not live with their family. I (Anthony) used drugs before I became a Christian and could completely relate to these guys in what they were going through. Makar translated everything and shared with the guys that his friendships at school were fake and had him feeling like he needed approval of people to feel secure. Makar demonstrated to the guys that short term reltaionships with girls in the world are obsolete. The two guys were amazed by Makar and me, and wanted to know God more and come to church. They came to Sunday service and began studying the bible. This truly was a turning point in Makar's life because he saw people's lives changed through the Bible.
We were of course amazed by the orphanages and moved powerfully, but the personal contact made Makar feel connected to Jesus. HOPE Youth Corps introduced new relationships for Makar around the world and painted a beautiful picture for his future."
On the last day of HYC, Anthony and Makar left each other hugging and crying. The three weeks of HYC changed Makar's life!
And Makar was baptized this Sunday!
Again and again, HOPE Youth Corps transforms the lives of young people from all other the world. They make connections with God, with the poor, and with each other, that change their future for eternity!
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.