"Being a part of something so wonderful, such as Hope Youth Corps, is an honor and great privilege. HYC is packed with fellowship, lessons, activities, and service. Considering all that we do in such a short amount of time, it can be difficult to let everything sink in. Now that I have been back for almost a week, I've been able to reflect on the experiences I had in Russia. It recently has hit me how richly blessed I am to be able to serve in a whole new country. I was just listening to an artist, James Bay, who I was introduced to by my new and very close friend I met on youth corps, Ailex Lloyd. When I was listening to him, I was also looking through my pictures from the trip, and then a wave came over me allowing me to feel truly blessed. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet new brothers and sisters from around the world and serve together, as well as having the same common goal for Christ.
Experiencing the Russian culture was so eye opening. Having to translate between Russian and English for all of the lessons was definitely frustrating at times, but absolutely amazing. I can't even imagine how tiring it was for the translator. I am so amazed by how serving Britain Yakovleva was and what a great help and addition she was to our group. Listening to the worship in Russian was also beautiful even though I couldn't sing along. The Russian church was very welcoming, encouraging, and serving. I am so grateful to have met such amazing sisters who I was able to bond with despite the language barrier.
If you ever have the chance to go on a mission trip, do it. Mission trips can change your life incredibly if you allow them to. God is powerful and at work. I was also very lucky to have been able to serve with Kyle Bolender as my boyfriend. It was truly a gift and privilege that not many couples get to experience. I am so grateful to have a man who puts God first and can lead me spiritually.
There is so much to say about HYC Russia, but I want to end by thanking God and everyone else who made it so impacting. God is so good, so powerful, so big, so loving, and all around so perfect. I am eternally grateful for the new adventures, experiences, and lessons he has given me. I feel so loved by him and I am so encouraged by a ll the support and love from the kingdom."
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.