Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere with a population of over 10 million and 80% live in poverty. Eight out of every 100 children die before they reach their 5th birthday. There are more than 420,000 orphans in Haiti. School fees in Haiti prohibitively expensive, therefore the literacy rate in Haiti is just 50%.Read More
Northern Uganda has been devastated by years of War, AIDS, and Poverty. Over 2 million children below the age of 15 have lost one or both parents to this devastation. Without help these children will have little hope for the future; growing up without food, shelter, or an education. Fortunately, a man with a vision of hope for these children established "Acres of Hope, Uganda".Read More
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I started sponsoring Merlines education in 2010. She is 13 and in second grade. I send her small packages of girlie things – jewelry, pocketbooks, hair accessories, dolls and the like. Merline wants to be a nurse. Her favorite food is rice, and she loves playing soccer. She walks 30 minutes to school and thanks me profusely for paying her tuition. She prays for me in church regularly.
My inspiration for sponsorship came directly from Pastor Jan as she told us (from Uganda) about sponsoring a little boy. So I emailed her to find me a little needy girl. She did and I did. Also, those members of our WCUMC and West Chapel who went directly to Uganda to get involved were amazing to me. Pastor Andrea has always had a passion for this mission also. Last year, I read a book about a young American girl named Kathy that served in Uganda and adopted a house full of girls and lives there now! It was building up in me to help out in some way.
We trusted Acres of Hope, Uganda to grow and care for our sponsored child. Many mission members who had visited the orphanage had great excitement about the future growth of the school and program.
I provide a scholarship for Instant Derisma, who turned 19 on January 1. He is in eighth grade and walks two hours to school. Instant wants to be an engineer. I am so committed to supporting this school that I got my Sunday School class to provide scholarships for five students. I went to Bayonnais to be a blessing and ended up being blessed beyond belief.
I first met Jawiambe Ivan via a picture in the WCUMC Fellowship Hall almost 3 years ago - right after WCUMC’s first trip to Acres of Hope. His bright smile and the twinkle in his eye melted my heart. I knew right away I wanted to sponsor him. When I met him in Uganda 2 years ago, I was in awe of his intelligence, fun loving spirit, sincere kindness and again that smile. But after spending 4 days with Ivan during this April 2014 trip, as we said “see you later” on our last night, with tears running down my face, I knew he will forever be a part of my family.
I have provided a scholarship for Jonalie Simeon for 3 1/2 years. It has truly been a blessing. I am touched by his letters and his gratitude for the opportunity to attend school. I chose him from a group of photographs of children needing a scholarship, and his somber expression tore at my heart. His parents are both deceased, an he now lives with his aunt and uncle.
We have been blessed to provide a scholarship for a child. Our son, Matthew Daniels, told us about this opportunity. Our child displays the joy of childhood and also the struggle she goes through to attend school, walking three miles to get there. I continue to send her hair bows etc., and love seeing her smile as she wears them.
On our second medical mission trip to Haiti, we met Stephanie Alexandre. Since then, we have provided a scholarship for her education at the OFCB school in Bayonnais. She is nine, in second grade and her favorite subject is reading. She wants to be a nurse. Stephanie is typical of children in Bayonnais: Happy, with bright faces and loving arms. Education in the area was non-existent until the late 1990s. Now the 1,700 children and adults at the OFCB school are preparing themselves for the future. Most depend on sponsors for their education, uniform, books and one meal a day. The people of Bayonnais, even without adequate food, electricity and sometimes shoes and clean water, are happy people who show their love for us and God. Through this ministry, we think of Luke 12:48 - To whom much is given, much is expected.
After the scholarship began, I started hearing from Agneau. He is 13 now, in third grade, the youngest of seven children. He lives in a stone hut with a tin roof. His father is a farmer, his mother deceased. He walks 15 minutes to get to school in Nicolas. Last autumn, I went on our church mission to Bayonnais, Haiti. I was able to meet Agneau on our last morning. He was hesitant at first, but broke into a big smile when I told him who I was. We talked through an interpreter. He seemed slight for 13, and clearly had just shot up by the look of his trousers. What an eager appearance he had, what a bright smile. To see him, hug him and remind him that he and his family are cared for was a life experience. There is so much to be done to help our country and our world, how can this possibly make a difference? It is making a difference to Agneau.