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FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM

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Supporting our family through our work is freedom.

(Excerpts from Actionnel’s Speech to Congregation, Sunday, October 22, after Entrepreneur Graduation on Friday, October 20)

November 18, 2017, will make it 214 years since 1803 when the chain of slavery was broken – the big fight [Slaves rising up against the French].  Let me tell you this morning I am not talking as a history teacher.  This morning I am talking about the history of Haiti – what I have learned in school and what I have read in a book.  There are several facts regarding 1804 and the Slave Hiding System.  In the Hiding System, the slaves would hide in mountains.  Then, during the night they would go to the valley, get what they wanted, set fire to the plantations, and poison the water to kill the French.  


That system was not enough to gain freedom.  In order to succeed they had to come together and agree on something.  November 18, Boukman in Cap-Haiten called the slaves together, to make a decision.  The outcome changed the trajectory for Haiti. 

For ¼ century we [Bayonnais] have been working on a revolution.  But we have not gone straight; we have just been beating around the bush. We think we are free.  We are not.  People are leaving family for other countries for other opportunities. And ruining family relationships.  We can’t put food on the table, we can’t pay the doctor.  Even on January 1st, our Day of independence in Haiti, we cannot even put food on our table.  Since Thursday, 10/12/2017, we have had 3 people from the US.  Two have already left.  Since 10/12/2017, 37 Haitians have come together to get knowledge.  Philosophy.  Now we need to put it into practice.  We need to create jobs.  We need to create businesses.  

At this time, I would like to talk about entrepreneurs.  We already have entrepreneurs in our community.  

Kenold’s mother.  Lots of hardship.  She keeps moving.  Bakes and sells Haitian pies and soft drinks – like a small restaurant.  

Jamene, down the road.  He sells soft drinks, batteries for flashlights.  
Madam Dima sells shoes.  

Eli Bon has a business as well.  

And many more.  You entrepreneurs are not a slave to anybody.  And I am sure that you have faced hardship as entrepreneurs...  I am glad for you to be doing business.  That way you are free and are not a slave to anybody.  I am sure that you guys have not had enough to employ other people, but at least you have created jobs for yourselves.

Now I am asking the ones who took the Entrepreneur course to stand up. You are creating your own freedom by creating a business.  And we are talking about this morning not only to start your own business but to also to hire other people.  Now I would like for those participating in the program to please stand so that everyone can see you.  I count 17 or 18 that are here.  Please stand up to be seen.  These are people [the ones who are standing] who will create businesses for themselves and also hire other people. 

Now I am asking all of you [congregation] as a sign of appreciation to God and to these people to give them a hand. [Clapping.]  Thank you so very much.  And I ask all of you to Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.  The fight is not over yet; we need to stand up; we need to stand up.


Christmas Gifts for the Children of Bayonnais
Each year we receive questions from sponsors about  Christmas gifts for sponsored children. Since there is no mail service to Bayonnais, we have no good method for sending gifts and are dependent upon teams traveling from the USA. For this reason we ask that you send only small gifts that will fit into a standard business envelope. It would be thoughtful and will thoughtful and greatly appreciated by the children if they receive greeting cards and photographs of you and your family. 
We want to thank you for your kind thoughts not only during Christmas, but throughout the year and for your support of the children of Bayonnais and  World of God. 


Haiti News

Congratulations!

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Join us in congratulating the 13 Acres of Hope students who completed Primary 7 (the final year of elementary school) on November 3.  
Noreen Atim
Susan Acen
Dorcas Wanguic
Daphine Oyenyboth
Peace Giramia
Mourine Akullu
Fancy Atyeronimungu
Judith Patience Pirwoth
Kenedy Ofoyrwoth
Shafik Yikparwoth
Isaac Christo Waboth
Gracious Mungutimo
Joshua Opakrwoth


It is time to update your financial information on the AOHI website

Your child sponsorship at will be administered by Acres of Hope International, rather than World of God, beginning January 1, 2018. In an effort to make the financial transition seamless, we are asking sponsors who pay by credit or debit card to enter their payment information in our new website as soon as possible. Your payment information will be held there, but not billed until January 1, 2018, at which time World of God will no longer be billing you for your sponsorship. 

To Sign into your Account and Add Payment Info Online 
1. Go to: www.aohi.org >> top right click Log In
2) Enter the email address you received this message from and click "Sign In". There is no requirement to enter a password at this point.
*NOTE: We are limited to only one email address per account.
4) REACH will recognize and inform you that we have an account and you will be sent an email to verify the account and set up a password.
5) Click on the link in the email from Reach and select a password. Click Reset Password
6) On the menu (top right), click the down arrow on My Profile and select "Update Payment Information"
7) Edit/Add information and click Submit.


Happy Birthday Pastor Geoffrey! Lets Help Him Build the School!
Pastor Geoffrey celebrated his birthday on November 11!  If you would like to celebrate him and the faithful, compassionate life he leads, consider giving gift to the Acres of Hope School Construction Project. He is praying that the first floor of the new building will be complete by February, 2018. Here are 2 ways to give:

Select Fund: AoH Uganda Capital Fund
127 Worldwide: http://bit.ly/SimplyAOH


VOTE to win $10,000 for Acres of Hope Uganda!
Becca Dalessandro has entered a contest at My Giving Story to win up to $10,000 for Acres of Hope Uganda. We need your votes! The entries with the most votes will be judged next month. You can vote once a day until December 7th.
VOTE DAILY:


Christmas Gifts 
Many of you have asked about gifts for your sponsored children.  An awesome way to give is a gift to the Acres of Hope Community Christmas Party in your child’s name. The entire Acres of Hope community will take part in this special day; sponsored children, not yet sponsored community children, staff members and all family members and caregivers! This is a great way to support the community-focused culture at Acres of Hope, rather than our individualistic culture.


Uganda News

Bethesda Clinic – A lot is happening

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Dr. Oriold is leaving Bayonnais
Since 2014 Dr. Oriold hadsbeen a doctor at the Bethesda Health Center of Bayonnais. He has done a very fine job of running the clinic .  His desire has been to continue his education in Pediatrics.  He submitted his application to the government school in Port Au Price in September, and received tentative approval in late September.  During the month of October, he has been completing all of the additional items for admission. 

He officially leaves Bethesda Clinic on October 31.  He has been very well received by the community and we appreciated his presence here.


Welcome to Dr. Dupiton!
When Dr. Oriold found out that he had been accepted in the school to further his education in his practice area, he helped us to find a replacement.  He suggested Dr. Jerry Jean Baptiste Dupiton, who is no stranger to Bayonnais.  Dr. Dupiton had worked with Dr. Oriold at the General Hospital in Gonaives.  He has actually already been helping Dr. Oriold here in Bayonnais from time to time and the community has already gotten to know him.  Dr. Dupiton’s specialty is General Practice and he also worked in the Emergency Room at the General Hospital in Gonaives.  He will officially start as head of the Bethesda Clinic on Wednesday, November 1.

COMMUNICATION

Passing the word.
What is the way the Bayonnais community finds out new news?  How is new news spread?

To announce Dr. Dupiton’s arrival, four avenues are being used.  

(1) Tuesday, October 10, he was introduced to the Bethesda staff as the new head of Bethesda.  

(2) Friday, October 26, 2017, he was officially introduced to the leadership of OFCB.  

(3) Wednesday, November 1, a letter is going out to 98 key people in "Higher Bayonnais" (the reference – Higher Bayonnais – is to the specific upper part of Bayonnais area where Cathor/OFCB is located).  This list includes 82 pastors and 14 witch doctors (Yes, witch doctors.  They, too, are included in knowing what the clinic provides.

(4) On November 4, the Health Care Agents who work in Higher Bayonnais will meet with Dr. Dupiton to welcome him and to get to know what plans he has for the clinic.  They will then spread the word as they continue their community practice and will also identify potential patients who should visit Dr. Dupiton.  

Note that since Bayonnais has no dedicated, formal news vehicle – radio, newspaper, etc. – it relies on word of mouth.  In the case of Dr. Dupiton’s arrival, four specific avenues are used.  And the vehicle with the highest penetration – item #3 – is the pastor/witch doctor network*.  This group of individuals have the most frequent contact with individuals in Bayonnais, and, combined as a group, are the most extensive communication vehicle.   

*It may seem odd that the pastors and witch doctors get along and talk with each other.  Howeveroth of the parties recognize – and acknowledge – the other as a an accepted part of the Bayonnais community and do not let their differing beliefs interfere with their peaceful coexistence.

The New Internet
News flash:  Internet is working well in Bayonnais!  
Over the period 10/12 – 10/25, while we were in Bayonnais for the Entrepreneur Workshop, we had great access to internet, including reasonably good FaceTime video conversations.  Actionnel indicated that about 8 months ago, they moved away from the provider to Natcom S.A., who came and installed a satellite dish on top of the building and the campus has experienced very good access.  And Natcom has offered it at a cheaper price than the former carrier (about $220 per month vs $300).
Way to go, Bayonnais!


Haiti News

Maximize End of Year Giving

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School Construction Fund
$80,000 will complete first level of the building.

Christmas Gifts
GIVE THE GIFT OF A NEW SCHOOL!
Be a blessing and change a life as you shop for Christmas.



A Sponsor’s first visit to Acres of Hope
As we pulled into Acres of Hope that first day and all the kids rushed in around us, I was overwhelmed!
No doubt, the kids there are loved. Their smiles told you that, every time you’d see them.
So very impressed with all the progress being made to help them be self-sufficient.
I left a part of my heart at that place and God willing, I will return there again.
To summarize the whole experience, I was BLESSED!
Richard


Williamsons Chapel UMC Fifth Sunday Fellowship
October 29th
Join us for Worship at Williamson’s Chapel in Mooresville, NC on October 29th, then stay and enjoy Fifth Sunday Fellowship as we focus on Acres of Hope Uganda! All are welcome! 
Acres of Hope sponsors are invited to come by the AOHI booth to get a free gift as a thank you for supporting AHOI. (One gift per sponsored child.)
Fellowship Times: 9-9:30 and 10:15-1:00
Worship Times: 8:15, 9:30, 10:5 & 11:00


Uganda News

Actionnel’s visit: September 22-October 3

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IMPORTANT: Notice Date Change

Due to hurricane Irma, Actionnel’s trip to Charlotte has been delayed and condensed. 

The focus of this trip is Clinic Support, Child Sponsorship,  and Road Project. 

Kenold and Wallace, Director Agronomy, will be here from Sep. 26 - Oct 3 to attend a strategic workshop with Friends of OFCB and World of God.



CALENDAR

Sun Sept 24: Southbrook Church

Mon Sept 25: First Presbyterian Church Florence

Wed Sept 27: PASTOR’S LUNCH 11:00-1:00 - Ministers and Mission Directors are invited to enjoy lunch with Pastor Actionnel in a casual setting.

Please RSVP: www.worldofgod.org/pl
Red Rocks Cafe, 4223 Providence Rd #8
Charlotte, NC 28211

Fri/Sat Sept 29-30: WOG/Friends Strategic Workshop

Sun Oct 1: Lake Norman Baptist Church 

Amy Hockett is the point of contact for Actionnel’s schedule while he is in the US. If you would like more info, you can contact Amy at:  (704) 277-3223, hocketta@gmail.com 


Clinic Update
The people of Bayonnais have experienced damage to their crops as a result of the hurricane winds and rain but there has been no loss of life as a result of the storms. The staff of the clinic is ready and able to help those who may experience physical problems. They are on the look out for any diseases which may result from the flooding. 

Sidson continues to heal from his hip surgery, which was on July 27. He is thriving under the care of Brenda and Chuck McKay, with some help from his many friends. He is feeling very well and is looking forward to having his cast removed next month. After he completes physical therapy he is looking forward to returning to Bayonnais. 


Haiti News

Acres of Hope, The Next Step: Formation of Acres of Hope International (AOHI)

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Great things are happening with Acres of Hope!  World of God is dividing into two organizations — one of which will focus exclusively on Acres of Hope (AOH) in Nebbi, Uganda and the other will focus exclusively on OFCB Ministries in Bayonnais, Haiti.  

* Our two mission partners - AOH and OFCB - are trending in different directions.

* To support them effectively, the World of God Board has been working as two distinct groups.

* A new entity - Acres of Hope International (AOHI) - is being formed as a 501(c)3 nonprofit like World of God.

* The transition of the relationship with AOH from WOG to AOHI is being carefully planned to effect a seamless transition.

* You don’t have to do anything now; you will be kept informed of the progress.


We so much appreciate your continuing support, and we are committed to Acres of Hope and its future.  You can read more about this exciting change on our website: www.worldofgod.org/aohi.php

ACRES OF HOPE IS GROWING!

You can play a part in making the dream of a 3-story school building at AOH become a reality. The children will create a beautiful tree mural in the school to celebrate your gift to this project.

For every contribution, the kids will paint a hand print leaf with your name* on it.

Up to $50 – Green Leaf
$51 - $250 – Red Leaf
$251 - $999 – Gold Leaf
Contribute $1,000 or more and your name* will be painted on the tree trunk.
*Or share up to 8 words of hope rather than your name.

To contribute, please visit any of the Acres of Hope partners listed here:
(Please indicate the name or words you would like on your leaf in the Memo.)
World of God: https://www7739.ssldomain.com/worldofgod/Donation.php Indicate: AoH Uganda Capital Fund
Williamson’s Chapel: https://wcumc.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving Indicate: Williamson’s Chapel, Acres of Hope – School Building
West UMC: https://pushpay.com/pay/headingwest/mwWFuse98iBH81IrvMTnvwIndicate: Acres of Hope Uganda
If you are partner of AoH and would like your church or group to participate in this campaign, please contact us. We would love to share ideas with you.

This school construction is the newest priority project at AoH. The goal is to complete the first floor of this Goliath school building by the start of the 2018 school year in February. It will cost $8,000 to finish the foundation and approximately $85,000 for the first level. Once the 3 stories are complete, Acres of Hope Nursery and Primary School will provide high quality education for 400 students every year, 4 times more children than currently!
We thank you for your continued love and support of Acres of Hope.


Uganda News

WHY AM I HERE?

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This was the first question that we asked when 10 leaders from Bayonnais met in Port au Prince with Nathan Arledge, Minister of Missions at Myers Park United Methodist Church (which co-sponsored the workshop); Dow Bauknight, Chairperson of World of God; and Missy Parker, volunteer for World of God.  The workshop was “Leadership Capacity – Building the Next Generation of Leaders for Bayonnais” July 27-29.

The Haitians were very active in the workshop, leading discussions, recording answers, role playing to learn concepts like “Be the Message” and questioning each other in friendly dialogue.

We started with Foot Washing, to remind all of us that, as Leaders we are here to serve.


We role played, we learned.  “Be Authentic [and be vulnerable].”  “I Am the Message.”  The Way We Treat Each Other Affects Them, Their Family, Bayonnais, Haiti, and the World.”  “Listen.”  “Celebrate.” “Acknowledge [others].”

Answers to the question, “Why am I here?”, were from the heart.  The answers from Wallace, Alderin and Vanel (below) sum up pretty well what the group came for and what they achieved.

And the wrap up to the workshop was Communion – to remind us that we are forgiven and renewed, the reading of the Covenant – which the Haitians developed amongst themselves, and Commissioning – to celebrate the accomplishments of the group.

At the airport, I asked Nathan, “So what happened?”   His answer: “The group absorbed into their very souls the teachings from the workshop.  They left with energy, and they are already better leaders.”

Postscript:  Actionnel and I talk frequently about what concepts each individual is practicing, how the group is working together to buoy each other up, and what is different.  Each time, he shares with me specific interactions where he and others are employing the new way of being.  In a recent conversation,  when Actionnel said, “Hello, Dow” I heard something in the background and asked, “What was that?”  He laughed and said, “Oh, that was Yolande reminding me, ‘Be Authentic!’ .“    Sure evidence that the concepts have taken hold!!  

Note:
Actionnel and his team are committed to this course and a small group of us are committed to continuing these workshops every two to three months.  If this is something that you are interested in learning more about, please email Dow at dowbauknight@worldofgod.org.

View a video clip of the leadership group on break


Bethesda clinic
This article is to introduce you to Fegens Saint-Louis. Fegens graduated at the top of his class from the OFCB High School (College Classic de Bayonnais) in 2012. In the 13th grade, he received the highest score in the Haitian National Exams in the state of Artibonite. He entered medical school in January 2013 at Université Quisqueya  (Quisqueya University). After a successful course of study Fegens expects to graduate in the December, 2018. After that he will spend one year doing an internship and one year in social service. The location of these years as well as his residency will be determined by the Haitian medical board. All of his education and training is expected to be in Haiti.  After completing his basic medical training Fegens would like to further his education, specializing in infectious diseases. His long term goal is to do research in order to contribute to eradicating infectious diseases such as AIDS, Cholera, Tuberculosis, etc. in the poorest countries like Haiti. 

Sidson’s surgery was successful and he is recovering nicely at the home.



Haiti News

Acres of Hope Uganda is Growing!

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You can play a part in making the dream of a 3-story school building at AOH become a reality. The children will create a beautiful tree mural in the school to celebrate your gift to this project.

For every contribution, the kids will paint a hand print leaf with your name* on it.

Up to $50 – Green Leaf

$51 - $250 – Red Leaf

$251 - $999 – Gold Leaf

Contribute $1,000 or more and your name* will be painted on the tree trunk.

*Or share up to 8 words of hope rather than your name.


To contribute, please visit any of the Acres of Hope partners listed here:
(Please indicate the name or words you would like on your leaf in the Memo.)
World of God: https://www7739.ssldomain.com/worldofgod/Donation.php Indicate: AoH Uganda Capital Fund
Williamson’s Chapel: https://wcumc.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving Indicate: Williamson’s Chapel, Acres of Hope – School Building
West UMC: https://pushpay.com/pay/headingwest/mwWFuse98iBH81IrvMTnvw Indicate: Acres of Hope Uganda
If you are partner of AoH and would like your church or group to participate in this campaign, please contact us. We would love to share ideas with you.

This school construction is the newest priority project at AoH. The goal is to complete the first floor of this Goliath school building by the start of the 2018 school year in February. It will cost $8,000 to finish the foundation and approximately $85,000 for the first level. Once the 3 stories are complete, Acres of Hope Nursery and Primary School will provide high quality education for 400 students every year, 4 times more children than currently!

We thank you for your continued love and support of Acres of Hope.

Upcoming Mission Trip

Williamsons Chapel UMC in Mooresville, NC has a mission team heading to Acres of Hope, Uganda September 10-20, 2017.

Trips afford us the opportunity to send small items that are hard to find and/or expensive in Uganda. 

For this trip, Pastor Geoffrey has asked for the following items.

toothbrushes
toothpaste
twin sheets (dark colors preferred)
sanitary pads
blue/black/red pens 

Williamsons Chapel will be collecting those items from August 1-18. 

Local donors can drop off at Williamsons Chapel (mark for Acres of Hope)

Out of town donors, can send listed items to:
Acres of Hope
PO Box 5313 
Mooresville NC 28117

Thank you so much for your love and continued support of Acres of Hope Uganda!


Uganda News

Fall Planning: Actionnel’s visit to the U.S.

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September 16-October 3

The focus of the Fall 2017 trip is Clinic Support, Child Sponsorship, and Road Project. Events that highlight these areas will have priority when scheduling.  

We are currently accepting event requests online:


Information you will need to gather before submitting request
Primary Contact Name
Church
Email
Phone
Clergy Contact Name
Date Requested (select 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice). 
AM= 8-12, MID= Noon-5, PM= 5-9
Event Type
Estimate of Attendees
Select Elements that will be part of the event.
 Preaching
 Worship Participation
 Speaking
 Informal Group Interaction
 Sponsorship Campaign
 Mission Trip Recruitment
 General Fund Soliciting
Other (please explain in event details)
Actionnel needs to arrive by
Event needs to be completed by
Event Address
Event day contact name
Event day contact phone
Event Details

Update on Sidson
Many who have visited OFCB Ministries in Haiti will recognize the bright larger than life smiling  face of Sidson.  Sidson is a regular on the porch when visitors arrive.  He is always willing to help with your bags upon arrival or when you hike.  It is amazing how quickly he gets around as he walks with a heavy limp.  Sidson’s limp is due to bone issues in his hip — something that would probably never be treated in Haiti, but is an easy fix in the US. 
  
Through a team of members of Sardis Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte,  Ortho Carolina, Friends of OFCB Board Members, and World of God Board Members Sidson arrived in the US in mid-July to received life changing treatments.  Sidson has quickly become a family member of his host parents as he awaits his surgery on July 27th.   Once the surgery is complete, he will work through the fall with a physical therapist to regain his strength and learn to walk with a functioning hip.  

While he is here, he is studying English and enjoying learning about American culture.  While his mobility will be limited for a while post-surgery.  He would love the opportunity to visit with area youth groups.  If you are interested in having Sidson attend a youth activity at your church, please contact Eleanor Shell (eleanor@worldofgod.org). 


Haiti News

Mercy and Maxwell—Transformations

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by: Becca Dalessandro

A brief newsletter just isn’t adequate to describe everything that is Acres of Hope. Going and seeing it for yourself is the best way to truly understand. Shameless plug: It isn’t too late to sign up for the October trip! Inquire for more information or sign up here:  https://goo.gl/forms/R5DWDv3nNI6vRzJw1

Alternatively, I would love to meet with you, face to face, over a warm cup of Ugandan coffee or tea, to share stories, pictures and videos of the lives that YOU are impacting. I’d love to give you a big hug and just say "thank you".


For now, here is a glimpse of the power of Jesus, working all things for the good of a brother and sister at Acres of Hope. When I first met Mercy and Maxwell, she wore rags and he wore nothing. They were clearly malnourished with distended bellies, suffering from malaria, and struggling for survival. The first picture is from June 2011, the first time I stepped foot in the field that was then nothing but head high grasses, now Acres of Hope Uganda. Mercy and Maxwell lived next door.

At that time, they were not among the orphaned or most vulnerable. We didn’t profile them because their parents were living. This should give you an idea of the situation of those who were among the most vulnerable six years ago.

When Acres of Hope school started in 2012, Pastor Odongo Geoffrey Keronga invited Mercy and Maxwell to attend. They came occasionally, but more often than not, they had to help their Grandmother fetch water, collect fire wood or dig in the garden. Young Maxwell found food and friends at Acres of Hope, so he started spending more and more time there, but wasn’t always interested in class. Last year it became clear that Mercy and Maxwell’s parents were no longer involved in caring for their children, so Geoffrey had them profiled for sponsorship. They continued to stay next door with their Grandmother, who was also caring for a handful of other children.

Earlier this year, Geoffrey invited them to live in the pod houses at Acres of Hope. When I arrived at AOH a couple weeks ago, Mercy gave me the best hug, showed me her new room, and then took me to greet her Jaja (Grandma) next door. That was such an awesome experience to see her excitement for living at Acres and the connection she maintains with her Jaja.

Now full time Acres of Hope students, Mercy and Maxwell have different priorities. They no longer have to worry about survival or where the next meal comes from. They attend school every day.

Mercy is excelling. She is currently the number one pupil in the P2 class! Her teacher’s comments on her report card read, “Very active and participates in class freely, without any fear. Excellent results. Keep it up!”

Maxwell is full of energy and joy, like a healthy eight-year-old boy should be. He plays hard, smiles big, and laughs loud. He plays an imaginary keyboard and air guitar during worship. He pretends he doesn’t want to be tickled, but then positions himself within reach, practically asking for more.

Many would expect children who have been through so much to have thick walls, emotional and social disturbances, but it’s quite the opposite. The kids at Acres of Hope are a family, overflowing with love, and they give it passionately. Children who were once sick, starving, abandoned, and struggling to survive, find health, education, joy, hope at Acres of Hope. It’s nothing short of miraculous.


School Construction
The newest priority project at Acres of Hope is completing the first level of this Goliath school building by the start of the 2018 school year in February. It will cost $8,000 to finish the foundation and approximately $85,000 for the first level. The top level will include a computer lab! Once completed, Acres of Hope Nursery and Primary School will be able to provide high quality education for 400 students every year! Stay tuned for ways to invest in this special building, ultimately impacting hundreds of futures or give Online: https://www7739.ssldomain.com/worldofgod/Donation.php
Select "AoH Uganda Capital Fund" for type of donation.

Acres of Hope Art
New in the etsy shop! Check out the one of a kind needlework, handmade with love by the caregivers of Acres of Hope! 100% of the price goes back to Acres of Hope and the Women’s Program. You’ll own a beautiful conversation starter! They make great gifts too! Shop online: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AcresOfHopeUgandaArt?ref=search_shop_redirect


Uganda News

SUMMER CHALLENGE: SPREAD THE WORD

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Acres of Hope set some ambitious goals for 2017 – new sponsorships, an additional school building, improvements to existing school buildings and many additional agricultural projects! The spring season has brought great momentum which we would like to continue into summer. We need your help to spread the word about this opportunity to touch the lives of children at Acres of Hope, Uganda. Below are 10 simple ways to spread the word. 

1. Share our child of the month through Facebook. Simply hit the share button; make the share more powerful by sharing your experience as a sponsor.

2. Present the idea of an individual or group sponsorship to your Small Group, Moms Group, Sunday School Class or other group.


3. Choose a friend each week - share the monthly newsletter with them and ask them look at AcresOfHopeUganda.org

4. Have a BBQ, Ice Cream Party, Pool Party and share information about all that is happening at Acres of Hope.  World of God is happy to provide the information. Collect contributions toward ducks, cows, turkeys, fish, goats, and pigs!

5. Host a table at your church’s Vacation Bible School or other summer camps drop-ff and pick-up locations. Collect contributions for the additional school building.

6. Ask your favorite restaurant to hold a benefit for Acres of Hope to raise money for the school building. World of God can provide the information for you to share. 

7. Host a back-to-school party. Collect pens, composition notebooks and feminine hygiene products for the next group to deliver to Acers of Hope.

8. Create a lemonade or ice pop stand with your kids to support Acres of Hope.

9. Order an Acres of Hope T-shirt by JUNE 15: https://www.lknprints.com/acresofhope

10. Share your celebrations this summer. Purchase a gift for Acres of Hope and World of God will send them a card to celebrate their Birthday, Father’s Day, Graduation, etc.

Becca (Barker) Dalessandro has been with Geoffrey and the children at Acres of Hope for the past week. She sent the following message to you.

My intentions when visiting Uganda are generally to be productive, to encourage, and to pour out the love of Christ. But each time, I am completely out done. My cup runneth over. In all seriousness, the bag I intended to bring home nearly empty is bursting at the seams. It is full of artwork, sweet notes and even small gifts from students to their sponsors. My heart and mind are entirely overwhelmed by the love the children of Acres of Hope have for each of you. They refer to you as Mom and Dad. They know you by name. They know the names of your family members, and if youve sent pictures, they are displayed pridefully on your childs bed. The transformation that our Heavenly Father has made in the lives of these sweet children, is truly miraculous. My words are not sufficient. You just have to experience it for yourself. They e waiting for you.

Becca will be sharing much more about her trip next month!


Uganda News

SUMMER CHALLENGE: SPREAD THE WORD

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World of God set an ambitious goal for 2017 - to find sponsors for 156 additional children (20% increase). The spring season has brought great momentum which we would like to continue into summer. We need your help to spread the word about this opportunity to touch the life of a child in Haiti. Below are 10 simple ways to spread the word.

1. Share our child of the month through Facebook.  It takes 2 seconds to hit the share button.  Make the share even more powerful by sharing your experience as a sponsor. 

2. Present the idea of an individual or group sponsorship to your Small Group, Mom’s Group, Sunday School Class or other groups. 


3. Pick one friend a week to share your experience of  sponsorship. Ask them to consider becoming a sponsor.

4. Have a BBQ, Ice Cream Party, Pool Party or other summer gathering for friends and neighbors.  Share your personal story of sponsorship and/or mission trips. Ask them to join you as a sponsor or on your church’s next trip.  (World of God can provide information for you to use)

5. Host a sponsorship table at your church’s Vacation Bible School or other summer camps drop-off and pick-up locations. (World of God is happy to provide supplies and volunteers for this.)

6. Ask your favorite restaurant to hold a benefit night for OFCB Ministries in Haiti. Share information about sponsorship and relationship based missions.

7. Send one email a week sharing your experience with a friend who you think could become a sponsor

8. Create a lemonade or ice pop stand with your kids this summer to support OFCB Ministries; give information about sponsorship with each purchase. 

9. Share the monthly newsletter with a different friend each month.

10. Share your celebrations this summer. Purchase a gift for Bayonnais for your loved ones and we will send them a card. This is a easy no-risk outreach tool.


News from the Bethesda Clinic
Submitted by Judy Nichols, South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church
Dr. Faustin Charles observed a 12 year old OFCB student with an atypical appearance and gait. Dr. Charles arranged for him to have an x-ray and blood work at the hospital in Gonaives. Dr. Charles was then able to consult with Dr. Virginia Casey at OrthoCarolina who thought that the boy probably has a form of Muscular Dystrophy and a future course of action.  Dr. Charles will follow through with this student. 


Haiti News

Thank You Williamson’s Chapel!

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Thank you to all of our friends at Williamson’s Chapel who always make us feel so welcome when we visit! During our 2 week sponsorship campaign, an additional 15 children have been sponsored! Thank you to all of our sponsors!

Wow! God is working through you! 
Thank you to all of our sponsors! Acres of Hope has passed a milestone with over 200 children sponsored! A huge thank you to all of or sponsors and donors!


Sponsored children receive an education, food, shelter, medical care, love and best of all, hope for the future! 


Still Need  a Gift for Mom?
Give a gift to Acres of Hope in Honor or In Memory of your Mom. We will send a Mother’s Day card to your mom (or to you).

Gifts:
$10: Duck
$25: Share in Dairy Cow 
$40: School Desk
$50: AoH High School Tuition Fund
Any Amt: Donation to Acres of Hope


Exploring Relational Missions Trip 
Acres of Hope  Nebbi, Uganda
October 18-27
Cost: $2,600
Sign up by June 1

Meet the children and see God at work at AoH with your own eyes. 




Please keep the team from Northway Church in your prayers as they travel to Acres of Hope May 23rd-June 2nd.


Uganda News

Please Join Actionnel May 5-15

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A goal of World of God and Friends of OFCB is to provide meaningful interactions between OFCB supporters and our partners in Haiti.  We want every minister, sponsor and donor to have an opportunity to interact with our Haitian friends when they are in the US.  

For Actionnel’s upcoming visit May 5-15, we have two special events planned. They are both informal informational gatherings for you to connect with Actionnel and hear more about the ministries at OFCB.


For Ministers and Mission Directors: Lunch with Actionnel
Tuesday May 9
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Hygge Coworking
809 West Hill Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Please RSVP by May 3rd

For All Ministers, Sponsors and Donors: Meet and Greet with Actionnel
Thursday May 11
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hygge Coworking
809 West Hill Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Please RSVP by May 9th

FULL SCHEDULE — if your church is listed, plan to attend and bring a friend!
Calendar always available on our website: www.worldofgod.org/Calendar.php

Saturday May 6: 
Lake Norman Baptist

Sunday, May 7: 
First Presbyterian Concord -- SPONSORSHIP EVENT
First Presbyterian Charlotte Fellowship Dinner

Monday, May 8:
First Presbyterian Florence

Tuesday, May 9:
Pastors Luncheon with Actionnel

Thursday, May 11
Actionnel Sardis Pres Mustard Seed Group
Pastors Lunch Huntersville
Leadership Meet and Greet with Actionnel - OPEN TO EVERYONE -- PLEASE JOIN US & BRING A FRIEND !!!

Saturday, May 13
F3 Huntersville -- SPONSORSHIP EVENT

Sunday, May 14
Radiant Life Fellowship --  SPONSORSHIP EVENT


SHARE YOUR CELEBRATIONS
Have you found the perfect Mother’s Day gift yet? How about a graduation gift that you know will make a difference? Share your Celebrations this year by donating a gift to Bayonnais in the name of a loved one. We’ll send a card to your recipient letting them know of your generous gift. 
Make 2017 the year you celebrate milestones with compassionate giving.

PRINT THE ORDER FORM: 


NEWS FROM THE BETHESDA CLINIC
Submitted by Judy Nichols, South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church
For the past two weeks the clinic has been facing an epidemic of conjunctivitis (infections of the eyes). Since there is no specific treatment for viral conjunctivitis, Dr. Charles has been treating the symptoms and giving the patients advice for the best way to deal with this highly communicable disease. 


Haiti News

Exploring Relational Missions Trip

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Acres of Hope, Nebbi, Uganda
October 18-27        
Cost: $2,600
Led by Michelle Campbell 

Greetings Sponsors and Friends,

I am reaching out to share an incredible mission opportunity with you and your church body.  When I heard about Acres of Hope Uganda in 2011, I couldn’t have imagined how God would change my life or how humbled and grateful I would feel to be involved. 


The first child I began sponsoring spent his early years living on the streets. He only got to eat three or four times per week. With a desire to learn, but lacking school fees, he would sneak into classes until getting chased out. Fortunately, God made sure Acres of Hope found him. Today he is in his third year of high school. He is healthy, kind, and funny. He provides an example for me in his faith, love and trust in God. My relationship with this child and the Acres of Hope community has inspired me to develop my own relationship with God in a way I never experienced before Acres of Hope.

An otherwise empty plot of land in 2011, Acres of Hope now includes five homes for children, five school buildings on two campuses and many sustainable development projects. More importantly, the lives of over 200 children are being transformed spiritually, physically and intellectually. As churches and individuals develop lasting relationships with our friends in Uganda, life change happens on both sides of the globe.

You are personally invited to visit your sponsored child and Acres of Hope with me this October. You are investing in the life of a child who treasures you and would love to meet you. This trip will also be an Exploratory Trip for churches or groups who might be interested in starting a relationship with Acres of Hope. Is there anyone in your circle of influence to whom you could pass along this invitation? 

Short on time? Watch this video!   

A church team visited Acres of Hope for the first time last summer and created this video about their experience.

Thank you for considering this opportunity. We would love to hear from you.

Grace and Peace,
Michelle Campbell
Uganda Liaison



SHARE YOUR CELEBRATIONS
World of God now offers the opportunity to honor your loved ones through gifts to Acres of Hope, Uganda.  We have cards printed for the following holidays and will send the card to your gift recipient (or to you):

Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Graduation, Thank you, Birthday, Anniversary, and Thinking of You
Make 2017 the year you celebrate milestones with compassionate giving.

Order your gift online: www.worldofgod.org
Print form to order by mail
Order by phone: 704-575-0062

Gift Options:
$10: Duck
$25: Share in Dairy Cow
$40: School Desk
$50: AoH High School Tuition Fund
Any Amount: Donation to Acres of Hope


HIGH SCHOOL TUITION FUND
Did you know?? Acres of Hope school currently runs from Nursery School through Primary School. Getting into Secondary School (high school) in Uganda is similar to getting into college in the States. Students in Primary 7 take “leaving examinations.” These tests cover content in Science, English, Math, and Social Studies. Depending on their scores, students are then invited to attend boarding schools all over the country. Acres of Hope currently has over 20 bright students in secondary school at 9 different schools throughout Uganda. The fees associated with this higher level of education are on average $1800 annually. AoH is working hard to fill part of the gap in expenses with local resources but we can help too! 

Maybe you know someone who feels that $50 a month is too steep, but $25 is reasonable. Perhaps you, a friend or a family member like the idea of giving a one time gift to help a student go to high school. Here’s how you can help support the high school students: 

Select Type of Donation: AoH Uganda High School Fund
Call us at 704-575-0062 if you want to make a recurring gift to the high school fund!


Uganda News

Please Join Actionnel ...

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A goal of World of God and Friends of OFCB is to provide meaningful interactions between OFCB supporters and our partners in Haiti.  We want every minister, sponsor and donor to have an opportunity to interact with our Haitian friends when they are in the US.  
For Actionnel’s upcoming visit May 5-15, we have two special events planned. They are both informal informational gatherings for you to connect with Actionnel and hear more about the ministries at OFCB.


For Ministers and Mission Directors
Lunch with Actionnel
Tuesday May 9
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Hygge Coworking
809 West Hill Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Please RSVP by May 3rd

For All Ministers, Sponsors and Donors
Meet and Greet with Actionnel
Thursday May 11
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hygge Coworking
809 West Hill Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Please RSVP by May 9th


SHARE YOUR CELEBRATIONS
World of God now offers the opportunity to honor your loved ones through gifts to Bayonnais.  We have cards printed for the following holidays and will send the card to your gift recipient (or to you):
Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Graduation, Thank you, Birthday, Anniversary, and Thinking of You
Make 2017 the year you celebrate milestones with compassionate giving.

In March I asked Actionnel what was most need in Bayonnais, his response: 
"Rice and beans; food in general, are more needed than ever. Hunger and starvation are everywhere at every corner."

PRINT THE ORDER FORM: 


HAITI GRADING
Many of you receive your sponsored students grades in letters. Since the grading system is different in Haiti than the U.S., we though it would be helpful to share this information.

Top student : from 80% to 100%
Average student: from 60% to 79%
Passing grade: state: 50%


NEWS FROM THE BETHESDA CLINIC
Submitted by Judy Nichols, South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church

It is likely that those of you who have ever been to Bayonnais have met Cidson Louis. He is most recognizable for his ready smile, his friendliness and his damaged eye. Cidson is now 17 years old. During church on a recent Sunday Dr. Faustin Charles noticed that Cidson was having trouble walking. Dr. Charles asked him to come to the clinic where he examined him and had the impression that Cidson has a deformation of the femoral head of his left leg. A follow-up X-ray at the public hospital in Gonaives confirmed Dr. Charles impression. Dr. Charles is working to obtain orthopedic treatment for Cidson. We will report about Cidsons progress in future editions of The Challenge.


Haiti News

Exploring Relational Missions Trip

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October 18-27
Cost: $3,000
Led by Michelle Campbell (michelle@worldofgod.org)

This trip is designed to be life-shaping and relationship building. You will learn about the people who live in Nebbi, Uganda. You will learn about the ministry at Acres of Hope. You will worship, you will play, you will grow, you will laugh, you will be challenged, and you will never be the same.

World of God would be thrilled to be invited to meet with your small group, church leaders, or speak at your church. Please contact:



Eleanor Shell: eleanor@worldofgod.org 
Michelle Campbell: michelle@worldofgod.org
Becca DAlessandro: beccabarker07@yahoo.com

High School Fund

Did you know?? Acres of Hope school currently runs from Nursery School through Primary School. Getting into Secondary School (high school) in Uganda is similar to getting into college in the States. Students in Primary 7 take “leaving examinations.” These tests cover content in Science, English, Math, and Social Studies. Depending on their scores, students are then invited to attend boarding schools all over the country. Acres of Hope currently has over 20 bright students in secondary school at 9 different schools throughout Uganda. The fees associated with this higher level of education are on average $1800 annually. AoH is working hard to fill part of the gap in expenses with local resources but we can help too! 

Maybe you know someone who feels that $50 a month is too steep, but $25 is reasonable. Perhaps you, a friend or a family member like the idea of giving a one time gift to help a student go to high school. Here’s how you can help support the high school students: 

Go to www.worldofgod.org, click Make a One Time Donation 
Select Type of Donation: AoH Uganda High School Fund


Ongoing Capital Projects
Finish Nursery School: $3,000
School Kitchen/Storage: $11,450 
(this will open space for the clinic)
Desks: $6,000
Textbooks: $11,480
Aquaponics: $5,000
Move Pigs: $10,000
Primary School Building: $200,000 ($96,000 to complete the first floor)
POD Houses: $40,000

To donate visit www.worldofgod.org
click Make a One Time Donation 
Select Type of Donation: AoH Capital Fund (add project to comments box).


Uganda News

Baby chicks in Bayonnais!

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Submitted by Eric Nichols, Montreat Presbyterian

One of the best-kept secrets of our Haitian friends was revealed on February 8th shortly after our arrival at the OFCB campus. They took us to see the recently completed, modern chicken-raising facility up by the Granary of Joseph. It was shockingly beautiful and had already received its first delivery of 1,000 chicks, who appeared to be very efficient at peeping, eating and drinking, as well as creating the next industry in Bayonnais... manure for the gardens. There is also a future in eggs.


The initial plan is to raise chicks to maturity, about 60 days, and then to sell them directly in the community. This will provide a more convenient source of protein for folks nearby. The price for a chicken will be less than that at the marketplace at Lystere. This enterprise will achieve profits to be used for the purchase of beans and rice for the school lunch program, as well as feeding persons in the community who need assistance.
 
The beginning of the chicken program was orchestrated by the agronomists Wallace Manasse and Villate. They have a young, part-time worker who lives nearby and enthusiastically tends to the  chickens.
 
Perhaps you might enjoy some fresh eggs and chicken next January. Soon we plan to firm up our schedule for a MPC delegation to travel to Bayonnais. We would like to introduce you to the wonderful folks in Bayonnais, to their vibrant community, to visits in homes, and we will be extending the solar lighting program significantly.
 
A significant portion of the funds for the chicken house was provided by the generosity of a member of our church and her family.
 
One last Haitian note is that Marc Hare and Cindy Correll, who are PCUSA Mission Co-workers in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Central America, will be conducting meetings of the PCUSA Haiti Network and providing discussion and demonstrations of some of the organic gardening methods they utilize. The programs run from Friday to Sunday, March 10-12 at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, will include some meals, and will incorporate worship on Sunday morning. Call Eric Nichols at 669-6057 if you are interested in attending and for more information.

Special thanks to our friends from First Presbyterian Church in Florence, SC for initial funding to get the chicken house started.


News from the Bethesda Clinic
Since his arrival at the clinic on February 1,  Dr. Faustin Charles has solved several "mysterious" medical cases. In one, a regular patient returned to the clinic because, once again, she was having trouble breathing. After a thorough exam, Dr. Charles determined that she was in an asthma crisis. Fortunately the clinic had some albuterol and corticoids. After some nebulization treatments, the woman was given advice, discharged and placed under medication. She is now doing well.

A child with a life-threatening case of bronchiolitis arrived at the clinic and Dr. Charles felt that he needed to be hospitalized immediately. Since the woman had no means to transport him, Dr. Charles drove them both to the hospital in Gonaives where the child received treatment. The child is now doing fine.

A 23 year old man who had frequently been treated for severe gastric pain returned to the clinic. Upon examination Dr. Charles suspected that he had a heart condition, which was confirmed with an EKG in the hospital. The man is now taking appropriate medications and is doing well.   

Many lives are being saved as a result of expanded care at the Bethesda Clinic.  The people of Bayonnais are grateful for this mission.

For the last several years a number of churches have joined together to attend a Knights baseball game in order to raise awareness of and funds for OFCB.   OFCB is the abbreviation for Organization of the Christian Force Of Bayonnais. This is a mission school, church and clinic located in the mountains of Haiti. Last years game was good but our seats were in the sun and it was way too hot to enjoy the game. We had seats in HR 4, 5 and 6.  A group from South Mecklenburg Church is planning to attend a game on July 28 and has seats reserved in Section 102, which has shade. This is a Friday evening game (7:05) and there will be fireworks after the game. The tickets cost is $20 each and $4 of each ticket price will go directly to support the programs of OFCB.  Plan to join us for a fun evening of fellowship while supporting our friends in Bayonnais, Haiti.
We are asking for an indication of your interest  in organizing sales at your church. It would not be a commitment for a certain number of tickets.
Please contact Judy Nichols at 980-237-2538 if you have questions or comments. We would appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible about your level of interest in organizing a group to attend this game.

Montreat Presbyterian’s major effort with OFCB was setting up The Light Program for the families of OFCB students. They delivered 48 lights to the program; the lights are solar-powered LED multifunction lights called "SunBells."  Olson Huff helped them obtain the SunBells through the auspices of The Light Foundation, which he set up with son David. 

The lights serve to illumine small houses without cost and without the detrimental effects of kerosene lantern smoke. They were distributed to student/families as follows: 6 to elementary and 25 to high school in Bayonnais, 10 to Nicolas, 6 to the new school at Zoranger, and 1 to the Program Manager Lovelie Osney.

SunBells

Montreat Presbyterian’s major effort with OFCB was setting up The Light Program for the families of OFCB students. They delivered 48 lights to the program; the lights are solar-powered LED multifunction lights called "SunBells".  Olson Huff helped them obtain the SunBells through the auspices of The Light Foundation, which he set up with son David. 

The lights serve to illumine small houses without cost and without the detrimental effects of kerosene lantern smoke. They were distributed to student/families as follows: 6 to elementary and 25 to high school in Bayonnais, 10 to Nicolas, 6 to the new school at Zoranger, and 1 to the Program Manager Lovelie Osney. 

Besides the many heartfelt thank yous, the value of the program may be summed up in the words of a high school student, who said, "This light will bring a great change to my family and me." Be prepared MPC; we may seek to send as many as 200 more SunBells!

Baseball FUN-Raiser

For the last several years a number of churches have joined together to attend a Knights baseball game in order to raise awareness of and funds for OFCB.   OFCB is the abbreviation for Organization of the Christian Force Of Bayonnais. This is a mission school, church and clinic located in the mountains of Haiti. Last years game was good but our seats were in the sun and it was way too hot to enjoy the game. We had seats in HR 4, 5 and 6.  A group from South Mecklenburg Church is planning to attend a game on July 28 and has seats reserved in Section 102, which has shade. This is a Friday evening game (7:05) and there will be fireworks after the game. The tickets cost is $20 each and $4 of each ticket price will go directly to support the programs of OFCB.  Plan to join us for a fun evening of fellowship while supporting our friends in Bayonnais, Haiti.

We are asking for an indication of your interest  in organizing sales at your church. It would not be a commitment for a certain number of tickets.

Please contact Judy Nichols at 980-237-2538 if you have questions or comments. We would appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible about your level of interest in organizing a group to attend this game.


Haiti News

What a Remarkable Week It Was at Acres of Hope!

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Earlier this month, a small group of women from North Carolina visited Acres of Hope and helped to facilitate a Yobel Entrepreneurship training for 30 of the caregivers. Since Acres of Hope cares for more kids than the pod houses can accommodate, these caretakers fill the gap. One way that Acres of Hope supports the children and their caretakers is by providing opportunities for these families to provide for themselves. During the training, they learned new skills to help them start their own businesses. Pastor Geoffrey and the Womens Coordinator, Peace earned their certifications to lead the training and did a wonderful job. The caretakers in attendance were excited to realize their potential. Check out what Michelle Campbell, one of the women who visited this month, has to say about the Yobel Training.  


Submitted by Michelle Campbell

The Yobel Entrepreneurial Training Program was presented to 30+ AoH Caregivers. AoH now has many more sponsored children than the homes at AoH will accommodate so these women bring AoH children into their homes and care them as their own. The ladies (and one man) travelled from Nebbi, Pakwach and Goli Uganda to learn how to better operate their businesses and support their extended families. The week was full of love, laughter, learning and life-long friendships.

The week following the training, I had the honor of bumping into one the participants on the road as she traveled home from work in Goli. Rachel is full of joy and was so excited about the program. She "learned that treating customers with humility, friendliness and respect is important to build relationships". She was also beyond thrilled to learn how to use a calculator!


THE STUDENTS ARE BACK IN SCHOOL
Students will return to school this month after a long holiday break. A few weeks ago, the scores from the Primary 7 exams were released. The Acres of Hope candidates did a wonderful job! Mugabe Gerald was the highest performing student, earning himself a spot in division 1! Eleven of the remaining thirteen students scored well enough to earn division two standings! With such great scores, these students will be able to attend excellent secondary schools throughout Uganda. Please pray for the students who will be attending secondary school for the first time this year. They will be far from the comforts of what they know and the financial strain increases. If you sponsor a student who just completed P7, or maybe you can’t sponsor a child, but you’d like to help, you can help carry the weight of the increased cost of secondary school by selecting "AOH Uganda High School Fund" from the drop down menu on the World of God website. Congratulations to all of the rising secondary students! 
Make a One Time Donation to the High School Fund:
Type of Donation: AoH Uganda High School Fund


We want to extend a heart-felt thanks to all of you for continuing to step up and meet the needs as they are presented. Last month we had urgent needs for a school building and piggery relocation. Pastor Geoffrey is happy to report that the nursery school building will be functional by the time classes start at the end of the month! When the deadline to move the piggery approached and we didn have an answer, God demonstrated His perfect power. The government official who set the deadline is no longer in office. However, the piggery will be moved when all of the funds are available, to ensure that Acres of Hope is operating appropriately. 

EXPLORING RELATIONAL MISSIONS
World of God has three upcoming mission trips for people who are new to relational missions and want to see what it is all about.

You will demonstrate God’s love to the children and adults in those areas. You will worship, you will play, you will grow, you will laugh, you will be challenged, and you will never be the same.
 
When?
Haiti: May 17-23 & Sep 13-19
Uganda: Oct 18-27
 
Cost?
Haiti: $1250
Uganda: $3,000
 
See our website for more information:
 
Sign up for a trip or for more information:


Uganda News

A Great Day for Bayonnais!

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Submitted by: Mission team from South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church 

January 28, 2017 was a great day for Bayonnais!  A celebration was held to welcome Dr. Faustin Charles as the new Director of the Bethesda Health Center of Bayonnais. His arrival was celebrated with a program which included speeches, music, dancing, refreshments and much excitement from the community. Dr. Charles spoke about his devotion to the community and his desire to serve its people. After welcoming speeches by Actionnel Fleurisma, Kenold Decimus, Reverend Pastor Toussaint Saint-Louis (head of the new Community Healthworkers team) and others, Actionnel presented Dr. Charles with the keys to the clinic. 


The clinic has been a work in progress since 1999 when the first land was purchased for a future medical center. Faustin Charles graduated from the OFCB high school in 2003, a member of its first graduating class.  The anticipated clinic would need a doctor and Faustin was selected to go to medical school in order to fill that need. Since then Faustin has completed medical school (2009), internship (2009-2010), government service (2011) and a residency in general surgery (2013-2017). In the time between government service and his residency Dr. Charles, in collaboration with Actionnel Fleurisma, established the Bethesda Health Center. Dr. Charles served as the first director of the new clinic and led the treatment program during the cholera epidemic.
 
In 2009 the San Francisco professional chapter of the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) developed plans for a hospital on the original land plus additionally purchased land. In 2011 the first phase of the building was begun, with the construction being done by Haitians in conjunction with the EWB engineers and Kenold Decimus, a professional Civil Engineer who is also the director of the OFCB school system.
 
A doctor, dentist, 4 nurses, and an administrator have staffed the clinic since 2012 bringing modern medicine to the 80,000 people of Bayonnais. In 2016 a lab technician was added. Also in 2016 thirteen Community Healthcare Workers completed their training by the clinic staff and were hired to serve to the people who live in the surrounding mountains by connecting them with the clinic.

On February 1 Dr. Charles began his role as Director of the clinic. 


Exploring Relational Missions

World of God has 3 upcoming mission trips for people who are new to relational missions and want to see what it is all about.

You will demonstrate God’s love to the children and adults in those areas. You will worship, you will play, you will grow, you will laugh, you will be challenged, and you will never be the same.

When?
Haiti: May 17-23 & Sep 13-19
Uganda: Oct 18-27

Cost?
Haiti: $1250
Uganda: $3,000-$3500 (Cost finalized by July 15)

See our website for more information:

Sign up for a trip or for more information:



Haiti News

We Had Way Too Much Fun

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By: Gabby D. Fleurisma

While around the Christmas table in 2015, I thought that there were few things for people of my age to do on Christmas Eve. The most common thing is to go to a disco and have few drinks and get drunk. Since then, I have been thinking and praying about a way to help some of them to have a better Christmas. God’s answer was to plan a revival. The idea was quickly accepted by the church committee. A group of ladies from Sardis Presbyterian Church and from First Presbyterian Charlotte gave us $1,500.00 to help with food and other expenses.

130 high school students gladly signed up to come. The college students in Port Au Prince had final exams, and therefore were not able to attend. The music director of the Church in Bayonnais, Mr. Facile Elisme and I planned a busy schedule to teach and entertain them.


Our first night started with a worship service. We learned new worship songs with a worship minister that Facile brought from Cap-Haitian, a former-College Classmate for him, and I talked about how to be faithful to God in all circumstances. David was unqualified; he became king. We all come from families who have a story like David, but if we truly believe in God and take our education seriously our lives will be a miracle.

Many students are frustrated about what is going on in their community. They all have dreams, but it seems impossible to make those dreams a reality. For the first time, I could hear how this generation is upset about what is going on the country. More than ever, they feel motivated to be successful in their small community. I could hear frustration and motivation. My heart was filled up with joy. The night was finished with hot bowls of pudding and prayers in their rooms.

The second day included exercise, a wonderful breakfast, worship service, conferences, games, and an outstanding celebration of Christmas Eve. The food was delicious; the youth stayed up until 3:00 in the morning playing music, singing, and laughing. Our weekend ended with a concert proclaiming the gospel and the importance of baby Jesus in this world.

My leaders and I feel that we really accomplished something because the campers had a lot social and spiritual moments. God’s powerful spirit was present; the voice of high school students was heard. 

They were able to spend quality in small groups by praying for each other and talking about their dreams and their future. I feel proud of what we accomplished. We helped the students to see the Gospel as fun and a way of life that sets people free. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was brought into many lives. One sentence can describe our week end: “We had way too much fun.”

World of God welcome to Trinity UMC in Charlotte to our family.. They traveled to Bayonnais for the first time in December and sponsored a total of seven children!

UPCOMING MISSION TRIPS:
Feb 8-15: Montreat Presbyterian
Feb 22-Mar 1: FPC Florence
Mar 8-15: Myers Park UMC
Mar 22-29: First Presbyterian Charlotte
A complete list of upcoming trips can be found on our website: http://www.worldofgod.org/MissionTrips.php
If you would like to travel to Bayonnais with one of these groups or to plan your own trip, please contact Lindsay Gildea at Lindsay@worldofgod.org or 704-907-5391

NEW!!! Gift Bayonnais Gift Catalog
New for 2017, World of God is adding an additional way to give. We are in the process of identifying gifts that are needed in Bayonnais and will have a gift catalog available for year-round giving. If you purchase the gift in honor of a loved one, we can send a card to your gift recipient and let them know of your generous gift. 
This provides a vehicle for you to make a special gift in honor of a friend or family member for a birthday, anniversary or graduation or for holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, etc.

Stay tuned for more information on this new way to donate to Bayonnais, Haiti!

Actionnel in the Charlotte area May 5-15, 2017
If you would like to host Actionnel at your church, please contact Eleanor Norman at 757-968-3813 or Eleanor@worldofgod.org

Thank you for the Christmas Gifts! 
Our friends at OFCB are sending a special thank you your way for the generous gifts they received over Christmas. In addition to donations made through local churches, donations made through World of God included 36 Avocado trees, 23 mango trees, 13-30 lb bags of beans, 36-25 lb bags of rice and monetary donations. Total value of $2,160. Thank you!!!


Haiti News

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Acres of Hope!

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Praise and glory to God, 2016 was a great year at Acres of Hope, thanks to the generosity of so many of you. Almost 200 students had the opportunity to further their education through sponsorship, and even more in the community benefit from the school. The first ever class of P7 students took their exams for secondary school and will receive their results this month. Two pod houses were converted to hostels which allowed Acres of Hope to accommodate nearly 70 children rather than 40. The agriculture and livestock programs grew exponentially. Several teams visited Acres of Hope throughout the year. Pastor Geoffrey had an extended tour of the United States where he enjoyed sharing meals and visiting with many friends and supporters. 


FATHER CHRISTMAS
Upon his return to Nebbi, Pastor Geoffrey got busy planning the biggest Christmas party in the region. Even “Father Christmas” came to Acres of Hope for the first time. Although many of the students had never heard of Santa, they enjoyed his jolly spirit and celebrated with music, dancing and singing. A fresh feast of Acres of Hope food was served and everyone enjoyed a refreshing soda. Over 1,000 people, including the 200 Acres of Hope students were in attendance. Awards were given for the top performing students in each class and the “smartest” male and female student overall. If you are called smart in Uganda, it means you look sharp. The students are taught and held responsible for personal hygiene and keeping their uniforms clean. Before departing, caretakers were given items such as rice, soap and oil to use while school is on break. It was a great time shared by all, celebrating the birth of Jesus and the amazing things God is doing at Acres of Hope.

2017 URGENT NEEDS
As we look forward to what the Lord will do in 2017, we are praying that He provides for a couple time sensitive needs. The first is relocating the pigs. Currently they are on the Acres of Hope campus. Government officials have required that the pigs be moved further from the site, by January 2017. Believing in miracles, Pastor Geoffrey needs $10,000 to accomplish this task. 

Another $10,000 is needed to get the second school building to be functional by the time students return in February. Although $10,000 will not complete the school, it will be sufficient to start classes. The buildings that had been in use over the last few years were temporary structures that the government does not approve. One of those is currently being eaten by termites, so the permanent school will be a wonderful upgrade. Pastor Geoffrey says he is not worried about finances or the time crunch. Full of peace and confidence he stated, “God will take control where things seem to be impossible. He has never ever disappointed me.” 


Pastor Geoffrey, the staff, house Mum’s, students, and Acres of Hope community would like to thank you for your continued prayers, financial support, and friendship. Your efforts combined with the power of our Lord and Savior have brought us this far and will carry us forward. From everyone at Acres of Hope, God bless you abundantly in this New Year. 


THANK YOU FOR THE CHRISTMAS GIFTS!
Gifts totaling $3570 were purchased in honor of loved ones this Christmas season. Gifts included 13 shares in Aquaponics, 14 shares in a Dairy cow, 52 chickens, $1325 donation to Annual Fund and a generous donation $1100 for the childrens Christmas Party.

UPCOMING ACRES OF HOPE TRIP
A few people from the Mooresville, NC area will leave for a visit to Acres of Hope on January 31. If you would like to contribute any of the following, please drop off items at Williamsons Chapel by January 24. Thank you!
Toothbrushes
Full Size Toothpaste
Pens - Black, Blue and Red
Sanitary Pads
Towels (used ok in good condition)
King-size Bedsheets (used ok in good condition)


Uganda News

Welcome First Presbyterian Church Concord

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A new church has joined the World of God and OFCB Family.  First Presbyterian Church Concord, took their first trip to Bayonnais Haiti in October with Sardis Presbyterian Church.  On Sunday October 30th, they invited The Reverend Eleanor Norman, Executive Director of World of God speak to the Sunday School class about the work of World of God and OFCB.  During worship that day, Associate Pastor, Lynne Keel preached using a Haitian proverb and their Call to Worship was read in Creole in addition to English.  


On Wednesday, November 9th, their mission team shared their experience with the congregation at their congregational dinner.  As a congregation, they are committing to a partnership with OFCB and World of God.  In addition to supporting the school, they are interested in getting involved with the agronomy program.  WoG and OFCB are excited for this new partnership and working with the staff and members to help make this new relationship strong


GIVE For Today... For Tomorrow
This Christmas make a donation to Bayonnais by selecting a gift in the name of a loved one.  We will send a card explaining your gift to your loved one.

Due to Hurricane Matthew, rice and beans is an immediate need.  Avocado and Mango trees were added as gift options to help build long-term sustainability.


GIFT OPTIONS
$15: 25 lb bag of Rice
$30: 30 lb bag of Beans
$15: Avocado Tree
$15: Mango Tree
Any Amount: Monetary Donation


Haiti News

Thank you Pastor Geoffrey

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We would like to say "thank you" to our partner and friend, Pastor Geoffrey, for taking time away from his family and Acres of Hope to spend time with us in the U.S. It is always an honor and a blessing to hang out with Geoffrey. He is an incredible example of what it looks like to love God and love others completely and radically, and he inspires so many to live more closely to God. Afoyo Geoffrey, we miss you.


Thank you to each of you who spent time with Geoffrey. You hosted, cooked, planned, discussed, drove, shared, and very importantly, gave your time to learn about what God is doing at Acres of Hope. And you were inspired to give. Land will be purchased, solar stoves will be purchased, construction of the new AoH school will continue, new children were sponsored, Christmas tree garlands and necklaces were purchased, Christmas gifts were given and so many other generous contributions were presented. We sincerely thank you for your continued love and support for the Acres of Hope children and community. 

Pastor Geoffrey arrived safely back in Uganda and is already busy planning a Christmas party for the children.


GIVE THE GIFT OF SUSTAINABILITY
This Christmas make a donation to Acres of Hope by selecting a gift in the name of a loved one.
GIFT OPTIONS
$10: 2 Chickens
$25: Share in Aquaponics Fish Farm 
$40: Share in Dairy Cow
Any Amount: Monetary Donation

Did you get your Beaded Christmas tree garland made by the ladies of Acres of Hope?
They are 8 meters long and cost $30 plus shipping. A beautiful addition to your Holiday Home. Order online:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/497016381/christmas-tree-garland-8-yards-long?ref=shop_home_active_1 


Uganda News

2016 Primary School Graduates

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Congratulations!

As you might know, the school year in Uganda runs from February to November. Fourteen sponsored students completed Primary 7 this November! This is a huge accomplishment since over 60% of students in Uganda drop out of school before completing Primary 7. Final test results for these students will be released mid-January and Secondary school will begin the first week of February. Since Acres of Hope school currently only goes through Primary 7, these students will be placed in Secondary schools throughout Uganda based on exam performance. 


Secondary school generally costs more than the $50 per month sponsorship amount covers. If you or someone you know would like to make a one-time gift to the Uganda High School fund, please let us know. 100% of your gift to this fund will be sent to Acres of Hope to support the Secondary education for Acres of Hope students.

Thank you for your continued support of these intelligent, hard-working students!

Pictured: Joan, Peace, Lilian, Juliet, Hilda, Francis, Davis, Godwin, Ivan O. 
Not Pictured: Harriet, Lawrence, Ivan T., Edmond, Gerald 


Pastor Geoffrey had a wonderful visit to the U.S. this month. His varied activities included learning more about Aquaponics, sharing what life is like in Uganda a Williamson’s Chapel 5th Sunday, a special thank-you night to our sponsors at Breads and Spreads and participating in worship services at both Williamson’s Chapel and West UMC. 11 new children were sponsored during this trip, which brings the total sponsored to 184! We’ve come such a long way from the 22 sponsored in 2012. Thank you sponsors … you bring life, love and Jesus in the lives of the children at Acres of Hope, Uganda!

After leaving the Mooresville area, Geoffrey spent time in Raleigh, Louisiana, Kansas and Texas and will continue on to Kentucky and West Virginia.


GIVE THE GIFT OF SUSTAINABILITY!
This Christmas make a donation to Acres of Hope by selecting a gift in the name of a loved one.
GIFT OPTIONS
$10: 2 Chickens
$25: Share in Aquaponics Fish Farm 
$40: Share in Dairy Cow
Any Amount: Monetary Donation

AmazonSmile
Christmas Shopping Online? Remember, always start at smile.amazon.com
and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. 
On your first visit to AmazonSmile go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/26-3588310.   Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to World of God.


Becca Dalessandro wrote bios for the employees at Acres of Hope. We will share the bios one at a time.

HOUSE MAMAS
House Moms are a key element at Acres of Hope. They step in to fill the gap left by absent or unable parents. They cook nutritious meals, wash clothes, clean the house, disciple, encourage, and train eight to nine young children. It is not an easy task, but these women do it with grace. When talking with all three women, each one had a similar prayer request for a permanent home. Although they live in pod homes for most of the year, their families live in mud huts, and the Mama’s spend the holidays there. One Mama said that her house is currently feeding termites. They also pray that the Lord continues to provide for their families. They are thankful for their employment and purpose at Acres of Hope, and they love the kids as if they were their own, but they are all about an hour away from their biological children. Sidonia, Joice, and Alice are delightful to be around. They love practicing English and asking questions about America. 


Joice
Mama Joice is a 50 year old widow who also brings experience raising eight of her own biological children. In addition to losing her husband, four of her grown children have passed away as well. Before coming to Acres of Hope, Mama Joice was also attempting to care for six orphans in her village. Acres of Hope gives her a reason to continue. She loves the children in her pod house as though they were her own. She enjoys working at Acres of Hope because now she can care for orphans and support her own family. When asked who Jesus is to her, she became teary-eyed and said, "Jesus is my comforter and counselor. Without Jesus, it would have been hard, but He is my help." She said that she enjoys reading her Bible and learning more and more about her Savior.


Uganda News

YOU Did It! Thank you!!!

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YOU DID IT!!! When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, we all prayed for our friends in Bayonnais and braced for news of the impact. We were relieved that lives had not been taken, but saddened to hear that the crop that they had worked so hard on had been completely wiped out. You, as sponsors and friends of World of God, immediately began reaching out to us asking what you could do and what we could do, we knew we had to help. And so began the Fill the Bus campaign...


Within 4 days of creating the Fill the Bus campaign, sponsoring churches agreed to let us park the bus in their parking lots, churches were willing to do a donation drive for rice and beans to help fill the buses, monetary donations began coming in, and there was an incredible outpouring of prayers across the United States for our friends in Bayonnais. What happened the next few weeks after the buses arrived in Charlotte, was nothing short of amazing. In 4 weeks, this is what happened:

* YOU helped us collect enough rice and beans on the buses and at sponsoring churches to fill an entire bus, that’s 10,000 pounds! 

* YOU helped us send monetary to Bayonnais within 1 week of beginning the campaign, that allowed Actionnel to purchase 11,000+ lbs of rice and beans!

* YOU donated enough money to fill the second bus with rice and beans, another 10,000 pounds!

* YOU donated funds to purchase both school buses to take the food to Bayonnais, plus the cost of shipping the food and school buses!

* YOU sent 20,000 pounds of food to Bayonnais, which equals 120,000 meals!

We are happy to let you know that bus #1 left for Miami Thursday, it will be taken to the shipyard to be shipped to Haiti. Bus #2 will be leaving Sunday morning from Light of Christ in Charlotte, NC. Both buses were packed with food, with a few extra items that were added as requested and needed in Bayonnais. 

To everyone that helped us make this happen, thank you! Thank you to those who drove the buses from church to church to accept donations! Thank you to those who started your own collection drives! Thank you to those who prayed for everyone in Bayonnais! Thank you to those who so graciously donated money, time, and food! Thank you to you! 

We will continue to provide updates on the food shortage as we receive them!


Give for today … Give for tomorrow
This Christmas make a donation to Bayonnais by selecting a gift in the name of a loved one.  We will send a card explaining your gift to your loved one.
Due to Hurricane Matthew, rice and beans is an immediate need.  Avocado and Mango trees were added as gift options to help build long-term sustainability.

GIFT OPTIONS
$15: 25 lb bag of Rice
$30: 30 lb bag of Beans
$15: Avocado Tree
$15: Mango Tree
Any Amount: Monetary Donation

amazonsmile
You shop. Amazon gives.
Christmas Shopping Online? Remember, always start at smile.amazon.com
and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. 
On your first visit to AmazonSmile go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/26-3588310.   Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to World of God.


Haiti News

HELP FILL THE BUS FOR Haiti Hurricane Relief

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Donate online through World of God: 

On October 4 Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti, as a category 4 hurricane it was the most powerful storm since 2007. Our friends in Bayonnais, Haiti are now facing a dire need of food as their entire crop that was expected to be harvested later that month was completely destroyed. In response, World of God has launched the Fill the Bus campaign. We will fill two school buses with bags of rice and beans over the course of the next few weeks. Many churches are holding donation drives in their lobby for these, you can also bring donations to the school buses on the following dates at the following locations:


BUS 1
Oct. 24-Nov. 11: Light of Christ UMC, 9212 Bryant Farms Rd
Donations made me dropped off at anytime during church hours (Mon-Thu, 9am-5pm) in the church Lobby. Bins are located next to the school bus for after hours drop off, so that donations may be made at any time.

BUS 2
Oct. 21-Oct. 24: Trinity Presbyterian, 3115 Providence Rd, Charlotte
Oct. 24-Oct. 28: Myers Park UMC, 1501 Queens Rd, Charlotte 
Oct. 28-Oct. 31: Sardis Presbyterian, 6100 Sardis Rd, Charlotte 
Oct. 31-Nov. 4: Myers Park UMC, 1501 Queens Rd, Charlotte 
Nov. 4-Nov. 7: TBD
Nov. 7-Nov. 11: Myers Park UMC, 1501 Queens Rd, Charlotte 

Additionally First Presbyterian Charlotte is having a donation drive and South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church is collecting monetary donations. 
If you would like to add your church or place of business as a collection site please contact Lindsay Gildea at 704-907-5391 or Lindsay@worldofgod.org.

Soiree a Huge Success!
Ciel Gallery in South End graciously hosted our first Soiree for Bayonnais on September 29. We gathered for food and drink, accompanied by Actionnel and Yolande, to learn more about the clinic in Bayonnais and its current needs. We thank everyone who attended. For those not able to attend and would like more information about the clinic please reach out to Eleanor Norman or Lindsay Gildea. 

Give for today … Give for tomorrow
This Christmas make a donation to Bayonnais by selecting a gift in the name of a loved one.  We will send a card explaining your gift to your loved one.
Due to Hurricane Matthew, rice and beans is an immediate need.  Avocado and Mango trees were added as gift options to help build long-term sustainability.

GIFT OPTIONS
$15: 25 lb bag of Rice
$30: 30 lb bag of Beans
$15: Avocado Tree
$15: Mango Tree
Any Amount: Monetary Donation

amazonsmile
You shop. Amazon gives.
Christmas Shopping Online? Remember, always start at smile.amazon.com
and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. 
On your first visit to AmazonSmile go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/26-3588310.   Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to World of God.


Haiti News

Pastor Geoffrey Visits the U.S.!

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He has a very busy schedule from Oct. 27 - Nov, 6th in North Carolina. Some highlights are 5th Sunday and youth group at WCUMC on Oct. 30; Breads and Spreads at WCUMC on Nov. 3; Mens Bible Study on Nov. 4; UMM Mens Breakfast on Nov. 6; West UMC Services on Nov. 6. See the newsletter online for a more complete NC schedule: http://www.worldofgod.org/images/2016-10.pdf

The mission team from West UMC left for Acres of Hope, Uganda on October 16th. Pastor Geoffrey will join them when they will return on October 26. World of God along with 127 WorldWide have put together an exciting schedule for Geoffrey while he is in the U.S. We hope everyone has an opportunity to spend some time with him while he is here — there is no better way to hear the latest about your sponsored child!


A huge thank you to Williamson’s Chapel UMC for giving Pastor Geoffrey and Peace the opportunity to attend the Yobel Entrepreneurial Training session.  It was an educational and inspiration week of classes focused on long term sustainability for the Acres of Hope community. 

Thank you to Northway Church Woodlands, TX
Northway Church raised $900 selling the Christmas garland beads and sponsored 11 additional kids, bringing their total sponsored up to 15! We are so excited and couldn’t be happier to walk by their side in this journey!

GIVE THE GIFT OF SUSTAINABILITY!
This Christmas make a donation to Acres of Hope by selecting a gift in the name of a loved one.
GIFT OPTIONS
$10: 2 Chickens
$25: Share in Aquaponics Fish Farm 
$40: Share in Dairy Cow
Any Amount: Monetary Donation

A Christmas Gift from Uganda
Pastor Geoffrey  will return to the US with Beaded Christmas Tree Garlands made by the ladies of Acres of Hope. They are 8 meters long and cost $40. A beautiful addition to your Holiday Home. If you would like one, let us know and we make sure you get one.  

AmazonSmile
Christmas Shopping Online? Remember, always start at smile.amazon.com
and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. 
On your first visit to AmazonSmile go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/26-3588310.   Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to World of God.

Becca Dalessandro wrote bios for the employees at Acres of Hope. We will share the bios one at a time.

HOUSE MAMAS
House Moms are a key element at Acres of Hope. They step in to fill the gap left by absent or unable parents. They cook nutritious meals, wash clothes, clean the house, disciple, encourage, and train eight to nine young children. It is not an easy task, but these women do it with grace. When talking with all three women, each one had a similar prayer request for a permanent home. Although they live in pod homes for most of the year, their families live in mud huts, and the Mama’s spend the holidays there. One Mama said that her house is currently feeding termites. They also pray that the Lord continues to provide for their families. They are thankful for their employment and purpose at Acres of Hope, and they love the kids as if they were their own, but they are all about an hour away from their biological children. Sidonia, Joice, and Alice are delightful to be around. They love practicing English and asking questions about America. 

Sidonia 
Mama Sidonia is a 53 year old widow. She brings a lot of experience to Acres of Hope as she had nine biological children, eight of whom are still living. She has been at house Mom since May 2013. 

Mama Sidonia said she was attracted to Acres of Hope because she was already taking care of orphans on her own. She used to struggle to support her children. Now she can use the money she earns at Acres of Hope to care for her family. Her youngest son is a teenager in the boys’ hostel at Acres of Hope. 

Mama Sidonia has a beautiful heart and smile, and her laugh brings joy to everyone who hears it. 


Uganda News

Soiree for Bayonnais

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Join us for a happy hour reception to support our partners in Bayonnias. Food, drinks, art, with an opportunity to learn about the life SAVING work happening in the clinic and the life GIVING work happening in the school.  

Your $20 ticket to this event covers the cost of staffing the clinic for one hour -- doctor, dentist, 4 nurses, lab tech, and administrator.  

Thursday, September 29, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ciel Gallery - 128 East Park Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28203 


More opportunities to interact with Actionnel while he is in the U.S.

Events open to all
Sept. 18: FPC Charlotte 
Sept. 25:  FPC Florence

Pastor’s Luncheon
Sept. 21, 12:00-2:00 PM
Dow Bauknight’s home
RSVP to Joan at 704-575-0062 or joan@worldofgod.org

Pray for our students
The students in Bayonnais started back at school this month. Unlike in the U.S.,  it can take up to one month for all of the students to return to school. Take a moment to say a prayer for all of the students and educators in Bayonnais. Take time out to write a letter to your sponsored student: www.worldofgod.org/SponsorLetter.php

Congratulations to the 2016 ICB Graduates
Jean- Rene Aime
Vedelet Aime
Philistin Belhomme
Eliguens Chancy
Erwans Charles
Ruben Charles
Joselyne Cius
Desilien Decius
Mikenson delice
Derilia Donatien
Miselande Dorelus
John-Kelly Elisma
Cresline Eneus
Lorancia Exilus
Mikely Fils-Aime
Amicasler Jaccean
Cherodson Jean
Julanda Joseph
Myrtha Love Osney-Sainte
Venette Saint-Louis
Willem Saint-Louis
Peterson Sejour
Dieudonnade Sylvestre
Jean-Benson Alexis

Upcoming Mission Trips

Oct 12-19, 2016: AVAILABLE FOR TRIP
Oct 20-26, 2016: Sardis Presbyterian
Oct 26 - Nov 2, 2016: Myers Park UMC
Nov 10-15, 2016: Radiant Light Fellowship

If you are interested in joining a mission team in Bayonnais, Haiti, contact David Nichols at david5cents@aol.com.




Haiti News

Stories of Hope from Acres of Hope, Uganda

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Daphine 
In 2011 when Daphine was 8 years old her father died in a car accident. Daphines mother abandoned her as well as her younger brother and sister. They were living with their Uncle who spent his money on alcohol rather than feeding the children.
They were among the first to move into Acres of Hope in 2012. Now she dances and she smiles a beautiful smile. Daphine is at the top of her class. She has a new life in Christ and hope for a future.


Juliette
Raped by her Uncle at age 12, when discovered pregnant, Juliettes clan wanted to kill her.  The baby didn survive, but Acres of Hope rescued Juliette. Now she is 16. She cares for the little ones at Acres of Hope. She is a leader. Juliette reads the Bible in English in front of over 100 peers. She is a joy to be around. Jesus saved Juliette through Acres of Hope.

Gilbert
Then there is four year old Gilbert. Last month he was living with his Step-Mother and attending Acres of Hope school. He consistently stayed at Acres of Hope until the children went to bed and then he would slowly walk home. After some investigation, it was found that he was being brutally beaten at home. Although there were no beds, and technically no space for Gilbert, Acres of Hope made room. He is the newest Acres of Hope resident. His story has hope now.

At Acres of Hope, lives are transformed by the power and love of Jesus.
They are clothed...
They are fed...
They are educated...
They get a childhood...
They have reasons to smile...
Most importantly, they know they are loved by their Heavenly Father.

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."
James 1:27



Williamsons Chapel in Mooresville, NC is having an interest meeting on Sept. 14 at 6pm in room A107 for anyone wanting to learn more about our next trip to Acres of Hope.  Contact Amy LaCount at missions@willchapumc.org with any questions.


Dear Sponsors, the children would love for you to send a handwritten note or card along with a printed picture of your self, family or small group by September 30 to World of God, 338 Sharon Amity Road, No. 280, Charlotte, NC 28211 or drop off at West UMC, 430 Patterson Ave., Mooresville, NC 28115. 
A group from West UMC will hand deliver everything to Acres of Hope in October. We are also collecting pens (blue, black and red), erasures, feminine hygiene pads, girl’s underwear and reader glasses (all prescription strengths) if you would like to contribute. Thank you for sharing your life and love!


Uganda News

Sweet Sponsors ...

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You are dearly loved. "Do you know my sponsor?" is the most common question I have heard during the past week at Acres of Hope. It is such a joy to be able to answer "yes" so frequently. When I say yes, faces light up. Then they ask more about you. "What does my sponsor do for work? Do we live together? Will my sponsor come to visit? Can you take my picture and give my sponsor a letter? 

Before this week, I had no idea that these precious kids really understood sponsorship. Now I realize that it is I who didn  really understand sponsorship. You not only help to provide for their basic needs, but you give them a person to trust and hope in. Your generosity and love is noticed and returned. You are making a difference. 


In case that phrase has lost its meaning on you, allow me to illustrate. Four years ago, a 12 year old girl was raped by her Uncle on the way to school. She conceived, but instead of the community supporting her, they wanted to kill her. Her baby didn survive, but Geoffrey rescued this young girl. Through Acres of Hope and the grace of God, this young girl is now 16 and thriving. She sings and dances. She smiles a big, beautiful smile. And at Chapel, she read from the Bible, in English in front of 100 of her peers. Sponsors, you are making a difference.

Then there is sweet, 14 year old, Yona.. He colored a picture for his sponsor Pat. At the top of his picture he wrote, "For Mum Pat." Even though they don get to see each other often, Yona considers Pat his Mother figure because she provides for him and loves him. Sponsors, you are making a difference.
Brightest blessings, 
Becca (Barker) Dalessandro


Dear Sponsors, the children would love for you to send a handwritten note or card along with a printed picture of your self, family or small group by September 30 to World of God, 338 Sharon Amity Road, No. 280, Charlotte, NC 28211 or drop off at West UMC, 430 Patterson Ave., Mooresville, NC 28115. 
A group from West UMC will hand deliver everything to Acres of Hope in October. We are also collecting pens (blue, black and red), erasures, feminine hygiene pads and girl’s underwear if you would like to contribute. Thank you for sharing your life and love!



A Fun Day of Friendly Competition

On Friday, July 29th, over 40 students and student athletes from Acres of Hope, piled into the AOH truck to drive to netball and futball (soccer) competitions. The truck had to make a second trip to bring the remaining students and teachers. It seemed as though all of Nebbi was more concerned with the athletic competitions than anything else. Without bleachers, crowds stood shoulder to shoulder around the fields. In some places fans stood in rows at least 5 people deep. The netball girls defeated their opponent by a fierce score of 28-10. The futball boys ended with a score of zero-zero, but it felt like a victory as the opponent looked more like Goliath. The trip back to Acres of Hope was full of joyful singing. It was a beautiful testimony for a truck full of dark pasts that have been overcome. Now these children are able to enjoy childhood. 


Words from AOH Most Recent Visitors

"On my recent visit to Uganda, I was blown away by what God is doing through Acres of Hope. I made a connection with little Bright and was moved to sponsor him. I look forward to the opportunity to write him letters, to remind him how much Jesus and I love him." Lizzy

"I wasn sure what to expect when arriving in Uganda for the first time. I quickly realized that these are special people, unlike any other. Acres of Hope is a light in the dark and I am so excited to not only continue working with Geoffrey, but also sweet Priscilla. I connected with her from the beginning and felt led to sponsor her. I can wait to watch her grow and see how the Lord works in her life. This is only the beginning!"  - Kati

“Today was by far one of the greatest days I’ve ever had.  In the morning I was able to meet Samson, the boy who I have been sponsoring.” 
— First Day of Trip

“It was then time to start saying our goodbyes.  This was definitely the hardest part of the entire trip.  It was even more difficult because Samson was really struggling with me leaving.  It is truly amazing the bond that you build with a child that you sponsor.  For that child, you are their family.  You will never be able to understand how important you are to that child.  Many tears were shed as we drove away for the last time.”  —Last Day of Trip 
Derek


Uganda News

Short Story of My Life

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I was born in 1979 in Cathor-Bayonnais, 3rd section of the town of Gonaives, Artibonite, Department of Haiti.  I was brought up in a very poor family where everyone practiced voodoo. My mom was a single parent. In 1991, at 12 years of age, she sent me to school at Ecole Nazareen.


In Bayonnais, particularly in Cathor, when children completed their elementary school in 6th grade, they could not go to high school.  There was no high school in Bayonnais and parents had no financial resources to send them to Gonaives to attend high school. The students were forced to go to the Dominican Republic in order to seek a better life.  There, they were despised, abused, humiliated, and sometimes killed by the Dominicans.


In 1993, concerned by what was going on in Bayonnis, Mr. Actionnel Fleurisma and his team created OFCB Ministries.  They opened a high school in 1996 in Bayonnais so parents could avoid sending their children to the Dominican Republic. That same year, I was going to complete elementary school (6th grade) and begin high school in the 7th grade. After seeing the greatness of God in my life, I accepted Jesus-Christ as my personal savior in November 1996.Psalm 113 verse 7 says He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the dunghill. 

I attended Quisqueya University in Port-au- Prince and directly started my Civil Engineering program, where I would study for five years. Once finished, I received a scholarship of excellence from Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) to travel to Belgium for a Masters Degree.  While in Belgium, I visited many countries such as France, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Morocco, and many more.

Nelson Mandela was right when he said Education is the Most Powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Upon my return to Haiti, I worked for the government for a few months before I decided to go back to Bayonnais to help with sustainable development. Today, I am Coordinator of Organisation de la Force Chrétienne de Bayonnais, OFCB Ministries and Headmaster of the Institution Classique de Bayonnais (ICB).

Thank you to all those who have contributed far and near to advance Bayonnais.  May God, in his immeasurable love, bless you abundantly.


Haiti News

Letter Writing Information

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We would like to share our letter writing procedures with you this month. (This might serve as a reminder for some of our longer-term sponsors.) 

* Sponsors can expect 3 letters from your sponsored child each year. In Uganda the children have 3 school terms, so your child will write to you at least once during each term.  Some children might write more, but the expectation is 3 letters.

* Sponsors are welcome to write as frequently as you like. The letters you send will be shared with your child, but technology and personnel constraints might not allow the child to respond quickly. 


* Internet service in Uganda does not compare to service in the U.S. Sometimes the Ugandan government interrupts all service out of the country for days at a time!

* Maureen, our AoH staff member who helps the children with the letters, works very diligently to help all 150 children write 3 letters per year. She also shares your letters with the children and helps the children read them.  

* The most efficient way to send a letter to your child is via the World of God website. http://www.worldofgod.org/SponsorLetter.php. If you mail a hard copy item to the World of God address, we will scan it and email it to Uganda. 

* When a group travels to Uganda, we will ask you to mail us hard copy letters, cards and pictures for us to hand deliver to your child. 


Maureen’s Baby Daughter, Miracle
Maureen, our administrative contact at Acres of Hope, and her family were blessed with a baby daughter in March. She has just returned form maternity leave and is busy working with the children to write letters. 


First Aquaponics Harvest was Plentiful!
The aquaponics farm is reaping great rewards; a terrific blessing for the Acres of Hope community. These nutritious greens were grown with fertilizer from the protein-packed tilapia fish.


Uganda News

Education… The Unique means to diminish disparities

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By Actionnel Fluerisma 

So far this year, Kenold and I have made two extraordinary trips together to promote the ministry in the mountainous region of Bayonnais, Haiti. Our thanks and everlasting appreciation go to the Bauknights, David Nichols, and Lisa and Philip Cope for their accommodations we have been in Charlotte, and to every single family, Brothers and Sisters that have been hosting us for OFCB Ministries. Immeasurable  thanks and understanding from our hearts also go to the congregations that have opened their doors to World of God Ministries to promote the vision of giving hope and dignity to children in Bayonnais through Education.



We have had the honor to visit and worship with congregations such as: Lake Norman Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach, SC; Sardis Presbyterian Church, Myers Park United Methodist Church, and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. Big surprises everywhere with warm welcomes and a great desire to be part of the ministry in Bayonnais. "How shall I render to the Lord for all he has done for me?"

"Zombies have tasted salt and have been having a stronger and stronger desire for not only more, but also for better salt since then," Haitian Proverb.

While in the US, Kenold and I have been to visited different classrooms in Mecklenburg County. It is surprising to see here in the states there is an average of 10 students per teacher, whereas we have about 30 in Bayonnais. It was surprising to see so many teaching materials available in those schools including textbooks, computers and high speed internet for all. It was truly shocking to see how much food that was on the table as snack for those kids, but 90% of that food would have been thrown into trash cans. It would be insane for us to attempt to compare a builder of women and men in the states with one in Bayonnais, Haiti. It would be impossible to try to compare classrooms and school buildings here n Mecklenburg County with what we have in Haiti. 

We think that we are not Zombies. At least not yet as far as we know. But, what we have seen since February 2016 has been challenging for us both. What we have seen and understood during this trip in April, which we are still trying to digest, has made us wonder how to have a better school in the Haitian culture while giving a better consideration and treatment to our fellow Haitian teachers, builders of men and women. Where all little students, whether they are in Nicolas or in Zoranger or in Cathor, are not rejected because of financial handicap of their parents.

Eternally grateful to you all, FOFCB, WOG, Congregations and individuals for your strong and vivid involvement in the Bayonnais community since 1994, where tremendous transformation has taken place.


THANK YOU SARDIS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH...
We are celebrating 26 children sponsored on April 10 by the members of Sardis Presbyterian Church today! This represents a 47% increase in students sponsored from Sardis!!!

HEARTS FOR HAITI
Hearts for Haiti - Myers Park United Methodist Church held a sponsorship campaign from February 7-14, Hearts for Haiti was the theme. The campaign kicked off on February 3 with a sponsorship drive during all Church services. Throughout the week, MPUMC held various events including Breaking Bread and a coffee with Actionnel for preschool parents. The preschool through MPUMC, The Childrens Circle, jumped on board for the campaign and the children made hearts that were given to the children in Bayonnais, Haiti. The campaign ended with another sponsor drive on Sunday, February 10. We were able provide 35 new sponsorships as a result of the campaign. Thank you to the members, staff, and clergy at Myers Park United Methodist for your commitment and support of World of God. 

We have more children in need of sponsors, 
we would love to talk to your church about hosting a campaign. 
Contact Lindsay Gildea at Lindsay@worldofgod.org or 704-575-0062.

BREAKING BREAD
On April 7th, Actionnel traveled to First Presbyterian Myrtle Beach for their Early Sabbath Service followed by Breaking Bread with Actionnel.  During the service, Actionnel shared his call to start OFCB ministry how God has provided for OFCB growth through the help of churches and individuals in the US.  The Rev. Dr. John Brearley tied his sermon on The Great Commission to Actionnel’s words reminding the congregation that God calls us to “Go” and not just stay.   After worship, Actionnel had an opportunity to share the work of OFCB and opportunities for churches to become connected with OFCB.  After nine years, the visit was a wonderful opportunity for FPCMB to reconnect with OFCB and Actionnel.  
 
On April 11 members of SMPC and others enjoyed hearing about our friends in Haiti from Actionnel and Kenold. They told us about new developments at the school,  which now is in three locations and has 2,500 students. Actionnel expressed appreciation for SMPCs long term support since 1984. 

UPCOMING MISSION TRIPS
Light of Christ UMC: April 27 - May 2, 2016
First Presbyterian Charlotte: May 12-17, 2016
Lake Norman Baptist Church: May 19-25, 2016
AVAILABLE FOR MISSION TRIP: May 31– June 7, 2016

If you are interested in joining a mission team in Bayonnais, Haiti, contact David Nichols at david5cents@aol.com.


Haiti News

A Big Year for 13 of Our Students

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These students are very busy with their final year of Primary School … 7th grade! The AoH staff is already busy registering them for the end-of-year exams which will be administered November. Only about 53% of Ugandans complete Primary School. We celebrate their accomplishments and send our encouragement for a terrific school year.  May God guide each student.


Toilets!!!
A prayer is being answered in the form of toilets.  The AoH School has operated without flush toilets until now, but thanks to the generosity of many of you, that is changing. The first flushing toilets are under construction!

More To Do
As we celebrate the many blessings at AoH, we continue to look to the future. The foundation for the second permanent school building has been laid. As resources permit, many more students will be accommodated! We sincerely thank each of you for yours support! 

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Sponsorship Event:
Williamson’s Chapel UMC, Mooresville, NC
Sundays: April 17 and April 24
Acres of Hope T-shirts will be available for purchase

Support Acres of Hope with a T-Shirt
Gildan 100% Ultra Cotton Shirts
Local in Mooresville, contact Michelle michelle@worldofgod.org to arrange for pick up.
Available online: $11 plus shipping costs.
Please Indicate Your Size:
Ladies: X-Small, Small, Medium or Large
Mens: Small, Medium, Large or X-Large


Uganda News

BREAKING BREAD

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Yes! We’re doing it again! Two locations this month!
Come share this opportunity to network with Pastor Actionnel Fleurisma, Kenold Decimus, sponsors and others who are interested in lifting students out of poverty through education.

Breaking Word at South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church
April 11 at 7:00-8:00 PM
Location: SMPC Chapel 
(on the right side of the circle at the end of the main driveway) 

First Presbyterian Myrtle Beach
April 7 
Unable to make the event in Charlotte? Come see us in South Carolina — bring a friend! 


Scholarship Events in April
Light of Christ UMC: April 3 and April 10
Sardis Presbyterian Church: April 10

MISSION MOMENT: Eye Clinic in Haiti
We are continuing to do amazing things in Bayonnais, Haiti. Three Church groups traveled together in January to administer over 2,000 eye screenings of adults and children. Of those 2,000 tested, 573 were referred to FMBCs optical professionals for further technical exams. Of those receiving prescriptions, 135 received pairs of glasses. Additional prescriptions are being filled in Charlotte and will be sent to OFCB with another visiting group. All Haitians who participated in the eye clinic received a quart baggie with items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, washcloth, soap, etc. These items were purchased or donated by people from the three churches and were assembled before the trip. 

If you are interested in joining a mission team in Bayonnais, Haiti, contact David Nichols at david5cents@aol.com.

UPCOMING MISSION TRIPS
Lake Norman Baptist Church: April 20-27, 2016
Light of Christ UMC: April 27 - May 2, 2016
First Presbyterian Charlotte: May 12-17, 2016
AVAILABLE FOR MISSION TRIP: May 19-26, 2016
AVAILABLE FOR MISSION TRIP: May 31– June 7, 2016

INTEGRITY PLUS
by Actionnel Fleurisma

For the last 18 months or so, I have been less active, very reserved and have been thinking differently and doing things differently than I did some years ago. One may well say that it is normal since I just turned 52 on the 10th of February. That might be very much true. But, the social and political environment I am living in has certainly a lot to do with it. 

Over time I have been asked if I would run for political office. But, my response to them is this: “Nobody would vote for me. If by any accident I got elected, I would have been in my own world by myself. Actually it looks like nobody in the Haiti political World at this time in our history would cooperate with any political Party by the name: Integrity Plus” 

In fact, if today had been 1993, it seems that OFCB would have been called INTEGRITY PLUS. Too late now to change the name of the Ministry.

Our new way of living and doing things has nothing to do with aging at all. I believe it has a lot to do with living in an environment/community where people are fleeing to another country to find work, where politics have become a monetary game, where inflation is continuing to rise, and where people can’t find food or water to drink. The corruption since 1804 has been the cause of this in Haiti. What if the education system caused this corruption and results in the way people act and feel? 

“Righteousness raises up a nation. But, sin is a disgrace to any people.”   Proverbs 14:34

We need integrity, values, characters, morality and ethics in this country and in our education system. Our 2,500 girls and boys in Zoranger, Nicolas and Cathor are being taught just this. Thanks and gratefulness to World of God, Friends of OFCB, and our over 500 sponsors through World of God and to every church congregation for holding our arms up to keep on teaching and preaching what our society needs to put into practice. The work has become more and more challenging, but you as our sponsors and supporters have become stronger. 

So, let’s keep moving forward and rescue one at a time and thank you so very much on behalf of all Bayonnais and OFCB ministries for all you have been doing.


Haiti News

Thank you!

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Dear Friends and Partners,

Christian greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

It was great to work together with you all in 2015. Through your support, we were to face lift Acres of Hope Uganda.

Thanks so much for all your financial and prayer support. Without your  close walk beside us, we wouldn have reached this far. I praise God that  one permanent school block is now completed. We have aquaponics, dairy cow, turkeys, goats, pigs, running water and water tanks put in places around the solar-powered homes and offices. We added on a few acres of  land. Just to mention a few of last year’s achievements!

Trusting Almighty God will as usual use us in more special ways in 2016.

Thank you, Pastor Odongo Geoffrey Keronga


WRITE A LETTER
The 2016 school year is off to a great start! The new year began on February 22 and the teachers and students are busy and working hard. Now would be a great time to send a note of encouragement to your child. Please Visit: www.worldofgod.org/SponsorLetter.php 

UPCOMING CHILD SPONSORSHIP EVENT
Williamson’s Chapel UMC, Mooresville, NC
April 17 and April 24
9:00 – 11:00 am

WORLD OF GOD NEWS
There is an excitement around the offices at World of God, as evidenced by the addition of three new Board Members. Jim Gray, Amy LaCount, and Eleanor Norman, joined in the Board in January 2016 and have hit the ground running.  (Learn about our new board members on our website.)

The Board has begun 2016 with renewed enthusiasm and is confident that God is leading World of God to expand it’s positive impact in Nebbi, Uganda. Through God’s leading and mutual cooperation, we are steadfastly involved in the business of providing hope for the future and working toward sustainability in Uganda. 
We, at World of God, are excited about 2016 and where God will take this ministry. May each of you who partners with us be blessed in your efforts. 


Uganda News

Thank you!

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Greetings from Bayonnais! We are pleased to report that the generous Christians living in the US who have partnered with us in our mission of providing education, and life skills to the children of Bayonnais, Nicolas, and Zorange have showered us with gifts during the Christmas season in abundance, providing goats, farm implements, and other outpouring evidence of love and affection for those of us in Haiti. We are grateful your generosity outside of the regular consistent support for the school, clinic, and agronomy project in Bayonnais. Blessings to all who were a part of this!



HEARTS FOR HAITI
Myers Park United Methodist Church has again undertaken a campaign to sponsor students in Bayonnais, Nicolas, and Zorange. The most recent campaign (Myers Park’s third) is focused on sponsoring as many of the approximately 400 kindergarten/pre-kindergarten children as possible. The creativity and energy, care and concern exhibited by the ministers, staff, and members of Myers Park United Methodist Church has been a  strong positive influence upon us in Haiti and is an encouragement that our efforts are not only in God’s will but worthy of support. We pray that other churches will join in sponsoring our students and that those existing churches who currently sponsor students will increase their sponsorship.

WORLD OF GOD NEWS
There is an excitement around the offices at World of God, as evidenced by the addition of three new Board Members. Jim Gray, Amy LaCount, and Eleanor Norman, joined in the Board in January 2016 and have hit the ground running.  (Learn about out new board members below.)

The Board has begun 2016 with renewed enthusiasm and confident that God is leading World of God to expand its positive impact upon the mountain villages of Bayonnais, Nicolas, and Zorange, Haiti. Restructuring its efforts with an emphasis on strengthening the relationships between sponsors and sponsored students, the Bayonnais Advisory Council has changed its name to the Bayonnais Advocacy Council in order to advocate for solutions for the needs of these communities. This continues to send a strong message that we are in this for the long haul. Through God’s leading and mutual cooperation, we are steadfastly involved in the business of providing hope for the future and working toward sustainability in the mountainous region of Haiti. We, at World of God, are excited about 2016 and where God will take this ministry. May each of you who partners with us be blessed in your efforts. 

The REVEREND ELEANOR R. NORMAN, C.F.R.E. is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, a trained Intentional Interim Minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator.  She has successful assisted churches in VA and NC thrive during leadership transitions.  In addition to her work in the church, she works as a Non-Profit Fundraising and Strategic Planning consultant. 
Eleanor has a heart for serving her community. An active Junior League Member, Eleanor has served in leadership roles in Junior Leagues in Pensacola, Hampton Roads, and Charlotte.  A twenty-six year Lupus thriver, Eleanor actively volunteers with the Lupus Foundation of NC.  Eleanor serves on the Advisory Board of Girls on the Run Charlotte and as Vice-President of the University of Georgia Alumni Association.  She is also an active member of The Robin Center for Civic Leadership and Association of Fundraising Professionals.  
Eleanor enjoys hosting legionary tailgates and crawfish boils, watercolor painting, cooking, and traveling.  She was born and raised in Pensacola, FL. 

JIM GRAY has been in the Automotive Aftermarket for over 35 years. He was transferred to Mooresville NC in 1997 where he and his wife Sandy Tabor – Gray chose to stay and raise their three children. 
Jim is a member at Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist Church where he and his family have been active in youth groups, mission trips and Bible studies throughout the years. He has served as a lay leader and currently resides on the Mission Council.
He has been a Board Member for Solace for the Children, Mooresville Christian Mission and several automotive associations as well as a Public Safety Diver for the Mooresville Rescue Squad.
He volunteers to serve where ever possible in the area of helping people locally and abroad as well as those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.

AMY LACOUNT was born and raised in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Eastern Kentucky University. Go Colonels!  Amy has a background in Public Health but switched to ministry in May of 2014.  
Amy is responsible for leading volunteers and missions at Williamsons Chapel UMC in Mooresville, NC.  She loves serving others, working with volunteers, making a difference and most of all sharing Gods love. 
Amy has traveled to various places across the globe and has had life-changing experiences on mission trips. She knows firsthand how powerful they can be, not only for those that are served but for the volunteers themselves.  Amy and her husband, Shane, have two wonderful children – Avery & JP.


Haiti News

2015 Academic Results

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Acres of Hope Nursery and Primary School had very impressive results for the 2015 Academic year.  96% of the students passed the Uganda Government issued test, allowing them to proceed to the next grade level (called “class” level in Uganda). 87% of students passed in Level 1 or 2. There are 4 passing levels in the Uganda structure, with Level 1 being the best and Level 2 being quite good. These results are exceptional, considering that 2015 was the first year many of the students were able to attend classes and focus on their education for the entire year!



Sustainability
2015 brought a giant step forward for Acres of Hope Uganda’s sustainability efforts. Piglets, piglets and more piglets, calves and the newest addition … an Aquaponics farm! In case you don’t know, Aquaponics is a system for farming fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial cycle. Fish produce wastes that turn into nitrates and ammonia. These aren good for the fish if they build up too much, but they e great fertilizer for plants. As the plants suck up these nutrients, they purify the water, which is good for the fish.


New School Construction

Thanks to contributions by many of you, the first phase of the new, permanent school is on schedule to open in February! Your generosity is truly appreciated and will make a huge difference for the students. Side Note: The 2016 school year will begin on February 22, 2016, following the February 18 Presidential election.


Acres of Hope Staff Blessings

Docus, the AOH Social Worker, and her family have been blessed with adorable twins (a girl and a boy).

Peace, AOH Head of Women’s Affairs and Storeroom, and her family have been blessed with a beautiful daughter.


Uganda News

Drought is Devastating the Region

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The Bayonnais River valley, home to OFCB Ministries, has been in the grip of a severe drought for the past several years and for the second year in a row the local rice crop, for most families, will not even be planted due to a lack of water to irrigate the fields. Last years failed rice crops placed tremendous hardship on this community, but a second year in a row with no rice means that many of these families are now facing a crisis situation as they have run out of ways to feed themselves.


HOW CAN YOU HELP? 

You can make a one-time donation for beans and rice for families in Bayonnais on our website: MAKE A ONE TIME DONATION
Select fund: Haiti Drought Relief

$20 provides rice rations for 3 families. 
$40 provides bean rations for 24 families.


Haiti News

Destructive Storm at Acres of Hope

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Acres of Hope Uganda had a destructive storm that ended up putting down the Nursery class rooms block. We praise God that it happened at 7:00 pm after normal day classes when the children were home. Acres of Hope asks for your prayers and support in response to this situation.

The government inspector visited AOH. He said they are not allowed to build another temporary structure. They have 3 days to finish taking down the damaged building. So the only option is to complete the permanent school structure.


We give Glory to God for all friends of Acres of Hope who have already contributed funds towards our permanent school building, without your generosity we wouldn have reached this far. May God bless and reward you all accordingly!

Others who would like to donate to the construction costs of the school: Visit WorldOfGod.org >> Make a One Time Donation. Be sure to indicate Acres of Hope Uganda School Fund in the Comment section. 100% of your donation will go to the school construction (and it is tax deductible). Please contact Michelle@WorldOfGod.org with questions. 

Donating towards the school is an awesome way for someone to be involved in forwarding the education at Acres of Hope without the monthly commitment of sponsorship.

DONATIONS for September Trip to Acres of Hope
We are collecting the following items to deliver to Acres of Hope in September. If you would like to donate, please contact Michelle@WorldOfGod.org to drop off items. (NO crayons, we have many)

Pens (blue, black, red) 
Pencils
Erasures
Rulers
Soccer & Volley Balls
Twin bed sheets - new or very slightly used
Bath Towels - new or very slightly used
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Sanitary pads for teenage girls
Under Pants for girls (age 3 to 16)

CURRENT SPONSORS:
Please send an updated photo (of you, your family, your small group or whoever sponsors the child) and a letter to your child. We will hand deliver these to the children. They LOVE getting letters and pictures from you!


Uganda News

School Construction

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Acres of Hope Nebbi Campus  students are appealing to all well wishers to join hands with them in building their permanent  school building. To donate to the construction costs of the school: Visit WorldOfGod.org >> Make a One Time Donation. Be sure to indicate Acres of Hope Uganda School Fund in the Comment section. 100% of your donation will go to the school construction. Please contact Michelle@WorldOfGod.org with questions. 

Thank you to the WCUMC Methodist Mens Group for their donation to the Acres of Hope Pakwach Campus school improvements. Concrete flooring and metal walls will make school possible even during the rainy season.  


Interesting Facts

SCHOOL
Of the 122 sponsored children at Acres of Hope, 75% attend Acres of Hope Nursery & Primary School, either at the Nebbi campus or the Pakwach campus. 25% of our students attend other area schools which are closer to their homes. All school fees, uniforms, and supplies are paid for by your sponsorship in either case. 

HOME
One-third of the sponsored children live in the pod homes at Acres of Hope in Nebbi. Two-thirds live in the community with relatives or neighbors who have been screened by Acres of Hope. All provide a loving, healthy environment for the children. 


Uganda News

Empowering Women in Bayonnais

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Myers Park UMC is considering commerce as one aspect of their Oct. 14-21 trip. For Bayonnais to have a future - on their own without handouts from others - commerce is vital.   

Are you interested in making a difference in Bayonnais? 
 
FACT: Women in third world countries, who earn money, spend 90% of it on their families and their community.  Also, these woman with no marketable skills - when abandoned by her husband (through death or desertion), which happens quite often - find her dreams shattered and, in many cases, her family scattered to relatives and others because she cannot provide for them. However, a woman in a third world country who is actively involved in the right type of commerce can provide for her family, and she can set her community on course to sustainability.  


There is a real opportunity to connect the women of Bayonnais with a global marketplace.  Success depends on a few key elements:

* To sell their goods in a competitive world market place and create sustainable income opportunities, the women of Bayonnais have to know what the global market will buy (i.e., what products, at what price and at what level of quality).

* The women of Bayonnais have to create their plan for realizing this future, including how they will overcome significant challenges.  We cannot do it for them.

*The women of Bayonnais have to form themselves in a cohesive, empowered group, which they manage, not us.

Are you:

*Interested in helping the women of Bayonnais create their future and transform their community?, or

*Skilled in a small business of your own?, or

*Experienced in fair trade (i.e., creating a pipeline for products made by women in third world countries, etc.)?

If so, please contact Dow Bauknight at dowbauknight@worldofgod.org

Kara Wiegand, Lindsay Murphy and Angela Yost own Threadsworldwide.com which connects 1,000 women in third world countries to the US market (see note below). They are delighted and excited to help us map out a productive, fact-finding/assessment process for our October Trip.  Please join Dow, Kara, Lindsay and Angela to figure out how to incorporate this possibility in the October Mission trip. (Even if you can’t go on the trip yourself!!).
 
Note:
For an idea of what this might look like, visit  http://threadsworldwide.com/. Threads sources beautiful, handmade products from women in developing countries and sells these products through their website and through independent sales consultants in the US.


Haiti News

The Story Behind the Medical Clinic

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A medical clinic in Bayonnais! Where does it come from?

What could be a very long story, we are going to make short. 

1987 - The wake up year for own my life.  It still shapes my life today. 


In early 1987 I had decided to become either a lawyer, a politician or businessman. However, around midnight in February 1987, I heard the Lord speaking to me about going back to Bayonnais, while I was planning to visit the Dominican Republic for the first time. Once I arrived in the Dominican Republic I was shocked to see how Haitians were living there. They were working hard, but owned literally nothing. Slavery. They were treated poorly by the government, one instance being where they put Haitians by hundreds in pools beneath a large dam and opened large faucets over them. The higher the water would get,  the more they would die by jumping and jumping until drowned,  since they would have had no means to get out. Cruel!

August 29, 1987 I boarded an airplane first time in my life to Miami, and from Miami to Raleigh Durham. What an adventure for a hillbilly, traveling alone for first the time in his life!


Haiti News

Uganda Mission Trip Info Meeting

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The September 12-22 trip to Uganda is coming together nicely and we appear to have a full schedule planned.  It looks like we’ll be able to help Acres of Hope with some of their key projects and to witness their wonderful continued progress.

INFORMATION / PLANNING MEETING (Sponsors & Potential Travelers Welcome)
Monday, May 18  --  7-8 PM
Williamson’s Chapel UMC, Room B202    


For those of you interested in joining us for the trip:
* Info regarding trip schedule & logistics
* Plans for introducing “7 Habits of Leader In Me” to AOH
* Meeting & sharing info with current sponsored students
* Plans for profiling additional Students in need of sponsorship

For those unable to join but want to help with the prep:
* Prepare letters & communications to sponsored students
* Help prepare items on Pastor Geoffrey’s needs list:
       *School supplies – pens, pencils, rulers, erasures
       *Girls underpants – age 3-14
       *Books – see full list at meeting

Hope to see you there – For More Info:  Michelle@WorldofGod.org


Uganda News

September 12-22, 2015 Trip to Acres of Hope, Uganda

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World of God is joining West UMC and Williamson’s Chapel for this trip. We will visit the children, house moms, teachers and Pastor Geoffrey; introducing the 7 habits of the Leader in Me program to the Acres of Hope school, building relationships between the children and their sponsors and having fun! We would love for you to prayerfully consider joining us.

Approximate Trip Cost: $2,500. For more information, please contact Michelle@WorldOfGod.org.

If you are not available for the September trip, please contact whitney@127worldwide.org to learn more about the June 2015 trip. 


New Rain Barrels
New rain barrels have been installed and are collecting water for the school, homes and piggery. Thank you to West UMC.

Child Sponsorships
Thank you to Williamson’s Chapel for hosting a recent child sponsorship day. 122 children are now being sponsored at Acres of Hope, leaving only 4 children in need of a sponsor! If God is prompting you, have a look at http://www.worldofgod.org/Students.php?Country=Uganda to learn about these 4 incredible children. 

The Piglets are Here!
The piglets have been safely delivered and are doing wonderfully. Jay Humphrey, a hog farmer from North Carolina, is currently at Acres of Hope consulting on best practices for hog farming. We look forward to hearing about the great things God will do with Jay’s time in Uganda! 

Acres of Hope Needs in 2015
Additional, permanent school buildings are needed at Acres of Hope! This is a very big project, so we will need help from many sources. If you would like organize a fundraiser or donate directly to Acres of Hope for the school construction, please contact michelle@worldofgod.org or sarabeth@127worldwide.org


Uganda News

An Evangelical Crusade in Bayonnais

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An evangelical crusade in the community of Bayonnais, held on the ICB soccer field, every night, from March 29–April 4 2015! 

For Easter 2015, as usual, the churches in Bayonnais came together to preach the gospel. For nearly a decade, Actionnel Flourisma, the founder of that association, was the Chairman. For the past 9+ years, Renand-Fils Michel, a former student of ICB and a member of the Nazarene church next to the clinic, has led this very vital sector in the community.

It is truly surprising to discover, while talking with young adults and some young folks in private, how many are in Church today or have become Leaders in Churches after first being saved attending these crusade movements in Bayonnais.


Yet, in spite of costs. The crusade did take place and it was the most powerful one we have ever had since 1998. Facile Elisme, with his 100-voice-choir group, men and women from different denominations in Bayonnais, did a fantastic job. Praise be to the Great and Mighty God. No advertisements were made for the crusade. But, the soccer field was packed every night. The sound system was so powerful this year that people in Vieux-Raymond, a much further away community from the mountains of Zoranger, heard the messages. People in La Couleuvre, where 2 bridges are needed, heard the messages. In addition to the main choir eight other choirs sang during the services. This was a tremendous blessing. Though we have been told that 9 people turned their lives to the Lord. Not a big number ... you never know who
will produce fruit for the Lord.  For instance, in 2012 a young man who murdered another citizen in our community turned his life to the Lord during our crusade and has been faithfully in Church since then. Who knows what kind of souls they are? Praise the Lord and lets keep bringing peace and love and trust and credibility to Bayonnais by preaching the Gospel.

It was a great week of teaching for young folks at our church congregation who stayed on campus from Tuesday the 31st of March to Monday the 6th of April. 

Some 20 people from four different churches were baptized on Saturday at 3:30 pm. in the river which flows near the Clinic . While non-Christians would be in the streets drinking alcohol, wearing red clothes, beating drums, dancing,  and acting as if they were making fun of Jesus Christ on the cross, we, Christians, were doing something different. Besides preaching, teaching, evangelizing and fellowship, we were able to again honor our tradition of serving a meal on the Easter Sunday before the last evening preaching. Though some fear we are about to lose that tradition it continues to be an appointment for which nobody in Bayonnais has ever been late.


Haiti News

Hands to serve, Hearts to love ...
Acres of Hope, Uganda

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September 12 - 22, 2015 Uganda Trip

West UMC, Williamsons Chapel UMC and World of God will join together for this trip. We will spend time with the children, house moms, teachers and Pastor Geoffrey at Acres of Hope; introducing the 7 Habits of The Leader in Me Program, building relationships between children and U.S. sponsors and just having fun! We would love for you to prayerfully consider joining us. 


Approximate Trip Cost $2,500 (leaving from Charlotte, NC)
(May 1: $500, June 1: $1,000, August 1: Remaining Balance)

For more information, please contact Michelle@WorldOfGod.org.

Acres of Hope, Uganda is a school and orphanage located in northwest Uganda. In Uganda, 65% of children are orphans or vulnerable children. But at Acres of Hope, these children are living, learning and realizing dreams every day. You have a chance to be a part of these children’s lives.  


Uganda News

The Woman On The Mountain

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People often ask me why I go to Haiti.  Ive never been able to adequately answer this question and am not sure that I ever will.  The experiences Ive had in Haiti have shaped my life in ways that I cannot explain.  One of these experiences involves old friends, new friends and one special woman I met for the first time on Sunday, January 19, 2014.  Seven of us left after church to hike to Fort de Bayonnais, which is the fort you see off in the distance on the mountain top behind the church in Bayonnais.  For this hike, we had four Americans and three Haitian friends for the journey, including two brothers; Olguens and Fegens Saint-Louis who have both become family to several of us over the years.



Haiti News

Primary School Graduates

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Three Acres of Hope children sat for the Primary Leaving Examination 2014. Felix Dunia passed in Division One with 11 aggregate points, Kisapamungu Eve passed in Division Two with 14 aggregate points and Jawiambe Ivan passed in Division Two with 15 aggregate points. So all qualified to go to High School beginning of February 2015. Thanks so, so much to the sponsors of these children. Your investment into these children has yielded a great result. 
God bless you! Pastor Geoffrey

(Scoring for the PLE is like golf, the lower the better! The lowest possible score is 4 and the highest is 36.)


The AOH Piggery is Growing!  
Several mothers are expecting relief at anytime.

June 2015 Trip to Acres of Hope
127 Worldwide is organizing a trip to Acres of Hope in June. If you are interested in joining this trip, please contact  whitney@127worldwide.org

Christmas Alternative Gifts
Thank you to each of you who purchased a Christmas gift in honor of a friend or family member. Over $2,000 was donated for chickens, goats, hoes, Christmas meals, clothes and shoes to be purchased for the Acres of Hope community.

New School Year at Acres of Hope
The 2015 school year begins on February 2. So feel free to send your sponsored child some words of encouragement. Visit www.worldofgod.org/SponsorLetter.php

Acres of Hope Needs in 2015
Additional, permanent school buildings are needed at Acres of Hope! This is a very big project, so we will need help from many sources. If you would like organize a fundraiser or donate directly to Acres of Hope for the school construction, please contact michelle@worldofgod.org or sarabeth@127worldwide.org


Uganda News

Lets celebrate !

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Merry Christmas 2014 to you all Friends, Partners, Sponsors, Brothers and Sisters; and Happy New Year 2015.

Yes, Merry Christmas! God has done great things for us, and therefore, lets rejoice in him! Lets not let our present circumstances prevent us from seeing Gods wonders in our lives, in our loved ones lives, in our community, and in our country. Lets not allow our present circumstances to prevent us from seeing the bigger picture.


Merry Christmas 2014 and Happy New Year 2015 to:

Friends of OFCB Board and members across the Carolinas and Savannah, Georgia, that have been working so diligently on behalf of Bayonnais to provide assistance in every aspect of life, to make an impact in our community and particularly since the deadly Earthquake in 2010.

World of God Board and staff and to all World of God sponsors, who are making sure that forgotten children have access to education in the mountain communities of Cathor, Nicolas, in Bayonnais, Haiti, and in other countries. $11,000 a month has really meant a lot to the schools in Cathor and in Nicolas.

Brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church in Huntersville for sending over $22,000 to Bayonnais for the kids to have food while in school here. Big thanks to the whole congregation and to everyone that has contributed their funds to help provide food for over 2,200 school children. The Holy Spirit has truly used you as a raven taking bread, meat and cheese to Elijah in his cave hidden, while he was facing tough times in life with wicked King Ahab.


Haiti News

Lets Talk about Water

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Submitted By: Michelle Shrader
Myers Park United Methodist Church
Charlotte, NC

Our Church, Myers Park UMC is spending some time learning about the issue of water around the world.  Water is mentioned approximately 722 times in the bible.  Water makes up more than 2/3 of human body and without it we would die in a few days.  To know that 3.4 million people die each year from a water related disease and 780 million people lack access to clean water is something that we have deeply struggled with.  


During our recent visit to Bayonnais, Actionnel helped us to understand the issue of water for our friends in Haiti.  He took us to a community named Savanne Ronde to explain to us that they are situated in a very dry area.  The community has about 30,000 people surrounding the school that was built there and when the school turns their generator on to draw water from their well, thousands of people stand in line for a bucket of water for their families.  

It was overwhelming to witness the need for one of the most basic necessities for life. We noticed a young boy on our way up to Zoranje drawing water from a stream.  The lack of clean and safe water increases the risk of sickness.  The good news is that there are two water filtration systems providing safe water at OFCB now.  One of the members of the community Pierrewander Alcicat, shared with us that he is able to draw clean safe water from either the clinic or the school.  When we visited him the year before, he was preparing his water by pouring a small capful of bleach in it to kill the bacteria.  I give thanks to the Water Missions International group for their work of bringing clean water to our friends in the mountains of Bayonnais www.watermissions.org.  


Haiti News

Still seeking for something new and better

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On Thursday, the 28th of August, the Christian Church of Bayonnais organized a mission trip to the mountain region of Zoranger. 35 people were registered for the 4-day trip to Zoranger, but we ended up having 51 of us on our way back to Cathor, the main campus.

The mission trip to Zoranger was eye opening for every one of us from the “wealthy” community of Cathor. We went door to door preaching on Friday and Saturday.  26 people turned their souls to the Lord. I preached three sermons in Zoranger (Friday and Saturday night and Sunday morning). Due to that much talking, preaching with lots of emotion, my voice was strained, but it will be ok very soon.


Due to its location we can travel to Zoranger as easily as Nicolas.  Zoranger differs from Nicolas, having more trees and water than Nicolas.  The people of Zoranger were very welcoming.  They celebrated our trip with us; they made sure we had a good time; the pastor and his wife slept overnight in the church with us; they walked part of the way back to Cathor with us.

The inhabitants of Zoranger are no different from others living in Haiti. They are a forgotten people in the mountains without the basic provisions to live with. They are people who have been raped, beaten and left on the road half dead. They just need a good Samaritan to come along with passion and compassion.

Blind people are everywhere in the community in Zoranger, which we had never seen before. There are many sick people and children with infections. It is not necessary to mention the extreme poverty; the missing husbands who have abandoned their families to go to the Dominican Republic and other countries to search for hope.

Well, it is overwhelming.


Haiti News

Foundation in Place for Permanent School Building

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When schools in the States let out for  summer, we get to see a lot of our friends! This month we had visitors from Liberty University Field Hockey, Pathfinder Hockey, and a 127 World Wide team led by Whitney Saucedo. The teams worked  together to help lay the foundation of a permanent school building. They worked hard in the hot African sun, and they still had energy to play with the children and teach them how to play field hockey!  


In preparation for this recent trip, Whitney and her husband Scott Saucedo organized a Crossfit fundraiser to help purchase materials needed to build a school. During that time, Whitney was able to visit a local elementary school in Indianapolis and tell the students about Acres of Hope and their need for a school. When the kids heard about the need and the fundraiser Whitney was doing, they decided to create their own workout and raise money too! Over $4,000 was raised and sent ahead of the team so that Pastor Geoffrey could purchase the materials and have them ready when the team arrived. 

To read more about Sunnyside School of International Studies and how they raised money for AOH, go to  http://sunnyside.ltschools.org/magnet-news/sunnyside-school-of-international-studies-makes-a

Karissa Grant made her second visit to Acres of Hope this summer. Last year she visited for the first time and she fell in love with a shy two year old named Melody. Despite feeling too small to make a big difference and think- ing that her college student budget would not allow her to make much of a financial impact, Karissa felt God tug on her heartstrings to sponsor Melody. A year later, Melody is healthy, growing, laughing, smiling and full of joy. Karissa took a leap of faith and now she can’t imagine not being Melody’s sponsor.  If you want to know the joy and satisfaction that comes from investing in the life of a child at Acres of Hope, visit worldofgod.org. 


Uganda News

Acres of Hope 3 Years Later

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The month of April brought our friends from Williamson’s Chapel and West, back to Acres of Hope! The very first trip Williamson’s Chapel made to Uganda was over three years ago. When they met Pastor Geoffrey, Acres of Hope was a vision, land, and a man after God’s heart. Upon arriving in Nebbi, the team was full of excitement to see five homes, school buildings, a well, a soccer field, gardens, and most importantly, happy students with a bright future. 


During their visit, team members spent time playing with the children at Acres of Hope, profiling children in the community to be sponsored, making pillow case dresses, and getting to know women in the area who also need our support. Many of the women in the area struggle to feed their children and generally take care of children who are not their own. Williamson’s Chapel is starting an initiative to raise funds to provide those women with a piggery so that they can better support their families.

We know that all of the great things experienced over the last month were due to the grace of God expressed through your love and generosity. Our Heavenly Father has been leading every step of the way, and is calling us to continue to defend the widows and the orphans. There are so many different areas that need financial support; from thousands of dollars needed to build school buildings and homes, to $50 a month to sponsor a child (http://www.worldofgod.org/Students.php), to $25 to buy a share in the piggery for mothers in Uganda (contact Williamsons Chapel 704-664-3680). Maybe your heart strings are being pulled in a certain direction. If so, I urge you to answer the call. Whatever your situation may be, you have the power to share the love of Christ, and positively impacts lives in so many ways, that you may never fully know this side of heaven. 

If you want to share in the experience of the team, you can read Andreas four blog posts written from Uganda here: http://www.andreaatwest.com

View some of the photos from their trip on the World of God website.


Uganda News

Why is Haiti so poor in the backyard of America?

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This is a question we have heard over and over and sometimes we feel tired and embarrassed to explain what we think of it. Because we truly do not have the right answer for such a question and we probably never will.

However, we have heard at the same time all kinds of comments about the reason why Haiti is such a poor country, and of course, the poorest country in the entire world today.


We have heard scholars here or there saying that Haiti is in that condition because the independence on January 1st, 1804 was too early. The former slaves, Haitians, were not yet ready for freedom. Haitians are seen like chicks coming out of their shells too soon and therefore they can survive. They will die no matter what you do for them.

We have heard other comments saying that Haiti is in such a bad shape just because we used the blood of a pig, which allowed us to call upon demon spirits in order to cast the French rulers out of the country. It is also being said that Haiti is destitute because Haitians have been worshipping too many evil spirits, too many false Gods from Africa. We do not have factual evidence to prove or disprove those comments. 

One thing we have observed for sure is that Haitians are still worshipping Voodoo too much. There is too much waste in Voodoo, too many crimes and injustices in Voodoo, too many people have been kept in slavery in Voodoo and too many sacrifices with chickens, dogs, goats, pigs, sheep, bulls or cows and turkey’s blood in Voodoo. Too many Haitians still have evil blood in their veins. Too many Haitians still want, after over 210 years of independence, to be slave owners either in Haiti or in Paris, France. In Paris, for example, legal Haitians would make illegal ones work for them with no salaries, which is very common there. Haitians in Haiti do that also. Rich mistreat the poor. You are not treated like a normal person if you are poor or uneducated. There are no doors for progress with such behavior. 


Haiti News

First Acres of Hope Adoption Completed!

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An awesome opportunity is available to help Acres of Hope Uganda in the form of a fundraiser. If you are a Crossfitter, know a Crossfitter, maybe you like to exercise, or maybe you just want a cool shirt, check this link out below. Donations are going to help fund the school at Acres of Hope! Get sweaty for Hope!!


On March 25th KB and Daizy Thomas made it home to Louisiana after many months of obstacles and prayers!! Daizy is full of song, joy, and love for Jesus. It is easy to see that the love of Jesus is pouring out of KB, into Daizy, and vice versa. We often question challenging circumstances, but this story is a clear example of God’s bigger picture. We praise God for His divine timing, protection, and love. The first adoption from Acres of Hope is in the books! Please continue to pray for KB and Daizy as they start the next chapter and continue to adjust and grow together. 

We are very excited and thankful that ONEless Ministries raised the funds for court orders for eight children to move into the fifth pod house. We are hopeful that they will move in by May! It costs $26 dollars to obtain a court order for a child to be able to live at Acres of Hope. The remaining 32 children all need court orders. Our urgent prayer is to be able to raise $832 for all court orders. 

Pastor Geoffrey is humble, hard working, and a man after God’s heart and will. The sacrifices that he makes are more than most  of us will ever understand. Recently, his landlord and others in his community have treated him and his family unfairly. They see what he is doing and think that he has a lot of money, but they don’t know that he would never spend a penny of the money intended for Acres of Hope on anything except Acres of Hope. They have increased the price of rent on his home and do not seem to respect the work he does. Additionally, his oldest son scored well enough to attend college, and Geoffrey wants to support him in pursuing higher education. 

It would cost Geoffrey approximately $2,500 to buy his own land so that he could stop renting at the mercy of corrupt landlords. Please pray for Geoffrey as he navigates the discouragement that comes from Satan and consider supporting him financially. We can’t thank you enough.

If you wish to invest in Acres of Hope or support Geoffrey, you can follow this link and just indicate what you would like your funds to go toward in the "notes" sections.


Uganda News

Happy Birthday to you Rev. Actionnel Fleurisma

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[by Kenold Decimus, Coordinator OFCB ministries]

Distinguished friends and guests:

On behalf of the Organization Christian Force Bayonnais (OFCB ministries), being the Coordinator, and on my own, I wish you a most cordial welcome. It is my pleasure to welcome you this evening to commemorate the 50th birthday of Rev. Actionnel Fleurisma is sincere and immense. Our arms and our hearts are wide open to give you throughout the ceremony our fraternal warmth, our smiles, our deep satisfaction, and our feelings of happiness, peace, enjoyment and joy.



Haiti News

January brought more of God’s blessings

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The month of January brought more of God’s blessings in the form of visitors as well as  financial support. We were excited to host partners with ONELESS ministries and 127Worldwide. While here, they were able to build relationships with the children while wit-nessing first hand the work they are helping to fund.  

Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist church in Mooresville, North Carolina gave $4,800 to help build four permanent  classrooms. Construction is well underway. Last year, school was cancelled when storms destroyed our temporary (tarp, sticks, and mango tree) classrooms. We are looking  forward to having school inside four walls and under a real roof. A proper education will make a huge difference in the lives of not only the students but the surrounding community and more! 


KB and Daizy are still in Uganda. They are still waiting on Daizy’s passport. KB is now on leave without pay. She has to leave Uganda (and Daizy) for a couple of days to cross into Kenya and re-enter Uganda in order to renew her visa. Please continue praying for both of them.  

At Acres of Hope, the 4th pod house still requires $2,000 to complete the furnishing. 

Thank you for partnering with us. Your prayers, support and love make hope a reality for many who only dreamed it  possible. 


Uganda News

Education in Haiti:

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From Educating a Few Males in the 1970’s, to Including Females and ‘Wee Ones’ Today

This is the third article in the Bayonnais Education series.
In our previous issue of Challenge, we presented the evolution of education in Haiti from the early 1800’s and the role that Christian churches have played.  However, even with the intervention of the Christian churches, as late as the 1980s few children attended school in Bayonnais.  Why was this?

First of all, in remote places, schools were scarce, and teachers were mostly non-existent.  (Thank God for the Christian Churches that came to rural Haiti and began educating us !)



Haiti News

Christmas at Acres of Hope Uganda

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With school out for the month of December,  Pastor Geoffrey planned and threw a Christmas party for the children of Acres of Hope and the community. They celebrated the birth of our  Savior and enjoyed "swallowship"! Construction on the 5th pod house is going well!  

Our friend KB is still in Uganda on her adoption journey. On December 19th, she was appointed as the legal guardian of Daizy! They have been enjoying time together coloring, singing and dancing. KB is learning how to be a parent, much like all first time parents. There are still a few hurdles to get over before coming home. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for life in America. 


"Wherever you are, families, friends, sponsors and partners of Acres of Hope Uganda: We would like to extend our sincere appreciation and heartfelt love for your faithful acts to walk alongside us in 2013. The board, staff and children under the Acres of Hope program, all in one joyful voice, are wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous year of 2014. Thanks so much for your faithful  commitment and investments into the lives of orphans, widows and other vulnerable people. God bless all of you as you celebrate Christmas of 2013 with the knowledge that Jesus is the reason for this festive season! Rejoice!!" ...Pastor Geoffrey  


Uganda News

CHALLENGE December 2013

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Education in Haiti:  
A luxury for mountain folk!
Everyone my age or older here in Bayonnais can very quickly remember that during the old days rice, meat, ice, ice cream, soft drinks, electricity, TELEPHONES, medical care and even tin roof houses, were a tremendous luxury for the mountain folk.    
TIMES ARE CHANGING, HOWEVER!
Actionnel Fleurisma 

In the beginning ...
Since 1804, the year in which Haiti became independent from French Rulers, Education or Instruction has always been a MYTH or LUXURY for the ones that are not living in the cities of Haiti. You seem to be nobody if you are not in the cities.



Haiti News

End of 2013 School Year at Acres of Hope

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The 2013 school year has come to a close at Acres of Hope. A closing ceremony was
held and the top students in each class were rewarded in categories such as academic excellence, most disciplined, good hygiene, and English communication. We are so thankful to our friends, sponsors and partners who have generously financed the operations of the school and homes this year.




It has been years in the making, just like every story written by God. Our friend KB is back in Uganda, with an official court date to adopt Daizy. KB is a Jesus following, path-paver as she is the first to adopt from Acres of Hope. While she is in Uganda finalizing the process, she will be spending quality time loving on Daizy and preparing her for school in the states. Please continue to pray for both KB and Daizy as they start a new chapter in this journey.



Jessica Duncan, Acres of Hope intern over the last few months, made it home safely. She was inspired to design these t-shirts to help raise money for the furnishing of the 4th house. They are navy blue, long sleeve and make great Christmas gifts! They are $20 and you can order them through 127World Wide. Just place your size in the memo line and add a few dollars for shipping. We praise God for each of you and the investments you make in the lives of the children and community at Acres of Hope. Know it is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Back of shirt reads: The ultimate plan of Acres of Hope is to give hope for a future to orphans and vulnerable children by providing them with basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, and an education. The goal is that these children will mature and become productive, generous citizens who will pay it forward and help others in the community. The steps involved in achieving these goals are numerous, but it starts with Christ. 


Uganda News

Education in Haiti: A Luxury For Mountain Folk!

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Education has its challenges in Bayonnais!!!  Our environment works against us, the administration of education in the country presents barriers, superstition is prevalent, and poverty is oppressive.  But Bayonnais succeeds!  I am reminded of Nehemiah, whom God gave the job of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, against naysayers and in the face of a disheartened population.  Nehemiah set about it with resolve and a firm belief in God’s guidance, and he succeeded!  Praise to the Lord, who provides for his children!


IN THIS ISSUE:
* Public vs. Private Schools in Haiti
* ICB’s Fiscal Year 2012-13 Success Rate
* ICB’s Performance vs Pubic Schools
* How YOU Can Help

Continue reading


Haiti News

The Fourth Pod House Is Partially Furnished!

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In October, Acres of Hope was blessed to receive donations to begin furnishing the fourth pod house! They were able to purchase sofas, a dining table and chairs. The house mothers bed is also being worked on. They still need 8 bunk-beds ($360 each), sheets ($8 each), blankets ($24 each), mosquito nets ($4 each), and the whole kitchen ($1,104) before the house will be fully furnished.  


You might remember reading a blog written by a visitor, friend, and spectacular Acres of Hope supporter KB Thomas after her most recent trip to AOH this summer. KB is still moving forward on her journey to adopt Daisy from Acres of Hope. Its a slow, labor intensive, sacrificial, emotional journey. In October, a missing, but required document was found, moving KB one step closer to bringing Daisy home as her daughter. Daisy will be the first adoptee from Acres of Hope. Please continue to pray for all involved in this journey. The Lord will surely be glorified! 

November 11th is Pastor Geoffreys  birthday. As the visionary and director of Acres of Hope, he is the humble man who listened to the Lords calling and has given hope to hundreds of orphans and  vulnerable children. He struggles and  sacrifices on a daily basis to meet the needs of the children at Acres of Hope as well as many others in the surrounding community. Will you consider giving to Acres of Hope in honor of Geoffreys birthday and the amazing things God is doing there? You can be part of it all by giving at https://www.egsnetwork.com/gift/gift.php. Thank you so much for your continued sacrifices, love and support of this cause.  


Uganda News

Storms in Uganda

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The end of September brought severe storms to Acres of Hope, which tore the roofs off of the warden’s house, a pod house, and the nursery school. The damage required approximately $1,000 to repair. Thanks to compassionate hearts and quick action, 127 World Wide and friends raised money to fix the structures and shelter the children. Repairs will begin immediately.


UgandaNews_2013-10-1

In August, Pastor Geoffrey heard of Juliet, pictured holding her baby. She is a young teenage orphan who was raped by her uncle on her way to school. When she conceived, she was humiliated, ridiculed and forced to drop out of school. Bravely, she carried the child through delivery. When the baby was born, it was sickly and malnourished. Due to the circumstances, the baby has since passed away. Geoffrey thought that Juliet might never smile again. Juliet begged Geoffrey not to send her back to her village and to let her return to school.


Today, Juliet can smile again because she was given a second chance. She is attending school at Acres of Hope and staying with the compassionate, local caretaker pictured with her. Our world is full of evil and heartbreaking stories, but God is at work, using people like you, to find the lost, love the orphans and give second chances (over and over again).

We’re happy to report that the fourth pod house is complete, and children are ready to move in. However, $5,000 is still needed to furnish the home. Please consider sheltering the homeless by contributing to this pressing need. Thank you for your prayers and support!


Uganda News

CHALLENGE October 2013

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August 1993 - August 2013 = 20 Years

OFCB in Bayonnais has decided to celebrate their 20 year anniversary by creating a newsletter titled "Challenge" to share information about all that is happening in Bayonnais. 

In the inaugural issue you will find:
* some of the history behind why OFCB was started.
* Names of all of the people who help to manage OFCB today along with the date they graduated from ICB.
* A glimpse of their vision for the future.


UPCOMING MISSION TRIPS to Bayonnais:
Myers Park UMC, October 16-21
Mineral Springs UMC, October 30-November 6 
Rotary, November 13-16

DID YOU KNOW?
The Haitian Government provid education for less than 15% of the population? This is why it is so important for OFCB Ministries in Bayonnais to provide an education for the children of this region.

Interesting Comparison on the 12th grade national exams:
Government school in Ennery: 132 took exams, 3 passed (2.27%)
Institution Classique de Bayonnais: 54 took exams, 36 passed (67%)
In Haiti, it takes a whole month to get all the students to come to school during the first weeks of the school year. At ICB, we strongly believe that a primary factor is extreme POVERTY where many in the community have no SHOES, no TEXTBOOKS, no SCHOOL BAGS, no UNIFORMS, and so forth.

Yes, Food, Health Care, Clean Water, Electricity, Paved Road, Employment, Soft Drinks, Ice, Meat and Education or Instruction are a LUXURY in Haiti. It is even more so in the communities like Bayonnais. The goal at OFCB is to fight enough for education until it becomes a way of life in Bayonnais for as many as we can reach and for human beings to live like real people with dignity through God’s grace. 

For, it is written in Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."

Actionnel Fleurisma


Haiti News

Working Towards Self-Sustainability!

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At the beginning of the month Acres of Hope planted seedlings to assist in providing food for the children and house mothers. One of the steps to becoming self-sustainable is to develop these gardens and acquire livestock.  We pray for the right amount of rain and sunshine that only the Lord can provide. 

The team from Mooresville, NC had to postpone their August trip due to the travel advisory. Their friends in Uganda missed them deeply, but they take the safety of visitors seriously and look forward to seeing them in April.


A few days ago, Jessica Duncan, a senior at Northern Michigan University, landed in Uganda. Jessica is majoring in social work with a minor in human development. She will spend her fall semester at Acres of Hope completing her senior social work field placement. She met Geoffrey (the director of Acres of Hope) when she was on a mission trip with World Orphans. She is the first student at NMU to complete her placement in a third world country.

We are happy to report that the fourth pod house is complete, but $5,000 is needed for furnishing the home so that children can occupy it. The fifth house is still under construction. 

Please continue to pray for the leadership and those who support Acres of Hope. Pastor Geoffrey is currently battling malaria. As the director, his health and well-being are crucial to the progress and function of Acres of Hope. His daughter Joan also became very ill and had to return home from the school she attends in Kampala. 

Pray for the Lord to raise up compassionate followers of Christ who can keep His work in Nebbi going. Everyone at Acres of Hope are so thankful for all of the love and support they feel every day. Keep it coming!


Uganda News

The Fifth Pod House is Underway!

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God continues to show His favor and grace throughout the month of July through our generous partners. The field hockey team from Liberty University and coach, Jodi Murphy have funded the painting of the fourth pod house. This brings us another step closer to having eight more children and a house mom at the site.  

ONEless ministries has again blessed us in a huge way by providing funding for the fifth pod house. Construction on the foundation started this month. The process for completing the house is expensive and time consuming, but we know that the labor will result in more children having their basic needs met and having hope for a future.  


As we will be able to shelter more and more children, we are praying for additional sponsors to help provide for a childs education, food and clothing. These basic needs are typical prayer requests of youth in Uganda. $45 dollars a month makes a huge impact in the life of a child here at Acres of Hope. Visit www.worldofgod.org to see some of the children waiting for sponsors. If you have a specific child, age, or gender in mind that is not posted, e-mail joan@worldofgod.org with your request.  We praise God for His grace and people like you who have brought us this far in the two years since we broke ground.   


Uganda News

Acres of Hope News June

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Thanks to our partners with ONEless ministries, 127 World Wide, the team in May, and the miracles only God performs, a temporary school structure (five classrooms) was completed this month! There are now three nursery classes and four primary classes. The nursery block is currently under a papyrus structure until $10,000 is raised to build another five classroom, temporary block.


School is in full swing even though we do not have enough desks and chairs. It costs about $1,400 to furnish one classroom with twenty desks. The students are looking so smart in their uniforms, provided by sponsorship funding, and they are excited to be continuing their education.

Now that the fourth pod house is no longer being used for classrooms, construction on it has begun again. Approximately $2,000 is still needed for the final touches and furnishing before a forth house Mom and eight more children can occupy it. Thank you friends, sponsors, donors and prayer warriors. Lives are being changed through your support and the grace of God.


Uganda News

May at Acres of Hope

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Toward the end of April, school was ended early due to a storm destroying the tarproofed classrooms. Knowing the children would be on holiday until May 27th, we hit our knees and prayed fervently for the Lord to provide means for a temporary school structure quickly. Construction started with the money that was already in hand, faithfully trusting the Lord would provide the rest.  In His perfect timing, a generous donor wired $6,000 for the temporary school, through ONEless Ministries Inc. in Nashville, TN (they are also raising funds for the fifth pod house)!! With the sweat and hard work of the team, AOH students returned to a nearly completed building which will allow them to continue their education while the permanent structure is built. The Lord continues to show His favor and grace at Acres of Hope through donors, sponsors and friends. We praise God for His faithfulness and for you!


The month of May brought the first group of American visitors of the year. A team from Louisiana College, led by KB Thomas and accompanied by Whitney Saucedo spent about two weeks loving on the children, helping with construction, assisting with medical trips, and distributing supplies. They partnered with 127 World Wide.

Acres of Hope now has a blog and our very first blogger is KB Thomas who just got back from Acres of Hope! Visit http://acresofhopeuganda.blogspot.com/ to learn more about her trip and see some great pictures. 


Uganda News

God is at work in Northern Uganda!

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He is doing great things at Acres of Hope. There are currently 25 total children living in three completed homes. The fourth home is about $6,000 shy of completion. It is currently being used for three classrooms.

Over 50 children are attending school at Acres of Hope which is taking place in an unfinished house, under tarps, and a mango tree. The students did extremely well on their national exams, but the rainy season is threatening their ability to learn due to the nature of their classrooms. Funding for a school structure is desperately needed. 


We praise God for Winnifield Baptist Church in Louisiana, who raised $10,000 to dig a well. Now the children at Acres of Hope and the nearby community have access to clean, safe water!

We are so thankful for our sponsors, partners, and prayer warriors. Without you, and the will of our Lord, these children would not have the hope they have now. 


Uganda News

New School Year Begins in Bayonnais!

The children are back in school in Bayonnais this week. If its been a while since you last wrote to your child, please consider taking the opportunity now to write a quick note to let your sponsored child know that you are praying for their success in school this year. 
You can send the letter through our website.


We are very excited to share the news that the new school building in Nicolas is open and filled with children ready to learn! The new school was built through the many gifts that have been received, and the incredibly difficult physical labor of the Haitian construction team. This was a challenging building site and a logistical nightmare. All building materials had to be hand-carried up the mountain. Take a look a the photo to see the beautiful new school.



Haiti News

Uganda Mission Trip Rescheduled

Due to the recent international travel advisories particularly in Northern Africa, the team from Williamsons Chapel and West UMC have decided to reschedule their mission trip to Acres of Hope in Uganda. The new dates are April 20-29, 2014.

Pastor Geoffrey shared "We still need one another under this sky." Please be in prayer for Pastor Geoffrey, the children of Acres of Hope, all Ugandans and for peace throughout Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. 



Uganda News

Nicholas

Nicolas is one of the areas in Bayonnais. Located on the top of the mountains with no shades trees. These people are desperate for sweet trees that can grow, eatable fruits, Vegetables, no water and lets not even talk about electricity. Millet, corn and peanuts are the mains crops that are grown. 90 per cent of the populations are farmers, but farming is not sufficient for a living and almost impossible because we all know that crops do not grow in mountains.


Pastor Actionnel Fleurisma came up with a great idea to help kids that are needed to be fed, schooling and health. Since there are living an unpoliteful situation. There is no public school, no running water and so on. Together with the help of the American people; a primary school has been started. But it is a shame to see the condition in which the children are being taught.


Haiti News

General Update on Acres of Hope Uganda

I would like to registered my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Almighty God for having taken us through 2012 successfully and has brought as this far. Before closing the year 2012, the following achievements were registered in these areas:

EDUCATION: We were able to see all our sponsored children successfully stayed at schools and sat for end of year examinations.  Although some results were not encouraging due to the schools some of these children went to. Majorly in government supported schools the children performed poorly because most of the times the teaching staff were on sit down strike and not teaching because they had wanted the government to increase their salaries. So this has basically affected the performance of most children in those schools. 


Children at Acres of Hope School fairly did well and better than most children who were in other schools. We were privileged to registered 37 children who were the pioneer of the schools. The school was limited by space, because we were using the unfinished pod house 4 as a class room block. This made us not to registered more than 37 children. We had 3 full time teaching staff and 3 part time teachers.

This year 2013, we are planning to construct a temporary school structure that would accommodate more children, if the possibility of the finance would allow us to do so. We requested for the permission from the Ministry of Education and they have granted us to do so as we also plan for a permanent one. We are planning to put one school block with 6 classrooms that will accommodate Baby Class, Middle class, top class and Primary 1 to 3. It means we also have to recruit 7 full time teaching staff,4 more adding on to the 3 already recruited.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: Last Christmas festive season, we were able to bring together all our sponsored children and some non sponsor children together in the new home and had a Christmas party together. The non resident sponsored children joyfully share accommodation in the 3 pod houses with the resident children for 2 nights and thereafter returned to their homes. We also bought new dresses and clothes for all the sponsored children

SUSTAINABILITY PROCESS: We are looking forward to have a local sustainability for the project more especially in food security for the home. In the last season, we tried to do some cultivation. We had a vegetable garden, that really helped the home with the provision of some greens. We tried to plant some maize, beans, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes. But the yield was not good due to too much rain. Generally last season was bad due to too much down pour. All crops failed to yield well and were affected by flood. But we look forward to continue with the same activity next season.

CHALLENGES: The need of land expansion, need of a social worker and a temporary school structure.

Submitted by: Geoffrey Odongo 


Uganda News