Dear Christian Friends,
Here we grow again! We are so excited to announce that we have grown by three this past week. The sisters Yoselin, Jimena, & Sarahi joined the Agape home. They were a little shy and apprehensive at first, but the older girls from the Apage home embraced them warmly and helped them feel welcome.
We were also presented with three girls who will be coming to join our homes as soon as their paper work is finished.
Please be in prayer for the children and their new families as they adjust. Pray that we are able to ease their fears and allow the love of Christ to shine through our actions.
Niños de Mexico
Just popping in to say hello and to you let know how things are going! My recovery is going so well! I had my stiches out today. The doctor said everything is going well. I can be out of my brace full time now. I will be off crutches in one week. The pain has been minimal and the recovery time has been great! It has been going by a lot faster than I thought it would. Prayers that the recovery process continues smoothly. That I will be a head of schedule in regards to healing and PT.
Update in the MARC work, we will be meeting with a church in Onalaska on 4/22/2018. Prayers that the congregation is willing to hear about MARC and the work the Lord is doing in AK. Prayers that we meet our goal asap! The summer season hasn't started yet at MARC however, they have a lot currently going on and once the summer is underway, it will only increase the business. The sooner our family can move out there, the quicker we will be able to start working and provide rest to some of the staff.
Many more things to come in the very near future. This entire process seemed like a mere thought one year ago. Well now its here and were so ready to go! Thank you for the many prayers, cards and checks-in. I have felt nothing but love and hope through all of this. Thank you!
This is what community looks like!
Each year Empty Bowls serves as the kickoff to our annual March Campaign and because of you we are off to a great start! Over 800 community members attended or volunteered at our annual hunger awareness event. Bowls were crafted and painted, original art pieces were lovingly created and donated, delicious soups, bread, and desserts were donated and served, sponsors financially supported the event and you came to support our mission with a record-breaking result of $30,000 that will go directly into our mission of ending local hunger through access to healthy food. Thank you for making 2018 a banner year for Empty Bowls!
Please support the sponsors who made this event possible, the restaurants and bakeries who donated soup and bread, and the artists who helped create the beautiful bowls and donated to our Art10 drawing. A full list of our supporters for Empty Bowls can be found here.
Jason Viana, Executive Director
The Open Door
Your faithful support has allowed us to continue to grow our HopeDay program and strengthen families who have a child with a life-threatening medical condition. Extended hospital stays and overwhelming medical bills can add stress to the family unit. Rebecca, Kellie’s mom, shares:
“This organization has helped bring our family together. We spent so much of our lives apart and in hospitals. HopeKids has been a godsend for us. We could never afford to attend these events with our whole family and her PCA. She can hardly wait to see what we get to do next.”
You can read more and view photos from our recent HopeDay events in our spring newsletter. We have some exciting facts from last year to share with you as well! Click the video link below to see the 2017 highlights of our chapter.
Thank you for your ongoing support, as we couldn’t do it without you.
Brian Anderson, Executive Director
For those who might be wondering - we did make it safely back to South Africa. We left Minneapolis (where the temperatures were well below zero) on December 29 and arrived in Cape Town (where it was very warm) on December 30. We stayed 2 nights with friends in Cape Town. Then we flew to Durban where Dina met us and brought us home.
We have settled into our home again and it is good to be back. Our housing area had been without water for most of the last four months of 2017. The water woes continued into 2018 so we had to get water from a communal water tank. Finally residents had enough and contacted the press and took to the streets in protest. They also threatened court action and we finally got some results. We have had water most of the time since mid-January.
We were blessed to have visitors in January. Michael's sister, Debbie, and her husband, Lynton, live in South Africa, so when their brothers, Duane and Larry, and Larry's wife, Marguerite came to visit all the siblings were able to be together on one side of the ocean. Friends, James and Marla Nicholson, also came and everyone was able to attend the wedding of Debbie and Lynton's youngest daughter, Jaclyn to Hugh van Niekerk.
Then the nine of us enjoyed a 5-day vacation at Tembe Elephant Park in northern KwaZulu Natal. It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience that included accommodation in tents, food several times a day, and 2 daily guided game drives -with Nkosi, who was a wonderful guide!
Unfortunately all good things must end and our visitors have returned to the US. It was a wonderful time and we made many memories!
Now life is getting back to normal. We have attended the Umzumbe church and Michael has preached a few times. The day care center has reopened with new teachers and lots of new children. We have been back to the senior club and they welcomed us very warmly.
Dear Valley Christian Church,
We’re glad that you're with us in the mission to see two years of global service become the norm for Christian young adults! Together we’re working to change the culture on campuses and in churches to go beyond a short-term mission mindset and focus! Here’s an update on what our team’s been up to in 2018 so far…
Tomorrow is a big day! March 1 is our first (and main) application deadline. Since September 15, our team has been visiting campuses, setting up at conferences and career fairs, speaking and doing presentations in campus fellowship groups and classes, and doing whatever we can do to get in front of students and invite them to take the bold step of investing two years in global service after college. Please pray for the final students who are busily trying to complete their application before the March 1 midnight deadline!
What else is going on:
Winter recruiting season - March 1 is not the end of recruiting… we’ll still be reaching out to students to apply for our final application deadline on June 1.
Praise God for continuing to bless GoCorps by opening doors on many campuses this semester
Pray that our message would reach the right students who are ready to answer the call to go
Pray for the knowledge of GoCorps to continue to grow across college campuses around the USWe are thankful for your partnership in the gospel!
PAUL VAN DER WERF