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Samson is a student at one of our education projects run by Missions of Hope International (MOHI) in the Korogocho slums of Nairobi Kenya. He is in 4th grade and he will be turning 11 years in September. He joined the project in 2012 when the school was first beginning. He has a sibling in 2nd grade who is also benefiting from the educational opportunities we provide.

Samson lives with his family in Korogocho. He has three brothers and four cousins and nieces. He is happy to be in school and loves coming to the center where he enjoys learning and working harder to achieve his dreams of becoming a pilot.

a family affair

Samson’s parents are casual workers in the slums. They are not trained in any specific skills thus they just do any work that comes their way, including construction work and washing clothes for people in the neighborhood. They are, however, hoping to acquire some job skills and start some businesses soon. They are on the waiting list for our MOHI skills training starting early next year.

The family is very active in promoting the school and the children’s development despite their limited income. They participate in all parents meetings, are available to support the teachers and the social workers in any matter pertaining to their children and are even available at home for home visits.

success despite the circumstances

Samson’s family has experienced a tremendous amount of improvement in their lives as a result of their work in our project. Through some skills and knowledge, they have been taught by staff from the center, the family has been able to become a refuge and source of hope to their immediate relatives who are in need. Despite their meager means, the family has been able to take in four orphans who are Samson’s cousins. His parents make sure that every child living under their roof goes to school and that all of their other basic needs are met.

They treat them as their own children. A social worker from MOHI has continually followed up with the family and has helped them understand how to best care for their children and to ensure the kids have every opportunity to succeed. As a result, the family’s needs have been met, and God has continued to open doors of opportunity for them to succeed even in the difficult slums of Nairobi.

Samson and his family are grateful to have connected with Orphan’s Promise and MOHI and to have received the outstanding support for their all of the children who benefit holistically from daily academic, nutritional and spiritual nourishment.

The post Samson and his family succeed in the slums appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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Stepan, a 22-year-old young man who grew up attending our training center in Ternopil, Ukraine, shares how Orphan’s Promise has impacted his life over the last 9 years:

challenging childhood

“To be honest, my childhood was not very good. My parents were alcoholics and fought all the time. The worst was when my father beat my mother. My two younger sisters and I used to escape to our neighbor’s house to try and somehow protect ourselves from the violence.
It was hard when my father drove my mother and me to the church to beg for charity. We asked for food and money, but any money we received was usually spent on alcohol. As we walked in the city, the people pointed and stared at us because they’d seen us begging near the church. I felt alone and ashamed of my life.

When I was 6 years old, I moved to a children’s home in a nearby village and enjoyed staying there. I finally had clean clothes, I could bathe regularly and had the opportunity to learn. My mother visited me occasionally, but she was often drunk, and the other children would make fun of her. I got angry when they teased me, and I began to fight with my classmates and get in trouble. I was unhappy at school, but I did not want to go home; I knew that nothing good was waiting for me there. Secretly, I still dreamed of a moment when my parents would stop drinking alcohol, live peacefully, and take me home. Unfortunately, this dream would never come true.

a change of scenery

When I was in the 5th grade, I was sent an orphanage in Ternopil. I was separated from my sisters for an entire month, and I was so sad to be away from them, but when we were reunited at the orphanage, I was so happy. I also finally made new friends in this children’s home. We even called ourselves a ‘family.’ Of course, we had conflicts at times, but we took care of one another.

The staff at the Orphan’s Promise “Success” Center visited our children’s home and began teaching us English lessons. They cared about us, and they made learning fun. They also brought us gifts for holidays and invited us to the center for activities. The teachers’ attitudes were positive, they were interested in my life, and they told me about God.

I began to attend classes at the Center about three years ago, and I still attend programs today. The topics that we talk about apply to my life, and I feel safe and cared for by my friends at the center. I know that the skills I’ve gained from the programs at the center will benefit me for the rest of my life. I have learned teamwork, but also how to take responsibility for my own actions. In addition, I’ve learned how to interact with others in a healthy way, which I never saw growing up in my home. For years, I would harshly argue with people, which often escalated into a fight. Now, I’ve learned to resolve conflicts without violence, and not be stubborn.

a foundation of faith

Faith in God has become such an essential part of my life. Now I want to live a life of kindness and generosity, and someday have a family of my own. I had a difficult childhood, yes, but God helped me. When there are challenging moments in my life, I turn to Him and know that I can trust Him. I don’t know where I’d be if not for God’s love in my life.

My mother died when I was in the 7th grade, and I hear from my father occasionally, but he lives his own life. He is very sick, and the alcohol abuse made him weak. The most important thing I’ve learned from the center is how to forgive my parents. I didn’t know how to look my father in the eyes, or even how to talk with him at all, but I prayed for strength, and I came and spoke to my dad. He was already drunk when I arrived, but that didn’t stop me from saying that I forgive him. I felt an immediate sense of relief.

I’m studying now to become a chef, and I rent an apartment of my own. I like to bake, and in the future, I hope to open my own bakery, where people will come and buy delicious fresh pastries. I have learned to put my thoughts down on paper when I have struggles. It helps me to process my feelings and find emotional health.

I have a good relationship with my younger sisters. One of them recently got married, and I’m so proud of how they are living their lives. I often go back to the orphanage to talk, or just play with the children. I know how badly they need someone to care for them because I was once in their place and in need of a friend. It is so fulfilling to be able to help them, and I pray that the children who are attending the center today will find the same kind of hope and healing that I experienced as a young boy.

Thank you very much for your investment in my life! May God bless you!”

The post Stepan overcomes obstacles to find success appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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Recently our staff in Kenya partnered with a local ministry called Friends of The Homeless, to conduct a one day outreach to street children living in the slums of Nairobi. falling through the cracks

These street children have fallen through the cracks in society and have no support network to help them succeed. They live off of whatever they can find picking through trash and often stealing from street vendors and supermarkets. Nairobi, once a flourishing, lush, green city, is now filled to the brim with families living on the streets, in alleys, and parks, many with young children who are starving and struggling to thrive.

The Nairobi government estimates that there are nearly 6,000 children under the age of 18 living on the streets of the city, an alarming number with no clear solution. Friends of the Homeless is working with the local government, and organizations like Orphan’s Promise to rescue these children from the streets, rehabilitate them and help them find a way to begin moving toward success.

creating opportunities for change

On the day of the event, more than 50 children showed up, met by the friendly, smiling faces of Orphan’s Promise staff who spent time getting to know the children, talking with them and praying with them. They served them a hot meal, which was a highlight of the day. After some competitive soccer games, complete with team uniforms! – and lots of laughter – for some this was the first time they’d be able to truly act like children in a long time – the staff shared the Gospel and told the children about the God who loves them, and cares for them. Many of the children were moved by the message, and five young boys came forward to give their lives to Jesus.

It can be overwhelming to think about the needs these children face day in and day out living on the streets of Kenya’s capital city. We know we can’t rescue every single one, but when we can feed these precious kids, when we’re able to learn their names, to cover them in prayer, and to show them they are loved, it gives them – and us – hope that their futures may yet be brighter than their beginnings.

Thank you for your support of our work, we are honored by your belief in Orphan’s Promise.

The post Taking hope to the streets of Nairobi appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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against stacked odds

Jamal is a 2nd grade student at a Missions of Hope International (MOHI) Center, an incredible outreach supported by Orphan’s Promise in Korogocho, Kenya. He joined the center in 2014 at the Nursery level and has been consistent in school attendance despite some difficult family challenges that caused him to repeat a pre-school grade.

Jamal comes from a very humble background and poverty has been the hallmark of his childhood. He lives with his elderly grandmother in the Korogocho slums along with his five siblings. His father passed away in 2012, and unfortunately his mother suffered a head injury which left her incapacitated in 2014. She is always in and out of the hospital and tragically this has completely decimated the family’s emotional and financial reserves.

meeting a need, filling a gap

Because of the difficult conditions at home, Jamal’s basic needs were not being met. Despite all these challenges, the school has been very helpful in supporting Jamal and his family. In partnership with MOHI, Orphan’s Promise has been able to support Jamal through free quality education, medical services at our Pangani clinic, ensuring proper nutrition through our feeding program at school and emotional support through counseling and spiritual discipleship.

Social workers and support staff from the center have gone the extra mile to connect the family with other agencies in the community that work to help support struggling families living in the Korogocho slums. They offer other forms of help, including supplemental food and clothing for the family. All these efforts have enabled Jamal to continue pursuing his education despite obstacles that could have derailed his future. Thanks to Biblical Christian foundation that has been established in his heart, Jamal has remained strong, hopeful and joyful at school and at home. He continues to pray and truly believes that his mother will be completely healed one day. When we

The post Jamal’s joy returns in Kenya appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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Orphan’s Promise is working in Peru to rescue young women who have been abused and abandoned. Hope House is currently a place of restoration and refuge for 11 young girls with histories of being physically abused, sexually molested, trafficked and neglected. The goal of Hope House is to provide an environment where these girls can feel like they are finally part of a safe, loving family. It is critical that we are able to meet all their basic requirements, such as food, safe housing, clothing, and education, as well as their spiritual, emotional and psychological needs. This month, we want you to meet two young ladies whose lives are being changed at Hope House because of your willingness to say “yes” to their futures. Meet Craili and Cecilia.

sold by her family and left for dead

Craili is 13 years old and comes from a challenging background. She is the oldest of seven children—she has six younger brothers—and when her parents were going through a very difficult financial situation, they decided to sell her. In this way, young Craili became a victim of labor and sex trafficking.
Can you imagine being sold by your own parents?

The innocent child was taken to Lima, where she began to be physically and sexually abused by the family that had bought her. At one point, after abusing her, her “owners” locked Craili up in an empty apartment and left her for dead, hoping the local authorities would never discover out all the unspeakable things they had done to her.

By the grace of God, Craili was rescued. When she arrived at Hope House, she was very withdrawn and would not look our staff members in the eye. She never smiled, she rarely spoke, and if anyone got too close to her, particularly men, she would become hysterical. The abuse and past experiences had created very deep scars within her.

Praise God! Today, nine months after entering Hope House, Craili is a new girl—from working daily with our psychologist, receiving lots of love and prayer from our staff and, above all, experiencing the power of God. Healing is still a process and something that God will continue to work out in Craili’s life, but today she is a happy girl. She smiles, looks at our staff and her housemates in the eye, and interacts with people of either sex without a problem. She had never been taught to read or write but now is learning to do both, which will allow her to start classes at the local school beginning in August!

Craili is taking sewing classes and learning to make her first pieces of clothing. She is very excited about this new endeavor—and in the future, she has begun to dream about for herself. She wants to be a teacher someday and is eager to study and continue moving forward. We are 100 percent sure that God will finish the work He has started in this little one, and we are very excited to be part of her story.

no longer identified by her disability

Fourteen-year-old Cecilia comes from a very traumatic situation. She was born with only one arm, and because of her handicap, her family didn’t want her. They left her like a piece of trash on the side of the road, expecting her to die. Thankfully, neighbors found her and called the police, who came and rescued her.
The baby girl was taken to the hospital and then to an orphanage—the first of many over the years. In one of those orphanages, she was sexually abused by a staff member, and after the assault, she came to Hope House. It soon became obvious that Cecilia had no self-esteem; she thought she was worthless because of her disability. She knew nothing about the God that created her just as she is.

It’s been almost a year since Cecilia arrived at Hope House. She has spent time daily with counselors, and she has experienced the transforming love of God. In a conversation with our staff last week, she told them that her favorite activity is playing volleyball—which she excels at—because she can overcome her limitations. Cecilia feels that she finally has a family—people who actually love her for who she is and are here for her unconditionally. God continues to work on her, and healing takes time, but it is incredible to see just how far Cecilia has come. She is a no longer sad and distant. Unafraid of what people will think or say about her, she loves to joke and have fun.

Cecilia wants to be a police officer when she grows up so she can help other kids who are suffering—just as the policemen helped her when she was left as an infant to die. We are sure that God will finish the work He has started in her life.

The post Hope House gives shelter to at-risk young girls appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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far from home

Life is hard for Syrian families living as refugees in neighboring countries. Not only have they been forced to flee from their homes and everything they’ve ever known, but they’re also entering countries which are foreign to them, and they’re uncertain about how their new neighbors will receive them.

Many families end up in refugee tent camps, a far cry from the homes they’d built back in Syria, and a difficult place to raise a family. Adding to the challenges is the fact that many of the men, husbands, and fathers, have been lost due to violence in Syria, while others remain in the country fighting a bloody civil war.

Children suffer tremendously during these times, as the things they associate with security, their homes, families, and communities, are taken away, and often when they arrive in a new settlement, they’re not accepted by the local government, removing all possibility of receiving an education. Skills and knowledge fall behind for these children, and the impact on their development is so great that they often never recover.

new home, but no hope

Ahmad is a 13-year-old boy from Syria, who settled in Jordan with his family. They are very poor and were having a hard time making ends meet. Because he has never been able to attend school regularly, Ahmad could not read or write. Every day, the boy would pick through local trash sites, searching for stale bread to sell at the market for a pittance. What little money he did make, he gave to his family to help, but there was no hope of a better life for Ahmad.

One day, he found out about a non-formal education program supported by Orphan’s Promise, offered to children like him. He began attending, and quickly picked up some English and Arabic! Today he can read and write a number of full sentences in both languages, and he has hope that someday he’ll be able to provide for himself and his family. He no longer feels dumb, worthless, or hopeless. He’s full of pride and purpose, and he knows he’s been given a chance, albeit a chance many of us have taken for granted.

So many children in our projects just need that one chance. Will you be the one that gives it to them? Will you help kids like Ahmad find hope?

The post Ahmad starts a new life in Jordan appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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experiencing loss at an early age

Feza lives in Uganda. She is twelve years old and has five brothers and sisters. Sadly, she lost her father in the war when she was only five years old. Despite her young age and not understanding what was happening, she could see the uncertainty and despair on her mother’s face. The rest of the family had to relocate to a nearby country, Goma, for safety. Moving to a new city and adjusting to a new life was not easy for the whole family. Feza’s mother had to leave her in the care of her older siblings, who were young themselves and needed someone to take care of them.

As time went by, Feza’s mother got sick and couldn’t care for her children at all. Feza was old enough to go to school at this time, so out of her despair, Feza’s mother approached the Peace Lives Center (PLC), an outreach supported by Orphan’s Promise. She knew she couldn’t provide for Feza and she had no one else to turn to. When Feza arrived, she showed signs of malnutrition and several signs of trauma. She joined the project in 2012 and began school in grade one as a six-year-old.

hope for the future

Today, Feza is in “senior six,” and hopes to go to high school next year. She has participated in a variety of different programs, including trauma healing, counseling, and art therapy – which is her favorite because she loves to paint and color. She also enjoys singing and reading the Bible. Feza is happy to be able to make friends with other children and to have the chance to run and play different games. She dreams of being a nurse one day, and now she has the opportunity to achieve that dream.

When you choose to support Orphan’s Promise, you’re linking arms with our staff, and the hundreds of local outreach partners we support and partner with around the world. When you say YES to helping, you give hope to children in need. These children are looking for someone to show up and tell them that they matter…that they are worth it….that they deserve a chance……they’re looking for a hero…

The post Feza Finds New Hope in Goma appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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tough neighborhoods and tough lives

The needs of lower income families living in the Bronx are tremendous, and often the support systems in place still leave gaps in their ability to make ends meet. Michelle, a single mom of five, lives around the corner from an outreach supported by Orphan’s Promise. In addition to raising her own children, she is also helping to raise her grandson. She was so relieved when she found out that the Hope center was providing a literacy program this past summer. “This is exactly what my children need,” she shared. It was taking everything she had to survive, and she did not know how she could afford to get her children the educational assistance that they badly needed. Michelle signed up both her son Marcus and her grandson, Isaiah, up for the Summer Reading Camp.

Marcus has ADHD and was having great difficulty in school. At that time, the school system was planning to put him in “interaction” classes in the Fall because of how severely he was falling behind. The average Language Arts assessment score for 3rd graders in his school was 36 out of 100, so he was not alone, but Michelle was at a loss for what to do to help Marcus.

Isaiah was beginning Kindergarten in the fall, but the odds had been stacked against him since he was an infant. He was born with clubbed feet and still needed one more surgery to correct the problem. Isaiah’s dad was in prison, and his mom was working tirelessly to make a better future for her son. She worked nights while attending school during the day.

finding hope at the Hope Center

Marcus and Isaiah have been enrolled in the program at the Hope Center in the Bronx since it was established last year, and both of their lives have been changed as a result of the center. Michelle, who is Marcus’ mom and Isaiah’s Grandmother, was one of the many mothers to come to the holiday celebration hosted at the Hope Center this year. Not only has Michelle prayed with the staff to give her heart to the Lord, but her entire family has followed her lead, and their household is different today because of it.

After watching Isaiah and Marcus receive warm new winter coats at the holiday outreach, and receiving a “Santa Sack” from the project as well, she came up to the staff from the Hope Center with tears in her eyes.

“Thank you so much,” she cried. “We were going to skip Christmas this year because I had absolutely nothing to give my boys,” she shared.

Because of Orphan’s promise, the center was not only able to provide them with gifts on Christmas morning but was also able to provide them with hope. Since enrolling in the programs, both of the boys have experienced a change in their behavior and their attitude. Marcus, who was shy and quiet, has taken on a leadership role as the “student helper” every time the Hope Center is open.

This Center is an answer to the prayers of many mothers, grandmothers, and children in this neighborhood who need assistance but have nowhere to turn. By providing excellent educational assistance, Orphan’s Promise is helping to open doors to minister to families and communities. This is why holistic care is so important when attempting to best serve orphaned or at-risk children here at home and around the world.

The post Delivering Christmas Hope in the Bronx appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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a life without direction or purpose

Christina is one of the young participants in our “Successful Youth” Club, in Ternopil, Ukraine. She first came to us in September 2016, and she immediately began attending meetings at our training center and always took an active part in the activities of the youth club.

A little while after joining, she opened up and shared with us about her life:

“A lot has happened over the last year, and to be honest, because of it, I became a completely different person. Last year before I came to the center, I learned how to repair my own heart, how to reassemble my broken parts, how to cope without people who I thought they would be in my life for a long time… I learned that in most cases you can’t depend on others. That everyone is really looking only for some profit for themselves, and you need to deal with all your problems by yourself. Of course, parents can still help, but I personally have a situation where my parents do not want to help or understand me.

Because of this distrust, it’s challenging for me to express my emotions; it’s much easier for me to write than to talk with a person. I also had big problems at school: I had a serious conflict with the class. They bullied me for two years and made fun of me because I did not have a father. I became closed off, and cold … they finally stopped bullying me, but my brokenness remained. A year has passed since the bullying stopped, but I still did not feel free around other people. I was always haunted by feelings that I was not good enough. Even in my communication with my mother…I never told her that I love her. For some reason, it was difficult for me to say this. We always had misunderstandings, and we fought every day. When I would talk to her, it always seemed like she just did not want to hear me.

everything began to change

When I first came to the center for a meeting of the ‘Successful Youth’ Club, it was the best thing that happened to me! It changed everything in my little world! Now I know what my value is, and I appreciate everything that I have. I’ve become more confident than I was. My thinking and views on life have changed. I know I am blessed and that God has plans for my life. I am determined to follow His direction for my life. Now I know what I want to do in the future…. set goals and achieve them. I know how to act in difficult situations now. The club has genuinely helped me a lot! ”

beautiful inside and out

Kristina’s countenance changed so much that in early March, she was recommended from her school to take part in the beauty contest “Miss Ternopil!” She hesitated a little at first, but with the support she received from the leaders and members of the club, she decided to take a chance on herself. She shared this from the stage at the contest, illustrating how much her heart has been changed”

“I believe that each of us must make a choice. After all, life is a constant string of choices, which, whether good or bad, will determine our future. My choice in life is to “Shine and give light to others.” Amen!

The post from bullied to beauty queen appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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a life without direction or purpose

Christina is one of the young participants in our “Successful Youth” Club, in Ternopil, Ukraine. She first came to us in September 2016, and she immediately began attending meetings at our training center and always took an active part in the activities of the youth club.

A little while after joining, she opened up and shared with us about her life:

“A lot has happened over the last year, and to be honest, because of it, I became a completely different person. Last year before I came to the center, I learned how to repair my own heart, how to reassemble my broken parts, how to cope without people who I thought they would be in my life for a long time… I learned that in most cases you can’t depend on others. That everyone is really looking only for some profit for themselves, and you need to deal with all your problems by yourself. Of course, parents can still help, but I personally have a situation where my parents do not want to help or understand me.

Because of this distrust, it’s challenging for me to express my emotions; it’s much easier for me to write than to talk with a person. I also had big problems at school: I had a serious conflict with the class. They bullied me for two years and made fun of me because I did not have a father. I became closed off, and cold … they finally stopped bullying me, but my brokenness remained. A year has passed since the bullying stopped, but I still did not feel free around other people. I was always haunted by feelings that I was not good enough. Even in my communication with my mother…I never told her that I love her. For some reason, it was difficult for me to say this. We always had misunderstandings, and we fought every day. When I would talk to her, it always seemed like she just did not want to hear me.

everything began to change

When I first came to the center for a meeting of the ‘Successful Youth’ Club, it was the best thing that happened to me! It changed everything in my little world! Now I know what my value is, and I appreciate everything that I have. I’ve become more confident than I was. My thinking and views on life have changed. I know I am blessed and that God has plans for my life. I am determined to follow His direction for my life. Now I know what I want to do in the future…. set goals and achieve them. I know how to act in difficult situations now. The club has genuinely helped me a lot! ”

beautiful inside and out

Kristina’s countenance changed so much that in early March, she was recommended from her school to take part in the beauty contest “Miss Ternopil!” She hesitated a little at first, but with the support she received from the leaders and members of the club, she decided to take a chance on herself. She shared this from the stage at the contest, illustrating how much her heart has been changed”

“I believe that each of us must make a choice. After all, life is a constant string of choices, which, whether good or bad, will determine our future. My choice in life is to “Shine and give light to others.” Amen!

The post Kristina’s Life Change in Ukraine appeared first on Orphan's Promise.

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