To know Emily Huff is to know a living saint and one of the purest, biggest hearts in the world. She has blessed my life and the lives of hundreds of children in Kenya and India. Emily and her beautiful, loving family, sponsor Billy & Patrick, two of our Heroes, and visited our children this Summer! We are so grateful for the Huff family. Emily wrote about their adventure below:
It was May 2013 when Dickson Maisa first told me about Patrick Ewoton and Billy Ekal.
The first email I received had this report:
Patrick Ewoton- 7 years old born in Kitale.
Billy Ekal - 5 years old born in Lodwar.
Their parents used to live in Kitale 385 kms from Lodwar. The father
was killed during the post election violence that occurred in Kenya in
2007 due to disputed presidential elections. The mother ran for
safety to lodwar with the kids. She died last month after miscarrriage
at Lodwar District Hospital. She left behind 5 boys.
None of the brothers are in school except Peter who is sponsored by
New Hope Children program.
Then we wrote to Rachael a week or so later:
On May 14, 2013, at 10:39 PM, Emily Huff <email@example.com> wrote:
My family would like to sponsor Patrick and Billy.
You know that I read a lot of reports and have read many through the years. For some reason, this story in particular tugged at my heart.
On Mother's Day, I talked to my children and to Jason about their story. I got teary eyed sharing their story especially in light of the fact that they don't have a mother.
So as a Mother's Day gift, our family would like to sponsor these two boys. Let me know if you'd like me to have checks mailed to you each month. I want to follow your protocol with this. Let me know if you want me to send it separately to Mary Fran or to you.
This summer, our family had the gift of getting to be in Lodwar, Kenya for 3 weeks working alongside Children of the Kingdom, the program that first helped New Hope Children's Program get started. We were able to visit schools, make home visits, deliver letters and gifts, host the annual summer banquet, visit the adult literacy classes, lead devotions with our staff each morning, preach in churches and much more. Among the many children in Lodwar whom we got to visit were Billy and Patrick, and we loved getting to see how much the New Hope Center is thriving and how well the children are doing. These boys have a hope and a future and are so well cared for. While we were there, we were shown such love and gracious hospitality, and we are so grateful for this place that continues to teach us how to love God and love others more deeply.
One of the scriptures that best summarizes our summer is below:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21
We were certainly filled up this summer. And it is our prayer that we would spill this love out on everyone we meet. God has entrusted us with so much and we are called to be good stewards of all that we have seen and heard.
May God open doors for you to splash His love on others through the New Hope ministry. I am so thankful to come back and be able to report that your work is not in vain and that God is doing a new thing in these children's lives through this ministry.
Children of the Kingdom coordinator
Today Nicodemus, Nico for short, arrived for what is going to be a two month whirlwind of medical treatments and counseling from a brutal attack he fell victim to last year. Nico is our oldest New Hope Hero and our first high school graduate, earning his diploma this last December.
Nicodemus is bright, hardworking, caring and as the oldest of six orphaned youth he feels immense responsibility to take care of his five younger brothers. "I'm their only hope," was his comment to me shortly after landing in the States, "I am the bridge that is going to allow them to pass into success in life." At the age of 13, it was these siblings Nico was working so hard to take care of when, in 2009, our Kenyan staff members found him living on the streets and searching for food scraps in the local landfills and alleys of his town in Kenya. His mother had recently passed away leaving an eight month old behind. "I needed to feed my siblings so I would take the scraps of food from a local hotel [restaurant] that were scraped into a bucket under their sink. I did this again and again until I realized the dish washer was also spitting into that bucket."
In December of that year Nicodemus was rescued by New Hope Children and brought to our local safe house and his life changed. By January of 2010 Nicodemus started to receive a proper education, food, daily needs, medical support and counseling. The first out of all of our children at the New Hope Center to pass the difficult high school entrance exams, Nico has been the natural leader of the group. After excelling for four years at his all boys boarding school, which was two hours away from our Center, Nico was sure to pass the month long exit exam process to graduate high school. And then the unthinkable happened.
It was last July I received a chilling call from our executive director, Dickson. Nicodemus had been severely beaten by two inebriated teachers over a misunderstanding and mistake. They had taken a machete like object to his face, bar to his head and hit him repeatedly until they knocked him out. They made him sleep in a storage closet for the night and didn't contact our Center until the next day. The teachers have been prosecuted and jailed and an ongoing trial is pending in Kenya. With no access to proper medical treatment in their remote area, I witnessed the light and hope go out of Nico. He has four missing teeth, a concussion and facial scars, and our House Mother reported that he was having frequent night terrors. The outgoing, personable, leader of a boy I knew suddenly became quiet, with no joy in his eyes. To add to the pain, he was forced to go back to the school he was attacked at to take the month long exit exams in order to graduate.
After hearing his story, Face Forward, an organization based in Los Angeles, decided to give Nico back his smile and we could not be more grateful. Face Forward has put together a team of plastic surgeons, dentists and counselors to restore the lives of those who have survived brutal attacks like Nico. His new journey is just beginning.
Nicodemus has a notebook he carries around with him everywhere. When he showed me its contents my eyes filled with tears of joy and pride. Not only is his notebook filled with songs he's written, Nico has layed out a well detailed five to ten year plan of how he will work hard, having a business during the day and going to college at night, all with the goal of having a music recording studio someday so he can support his siblings. Last year during our visit we heard the children singing songs we had not heard before. It turned out they were all Nico's songs, and they were good! With no music education available in their area, we are shocked at the talent that pours out of our children and one day we hope to get to nurture their talents.
After two months in the States, Nicodemus will return home to Kenya with a restored smile, hope and vision for his future. We are so proud of him for his ability to overcome the obstacles in his life and our prayer for him is that his dreams of having a recording studio come true. In order to rescue more children from the streets our Hero's age-out after they finish high school. That said, we don't believe in just dropping our children and will do what we can to help them see their journey and dreams through. For Nico, that means spreading the word in effort of finding support for his college education and business plans. If you're interested in helping Nicodemus in any way please email me anytime. Thank you.
Founder | New Hope Children
To see more pictures go to our Facebook Page
New Hope Children recently threw our first annual Bowl For Hope event. This event was created to raise awareness and funds for the Children at our center in Lodwar Kenya. It was an evening full of fun, family, and bowling. THANK YOU to all of our sponsors and the donations given at the event, we raised $6,055 that night. God truly blessed this event. These funds will enable us to rescue more children from the streets and landfills of Lodwar, Kenya. We would like to begin by thanking our sponsors. The lanes you sponsored set us up to completely cover our initial costs and then some. We want to send a big thank you to our hosts for the evening; Chip and Kim McAllister. Your enthusiasm and energy added to the overall success of the event. We would also like to thank PINZ for their hospitality and for being great location hosts. We gave away some very exciting prizes and awards throughout the evening. Moss company took the team win and individual win. Team Billy; named after one of our youngest New Hope Heroes, took the Team Spirit Award. Kim-Hart Goggins’ team took the fundraising award. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you all for participating. It was such a wonderful blessing to be able to share this opportunity to change these kids lives with you. We look forward to seeing you all at the next Bowl for Hope event in 2017. It is a beautiful thing to be able to provide hope for the hearts of these children. They will truly benefit from this event and what each and every one of you has done. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts and may God bless you as you have blessed these New Hope Heroes!
Board Member | Fundraising Committee Chair
THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS!
I would like to introduce you to little miss Swena ChiChi. Swena is one of the children that will be rescued as a result of the funds raised by the “Bowl for Hope” event. Swena is 2 ½ years old and lives in Namuduket village in Lodwar Kenya. The path this child is taking is one that is very familiar to many children in this area. Swena’s mother is battling addiction and prostitution; while her father has succumbed to drugs and imprisonment. Her mother rejected her by the time she was one year old. She was taken in by her grandmother, but as it is in most of these families, there is just not enough money or food and Swena was sent out to fend for herself. The tenacity of this child, at this young age just floors me. Swena survives by moving from house to house in search of food. There is a call and a purpose on this child's life and a determination within her that cannot be overlooked. This is the very reason why New Hope Children is working so hard to rescue these children. These lives are not insignificant, they cannot just be considered lost. We can help them make a change in their lives and we can show them how to use these God given traits to change the trajectory of their path. Swena is now in baby class at one of the local schools. They have deemed her a budding genius because of her ability to survive at such a young age. She is destined to become somebody. We can rescue Swena and with your monthly contributions we can give her the tools she needs to be the person God created her to be. This little angel has a smile that melted my heart and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do with this life, her steadfast determination to live, and the support of a giving heart like yours.
Board Member | Fundraising Committee Chair
Cars line the street as couples walk arm in arm to the entrance where the first Hops and Hope Benefit is taking place. Elegance ensconces the attendees as they accept a glass of beer and make their way to a place at the long tables. A violinist plays classical music in the background as a community converses, "So you're a fan of beer..." and, "Ah, a beer connoisseur!" and the usual, "It's so good to see you here!"
Warren and Jasmine Johnson, New Hope board members, are our hosts for the evening. An evening made extra special by Warren's passion for making homebrewed beer.
Passion, opportunity, gratitude... concepts that stand as the evening's themes -- both in a military community stationed in Germany and the community of New Hope Heroes in Lodwar, Kenya. And the extraordinary idea that we can use our passions to extend hope and opportunity to others.
Generosity is one of the defining characteristics of those in attendance. For they understand what it means to be given an opportunity. And they 'get it' when it comes to making sacrifices so that others may have an opportunity to receive education and pursue their dreams.
So while we enjoy culinary specialties such as Thai Chicken Romaine Boats and Pale Ale, Pulled Pork with Coleslaw on fresh bakery bread and Black IPA, finished with Stout cake filled with Bailey's Ganache topped with Irish Cream frosting and Porter... (yes, an evening of deliciousness, for sure)... we also anticipate the difference our contributions and sacrifices will have in the lives of the New Hope Heroes.
Empowered in order to empower others.
A huge thank you goes to Warren and Jasmine Johnson and their team: Zach and Kim Smith and Angela Hampton for a tremendously successful Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction. Special thanks to those who generously contributed to the Silent Auction and to those of you who supported New Hope through your investment of tickets purchased and attendance.
- written by Sharon Olson
My Mother-in-law, Judy, came to Kenya with us this year at 75 years old! She has the perfect grandmotherly heart to love on our children and when she saw our need for shoes she decided to come home and do something about it. As you can imagine, buying shoes for 25 constantly growing feet is expensive and each time we buy a round for the children it's at least $500. Judy and my Father-in-law, Gary, have a ministry in Los Angeles that serves people in the entertainment industry, Tinseltown Ministries. She put out the cutest donation box and sign out and mentioned to their attendees she was hoping to raise $500 to buy shoes for the New Hope Heroes in Kenya.
Tinseltown Ministries, we'd like to THANK YOU because not only did you raise $500, Tinseltown raised $2700 and has sponsored Christmas for the Kids this year! With these funds we were able to get the children: clothes (shirt and pants); two pairs of shoes (walking shoes and soccer shoes); Christmas stockings full of good (books, socks, treats, washcloths, crosses, stickers); and best of all you helped us bring on a new Hero named Samwel.
Samwel was a street child our US Team met this year in town. He is thoughtful, bright and determined. Thanks to Tinseltown Ministries we are able to pay for his initial expenses and provide him a safe and secure place to live, education and hope for his future.
Thank you Tinseltown Ministries!
Merry Christmas to all,
The first day a child boards a school bus alone can be a stressful event for both parent and child. It’s understandable that this moment of detachment and uncertainty can be overwhelming for the child who is suddenly relying on a stranger for their well-being.
For the children of Lodwar, this bus never comes. And because New Hope can’t currently afford a vehicle to drive them, they begin their 6 school days a week with a 2.5-3 mile walk alone through dangerous roads scattered with strangers and speeding vehicles. Beyond that, some of the children go to school over 35 miles away from Lodwar where terrain is not conducive with the use of New Hope Children’s only motorized transportation method, a motorbike.
Without a vehicle, cases of emergency, like common scorpion bites, malaria or other illnesses, become extremely stressful situations and are even more difficult to tend to with the hospital located 3 miles away. Calling a taxi in Lodwar is unreliable at best, and when a driver does finally show up, the cost is frequently doubled when the call is placed at night. So far, no taxi driver has been willing to come to our center at night, even in medical emergencies.
The children aren’t the only ones affected by the shortcomings of not having a car. New Hope Children’s director, Dickson, experiences tremendous difficulty in even the smallest day-to-day tasks. With the use of a motorbike only, bringing food and water back to the compound for over 20 people is challenging. When pickups are light, he makes use of the motorbike, but when heavier loads are required, he must hire a vehicle for assistance. Imagine hiring someone each time you needed to make a grocery run. Simple chores like gathering supplies and monitoring students during school days are a logistical problem.
Logistics aside, riding a motorbike in Lodwar is a big safety issue for the driver. Chest problems and bronchitis are a common problem because the winds create a constant dusty environment. The terrain’s loose sandy soil also creates frequent accidents and falls, sometimes resulting in serious injury.
Having use of a car would make the work of the director much more efficient, effective, and significantly less stressful. Children wouldn’t risk their lives walking to and from school each day. Another huge plus of having a car in Lodwar? The ownership alone commands respect and could be hired out to other organizations, such as medical camps and government health campaigns, to bring some income into New Hope Children.
If you’d like to help New Hope Children obtain a vehicle, please visit our donation page: christmas.newhopechildren.com or donate below.
Thank you for your support!
Many of you answered the call to rescue Susie and her sister Ivonne from their dire situation on the streets. We are excited to announce they are now with us as and thriving as New Hope Heroes! They are both attending a local academy, receiving the best education possible in that region.
Susie is extremely free with her expression while her older sister Ivonne is more held in. She feels everything dramatically and deeply (artist in there for sure). She's one of the most sensitive yet playful children I've ever met, always looking for a good time.
It's always interesting/rewarding to watch children who have had to shield their personalities (from surviving on the streets) suddenly blossom when they're free to just be themselves and just be kids. The colors that come flying out never cease to amaze.
Ivonne has this quiet strength and grace that fills the space around her with paragraphs and volume without her saying a word. I can't wait to hear her inner thoughts out loud one day. Our children have embraced her completely.
My favorite part of our trip in August was observing how they all care for and look out for each other - sharing, sacrificing for one another - even when they thought we weren't looking. Their giving is second nature. One forgets her shoes and her feet are burning from the hot sand and another without thinking gives up his shoes and let's his own feet burn (while running like a roadrunner).
I do think part of it is cultural - they're a sharing community- but more than that I truly feel these kids have bonded over the fact they have come from similar circumstances, and knowing how their community looks down on those circumstances, they've banded together in love and support of each other. Beautiful.
This August I had the privilege of leading 12 adults to Kenya to work with our New Hope Heroes. AWESOME does not even come close to describing how great of a trip it was. God showed up in big ways, lives were changed for the better, and our children only ask that we come back for longer next year. "Three weeks next year mama! Okay, at least two weeks..."
Our team prepped for over 8 months, reading important books on Short Term Missions such as When Helping Hurts and Toxic Charity. We reviewed customs, learned songs and phrases in Swahili, built counseling teams. We designed a curriculum that used self learning lessons, art therapy, improv skits, Bible verses/stories, games and more to give our youth a week lessons regarding self discovery, emotional intelligence, and life skills. They learned how to battle fears, love their neighbors, plan for their futures.
God provided us with a ROCK STAR team of people from the US who, first and foremost, loved on our children so unconditionally that hearts of stone melted, shyness was banished, emotional wounds were healed and released.
Even little Billy, our youngest, who never says a word, was leading a Conga line and dancing by the last day.
More to come on this incredible time, but for now I can only thank the one above for loving our children so much He sent this team of incredible individuals to bond together and change children's lives.
If you were to walk in the shoes of best friends Melvin and Marion (above) your life before New Hope would have been one in 100 million (the number of street children living in the world today). Not that uncommon unfortunately. But, their contagious smiles are evidence of a path less traveled. One which, by the grace of God, led them from lives of abuse to lives of shelter, protection, education and love. These two precious girls are not only bonded by their past experiences, they're bonded by the healed wounds and widening door of endless possibility now brightening their futures.
Our hope is to make Melvin & Marion's path one commonly traveled. A path of hope and redemption for vulnerable children everywhere.
NHC Team Members