A Partnership of Hope
Spring has arrived for us at World Hope headquarters in the U.S. and with it comes a sentiment of growth and renewal. The trees begin to blossom, and the flowers emerge cautiously from the ground with hopes of bearing their fruitful colors. We have celebrated the risen King through Easter traditions and enthusiastically embraced the hope that arises from the promise of the resurrection. Likewise, we reflect on the darker winter days that we have overcome to subsequently rejoice in the restorative light of spring.
Grace, Sixth Grade Class President, expressing her gratitude
In a similar way, it is a season to celebrate the growth that has come from the work of World Hope and each of you who have partnered to support our mission. One of our partners that have wholeheartedly invested in World Hope through resources and relationships is Celebrate Church of Sioux Falls, SD. A team of delegates from the church traveled to Liberia in March to see the progression of their partnership and to grasp a vision for the ongoing opportunities that exist in the communities in which we serve. Together we rejoiced in the growth that has come through education, clean water, emergency relief and agricultural development.
The church team visited three schools where their congregation sponsors 125 children. Their pooled sponsorship funds wholistically impact all 677 students enrolled in the schools through tuition funding, uniform and school supply distribution, child protection programming, and teacher training and salaries. Tremendous growth was seen at the schools from the inception of the church’s visit in 2019 until now, through the renovation of the classrooms, installation of wells, latrines, and solar panels and provision of desks, chairs
and laptop computers. Equally, if not more impressive, was the students’ ability to articulate all that they have learned through protection programming which educates them on abuse, safety, child labor, hygiene, and development. Sixth-grade class president, Grace, stole the show with her positive advocation for the ongoing needs of her school and her classmates, as well as her abundant gratefulness for the improvements that have already been made.
Growth was prominent as well in the communities that the team visited that now have access to clean water where people once walked miles for unclean water access. The people of Peace Island, an informal post-war settlement, expressed their joy at being able to access water close to their homes through water kiosks that offer chlorinated drinking water for an affordable price. The funds paid for the water are invested back into the community by providing employment for those who manage the kiosks and support for the ongoing maintenance of the kiosks themselves.
Peace Island Clean Water Kiosk
Hygiene education with middle school girls
And, growth was apparent in the efforts of a group of parents in one of WHI’s Wesleyan School partners who started a cassava farm to raise additional funds for their children’s school. After walking about 2 miles from the school to the farm, our team was greeted warmly with songs and dancing by the women farmers. Each of us was “trained” in the planting method and given a hoe to join the women in their enthusiastic efforts. There was a wonderful air of excitement as we joined hands together and prayed for a successful harvest to bring hope and joy to the school they love so much.
Last, but certainly not least, was the growth in a relationship that stemmed from a desire to serve and progressed into a mutual partnership between Celebrate Church, World Hope, and the communities of Liberia. The Celebrate team wept and prayed with the survivors of a recent tragedy for which the church was able to provide emergency relief. They hugged the family whose home burned unexpectedly and for which they were able to offer resources for rebuilding. They played with the children they sponsor, talked to the women who bear children in under-resourced conditions, listened to the teachers who show up every day but are not paid sufficiently, danced in celebration of completed work, and most importantly dreamed together of what growth is yet to come.