Africa changed my life.

This is the story of Samuel Furst. He is a 15-year-old guy from Sherwood Park, AB.  My name is Samuel Furst and I went on my first mission trip April-May 2016. To be honest I did not want to go. I told my parents that I was looking forward to it so I didn’t look like a bad Christian in a household of powerful believers. The first three days I wished I wasn’t there. It was about the fourth or fifth day of our 2-week trip that I started to enjoy it. I started engaging the people and the language and more importantly God. I’ve always known God was there and He was watching over me. I never really sought Him out though, never really felt that feeling of desperately seeking after Him. With everything I had. It was day 6 or 7 and we were going to a small village in the mountains in Rwanda. I was in the middle row of our van sitting beside my mom. The first ever Rwanda sponsor child Emmanuel and my two sisters (Haley and Morgan) were all in the back and they were playfully singing worship songs. Joel Goodnough said “Sing Our…



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An Hour in Priscilla’s Kitchen

Somewhere near the Bay of Bengal in southern India, a drive of about 15-minutes full of lowing cattle and shepherds tapping goats with longs sticks and bleating horns from tuktuk drivers and mystical stone carvings, there is a children’s home surrounded by a concrete wall. In this compound you will discover many things and many purposes but please find Priscilla’s kitchen. If you spend one hour in Priscilla’s kitchen, a square of mildewed concrete about ten feet by twelve, you might learn about authentic Indian cooking, but you might not remember much about that because you might also experience any, or all, of the following things:  Priscilla sits on her wooden chair, pushed right against the back cabinets to make room for the cooks. She has a cutting board on her lap and is peeling cloves of garlic with her fingers.  Two women, chopping vegetables together at the countertop, maybe three feet in length. Their voices are low and soft, but their laughter rings through the barred window and spills right out into the open air where the turkey is picking through kitchen scraps.  A tiny lizard dashes out of sight as the quarter inch plywood is…



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Churches pray for community leaders – Apr2013

Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye – Ponoka News After 11 years the Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast continues as a tradition of prayer and fellowship. Representatives and churches came to pray April 6 at the Kinsmen Community Centre, for leader Mayor Larry Henkelman’s, Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins, who was in attendance, and Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox. Calkins thanked everyone for coming and was grateful for their support. “I’ll need your prayers and your support and your guidance.” Mayor Henkelman feels these prayer breakfasts would not be possible without the work of the Ponoka Ministerial Association. “Ponoka is a better place to live because of the ministerial association.” He also introduced guest speaker Pastor Brian Thomson and a program called Home of Hope. “They’re looking after almost the population of Ponoka.” Attendees had the chance to hear how Thomson’s group, which helps impoverished women and children in Third World countries, has made changes around the globe. These Homes of Hope in Rwanda, India, Kenya and the Congo are orphanages for children. They are helping 4,000 children with a goal of 10,000. “Rwanda is the number 1 place in the world of children raising children.” Many of them do not have a home, were born with AIDS…



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Giving at Christmas – Dec2011

It never ceases to amaze me what people are willing to give to someone they don’t really know.  They may know this person through someone, or hear about a project or a need from a story they hear, or even hear of someone else’s experience and decide “I have to do something.”  That is what seems to be the story here. A couple who so kindly gave a good sum of money to Home of Hope decided that they too needed to do something for people they have never met. They send in the funds hoping that it would be used towards electronics that are so in need in the projects that Home of Hope manages. In true HOH fashion the money was put to immediate and much needed use. The people that benefited are pictured above and their faces say it all.  The money was divided up between laptops, cameras, memory cards, MP3 players and some adapters for use in the Home of Hope areas to enable them to communicate with the Canadian office. A team of 13 people were in Rwanda and Kenya the first part of December and were able to pass on the items purchased to…



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Bringing Hope for the Future Article

Article from Today’s Businesswoman Magazine “He lifts the poor from the dust. He lifts the needy from a garbage heap.” Psalm 113:7 A dump is for garbage, not children. WHAT IS HOME OF HOPE? Home of Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with desperate needs. They seek to create a loving and supportive home environment while providing food, clothing, education and Christian training. Home of Hope is in Rwanda, India and Kenya and is currently helping over 860 children every month. ABOUT HOME OF HOPE DIRECTOR BRIAN THOMSON: “An advocate for orphans and children…”  Brian was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. He has been a pastor since 1977 and travels internationally out of Home Church (formerly Word of Life Centre) Red Deer. In December 2006 Brian went to Rwanda and saw the need first hand. Rwanda has one of the largest orphan needs in the world because of the 1994 Genocide and the AIDS Epidemic. Gripped by the needs of the nation, Brian became the Founder and Director of Home of Hope Rwanda. Rwanda: In 1994, Rwandans experienced what no one should ever see. One million people were murdered in just 100 days; over 300,000 of…



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Rescuing babies (and their mothers) from the dump

KATHY ANEY – EAST OREGONIAN Three large signs rise from the city dump in Nairobi, Kenya. They read, “Please don’t throw your baby away.” Hundreds of desperately poor Kenyans pick through the 30-acre dump each day for food and items to sell on the streets. In the rubbish is the occasional abandoned newborn, sometimes alive, sometimes dead. Now, thanks to a simple, surprisingly successful program, moms are thinking twice about discarding their babies. Kristen Van Cleave, of Pendleton, won’t soon forget both the misery and the hope she found in Nairobi last summer. Van Cleave, 21, volunteered at the Dream Center, an orphanage for babies rescued from the dump or streets. The Blue Mountain Community College nursing student got a tour of the Nairobi dump on a gloomy, rainy morning. “The stench hit us — it was hard to breathe,” she said. “There were people picking through the garbage with their bare hands.” Some of the trash pickers sleep at the dump, she said, while others live in a nearby shanty town that squeezes more than 500,000 of the city’s most desperately poor into less than a square mile of shacks and open sewers. At the dump, she saw people trudging…



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Courage – The Country of Rwanda – Aug 2011

As I sit here in my comfortable chair, in my beautiful constructed home, in my nicely maintained neighborhood, thinking about going out later in my nice vehicle into a nicely established restaurant I can’t help but think of my friends in Rwanda and what they are up to. What is on the agenda for their day? What will they encounter today? And then I remember what I had seen and experienced while I was there… Courage… I know many pieces have been written about the word, the idea, the characteristic of it. But I feel like I have actually seen this word in action. I have seen it in action overseas in a country called Rwanda, in a people of great fortitude, strength, gentleness and graciousness. Quality people are somewhat hard to find these days but not so much in my experience in Rwanda. When I think of quality people I think of people like Jane our financial manager of Home of Hope. I think of Doreen our leader over the feeding program in Buhoro. I think of Emmanuel heading up the projects in Buhoro… especially the pig project. I think of Espeance who from nothing has risen to watch…



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A sponsor child’s letter to her sponsor

  Ellen started sponsoring Joy in Kenya on April 1, 2011 and they have been writing letters ever since. The letter you just read grabs you doesn’t it? This kind of cross-cultural sharing and exchanging of lives is just one of the benefits you will have when you sponsor a child from Kenya or even Rwanda or India. In this case Ellen is receiving her joy from Joy so many miles away. Her decision to start to sponsor a child has changed both their worlds. Joy sounds so excited about her new sheets and blankets and even thrilled that she got to go shopping for them with her Grandmother. Small pleasures bring big joy. This wouldn’t be possible without the generous sponsorship and support of people like Ellen. This child and her family are benefitting in so many ways. They are eating, attending school and staying warm at night because of one woman’s act to share a little of what she had with a child around the world. Think about sponsoring your own special child. Think about affecting and uplifting a family by one simple decision to share. To share your time, your money and your own family with one…



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Side by Side: Medicine

What you see is the evidence of how two professionals from two totally different worlds can come together to work to improve the lives of many. On the right is Laura Rogers from Olds, Alberta Canada. Laura had been a nurse for several years and upon some recent visits to Rwanda was able to put those skills to work for a great cause. Hilda, on the left is from Gatsata, Rwanda and has graciously agreed to work with Home of Hope in the many areas its serves. Hilda is a woman who is in her final year of nurses training. She has an intense schedule and yet she takes time to come and work with HOH and Laura to travel to remote locations and see individual after individual, for hours on end. The reward for both is that their skills are being used where they are needed most. By people who need them most. Some of the injuries, illnesses and situations you won’t find in the western world. If you are medical professional…your skills are needed here. Hilda would love to work alongside you and learn from you and I know that you will learn from Hilda and the patients…



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From Your Heart to Theirs

This picture really says it all about a sponsor sending a gift to their sponsor child overseas. After having the privilege of being present when a child receives a gift from their sponsor from Canada I can tell you it is really incredible to see the face of a child light up so quickly and so brilliantly when they take hold of that gift in their own precious hands. Many just look at the gift and touch it, feel it, and look at the wrapping or package it came in. Some dive right in and rip into it and squeals of joy and happiness and the look of sheer joy are so evident on their precious faces. With either of these ways of opening their gifts the children are always, always, so tremendously happy it really is hard to put into words. If this is something you would like to do we have teams going over to Rwanda often and they would love to help you connect with your child by bringing them a small gift package. The best way to send some love from Canada is in a large Ziploc bag. This size works well for the team bringing…



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