Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jewelry Project Video


Dear Friends of Hope’s Gate,

I have an exciting report of how our jewelry project is continuing to move forward and an opportunity for you to make a difference in the lives of teens rescued from human trafficking and those at high risk in both Africa and India! 

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to travel to Uganda to launch a jewelry project with a shelter that takes in at-risk teens orphaned by AIDS and other diseases.

At SIITA Nest I met Ruth.  Both of Ruth's parents died before she was 5. She ended up being taken in by some extended family and tragically someone living in the home raped her and gave her HIV when she was a child. At 17 she now lives at SIITA Nest home and has started going to school, but is so far behind she struggles with the grades needed to progress into higher levels of education. 
When she talks about her life she weeps, but she has also come to the place of freedom from shame and is open to tell her story.
 Our jewelry project is giving young women like Ruth practical hope for the future by providing job skills training and income generation opportunities.

In order to be effective in our communication Hope’s Gate desperately needs to produce a short video describing our project.  In January I captured the raw footage needed for this video and we are hoping to finalize the promo video the first two weeks of July.  The amount we must raise in the next few weeks is $2,000 for the completion of the video project.

Would you consider donating toward this cause?  Having a video describing our project will allow us to share the stories of the teens that are being helped by our project and ultimately make us more effective in our mission.

Thank you for your support,


Patty Bauman
Director Hope’s Gate

While we are in our 501c.3 process please make your check payable to Streams of Mercy and include a separate note indicating it is for Hope’s Gate.  Mail to:

Streams of Mercy
P.O. Box 3220
McKinney Texas 75070

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Widows and Orphans Home Adama

Today our team spent time at the Widows & Orphans Home in Adama. The home is run by a very capable Ethiopian woman, and is home to a group of widows and orphans awaiting adoption. There is a mural painted on the wall of the baby nursery says "But God had a plan to save them all". We heard stories of many babies abandoned in the countryside. The people of the villages nearby know when another baby is abandoned because they hear the hyenas finding them. I particularly fell in love with a little 8 month old who was found near death with bugs & worms coming out of his nose & ears. Today he is thriving and waiting for his loving family to bring him home.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Helping destitute widows in Ethiopia

Last night our team landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and we hit the ground running this morning. We loaded up in a van to join some friends who work on the ground here to deliver much needed supplies to a group of widows in a remote village near Adama.
These widows are destitute. They don't have anyone to care for them and huge smiles covered their weathered faces as we delivered mattresses, pillows, sheets and a few other necessities. They literally kissed and kissed our shoulders out of gratefulness.
We partnered with a local pastor & his wife who live in the village and love these widows faithfully. Today it was difficult to hold back the tears as I saw sheer & unrestrained thankfulness for basic items that we take for granted every day. Today these elderly widows are not forgotten tucked away in their village. They matter. They are precious.

Jewelry making training

Friday we returned to SIITA Nest home and continued to train orphan teens in jewelry making. I heard an incredibly heart breaking story, Ruth's story. Both of Ruth's parents died before she was 5. She ended up being taken in by some extended family. A family member raped her and gave her HIV when she was a child. She now lives at SIITA Nest home and has started going to school, but is so far behind she struggles with the exams needed to progress into higher levels of education.
When she talks about her life she weeps, but she has also come to the place of freedom from shame and is open to tell her story.
Our jewelry project is giving young women like Ruth practical hope for the future by providing job skills training that she can use to earn a living.
Stay tuned for a report from our time at St. Ameria's school & shelter.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Clinic reaching remote village

We also spent time with the staff and patients at a clinic in the middle of a remote area outside of Jinja. A little baby named Blessing has been sick with an upper respiratory infection for a while now. His father asked if our team would pray for his son. We gathered around him and asked the Healer to meet this family and make the baby whole again. This clinic is the only way the residents of this village have access to health care.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Foster Family Network

We spent the morning with Irene who with her husband lead the foster family network here in Jinja. The FFN is a community support network who collectively have taken in 250 at risk kids into their homes, really embraced them into their families. They work together, they support each other-it's incredible. It could very well be the best example of community I've ever seen. They've just started a farm to help provide additional food for the foster families, since the cost of food is skyrocketing in Uganda. All the families participate in working on the farm. Irene held beans in her hand that will provide much needed protein in their diets.
Since being here we've met children whose parents have both died of AIDS, and discovered that a huge risk to children here is being kidnapped or taken after their parents die of Aids to be murdered in child sacrifices. Some believe that in sacrificing a child they will gain wealth. Stay tuned for part 2 from today, and join me in praying for the FFN, an amazing group of families who are truly transforming the lives of vulnerable orphans and at risk kids.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 1 part 2

Today we also pulled in to Siita Nest Mother's Love Home, which is home to 63 children and teens. This is the day I have been waiting for! The young people have all come from various backgrounds: some have lost both parents to AIDS, some fled the atrocities of war in the north after losing both parents, all have a painful past but have found joy here at SIITA. You can see it in their eyes.
Today I worked with the older teens on the jewelry project. It was a very fruitful time. We will have a training time again on Friday! they ooo'ed and aaah'ed over the samples Wendie created using the paper beads they made by hand.
James is a young man who grew up at Siita from the time he was 14 when his parents both died. He has just finished university with his degree in art design, and heads up the jewelry project at Siita. Stay tuned for more from Uganda!

Peaceful, calm, serene--that's how our first full day on the ground in Jinja began. Our first stop was to spend time with the YWAM Uganda staff and see the terrific impact they are having in lifting up the marginalized people that live around them. They run a vocational training school, a Bible School & the most amazing preschool ever! What I loved about the preschool is that it's open to poor families who normally couldn't send their kids to school. So the rich and the desperately poor kids learn & grow side by side. In a nation that's had decades of disunity, this school is shaping the next generation in incredibly tangible ways.
Stay tuned for part 2 of Day 1!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Africa, here we come!

Our team flew out of Dallas last night, we've landed in London, had a few hours to stretch our legs, and will board our plane to Uganda shortly. It was so chilly in the airport we asked for blankets, and ended up with two giant table cloths!! they worked.
During this mid-trip respite as a team we've been talking about adoption and God's heart for orphans.
As we board our Uganda leg, the excitement for what is ahead is building in my heart!
Stay tuned for more from the head waters of the Nile.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pushba - no pictures alowed!

I held my breath as I followed Suresh into the ward of the women's HIV/AIDS hospital. Garbage and pools of dirty water lined the broken walkway leading to the entrance. Sorrow hung like a heavy cloud in the air all around us. Suresh and I were here to visit Pushba. To my surprise when we approached her bed I realized she was only about 17. She started talking to Suresh in Tamil and slowly tears streamed down her face as she struggled for breath enough to tell him about her failing health. I waited for Suresh to translate her words.
Pushba is an AIDS orphan herself. Both her parents have died and now she is all alone dying in an AIDS hospital, in some of the most deplorable conditions I've ever seen.
As I stretched my hand out and began to pray for my new friend, peace came like a light in the darkness. I prayed for the healing touch of Christ, for His goodness & kindness to surround her. As I walked away I knew this is exactly where Jesus would have been when He walked the earth. He loved the ones no one else would touch. Will you join me in praying for Pushba?
There are no pictures aloud at this hospital... But I don't need them. I will never forget the things I saw today.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Update from Chennai

It's great to be back in Chennai again after about a year. Wonderful to see the children growing, changing and maturing. As I sat at Little Lights Home I remembered meeting the children at this shelter over four years ago for the very first time. They were little, and they were wild. One boy named Joe had just been rescued from a life of being chained up to a tree like a dog while his parents (lepers) begged each day. When we arrived this time he calmly smiled a big smile and came & sat beside me and shyly reached for my hand. What a change in him! So thankful to be a part of that change. We talked about the "Not Forgotten" team that came with me from Life Church a little over a year ago. There were big smiles as we reminisced about that time. That message continues to have a huge impact on them.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teens rescued from the streets as children find hope

This trip marks another milestone for our jewelry project. Yesterday we held a refresher training course here in India by video from one of our amazing designers & trainers, Heather.
We also interviewed a group of young women and heard about the time in their lives of living in hunger and fear on the streets before coming to this rescue shelter. The highlight for me was hearing how much they love making jewelry. Vijaya* said she is saving her earnings for college. They are earning approximately eight times what they would in another job, and they are able to make jewelry when they have free time, after their studies are done.
Our professional cameraman, Mike, has captured incredible raw footage that can be used for a Hope's Gate video.
If you would like to purchase jewelry made in our project contact info@hopesgate.org or if you would like to make a donation to help us produce a video of our project see the donate page.
*name changed

A place of peace for children of prostitutes

Giggles, squeals, sweet voices laughing....these were the sounds that brought tears to my eyes yesterday as we sat on the floor of a tiny room in the red light district that is home to 6,000 prostitutes and their children.
In the heart of this dark place a wonderful woman runs a preschool for the little ones. They see and hear everything that goes on around them and they face sexual abuse at the hands of the clients, many times. Thankfully Dr. Ruby faithfully greets them each weekday morning and welcomes them for a few hours of peace. Hope's Gate supports the Light of Life Preschool monthly and we continue to work together to break the cycle of the hopelessness of generations in India.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This is what love looks like

Today our team visited the "comforter" children's home, which is home to 32 children, half of whom are HIV positive.
Hope's Gate brings volunteer teams to homes like these to encourage, help and consistently let these kids know they are not alone in the world. I was able to pass on some special photos, letters & gifts from a recent volunteer team I brought from Texas. I started thinking this is really what love looks like.
There is a little girl at the Comforter home whose life has been drastically impacted by the AIDS virus. I noticed she was a little sad when I first arrived...not her normal smiling face. I had a picture for her though in my bag. It was a picture sent to her by Kelly in Texas who met her in November. You see Kelly can't forget * Manju and today that love & commitment made a sad little girl smile.
*name changed

Good Shepherd...safe haven from the streets

Sitting in the room listening to nine little children rescued from living on the streets sing and talk about their dreams was such a refreshing start to an awesome day. Each one has a unique story, but all have one thing in common: life was hard before coming to this shelter. They were hungry, lonely and sometimes neglected and abused. Now they are safe, loved, and happy! I've never met more grateful kids. We walked with the kids to a local pizzeria, and there were some huge smiles as they competed for who could eat the most slices. We interviewed the kids in order to better understand their life stories. One 11 year old said "I'm beautiful because God made me special". I just want to say to the staff of GSH, you rock! Stay tuned for part 2...jewelry training with the teens rescued from the streets!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A voice for the forgotten ones

Today we visited a group of families living on the sidewalks of this city. It's estimated there are 40,000 people living on the streets of Pune. They live under plastic tarps, sleep on dirty cement sidewalks and fight to survive. Thousands of cars drive by, but no one stops. A little toddler gets so close to the oncoming traffic my heart skips a beat. They are forgotten by most, ignored, but not by our Father in heaven.
Psalms 34:6-7 says "the poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles."
Today we were able to give fruit out to the families. I met a little boy who didn't know what a banana was but as soon as he was brave enough to try it he devoured it.
Many of the children and teens who live in the shelters Hope's Gate partners with here have been rescued from a life of suffering & abuse on these very streets. So I'd like to invite you to follow along as we visit the shelters and hear the rescue stories. They are stories of beauty from ashes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Demolitioning for hope!

In 2011 Hope's Gate started accepting donations of old, broken & mismatched jewelry. Our volunteers then "demolition", or break down the donated jewelry, and sort through and keep what is reusable. The beads and other pieces are sent to our projects where beautiful, unique handmade bracelets are recreated.
Just two days ago in preparation for our India trip a volunteer team demolitioned and bagged the beads. Thank you to everyone who donated your old jewelry for recycling! Your donation is blessing the lives of young women rescued out of hopelessness and allowing them to make something old and broken into something new.
Stay Tuned for A report on day 1 from India!
Patty

 
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