From all of us here at Helping Children Worldwide in collaboration with our local partners, the Child Reintegration Centre and Mercy Hospital, we are giving a BIG shout-out to all our PARTNER CHURCHES & SUPPORTING CONGREGATIONS for your faithful partnership and commitment to changing lives and healing the world!
At Helping Children Worldwide, we acknowledge the fact that having wonderful supporting churches to promote a cause like this is a huge blessing. Through this ministry, the Child Reintegration Centre and Mercy Hospital are transforming lives and changing communities because of the support of vibrant partner churches and supporting congregations working together to advance God's Kingdom through prayers, material and financial support, and physical presence on the ground through mission trips to work with local leaders to make changes for good. That is phenomenal!
Your partnership to this ministry is saving lives, strengthening families, unlocking potential, developing leaders, and empowering communities. Thank you for bringing transformation to the world through the amazing work you do in your immediate communities and communites far away from you.
Recent Mission/Good News Moments
A special shout-out to the following churches for hosting amazing ministry (Good News) moments in the past couple months with Emmanuel Nabieu.
Looking for more ways to get involved as partner church or supporting congregation? Please contact Nabs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sharon Gardner, literacy intervention teacher and First UMC of Colleyville Partner Church Representative
Jill Barker, Donna Edwards, Kerry Mueller and I, all educators, had the privilege of being part of a "virtual mission trip" to collaborate with Education Manager Mabel Mustapha and CRC Director Olivia Fonnie. Since the planned July 2020 mission trip to the CRC had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, our plans for a Teachers Learning Collaborative, Phase 3, had to be put on hold. TLC is an initiative for teacher-leaders from Sierra Leone to lead professional development for other teachers from Sierra Leone, assisted by teachers from the US. Olivia and Mabel talked with HCW and asked if we would be interested in collaborating virtually, so that Mabel could share some of the training materials with teachers in schools. Mabel was also interested in learning more about study skill strategies. We met several times online, and it was delightful! We discussed and shared information back and forth to support teachers and students. This was a marvelous way to “go” to the CRC without leaving home, and to be in partnership with our sisters in Sierra Leone.
We plan, God laughs.
Obedience leads to an extraordinary blessing for a missioner as she returns to Sierra Leone.
by Tina DeBoeser, Director of Missions & Outreach, Ebenezer United Methodist Church
I had no plans to go to Africa in 2019. I will say that again - I had no plans to go to Africa in 2019. My year was simply too busy. A year of too much going and too much going on. Although I had been part of a team in 2018 and fell in love with the mission and people, I was not going back in 2019.
That was final.
Ever heard of the old Yiddish proverb, “We plan, God laughs”? I should have known my head’s very reasonable reasons for staying were no match for the Holy Spirit whispering ‘go’!
So I went back to Bo to embrace the people, beauty, dignity, promise, and the mission.
I am no stranger to international missions; I am in fact the Director of Missions & Outreach at a large suburban church. As such, one of my key roles is to recruit, prepare, and send teams around the globe to work with partner organizations like Helping Children Worldwide. I recognize and appreciate what a privileged position I hold, one where I have the freedom to choose to experience these opportunities.
I am also no stranger to the criticisms of short-term mission trips. Many of the concerns raised are valid. When done poorly, a short-term mission trip can actually cause harm and prevent healthy development.
But when we start a trip well prepared, with a humble heart, and the expectation of developing a mutual relationship, it can be a thing of beauty. This has been my experience with HCW.
Returning to Bo in 2019 was especially exciting for me. Part of the trip was devoted to visiting and developing an agreement between HCW, my church and two (of an eventual five) villages. This new formal relationship is the brainchild of HCW and we are thrilled to be the beta test!
Visiting Samie and Fengehun villages was a surreal experience. We were greeted by the senior residents and chiefs, welcomed with song and given the VIP tour of community resources and liabilities.
Once we sat down to hammer out an agreement, it was fascinating to hear the villagers’ hopes for their community’s future. I was so encouraged to hear strong women speak about their aspirations for themselves and their children.
One thing I have learned from short-term missions is the truth about mothers. All mamas, regardless of where on the globe they happen to stand, want the same thing. They want the opportunity to raise their children in a safe environment, free of fear and disease. They want their children to have the opportunity to learn, pursue their purpose, to know that they are valued and loved, and to fall asleep with full bellies.
I believe that much division and fear in the world could be solved with proximity. Taking the time to be in authentic give-and-take relationships with others who do not look, act, buy, speak, think, vote, love, or live like us is the only way to remove the fallacy of ‘otherness’. Sometimes it takes going to the other side of the world to open your eyes and heart to those on this side of the street.
Africa imprints on your soul, just as surely as the beautiful, deep, organic smell clings to your clothes and suitcase long after you have returned home.
Although I have no plans to return in 2020, I believe I can hear God laughing right now.
Learn more about joining a mission team to Sierra Leone: www.helpingchildrenworldwide.org/mission-trips
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