The 2020 Honduras team is traveling today for their annual week of mission work alongside Betsy Hake at Jericho Ministries. You can follow along with them day by day with their devotions, attached to this entry HERE. Please keep them in your prayers this week, for God's protection, and for His hand to be upon them as they minister to the children down there. Thank you!
FOLLOW ALONG WITH OUR DEVOTIONS! A group of nine people are going to Honduras February 12-19 to minister alongside missionary, Betsy Hake, to the children at Jericho Villas. Every morning the team will meet for devotions before they start their work day. If you want to follow along with the team each morning, CLICK HERE. If you choose to follow along, Days One thru Four will be Wednesday-Saturday (February 13-16). No devotions on Sunday because the team will be attending church together. Day Five will be Monday (February 18). Please keep the team in your prayers for God’s Hand of Protection to be upon them. Thank you and God bless you!
CLICK HERE for Betsy's 2014 pictorial review.
It all started with a list. Rockwood Church asked if they could do an Angel Tree to bless our children and we said we would be happy with that. Each child asked for a specific gift. Isaac, who loves peanut butter and had just discovered from another child that you could actually buy peanut butter with jelly already in it, couldn't wait to get that on the list.
So on Christmas eve we gathered in our living room, all 40 something of us, and each child received their specially chosen gift. And that's when it happened, an unexpected moment pregnant with the Presence of Jesus. Isaac had actually received 6 jars of the peanut butter and jelly mixture but we had a day several weeks ago when the need to eat was greater than the need to give him ALL six jars....so the family ate PBJ sandwiches and Isaac was none the wiser.
When he opened the three remaining jars on Christmas Eve, you would have thought that we had given him the moon! He was so thrilled! He lifted them high into the air with a look a sheer victory on his face and then ripped through the wrappings to reveal his three jars of peanut butter and jelly! It was such a joy to see him so thrilled with his gift. We had moved on to the opening of the other children's gifts when I sensed him scooting up closer to me on the couch. "This is for you, Mama Bets," he said as he carefully placed one of his treasured jars in my hands. He had already given one of the other jars to Tia Elvia and that left him with one jar. That sweet unselfish gesture brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't contain them as I gently told Isaac that I wanted him to keep his treasure but that his unselfishness had touched me.....deeply. Instead of wanting to hoard more for himself, he wanted to bless others. How could this little eight year old boy, who has suffered so much in his young life already, understand that it is more blessed to give than receive?
The answer, of course, is Jesus. Isaac has experienced Jesus' love and so he can give away to others, knowing that this honors the very One who has given him a new life.
I am so thankful this Christmas for the gift of Isaac and for the gift of every one of these children that God has brought into our Jericho family. They teach me of His grace and His amazing love and His sacrificial giving. They bring me His Presence.
PEOPLE LIKE US
This has been a Joseph kind of month: looking for a house for the new transition home for girls, looking for a new safehouse, looking for schools for our children for next year . . . knocking on doors and explaining our needs. In some instances, the responses have been welcoming, but not always. I visited a private bilingual school, one of several, to ask for details in regards to six of our younger children. One of our staff had already visited this school, but the director had not been present. When I introduced myself, she said, “Oh, you are from the children’s home.” I smiled and said yes. She then asked, “What kind of children are they, anyway?” A day later, I called the safehouse director to see if they had found a new location yet for our precious girls. She said they had finally found a house which met all the requirements, but that at the final moment, the owner had said he had changed his mind, that he did not want to rent to “people like us.”
What kind of people are we, anyway? And what kind of children are we raising?
I think of one of our safehouse girls who will soon be in the new transitional home. She ran away at age 16 and was picked up by traffickers, who took her to a brothel in Nicaragua. More than a year later, she was rescued. She came to us terribly wounded and angry. During her time with us, however, she has given her life to Christ, gone through confirmation, finished two years of vocational training, and this Monday has a job interview. Courageous. Fun. Spirited. She’s that kind of young woman.
I think of one of the six children for whom we are seeking a bilingual education. His mother spent many years on the street as a prostitute and drug addict. She entrusted him to us at age two, her greatest treasure and eventually her motivation for getting clean and off the street. Since kindergarten, he has been an honor roll student; he will be in third grade next year. Bright. Energetic. Affectionate. He’s that kind of child.
And I think of one of our caregivers at the children’s home. Her only son was shot to death last year. Her older sister died of cancer shortly afterwards. Grieving, she continued to care for the little boys who call her “mami.” She doesn’t make enough money to visit her own mother during Christmas vacation, and asked for prayer this week that God would provide. Devoted. Motherly. Humble. She’s that kind of woman.
I suppose Joseph had trouble finding a room in an inn partly because of the kind of people he and Mary were: poor, dirty, “with child.” Only one innkeeper saw them with the eyes of God and welcomed them into his care.
During this Advent season, I’m thankful for the opportunity to hang out with our kind of people: people like you who believe that what we are doing flows from God’s heart, and who invite us into your care; people like our young people and children who dare to hope again after abandonment, abuse and rejection; people like our staff who count everything as loss except their service to Jesus.
We are so blessed to be people like us: people of hope in the One who gives life to all who run into His loving arms.
A joyous Advent! Come, Lord Jesus!
TANZANIA MISSION SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2014
To follow up the June 2014 trip and the introductory 12 Steps of AA program presented to medical and church leaders and to begin implementing Twelve Step Meetings in the Churches and community.
Click here to read the full report.
The Tanzanian Project, June 2014
As a result of positive actions of HOPE MINISTRY in the country and the prisons of Belize and Allendale, I was invited to participate in a program of Alcohol, Drug, and Aids recovery in Tanzania, Africa. On a previous trip in 2006 to Tanzania, I met Dr. Henry Ziegler and his wife Priscilla who were attempting to build and improve on the Medical Clinic supported by the Anglican Diocese of Dar as Salaam under the leadership of Anglican Bishop Mokiwa Valentine. The purpose of my visit was to introduce addiction awareness training to the Clergy of the Bishop's Diocese. The Ziegler's had a long successful career in Public Clinical Heath and were devoted to bringing medical treatment and recovery to the suffering. Since 2006, the Ziegler's have been successful in bringing about an outstanding Medical Clinic in Dar es Salaam and also expanding medical teams and partnerships with government and medical agencies resulting in treatment, especially HIVAIDS throughout the country of Tanzania. Because of his success's, Dr. Zeigler has been identified and accepted as an innovative and dedicated individual in the treatment and suffering of the poor. His reputation was instrumental in the acceptance and the immediate initiation of the Twelve Step recovery Project in Dar es Salaam.
The initial trip in 2006 did not bring about significant positive results and the programs lay dormant for 7 years. But just as in Belize where the introduction and implementation of 12 Step Programs were originally resisted and faced huge obstacles until the need became vital for the survival of the country, this same occurrence took place in Tanzania. The increase in the use of alcohol, drugs, emotional trauma, and stress resulted in a major increase in crime (murder, and physical and sexual abuse) which resulted in broken relationships, dysfunction in families, and criminal behavior among other ills. This was recognized by the government, civil and church leaders and the desire and seeking of help to combat addictions of drugs and alcohol and the increase in the spread of AIDS led to the willingness to turn to Dr. Zeigler seeking help and answers. in January 2014 Dr.Zeigler, who had been receiving my newsletters on the Belize and Allendale programs, contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining with him in introducing Alcohol, Drug, and Aids recovery program in Dar es Salaam with the long term goal of expanding it throughout Tanzania. Upon agreeing, we conferred on a basic plan of introducing Addiction Awareness Training and the Twelve Step Recovery Programs of AA into Dar es Saalam. Dr. Ziegler presented this plan to his major contacts in Dar as Salaam in February 2014 which was quickly accepted. We targeted June 2014 to begin the initial introduction process.
The plan was to use the medical teams and groups established by Dr. Zeigler to become the basis and the umbrella force in launching and mobilizing the 12 Step Programs in Dar. The key to our success was to gain the vital support of top leaders of all facets of Tanzanian Society (Government, Medical, Education, and Church). The presentation purpose to these leaders was to offer addiction awareness concepts which corrected some of the ideas and myths usually thought of when thinking of "addiction".
The normal approach is to use treatment centers, methadone shots, and now even pills to attack the problem. The "success" is usually short term. The long-term approach is to find the reasons for the addiction and get the addicted to admit and confront them, thus removing the driving force for the addiction. Addiction is hiding pain which is usually caused by fears. The need to hide the pain and "feel good" guides us toward substances, (alcohol, drugs)things, activities (exercise, crime, work) which provide this "feel good " feeling The Twelve Step Program offers a process of admitting and confronting the "issues". Recovery is long term and lifetime. This concept is generally difficult for society to accept and even more so in the medical communities. Thus, I had some anxiety and apprehension when presenting these concepts. To successfully get the 12 Step Program going, it was vital the top levels of leadership bought into this concept and actively supported the idea to lower echelons. If not the project would fail. This lack of top-level support is what was experienced in Belize and why it took years of contacts to gain a foothold with 12 Step Programs. With the contacts and relationships of Dr. Ziegler, we felt we could substantially reduce the time for implementation and in reality could move almost immediately. This was exactly what happened.
In June 2014 Dr, Zeigler and I traveled to Dar es Salaam beginning the process of top-level leadership support for our proposals. The objective was to invite as many of the leaders as possible to attend a detailed two-day conference on addiction. We won some and lost some but were able to attract individuals who would form the core team of carrying the program throughout Dar. From this meeting an initial team was established consisting of Professor Marsalakulangwa Mabala, an American and Harvard trained Behavior Scientist, as the lead, assisted by Mr. Gao John Gao, Director of the MEA (Development, Education, and Health) Foundation in Dar es Salaam, and Agnes Mirada Senior Counselor at the Burugundi Medical Clinic. Also in attendance at the conference were Bishop Mokiwa Valentino, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Dar and several other individuals who volunteered to become part of the training of groups. Bishop Mokiwa immediately agreed to set a date to conduct a one-day training conference with the Clergy of his Diocese in October. He also arranged for an appointment with the Commissioner General of Prisons of Tanzania who granted approval to move to next step of introducing the programs and setting up a pilot program in the prison system. This is a major major step for both Tanzania, the prison inmates and the Twelve Step Programs. I am awaiting my security clearance for the October training session.
The expectations and results of this trip exceeded beyond my wildest dreams. What had taken 5 years to accomplish in Belize was already in progress after one visit. Approval to proceed with the programs was received and a team trained in the addiction recovery process began moving down the levels of organizations directly to the street and user level with the introduction of 12 Step Meetings. "The Team" established an ambitious one year 9 point plan including the translation and publishing of 12 Step Material into Kiswahili, training of local leaders in twelve steps, and initiating 50 Twelve Step Meetings at street level. Both Dr. Zeigler and I plan to return in October where multiple one-day training sessions will be conducted zeroing in on those groups the team has contacted and received approval. The Anglican Diocese Clergy Conference and the Prison will be two of the main objectives
How you can help:
If you are so moved to assist in this vital project to save suffering souls in Tanzania from the ravages of addiction (Drug, Alcohol, and Emotional) and its result in death, destruction of souls,(broken relationships, family abuse, spousal abuse, sexual abuse , crime) you can help by:
1. Prayer for all involved with this project and for those suffering to open there minds to a new way of life.
2. Offering computer skills helping in preparing materials, presentations, power point, publishing materials, and web site construction. A need also exits for a grant writer and the exploration of Grants.
3. Becoming a volunteer on a short-term mission trip working with addiction.
4. Supplying me with the names of contacts, organizations, grants who might be interested in supporting this project and ministry.
5. Funding. This project will be included in the HOPE ADDICTION MINISTRY mission and funding. HOWEVER IF you desire to earmark contributions designated SOLELY to the TANZANIA PROJECT, please NOTE so on the check payment.
Make checks payable to ST. LUKE'S FOUNDATION OF HILTON HEAD, noting in the memo "HOPE ADDICTION MINISTRY PROJECT".
c/o Michael Znachko,
29 SeabrooK Landing Dr.,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.
Thank you and God's continued blessings!
In His Service,
Hope Addiction Ministry
Click Here to find out what's going on in Betsy's world with Jericho Ministries.