Monday, May 24, 2010

A Perspective on Prosperity City, Guyana

It's hard to believe the CP team to Guyana has been home for a few weeks. "Normal" life seems to have swept us all up in its fast flow and we find school almost finished and summer vacation upon us. Before we drift too far from the impact our CP team made on Guyana (and Guyana made on our team!) we wanted to share some final thoughts from one of the team members, Becca. She wrote a fantastic follow up letter to her supporters and gave us permission to share some of it with you.

"I have been back home from my trip to Guyana for about a week now and I am still amazed at what God has done and what He is doing there. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for our team and Angie Hemric, the missionary with whom we were working. We truly felt the Lord’s presence during our time there.
Here are some of the highlights:
 worked with Vreed en Hoop Wesleyan church to conduct surveys in Plastic City (PC)
 had a pool party for the kids from Ruimveldt Children’s Home and Care Centre (RCHCC) (since none of the caretakers and almost none of the kids can swim, they don’t get this treat very often!)
 created a database with information from the PC surveys
 put together and distributed bags of school supplies and hygiene items to each home in PC and to each child at RCHCC
 prayed over each survey representing a family in PC
 tutored children in PC
 organized supplies for future distribution in PC
 attended an amazing worship service at Vreed en Hoop Wesleyan church
 went shopping for school shoes for the kids at RCHCC
 helped the kids at RCHCC pick out their own flip flops (another real treat for them!)
I was so blessed by the children we met both at RCHCC and at PC. On our first afternoon of ministry we visited RCHCC and played with the kids for a while. After about an hour, I was holding one of the babies when it struck me that I had completely forgotten that many of the children were HIV positive. Amidst laughter and squeals, I realized that God had blessed these orphans with not only good health and a home, but also with joy. What an honor to see how God can move in a situation where the world can often only see death and despair.

In PC, we really got to interact with the children when we went on two different afternoons to tutor them. As I struggled to teach colors to some eight or nine year olds, it was immediately apparent that although eager to learn, these children do not have the same educational opportunities that American children do. What blew me away was how enthusiastic the kids were to do whatever you asked them to do, even when it involved spelling or addition! In part, I think that they were drawn not only by the desire to learn, but also by the desire to be near to people who would spend time with them and love them even for a short while.

How do you describe Plastic City? It is a cross between a slum, a dump and a swamp. All along the jetty wall, garbage lies in slimy, foul masses swarmed by gnats and mosquitoes. Planks are laid from the wall to dilapidated shacks to avoid wading through mud. The ugliness and stench of PC seems to be reflective of the dark spiritual state of many of the people there. And yet the people we met seem not only to be resigned to live there, but almost defiant. Since the people who live in PC are squatters (they do not legally own the land), they cannot have basic utilities like water and electricity in their homes. As we conducted our surveys, we asked about what they felt were the greatest needs in the community and their responses were very alike—water, electricity, legal land, education, cooperation.

Vreed en Hoop Wesleyan Church has a great passion for the lost people of Plastic City and, just as Yahweh often did, the church has claimed a new promise for the community by changing its name to Prosperity City. This promise comes from 3 John 2, where the Apostle John hopes that the people will "prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (NKJV). Through all of the muck, disease and injustice of PC, our prayer is that the community will find its hope in the Lord and claim its new name in its own right.

We know that God has great plans for Prosperity City. Angie and her team are continuing on with the tutoring and they plan to start community health evangelism in the near future. Down the road, it is hoped that there will be opportunities and resources for water purification and microfinance programs as well. You can continue following the work in PC by checking out Angie’s blog:

"Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: "Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns."
Revelation 19:6 (NLT)"

As I look back on our time in Guyana, I realize that water was a recurring theme: the ocean, the pool party, the trench at PC, the torrential rains that fell, PC’s need for clean water, the river. This ties right into the verse above that God gave to me to sum up my time there. You see, I went to Guyana expecting to be saddened by the pain and suffering I would see. I did see pain and suffering there, but more importantly, I saw the many ways that God has been and will continue to be moving. Like ocean waves, these tiny ripples of hope are joining together to accomplish the work of His kingdom. Seemingly insignificant tasks like showing a child how to write his name or praying over the needs of a desperate family may not seem like much right now, but someday we will see how these many small acts of His people will join together to give God thunderous glory. Please keep the people of Guyana and especially Prosperity City in your prayers. It is our hope and expectation that we will all someday join in singing the Lord’s praises before His throne together.
In Christ,


Continued prayer needs
 Funding for Angie Hemric
 Wisdom, guidance and provision for the PC team
 That the Holy Spirit would move in PC and help the people to prosper

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Miles of Hope "I Can Help One" Event is May 22

You may not feel called to adopt a child but that doesn't mean there aren't other ways you can show Christ's love to a child.

That's the message of the "I Can Help One" event 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at Triad Baptist Church in Kernersville, NC. Organized by Deena and George Jackson as part of the "Miles of Hope" ministry they launched last November on National Orphan Sunday, the program will feature testimonies and information in the sanctuary and displays in the Activity Center by a host of agencies and ministries, including:

Caroline's Promise
Gobena Coffee
Children's Home Society
Christian Adoption Services
Post-Adoption Support Booth: Andy and Sharon DeRosa
I Can Pray for One - prayer sponsorship
I Can Write to One - letter-writing sponsorship
I Can Provide for One - financial sponsorship
Miles of Hope Booth - George and Deena Jackson
Lovelinks - foster care agency

"We really want to get as much information out there as we can," said Deena Jackson. "There are lots of people who want to help these kids but they don't know where to begin, how to get started or what to do. This event is designed to get ideas into their hands so that each one of us can be better equipped to 'help ONE.'

"We will have touching testimonies and information before breaking off to visit the many booths in the Activity Center where people can learn how they can be part of God's plan to help the orphan," she said. "We will then have a prayer vigil for orphans directly after the event in the sanctuary."

The Jacksons named the ministry after their daughter, Miley, who they adopted from Guatemala in 2008. Childcare will be available upon request. To reserve childcare or for more information, call the church office at (336) 996-7573 (336) 996-7573 . To volunteer for the event, contact Jackson at (336) 996-6202 (336) 996-6202 .

Written by Wayne Thompson

Triad Baptist Church is located at 1175 South Main Street, Kernersville, NC 27284.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summit VI Recap

Several weeks ago, David and and I were blessed to attend the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Minneapolis, MN. The first Summit we attended was at Focus on the Family in 2007. It has thrilled us to see this conference grow to include thousands of churches, agencies and ministries from around the world! John Piper shared in the closing service and we think his message will encourage you to "keep the faith" with your adoption, church orphan ministry, or orphan care program! The date and location for Summit 2011 will be announced soon. We would love for you to join us next year!

Click on the link below to view the video.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Now?

If you were able to watch the video tribute to Prosperity City, Guyana, then God has probably already spoken to your heart about needing to do something. Something. But what would that be? We wanted to help you with that very question. Below are some very tangible ways to partner with the ministry that has already begun in Guyana.
  • Participate in our Reclaiming Hope for Orphans Motorcycle Ride on May 15. You can click here for more information.

  • Join our prayer team and commit to pray for Angie Hemric, her Guyana team and the people of Prosperity City. You can join here.

  • Support Angie, our Guyana Country Coordinator here. (Choose Guyana Orphan Projects and write "Angie" in the comment box.)

  • Join one of our mission trips to Guyana or let us help your church take a team.
In the next few weeks we will be posting more ways to get involved. For now, pray over these options and see if the Lord doesn't lay some specific way to help on your heart. We can each make a difference for one; together we can make a difference for a nation!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tribute to Prosperity City

Through the combined efforts of Angie Hemric, Lisa Holbrook, myself (Jody) and the Guyana team as they took pictures while in Prosperity City, this video came into being. It is a tribute to the work being done in Prosperity City and the hope that is promised to those our team left behind. A special thank you to Angie who spent hours working on the video, getting it to the polished state we present to you. This video is set to the song Rescue from the Trading my Sorrows, Vertical Momentum album. We praise God for what He has done in Prosperity City, what He did while our team was working there, and what He continues to do in the future. May you watch with open hearts and minds as God speaks to you through this video.

Prosperity City Partnership from Lisa Holbrook on Vimeo.

(If you are reading this post in a RSS reader or email you may need to click here to see the video.)

A land of many waters
Polluted by the darkness that lingers
As thick as the heat of noon day

Incognito, infiltrating every corner, every space
Until, one day, the strangers came
With clear vision and strong hearts

They brought courage and hope and smiles
A moment of rest in a weary monotony

They speak in the name of a Man
A Man of Living Water
Who is their Hope, the Truth, the Way

Bridging the distance that has always been
Standing in the gap on behalf of the hopeless
Not in pride, but in great humility, serving
Loving, caring, heartbroken

They were not the first
They will not be the last

Making a difference for one
One at a time

For the next generation