- Smart Choices Curriculum Update
The Smart Choices Curriculum was originally developed in the 1990s. There have been a lot of advances in the treatment of HIV since then. When treated with the modern ARV drugs life expectancy has drastically increased. When properly supervised HIV+ women can give birth to babies that are not infected. It is time for the curriculum that we are teaching to be updated. The Gospel portion of the training is eternal and needs no attention but the medical information is in drastic need of update.
2. Expand Smart Choices Program to Nigeria
In 2015 one of our pastors from Richards Bay in South Africa was murdered in an incident of suspected xenophobia. Pastor Kehinde Fabamifobee (Kenny) was an expatriate Nigerian who went to seminary in South Africa and then decided to stay. A few years prior to his death he went back to Nigeria to visit his mother and while he was there he trained three pastors from his home town in the Smart Choices program. Ever since then, they have been anxious for us to provide them with training kits and further training and support so they can get the program running in Nigeria. We would like to honor Pastor Kenny's memory by continuing what he started. We have applied for grant money in 2018 and if we receive those funds then we plan to follow through with what Kenny started.
3. Expand and formalize discipleship program for SC Students
Up to now we have been relying on the Smart Choices team leaders who are also pastors, to implement whatever discipleship training they thought was best. In 2018 we are going to introduce a discipleship program as part of mission trip activities, that is easily repeatable so that students can create their own discipleship groups among their friends and family.
4. Change in trip activities for 2018 (Read more >> beaconint.org/trip)
Our mission trip in 2018 is going to deviate from the format of our previous trips. We will call on our African team leaders to select leaders out of the classes that they teach. They will bring those young potential leaders to team camps at two locations. The two topics that we will focus on are:
Character development, an extension of what was started in the Smart Choices program.
Sustainable and repeatable discipleship program that the students can repeat in their own communities.
5. Continue to pursue new grant opportunities.
In 2017 we had our first opportunity to apply for a significant financial grant. As we approach the end of the year we are waiting on news to know if we have been successful or not. If this grant is successful, it will cover the cost of:
Our African partners participation in the mission trip plans.
The expansion of the Smart Choices program into Nigeria. (Kenny's Legacy)
Augment the cost of the ongoing Smart Choices program.
We have Letters of Inquiry out to multiple other funding foundations and we will continue to pursue those opportunities. We will also continue to keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities for our African teams to apply for funds of their own so that they are not so dependent on Beacon of Hope for the success of their programs. This is an important factor in our Sustainability Plan for the African teams.
6. Add more board members
Twenty one months ago the Beacon of Hope board was reduced to only three people and thankfully Michelle Bozniak joined us about nine months ago. We need to increase our number to spread the work load around a little more. We are praying that in 2018 God will lead more volunteers to us who are "Willing and Wanting and Waiting" (My Fair Lady) to be part of the Beacon of Hope Mission.
If you feel led to be more actively involved with Beacon of Hope please go to beaconint.org/volunteer and state how you would like to participate.