Taking AIDS Prevention Education to Africa
Dear Village Church of Irvine,
I suspect everyone’s Christmas letter this year will start out with, what a challenging year 2020 has been. We would have to agree with that, but it is amazing how in every adversity God provides a new challenge and a new opportunity. That is the way 2020 has been for Beacon of Hope. As a result of the shutdowns this year, all our teams have been shut out of doing their normal Aids Prevention and Character Development programs at schools. Consequently, we were prompted to divert our training resources into a feeding program run by all our team leaders. This impacted about ten communities in four countries. We have directed over $22,000 to our teams for feeding and they purchased and distributed 20 tons of food and hygiene products. An average of 250 family units affecting about 1200 individuals per month have benefited from the program.
We had a prayer Zoom call with our team leaders Saturday, a week ago. Every one of them expressed their sincere gratitude for implementing the feeding program. It provided a new opportunity for them to reach out to their communities. They also asked us to extend their gratitude to our supporters for making it possible. www.beaconint.org/covid_giving
|If you have been following our recent update emails, you will have read about our plan to help our African partners to become more self-sufficient. This has been a long-term goal for us, but it is the COVID lockdown and the acute shortage of food or at least the resources to buy food that has prompted Abraham & Annah Mabhena from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to start a market gardening project.|
This will help provide supplementary resources to fund their ministry and provide an alternative source of food in times of dire emergency. I will not provide a lot of detail in this letter because I have already provided all the details in a November blog. www.beaconint.org/2020_partner_independence_blog The property that Abraham has been able to acquire, for the very inexpensive rate of $1900 for a 7-acre property, is part of a government project. One of the requirements is that he must start improvements on the property promptly. It is our goal to help him raise the $2800 that he needs to achieve phase 2 of his project, which will be to fence the property and to build a two-room building. The building will serve as accommodation for a property caretaker and a room for tool and equipment storage.
Directed donations to this project can be made at www.beaconint.org/bulawyo_abe
In December last year we had a message from Naura Doreen from Uganda. She was a member of the original Smart Choices team that was trained in 2011. In recent years, she has taken on the responsibility of caring for about 35 orphans that were living on the streets with no one to care for them. There are an additional 150 kids that live with family, but a lot have special needs, and most are in dire need of supplemental feeding. This is not one of official Beacon of Hope projects yet but last December she asked us to help her with funds to provide a Christmas party for the kids. Our associate and 2014 mission team member Bianca took on the task of raising the funds for her special request. We have also included Naura in the feeding program for most of 2020 and would like to be able to continue this support going forward if we are able to find donors to contribute to this cause. One way to support this ministry would be to make a $30 monthly donation to support one kid or just make one-time donations as you are able on the www.beaconint.org/covid_giving secure giving webpage. See Naura’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/naura.doreen
One of our pastor partners, Cyprian Shumba from Victoria Falls, has been traveling for one week a month for the last two years from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Polokwane, South Africa. He has been attending seminary and has just graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree. Congratulations to Cyprian for his momentous achievement.
Finally, I would like to mention Comfort, Deborah and Isaac, Pastor Kenny’s family. I have written in the past about Pastor Kenny’s death in 2015 and our effort to help them get permanent residence in South Africa, being Nigerian citizens. We still have an immigration specialist working on trying to get them recognized as legal and then they can apply for visas to allow them to stay permanently. Deborah and Isaac are registered with our orphan sponsorship partner, Horizon International. We would dearly love to get them monthly sponsors for $40 per month each to help Comfort with the expense of raising and schooling the kids. Read the full story at www.beaconint.org/kenny_s_kids
It is our hope that once the Corona Virus challenges are behind us, our teams will be able to again resume their AIDS prevention, Character Development, and Discipleship program back in full swing. Until that happens, we will continue focusing on the feeding and partner-team independence development effort.
Beacon of Hope California and all our African team associates are extremely appreciative of all our wonderful faithful supporters. We are hopeful that you are at least able to celebrate Christmas with a few of your family, if not the whole gang. May God richly bless you through this Christmas season and through the coming year.
R. Glynn Smith (President)
For Beacon of Hope Board