2017 has been a great year so far but there is still a lot to look forward to in the final weeks.
Be sure to not miss our year end Fundraising Events
- #GivingTuesday Event Double Your Donation on Tuesday November 28, 2017
- Christmas Benefit Concert on December 8, 2017
Smart Choices program statistics for 2017.
As of November 2017 we still have fourteen Smart Choices teams operating in four countries and the total students reached since 2004 has exceeded 151,000. The teams have averaged 24,000 students a year for the last five years and the results so far for 2017 are as follows:
We are half way through the year so it is time to check in and see how our teams are doing. Fortunately we have already taken our 2017 mission trip in January so we can take the summer of here in America. Our African teams are hard at work. As of the end of June our teams have trained 18,927. Two thirds or 12,348 are already Christians, one third 6,261 have made new commitments to follow Jesus, and 12,824 made commitments to abstain from sex until marriage.Read more
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One of our main objectives of hosting the Renewal Conference this past January, was to create a sense of community amongst the Smart Choices team leaders. BOHI has 14 teams in 8 different geographical areas in four different countries, most of whom had never met one another. Our hope was to create a space where these amazing men and women of faith could worship our Lord together and feel connected to each other as co-laborers in the Kingdom. As always, our God is faithful.
During the Renewal Conference, we were able to use WhatsApp to form group “chats” for team leaders within each country to communicate more effectively with each other. We also made one large group on WhatsApp in order to connect all of the team leaders and board members.
Soon after the conference, Welcome Ndlovu began using WhatsApp to send out inspirational messages and encouragement to the whole group and various people responded favorably. We have also seen team members present prayer requests to the group as whole and people have responded with words of encouragement and prayers for each other.
A prime example has been in the life of Cyprian Shumba who lives in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. He was in need of a hernia repair and traveled to Livingstone, Zambia (better and more affordable healthcare in that town) with the promise of surgery, but was denied and sent home. This occurred not once or twice, but three times. So devastating. Many team leaders wrote messages of prayer and encouragement for Cyprian and wonderful DZ from South African called and prayed with him on the phone as well.
It was not until one of our team leaders, Prisca Kambole in Kitwe, Zambia (over 500 miles away), heard about his plight through WhatsApp that things began to change. She had a contact in Livingstone, who knew a surgeon, who was able to get in contact with Pastor Shumba to finally arrange to have his surgery completed (one month later than the original surgery date!). Our God is good and chose to use this amazing network of Smart Choices team leaders to come together to lift up our brother Cyprian. He is recovering very well. Amen!
I hope this story is as encouraging to you as it has been to me. Our God is so faithful and I am excited to see how HE is going to continue to work through this mighty Beacon of Hope team members in the future.
The Beacon of Hope Mission trip in January this year was unique for us. For the first time ever, we brought each team leader with their spouse or a second team member to Johannesburg for a 4-day seminar. This is a total of about 35 participants from three countries. Unfortunately our four person team from Uganda was not able to be with us because they were not able to get visas to come to South Africa. The eMseni Conference Center was perfect for our purpose. It is run by the Methodist Church from the nearby town of Benoni. The property was very tranquil and beautifully kept.Read more
Canada Africa School Project (CASP) is our Smart Choices partner in Uganda, managed by Pastor Moses Lyagoba. CASP has just completed its 2017 term 1 program, conducted in the Iganga district of Uganda. Pastor Moses conducts these HIV/AIDS prevention training sessions by involving all of the interested parties:
The Smart Choices program is much more than an AIDS prevention seminar, it is a Character Development program with biblical foundation. Read what the Inspector of Schools had to say about the program at the awards ceremony on Friday, February 4, 2017. . . .
Inspector of Schools Mr Ssekimuli awarding Certificates