Critical Project Needs

Help vulnerable children in Bolivia.

Bolivia is the poorest country in South America where 45% of the population lives below the poverty line. Children living in poor neighborhoods in this country are the most vulnerable of all. Here are two recent stories from Bright Hope projects there:

A Sad Story

Alejandro* was twelve when he started visiting the after-school program at the church. It was there that the leaders noticed Alejandro being very vague in talking about his home life. He was orphaned when he was younger, and now he was living with relatives in one of the poorest and most violent areas in Bolivia.

Soon the leaders gained Alejandro’s trust and he shared with them how he was being sexually abused. At first, he said it was happening in a nearby park, but his story wasn’t making sense. Soon it became clear that his uncle was molesting him.

The church leaders and other family members got authorities involved. Doctor visits soon turned into needed surgery and the fatal prognosis that Alejandro had contracted AIDS.

Alejandro is 15 now, and he is not well. The church leaders pay him regular visits, they share Christ’s love with him and remind him he is not alone. They pray with him, read Bible stories to him and gives him money to buy medicine.

A Thankful Papa

Den is a proud father of three children, somewhere in his early to mid-forties. He has a rough exterior and wears a handkerchief wrapped around his head. He stood up during a meeting I attended at the church, a church where Bright Hope helps to run an after-school kids program and a medical clinic. Bright Hope also started a bakery at the church to help offset the costs of the children’s program. Den, I soon learned, was one of the bakers in that kitchen, and he gladly placed an empanada in front of me to eat. I smiled at him and then took a bite.

Den then grabbed the microphone and spoke. My heart and spirit quickly understood that this man, once far from the Lord was now grateful to God for all He had done for him and his children. Den said,

"I am very grateful to this project, I am very grateful to see my children, my daughters and sons attending the program while I work.

I am not able to help them in their studies because I didn't go to school. I just finished the second grade of primary school. I would sometimes see that my daughter was not able to do her homework. And she used to say, 'I don't understand this word.' I tried my best to help her but I couldn’t understand.

Now, thanks to this program and church, she has good teachers and my girl is learning a great deal. She can finish her homework without me. I am so grateful to the teachers of this project. I am so grateful every day because my girl is now able to write and I can see that, and I am very happy.

My wife and I know that we can count on God and this church and now He and this church can count on us."

These programs are changing lives and engaging people in the midst of their most painful struggles. The truth is that without them, Alejandro might be dying without anyone to care for him and bitter toward God if the church hadn’t intervened, and Den might not have the hope that someday his children will move out of this neighborhood and earn more than he does. But because of support and prayers from faithful Allies like you, Bright Hope is able to find churches that preach the Gospel in destitute slums and villages. We invest in them, train them and they become powerful sources of God’s love and light to the most impoverished people in the world.

Would you please give a gift to our Most Urgent Needs Fund to help these programs in Bolivia continue? We have 156 church leaders in our training program now. These projects are part of our Hope & Light Campaign, and your gift will help this ministry continue and many others as well.

Give a gift today and join us in bringing Hope and transformation to vulnerable children in Bolivia.

Prayer points:
Vulnerable children are easy targets for predators. Over half the kids in our after-school programs in slums and villages come from single parent families, where no one is home when school lets out. Please pray for these children and families.

*Name changed to protect her identity

 

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Taking a stand against witch doctors and human sacrifice in Uganda.

Perhaps you have seen the recent article in USA Today about human sacrifice in Uganda. Despite government intervention, ritual sacrifice is a growing problem in this landlocked country where superstitions run high and many people are desperate as they endure the most severe drought and famine to plague the region in more than 50 years.

Children live in fear of being kidnapped and sacrificed by witch doctors or those who believe human sacrifices can bring quick wealth and health.

As a means to combat these horrific traditions and evil practices, Bright Hope has launched a Family Empowerment Initiative through local churches to raise awareness surrounding God’s view of children and to equip them to better protect vulnerable children against predators. So far 45 churches and 225 church leaders have participated since the program began in 2015.

This Biblically-based training course teaches pastors, parents and church members about risk factors for vulnerable children and how to advocate on their behalf. The local church also offers a modified version of this workshop for children.

These trainings have helped children like eight-year-old Sarah* who was assaulted by a neighbor while her mom was away at work. Her teacher, David, had recently participated in one of these child protection trainings held by Bright Hope and quickly recognized some of the warning signs of child abuse. Following the steps he had learned in the training, David helped Sarah get the support she needed and partnered with the police to bring the perpetrator to justice.

Making a donation today towards our Most Urgent Needs Fund will help cover the cost of additional workshops, protect vulnerable children and help the mission of Bright Hope continue unabated. Thank you for your continued support in helping the extreme poor in Uganda.

*Name changed to protect her identity

 

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