Hope Springs International

Lasting Change One Village at a Time


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Letter of Appreciation From the Wulari Jerusalem Church in Maiduguri, Nigeria

Raymond and Kathren Pagouh and their son Napoleon standing in what was once their home.

Raymond and Kathren Pagouh and their son Napoleon standing in what was once their home.

The following letter was received today in response to the emergency aid that was sent by Healing Handing International and Hope Springs a few weeks ago. It confirms our faith in how important it is to share the Love of Christ with those who do not know Him.

Beloved brother,

LETTER OF APPRECIATION

Grace, peace and love of God be multiplied to you in the name of our Lord and savior  Jesus Christ.

I write on behalf of the elders and the entire Wulari-Jerusalem church to appreciate your milk of human kindness in responding to the needs of brethren and neighbors in a swift manner. Your quick response has rekindled hope and put smiles in the faces of many people who were affected by the crisis. May God be glorified through your humanitarian services.

We received the sum of Five thousand dollars ($ 5,000.00)

Which you sent. We set up a committee and appropriated the fund as follows: The sum of one thousand dollars was given to the Muslims who were affected during the crisis. This we disbursed through Borno State youth empowerment scheme through brother Ebenezer. We purchased plastic chairs and distributed to our denominational neighbors. This cost us $ 2,000.00 we shared the sum of $1000.00 to brethren who were affected by the crisis. The remaining $1000.00, was used in purchasing food stuff which we distribute to hospitals and military base where the displaced persons are presently taking refuge. Brother Ebenezer will give you full details of our efforts.

Brother, the testimonies received from the recipients of these gifts were so overwhelming. One injured Muslim man said, “see, this gift is coming from Christians who we don’t share anything in common; our Muslim brothers don’t know the road to this hospital; may God reward you Christians”. This is one out of many testimonies.

Brother, may you remain blessed and know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (I Cor.15:58). We shall appreciate further Aid for onward delivery to these people who are afflicted and need rehabilitation.

Your fellow worker in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ

Joshua Bindah Hamman, Evangelist

(For the Church of Christ Wulari-Jerusalem, Maiduguri)

We look forward to Ebenezer’s report as soon as he returns from his meeting with Healing Hands personal in Dakar, Senegal.

Thanks for your continued support.


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MAKING A DIFFERENCE…ONE AT A TIME

Street children in Maiduguri, Nigeria

Street children in Maiduguri, Nigeria

Richard Stearns in his book, “The Hole in Our Gospel” says, “Almost one in seven worldwide, 854 million people, do not have enough food to sustain them. This makes hunger/malnutrition the number one risk to health globally, greater than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. About 25,000 people die each day of hunger or related causes—nine million per year.”

While we realize the urgency and the need for food NOW to meet such a crisis, there is also the need to focus on the long term solution to this problem. Teaching people to feed themselves is a part of this long term solution. In many places in our world the only thing standing in the way of people being able to feed themselves is a lack of knowledge. People simply need to be taught the skills that will enable them to feed themselves.

Former Street Children Abdullahi and Yusuf now feed themselves and others who they met while on the streets.

Former Street Children Abdullahi and Yusuf now feed themselves and others who they met while on the streets.

At Hope Springs’ Pompomari Training Farm we have seen young an old alike take the simple skills of drip irrigation farming and totally change their lives. We have seen street children in their early teens learn to feed themselves and their friends. We have also seen families that struggled to find enough food to make it through the long nine month dry season turn a little piece of the desert into a thriving garden.

It is easy to look around and see people taking advantage of the system here in the US and conclude that the solution to poverty is for people to just get a job and go to work. But for the overwhelming majority of those in poverty in the world this is not an option. Millions who are suffering in poverty would gladly work or learn a skill if someone would just teach them.

Mammadu can now feed his family because of the Pompomari Farm and what he has learned.

Mammadu can now feed his family because of the Pompomari Farm and what he has learned.

Changing the statistics concerning hunger and malnutrition will not happen quickly enough for many, but for those you enable us to help through your prayers and gifts; it will make all the difference in the world.

Isa (Jesus) once said, “The poor you will always have with you…” With the poor also comes the responsibility and the opportunity to make a difference.


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IT’S CATFISH HARVEST TIME AT THE POMPOMARI TRAINING FARM

Cat-fish being harvested.

A 750 gallon water tank formerly used to store water for our drip irrigation farm was recently turned into a catfish tank. With the addition of our solar powered well constructed in early 2008 we were able to make use of this ideal location to raise catfish from fingerlings to eating size. Water from this tank also adds to the cycle of life at the farm. Once a week 50% of the water is drained from the tank and used to water our crops. This water is a great source of fertilizer.Sis. Mary is harvesting.

Now that the fish are ready to be sold they are netted and taken to the market where eager consumers wait to purchase. Funds from the sale of the fish are reinvested into a new crop of fingerlings and the expenses of running the farm. As we are able to expand these kinds of enterprises we come nearer our goal of a totally self-sustaining farm operation. Self-sustainability will mean that we will be able to hold numerous drip irrigation and food preservation workshops, as well as how to raise small animal seminars, all without the need for continuous outside sponsorship. Our workshops are offered free of charge and participants are provided with the tools to immediately go home and begin to put into practice what they have learned.

Neighbors waiting to purchase fish.

Neighbors waiting to purchase fish.

Your gifts to Hope Springs enable us to teach people how to fish, not just give them a fish.

Exitements as the harvesting progressed.


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DONKEY CART FOR DONO-MANGA

Donkeys and Cart in front of one of the meeting houses in Dono-Manga

Donkeys and Cart in front of one of the meeting houses in Dono-Manga

Back in July we told you about a report published by Healing Hands International in their newspaper about how a donkey car was being used to haul the large quantities of water needed to supply drip irrigation farming in Niger. That report resulted in a number of people sending donations to Healing Hands for the purchase of more donkey carts to be used wherever there might be a need. Dono-Manga, Chad was provided with funds from these donations to purchase such a donkey cart for there needs. We are thrilled to report that they have been able to purchase not just one donkey, but two and the cart as well.

The purchase of these donkeys and cart could not come at a better time. As soon as roads are repaired into the Dono-Manga from the capitol, Ebenezer will travel here to oversee the repair of these out of service wells in this District of Chad. As we have reported elsewhere only 6 of the 25 wells in Dono-Manga are in service. We have raised enough funds so far to repair 16 of these out of service wells. Only three more to go! Water will soon be flowing again to this area where people are dying for the lack of potable water to drink. Once the water is flowing again we will be able to teach the skills of drip irrigation farming that will enable people from Dono-Manga to raise crops 12 months out of the year and not just the three months of the rainy season. The donkeys and cart will make it possible to service a broader the area.

If you or someone you know would be interested in helping with the repair costs of the remaining three wells drop me a note at hopespringsinternational@yahoo.com. If you are reading this on Facebook, just leave me a comment or internal email.


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EMERGENCY APPEAL FROM NORTHERN NIGERIA

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We have just received more current information concerning the deadly violence in Maiduguri, Nigeria from Joshua Hamman, minister of the Wulari Jerusalem Church of Christ. Joshua on behalf of the Shepherds of this great church has also issued an emergency appeal for assistance.

Joshua reports, “The violence that lasted for four days saw about twenty six church halls burnt down out of which six are in the same neighborhood with the Wulari Jerusalem Church hall and killing eighteen Christians inside the halls beside four Pastors with their properties. Those that escaped were left with nothing except with what they wore that time. Glory be to God because the Wulari Jerusalem C of C’s hall was spared.”

Members of this congregation, other Christian groups and some of their Muslim neighbors in the area lost everything. Joshua said, “Virtually everyone in the city was affected in the violence as the death figures as now announced by the Red Cross Society is about 800 while about 4000 people were displaced and hundreds hospitalized.”

In order to reach out to all groups that have been affected by this violence the Shepherds of W J C of C are requesting $5,000 to be used in the following ways:

1.$1,000 to meet the most critical needs of the members of the W J C of C. Two families lost their homes and all personal belongings, and one of the brothers was killed leaving behind those that were depending on him for their livelihood.

2. Another $2,000 will be used to help members of the other Christian groups in the immediate area who lost their homes and houses of worship.

3. $1,000 to assist Muslim neighbors who were also victims of this period of violence.

4. Joshua says the final $1,000 will be used, “Meeting the emergency needs of others whom have become orphans, widows as a result of the violence. (In the University of Maiduguri Teaching hospital, 70 victims are on admission while in the Borno Medical Clinic, about 50 were admitted).

We are blessed by this appeal to have the opportunity to become the healing hands of Jesus through our financial gifts to these people in distress and deep need. Any amount would be such a blessing. If you would like to help send your donation to: Hope Springs, Emergence Relief, 118 Wessington Place, Hendersonville, TN 37075. If you need additional information please call me at 615.390.2134, or email me at hopespringsinternational@yahoo.com.


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A TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN

Ikechukwu

During the recent violence in Northern Nigeria the Wulari Jerusalem Church lost a leader and respected member of their fellowship. Adieu Ikechukwu was a soldier in the Nigerian military and was killed on the first day of the conflict. His influence will be greatly missed, but his life lived for his Lord will continue to speak even now that he is gone. Dr. Uche E. Eni, a deacon in the Wulari Church and a senior medical consultant at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in Maiduguri, shares the following tribute to Ikechukwu.

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

It is really hard to believe he is gone!

Ikechukwu has been a member of the Church of Christ, Wulari-Jerusalem here in Maiduguri twelve years on since his inaugural posting in the army. His ever smiling face does not strike you of a soldier. Though he was of good height and had become quite muscular in recent times, those were not his striking attributes.

His friendliness was infectious and universal: Both in the Church and outside of it, Ikechukwu’s friendly overtures were difficult to resist. He was always at the forefront whenever the church or an individual had any manual task to be accomplished. That was how he endeared himself to the youths who elected him as their leader. His tenure as Youth Leader saw the youths crystallize into a veritable task force in the congregation. They were involved in visitations, manual labor, song practice, youth seminars that held at different places etc. Little wonder then there was an obvious vacuum in the Youth Fellowship activities and coherence when Ikechukwu was sent on a foreign mission in Liberia. The youths have just re-elected him their leader on his return from Liberia. The demise of IGWE! (as the youths commonly called him-meaning KING!) is therefore a serious ‘blow’ not only to the youths of COC, Wulari, but also to the entire congregation.

Dr. Eni, left, taking a soldier's blood pressure on a recent mission trip to Chad

Dr. Eni, left, taking a soldier's blood pressure on a recent mission trip to Chad

Ikechukwu was close to his God: He would always phone in for the prayers of the saints whenever he was on assignment outside Maiduguri. He would request for prayers for God’s guidance, then thank God for successes and remind the Church to thank God for his birthday, even while away from Maiduguri. He was full of thanks giving. When he returned from Liberia recently, he and another Christian Soldier, Sunday Monday, made a generous thanks giving contribution towards the building of our preachers house. He was hardly absent from the gathering of the saints while in Maiduguri, and worshipped at Bauchi Church of Christ while on posting there. When he sustained injury and was apparently at the point of death, he still remembered to request for prayers of the saints. How he trusted God! How he trusted his fellow saints!!

Ikechukwu served his nation dutifully: He was highly professional. He won the laurel as the best firer/marksman in 2003. His detribalized nature and proficiency endeared him to his former boss and Commanding Officer–Colonel Olatunde, who appointed Ikechukwu his orderly. When the cream of the forces were required to go to Liberia in 2005 for peace keeping, Ikechukwu was among those selected. He served in Liberia for 9 months between 2005 and 2006. He was once again selected to go to Liberia in 2008 from where he returned just last February. He was frequently selected for operations against militants that keep terrorizing different parts of Northern Nigeria. It was during one of such operations in Bauchi that he got killed on Sunday 26th July 2009. How are the mighty fallen!

What a combination of excellent virtues in a young man, and yet in absolute submission to God. Ikechukwu was not yet married. He had only recently been engaged. Only God knows why he had to depart this sinful world so soon. Last Sunday the Church service was solemn, as Ikechukwu’s demise was announced. Tearful eyes melted as members sobbed in sorrow for our beloved, as the Church sang ‘All the Way My Savior Leads Me’ and ‘This World is Not My Home’ among others to reflect the mood.

We pray that was sacrifice for peace. Oh God may there now be a lasting peace in Northern Nigeria!

Adieu Ikechukwu (IGWE!!!). We know you are rested with the Lord.

We covet your prayers for Ikechukwu and the physical and spiritual family he leaves behind.