Have you ever been a part of a work where you could see the blessings of God in a powerful way? I mean blessed in such a way you felt it was all you could do to hold on to God’s coattails? Well I have. It is a journey I feel so blessed to be a part of.
Hello, my name is Lee Hodges and I am President of Hope Springs International, based in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
The last 10 years have been filled with amazement and gratitude for what God is doing through Hope Springs in Dono-Manga, Chad in Central Africa. I vividly remember receiving an email from our Director of Operation for Africa in February 2009 as he described the suffering and death in Dono-Manga. A feeling of helplessness came over me as I read these words…
“Sir, there has been an SOS from the Christians and people of Dono-Manga in southern Chad. The community at the present time is being devastated by an epidemic of diarrhea disease and cholera due to the lack of clean water and malaria due to the lack of bed nets. The community has lost about 600 people within the last six months, mostly children.”
The words “mostly children” hurt the most. Later I learned there was a 50% death rate of children under the age of five because of the problems he mentioned.
Hope Springs International had no plans to work in Chad. Even though our base of operations was just across the board in Nigeria, Chad’s major language was French and had kept it off our radar. We did not have funds to help and we had no idea where God would eventually lead us. But God heard the prayers of the Christians in Dono-Manga.
Three years later it is amazing to reflect on what God has done since that SOS:
- A number of medical/evangelistic/agricultural campaigns have been conducted, numerous people have come to Christ, churches have been established and villages continue to call for someone to come to their village with the message of Christ.
- 26 out-of-service wells have been repaired, 35 new wells drilled.
- A Health Center has been built and stocked with lifesaving drugs and mosquito nets. On average 8000 people are treated each year. A full-time midwife was recently added to the staff.
- Our Orphan Care Program now cares for 85 children. The Orphanage compound is a walled compound with its own well. An agricultural training farm complete with a poultry house, goat barn, catfish tank, and drip irrigation farm is being added as I speak.
- Two men from Dono-Manga, Sebastian and Lazarus were sent to Jos School of Biblical Studies in Nigeria for two years, have graduated and returned to help with the work.
Sebastian, a school teacher, has established a school with a present enrollment of 782 children which include the 85 children from our orphan care program. For the time being classes are being held in overcrowded thatch huts. But despite these challenges these children are being taught French, English and the Bible as a part of the school’s curriculum.
Lazarus works full time at the Jordan Health Center sharing the message of Jesus with the steady line of people who come looking for help. Many seeking physical healing also find a relationship with Christ. Lazarus’ work with the Health Center has resulted in new churches throughout the area around Dono-Manga, one a 100 miles away.
- And last, but not least, our recently purchased well drilling machine, made possible by a generous grant from a local foundation, is on the ground ready to continue our well drilling operation.
This whole experience has taught us that what we saw as an obstacle, not speaking the French language, was no obstacle for God.
We are praying that God will raise up churches, businesses or individuals that will adopt a village and do for them what has been done on a much larger scale in Dono-Manga. Adopting a village would simple mean providing a well and training in dry season farming to provide the basics needed for self-sustainability of the village.
Everything we do at Hope Springs is designed to empower people to be independent. As the old adage says, “We teach people how to fish, not just give them a fish”.
We believe that God has given us an opportunity to bring lasting change to an entire generation in Southern Chad.
There is so much more to this story, so I hope you will look at the information provided and visit our website at www.hopespringsint.com.
We invite you to join us in bring Lasting Change— One Village at a time!