Hope Springs International

Lasting Change One Village at a Time

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Magic Kingdom – Tragic Kingdom

walt-disney-worldIn his latest book, “Unfinished…Believing is only the beginning”, Richard Stearns of World Vision asks an interesting question. “What would people be like if they had been born and raised inside the Magic Kingdom park (Walt Disney World), and had never seen the outside world? Since our worldviews are shaped by our contexts, imagine what a distorted worldview they would have.” Pg. 41BbgqfkgNL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_46.

In the rest of this chapter of Stearns’ book he develops the contrast between the blessings we have here in the USA, our own “Magic Kingdom”, as compared to living in what he calls the “Tragic Kingdom” and life in one of the developing (Third World) nations. He speaks at some length describing the Magic Kingdom’s many blessings and conveniences that are available, things that we take for granted, and have come to “expect” because they have always been a part of our lives.

Stearns then turns his attention to the realities of the “Tragic Kingdom”. His list is real and tragic:

Shallow ponds and low lying areas was the only source of water for this village of 7,000 until they received their new well.

Shallow ponds and low lying areas was the only source of water for this village of 7,000 until they received their new well.

  • One billion are chronically short of food.
  • Two billion children under weight.
  • 783 million have no access to clean water at all.
  • Add to this the plight of wars, refugees, and 18 million orphaned children.

He then asked the question, “Are you feeling the heaviness yet? I am not done”.     

  • One third of the world lives on less than $2 per day.
  •  Three quarters live on less than $10 a day.

He closes this comparison of the kingdoms with this paragraph. “And, finally, the most terrible statistic of all: “nineteen thousand children under the age of five die every single day of largely preventable causes simply because they are poor. That’s almost 8 million children every year, one every four seconds. This is something God sees every moment of every day. Is this what you see”?

Two different kinds of poverty. One with opportunity one without.

Two different kinds of poverty. One with opportunity one without.

Most of us here in the US cannot wrap our minds around such statistics. A young man made a comment on our Hope Springs Facebook site recently. He said, “Quit sending all that money over there to help those people when we have so many that need help right here!” His comment struck a raw nerve and my first reaction was anger. But as I reflected on what he said I realized that that is the normal response of so many who have been raised all their lives in the “Magic Kingdom”. The worst conditions they have seen in the “Magic Kingdom” would be a dream come true for many who live daily in the “Tragic Kingdom.”

As 2013 draws to a close all of us at Hope Springs are so thankful for each of you who have seen what we see and made a decision to help us bring lasting change to the lives of so many people. Here is what your gifts have made possible in just this year alone.

  • The Jordan Health Center addition will be under roof in the next month.
  • We conservatively estimate that over 10,000 men, women and children have been treated at JHC.
  • 700+ children are now enrolled in Primary Grades 1-4 in a school without a permanent building, staffed by volunteer teachers, that has just been rated “Best in the Region”.
  • By the end of November over 140,000 people will have access to clean water in Gombe State, Nigeria.

God’s blessings have been so evident and we are excited about His leading into the future. We will be sharing some wonderful new challenges for 2014 and beyond in the coming weeks. We hope you will not only continue the journey with us, but will help us spread the word!

Why not partner with us for lasting change…one village at a time. Donate Here

Gathering for classes

Gathering for classes

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What do you see?

L-R, Paul Tustin, Jerry Reynolds, M/M George Boresman, Lee Hodges, Neldon Watson, Paul Coffman, Tom Dockery, A.J. Rollings, James Jarrett, Charles Scott, Bob Frahm

L-R, Paul Tustin, Jerry Reynolds, M/M George Boresman, Lee Hodges, Neldon Watson, Paul Coffman, Tom Dockery, A.J. Rollings, James Jarrett, Charles Scott, Bob Frahm

I learned many things from my first trip to Ghana, West Africa in 1969. The most frustrating lesson is this. You can share your experience, but you can’t share the experience. When you see a picture or hear a report you are only participating in the experience of another.

  • You can’t hear the chatter of hundreds of people speaking another language.
  • You can’t smell the diesel exhaust, the unforgettable stench of garbage rotting on the streets, open sewers.
  • You can’t feel the oppressive heat and humidity.
  • You can’t see the sandy haze that blots out the brightness of the
    Street preaching

    Street preaching

    sun and blows across the Sahel of West and Central Africa from the dust storms from the Sahara. They call it Harmaton.

That first visit to Ghana many years ago changed me forever. I have never been the same. When I view pictures of suffering and need in the world my heart aches for something to be done.

Today the words of Jesus resonate with me, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matt. 9:36.

You can see with eyes of compassion.

In his book, “Unfinished…Believing is only the beginning”. Richard Stearns speaks of the two kingdoms the people of the world live in. One is “The Magic Kingdom”. This kingdom is filled with all of the blessings that most of us in the West experience everyday of our lives.

Children5The other is “The Tragic Kingdom”.  In “The Tragic Kingdom” …

  • Millions go to bed hungry each night. One billion are chronically short of food and are slowly starving to death.
  • Two billion children are underweight or stunted.
  • 783 million in “The Tragic Kingdom” have no access to clean water, not a drop. They walk miles each day to dip their buckets in filthy, bacteria-ridden water that makes them sick and kills their children.
  • There are 18 million orphaned children in “The Tragic Kingdom.”
  • And, finally, the most terrible statistic of all: nineteen thousand children under the age of five die every single day of largely preventable causes simply because they are poor. That’s almost 8 million children every year, one every four seconds. (These statistics taken from page 49, “Unfinished” by Richard Stearns).tithing

This is something that God sees every moment of every day.

To us it seems hopeless. It isn’t! We often feel helpless. But there is a solution!

Abraham did it. It was a requirement of the law given to Moses for Israel. I believe it was practiced by the infant church of the first century. And if Christ followers in the 21 Century practiced it…

“If Christians all gave a tithe; the US church would have an extra $168 billion for missions and service. The cost to give the whole world primary education, clean water, and basic health care and nutrition would cost just $28 billion. Think how the world would change with the resources to share the good news!” (Richards Stearns Facebook site).

If that is true, and I believe it is who is ultimately responsible to do something about the suffering in this world? What group of people should care more than those who have been bought by the precious blood of Christ?

When people ask, “Why doesn’t God do something about all the suffering in the world?” His “silence” is because He has already spoken. We are His hands and feet, His ambassadors, His children. We have been blessed with the means to do it, so what is the problem?


Children in School (3)No single person, church or organization can do it alone, but working together we have been given everything we need to do everything He asked of us.

So it is not a matter of ability, it is a matter of will.

I have seen with my own eyes what can happen when just a few people who know they can’t do everything, decided to do something. Hope Springs International was born out of exposure to an urgent need, an S.O.S. Hundreds of people, mostly children, were dying.

In just 4 short years…

  • Over 100,000 people have access to clean water.
  • 60+ orphans are being cared for.
  • Hundreds of lives have been saved, and many more are being saved because they have access to medical Pupils in School (124)care.
  • Over 600+ students are receiving an education they only dreamed of a few short years ago.

Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming of it.”

So let me close by asking, “Who is blessed more, those who receive or those who give? According to Paul, Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35). I know this to be true from personal experience. Many of you reading this know this to be true also. But there are many more who will never know the truth until they put the words of Jesus to the test.


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She Donated Her Birthday

Isabella presents her birthday donations to Board Member Barb Hodges

Isabella presents her birthday donations to Board Member Barb Hodges

Isabella Patterson, daughter of Jason and Danielle Patterson of Hendersonville, TN, decided that she didn’t want the normal gifts for her birthday this year. She wanted her birthday to be a blessing to others. So Isabella requested instead of gifts for her that donations be made to Hope Springs International.  Isabella’s request resulted in a total donation of $600.00!

A big thank you to Isabella’s family and friends for honoring her request and celebrating her birthday in such a special way!

And Isabella, here is a big “thumbs up” thank you from all of our kids in Dono-Manga, Chad for thinking of them on your birthday! You are a blessing!

Children in School (3)

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Blessed By Our New Internet Connections To Dono-Manga

Children in School (6)Hearing them reminded me again that what we are doing is so very important.

Our new Skype connection with Dono-Manga, Chad has brought us so many blessing this past week. It was made even more special this morning as Barb and I watched and listened to our now 63 orphans sing, “We must follow Jesus no matter how rough the road”. Rambi Ayala, our Director of Operations for Africa, had taught it to our team of four as we traveled many hours across three nations in Africa in 2010. Now during his visit to Dono-Manga he taught it to our orphans.

As the song ended with hands waving with thumbs up and shouts of “Thank You”, I thought of the 7 ladies who have faithful

The well on the compound provides plenty of clean safe water.

The well on the compound provides plenty of clean safe water.

provided the monthly donations that enable us to feed these children. I remember also when we returned from our trip in 2010 sharing the dream of providing an orphanage “someday” in Dono-Manga and two families stepped to the plate and said we will do that. Within a matter of a few months the orphanage was built complete with a walled compound, their own well, and the location chosen was less than 100 yards from the Jordan Health Center that would provide for their health care.

Our orphans playing on the compound grounds.

Our orphans playing on the compound grounds.

It will soon be 4 years since we answered that first SOS from Dono-Manga. There has not been one day during that time that I questioned that this was the work of God’s hand. It is without a doubt the most humbling work I have ever been a part of.

To those of you who support this work, thank you seems so inadequate to express how we feel about you. You are not only a blessing to the people of Dono-Manga, you are a blessing to us as well. Without your willingness to be used by God we simply could not do what we do.

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Doubling the Blessing

???????????????????????????????Have you ever ordered yourself a meal and then found out you got a free dessert? How about receiving a gift you expected and then upon opening it discovered that the giver packed a little something else just to surprise you? It’s a wonderful feeling to be blessed more than you believed.

Hope Spring International is sending a blessing down to Dono-Manga, Chad in the form of a portable well drilling machine and a generator. This alone is more than a blessing to the people so desperate for clean water, but we have a chance to double that blessing in a unique way. Isn’t it wonderful when we see an opportunity that allows us to show the love, generosity and understanding of a people of Christ from across the ocean?

A shipping container containing this portable well drilling machine and generator will be on its way soon, but there is plenty of room left in this container for more blessings.

New rig has been tested and ready to ship!

New rig has been tested and ready to ship!

The school children in Dono-Manga, Chad are learning English and what if they were standing by the adults unpacking this equipment and saw loads of Children’s books, writing tablets, chalk, pens, pencils and other school supplies? How big do you think those children’s smiles would be to receive gifts?

Although this is easily accomplished by single contributions, Hope Springs International would like to issue a challenge to double the blessing to our communities, schools, churches and other groups who feel led to help us fill the empty spaces of the container with gifts of love.

Just a part of the 600+ kids in our school in Dono-Manga

Just a part of the 600+ kids in our school in Dono-Manga

Will you accept this challenge of a double blessing opportunity?

Meet with your groups and issue our call to action and let’s see if together we can fill these empty spaces and leave no room. If you would like to collect funds to apply to the purchase of these items, checks can be made to “Hope Springs International” and add “Double the Blessing” to the “For” line, then mail to 118 Wessington Place, Hendersonville, TN 37075. You may also visit our website to donate through PayPal.: www.hopespringsint.com. You do not have to have a PayPal account to donate and will be given the opportunity to specify how you would like us to apply your donation. All donations will be used for the purpose you designate.

Our “double the blessing” list is as follows and needs to be collected by March 22, 2013:

  • French New Testaments ($1 each or a case of 48 for $50)
  • Children’s Books in English (new or used)
  • School Supplies (chalk, pen, pencils, writing tablets, etc.)

Collected supplies may be mailed to our address above. If you live in the greater Nashville area we will make arrangements to pick up your donations if the size is too large to ship. Call 615.390.2134 for more information.

by Alycia Neighbors

by Alycia Neighbors

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Your Gift is all About Belief


Across the house are strips of wrapping paper, empty boxes and an array of colorful tissue paper. Bows and labels are adorning the floor and sometimes the family pet that wandered by. Parents lean back on the couch with relieved sighs and happy smiles as they watch the children giggling and playing with their new toys.

The gifts were a success.

Across the world a family gathers at a well to receive fresh water. A pregnant mother receives health care as she watches the staff say something to her child whose smiles lights up from across the room. Nearby a small school rings with children’s voices of 20111111_Niger_056_smdelight and the teacher’s praise.

Your gifts were a success.

This time of the year, we begin to get a sparkle in our eye when we start picking gifts out for those we care about. Searching through many items before we decide on the perfect thing that meets their needs and desires. The giving is contagious as the simple act brings such joy and some reach out past their own walls to look at what they can do for others to give one special gift.

The gift is all about belief.

Belief that the person gets their needs met.

Belief that the person sees that their desires are important.

Belief that they are cared for.

In Dono-Manga, Chad needs that have long been the difference in life or death of so many, are being met with generous gifts from those who believe in the people. Desires of better health care, schooling, help with farming are showing the people that we believe in them. Orphaned children who receive your sponsorship go to bed at night knowing that someone believes in them.

This year as you check off your many lists of presents, Hope Springs International challenges you as a family, community or group of friends to set aside a special gift for the men, women and children of Dono-Manga, Chad. We believe that we can change lives one village at a time and give them a chance to believe and hope.

Your gifts will be a success.

by Alycia Neighbors

by Alycia Neighbors