Hope Springs International

Lasting Change One Village at a Time


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A Surprise Blessing

DSC_0879 (2)I sat down to rest for a moment on a bench under a shade tree just outside the Jordan Health Center. An elderly gentleman sat next to me leaning against the tree making rope out of a pile of string. As he turned and looked at me I knew at once it was Martin Ramadengar. I had never actually met Martin in person, but I had told his story in a blog article written back in May of 2011.

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Martin receiving treatment in May of 2011


“Martin Ramadengar was near death when his family learned of the new dispensary in Dono-Manga, Chad 20 miles from their village of Mouassede. Against all odds they made the long journey carrying Martin who was too weak to walk on his own. Pierre Rimorbe, lead evangelist in Dono-Manga, reported that during the next three weeks our nurse Eloi Madjiadoum treated Martin, and he is now able to walk on his own and is getting stronger every day. But the clinic did more than heal his physical body. During his three weeks of treatment he and his family were taught the Gospel of Christ. Martin and five of his family members were just baptized into Christ.”

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Dr. Eni (left) Martin (Center) our nurse Eloi (Right)


In April of the following year our friend Dr. Eni and our Director of Operations for Africa Rambi Ayala visited Dono-Manga and shared a picture of a healthy Martin with a big smile on his face. At that time he had decided he was going to stay in Dono-Manga and not return to his home village.

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Martin making rope out of a pile of string.


Our visit came three years later and Martin is still in Dono-Manga. Martin is just one of the hundreds and hundreds of people who are alive and well because caring hearts were willing to give to make the Jordan Health Center a reality. If you would like to support this work click here to make your donaton.

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Village of Landongor Lawampe to receive a well.

Next closest water is 5 miles away and looks about the same.

Next closest water is 5 miles away and looks about the same.

The village of Ladongor Lawampe’s only source of drinking water is pictured on the left. When Rambi Ayala, our Director of Operations for Africa, visited this village with the news that they would soon have a well, the people could not believe after so long a time their suffering was about to come to an end.

 
Rambi reported, “Sadly on my visit Saturday a child passed away while IMG_20140705_153018I was there due to complications from unclean water and treatable childhood ailments.” This serves as a reminder of why what we do is so important, and serves as well as motivation for trying to do even more.

 

 

From the time they learn to walk, this is a part of their lives.

From the time they learn to walk, this is a part of their lives.

Children are especially susceptible to disease under the age of 5 because their immune systems are not fully developed. Clean water is life, especially to these little ones.

 
I just learned this morning (7.7.14) that the well drilling for Ladongor Lawampe will begin tomorrow. This well was made possible by one of our most loyal supporters. I wrote a blog about Michael a few weeks ago. I hope you will read it and realize how important one person can be in changing the lives of thousands.

 
This is our 7th well in Gombe State, Nigeria. We have funds on hand for number 8

These are the faces of lives that are about to change.

These are the faces of lives that are about to change.

that will be drill soon after this well. How would you like to provide or help provide the ninth well? Through a special arrangement with a local drilling company we are able to provide a well for only $3,000.00 or half the normal price. Could you give $300 and find 9 other friends or co-worker who could follow your example? Could you give $100 and find 29 other friends or co-workers to give $100. When you break down the numbers it is amazing what one person and a bunch of friends can do to bring lasting change to hundreds and hundreds of lives.

 

Won’t you join us? Contact us if you need ideas. Click here to donate!

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A frantic cry for help!

???????????????????????????????The wailing cries of a frantic mother holding a child with convulsions and an extremely high fever interrupted worship on Sunday the 16th of February in Dono-Manga. Eloi, our resident nurse, rushed the mother and child to the Jordan Health Center next door and began treatment.  

Everyone initially breathed a sigh of relief that the Health Center was so close. The convulsions and fever were brought under control, but it would not be enough to save this 5 year old little girl named Pandjelta. Monday morning would begin with the news that the Pandjelta had died, and a funeral

Our nurse Eloi treating Pandjelta.

Our nurse Eloi treating Pandjelta.

and burial would follow that afternoon.

We would learn later that the parents had been treating Pandjelta with a common local home remedy of herbs mixed with alcohol for two days until they saw the situation was out of hand and ran seeking help at the Jordan Health Center. Had these parents brought Pandjelta to the Center first, she could have been easily treated, like hundreds of others, and would have in all likelihood recovered.

Long lines are typical most every day.

Long lines are typical most every day.

Superstitions and home remedies are hard to overcome in these remote areas of Chad. Until our health center was build the people of Dono-Manga had no other option. But it is such a different story today. In the last 10 months of 2013:

·       2619 people were treated at JHC.

·       Of that number 1156 were children.

·       Another 120 children were born there.

·       And 729 received their vaccinations.

I can assure you that without the Jordan Health Center many of these people, especially among the children, would have died needlessly of easily treatable diseases.

The Jordan Health Center is just one of the many works your donations make possible. As you can see from the above figures your gifts are bringing lasting change to one child at a time.

Stay tuned, more important news is coming your way over the next few days!


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Barry Becker, Board Member and Best Friend: May 13, 1943 – October 14, 2012

Barry and his wife Darlene at their 50th Class Reunion

Barry and his wife Darlene at their 50th Class Reunion

I vividly remember the phone call that Sunday morning one year ago today. “Dad had a heart attack and is on his way to the Hospital”. Then moments later the second call…“ Lee, dad didn’t make it, he died”. We are never prepared for “that” call.

Barry Becker was more than my best friend. He was my son in the faith. I

At International School Evangelism in Pontiac Michigan

At International School Evangelism in Pontiac Michigan

baptized him into Christ. He was my student at International School of Evangelism for two years. He left a promising profession with his wife and four children to move to Michigan on a wing and a prayer to study and prepare to preach. And preach he did. Soon after graduation he would give birth to a new church in his home. Our family would join the work he began a few years later in

Store Front Meeting Place in 1980

Store Front Meeting Place in 1980

August of 1980 and work with the new Hanover Church of Christ. After our family left some 12 years later, Barry would preach for the Hanover church until his sudden death one year ago today. Barry was a great supporter of Hope Springs International (then Arewa Aid Inc.), and was one of our Board Members. He and Darlene visited our work in Nigeria in its infancy. What is know as Hope Springs International today was actually founded by his youngest daughter and son in law Jennifer and Brad Blake.

Over the last year there have been so many times I wanted to pick up the phone,

Barry preaching in Tema, Ghana West Africa.

Barry preaching in Tema, Ghana West Africa.

as I had done in the past, and share a personal struggle or joy. We both had done that for so many years. I miss those conversations so much.

This will be a tough day for Barry’s children. Barry’s wife and their mother Darlene is being cared for in an Alzheimer care facility as they experience the hardest of all anniversaries.  Join me in prayer for Chris Becker, Becky (Shawn) Fleming, Mark (Deena) Becker and Jennifer (Brad) Blake and all the Grand Children as they remember.

One year ago today Barry went to be with Jesus. I would not bring him back for all the money in the world. He has received the promised reward that he lived for all those years I knew him. He was a faithful child of God who led many to Christ until Father called him home. I am so blessed to have known him.

 Miss you brother. See you soon!


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An Act Of Compassion That Would Change Many Lives

It’s amazing how God gets His work done. When the cry for wells running with clean drinking water came from Dona-Manga, Chad the Father instantly marshaled his forces to get it

Bill and June Carlisle

Bill and June Carlisle

done. I imagine that God started enlisting His army to raise funds, make contacts, get permissions, and pave the way quickly for a drill bit to strike the ground in order to save lives. Many of you are part of that army, and you faithfully do your part to help people whose need is overwhelming.  Hope Springs International recently said goodbye to one such soldier, his name is Bill Carlisle.

In the summer of 2010, when the need for clean water was at a fever pitch, Lee Hodges, President of Hope Springs put out the word. And people and churches responded. One such effort was at the Madison Church of Christ, where I was formerly the minister. One of our very talented ladies built a huge cardboard well in our lobby. During a Sunday morning lesson about helping those in need we marched out of the sanctuary and put our money in the well. Over $15,000 was given that morning. That’s a great amount, and lots can be done with it, but it still felt like there was more to do.  That’s where Bill Carlisle comes in.

Bill learned we were having a yard sale and the proceeds would go toward drilling more wells. He and his wife June had already given but they wanted to do more. So Bill donated a small motorized scooter to the yard sale. He

Bill had a love of motorcycles. This is not the one from the accident but one of three he owned.

Bill had a love of motorcycles. This is not the one from the accident but one of three he owned.

expected it would sell for about $500, which it did. A week or so later, while a team of us were in Chad following up on the well drilling program and the construction of a new medical clinic, Bill received the final payment on the scooter and agreed to deliver the scooter that evening to its new owner. This trip on the scooter would change many lives.

Bill had an accident that resulted in devastating injuries. His spinal cord was severed and he was left paralyzed from the neck down. Bill began an historic fight, and his wife June along with their family and a close circle of friends worked with Bill and prayed night and day that God would take care of him.  After two years, we saw God keep his promise to Bill, he took him home. This warrior of the cross, this hero of our faith had been given his reward. Bill gave his health and ultimately his life because he cared for people who had nothing. Bill was in the act of compassion when he had his accident, and if you know him you know he

Phil Barnes, Board Member

Phil Barnes, Board Member

wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know you are ready to continue the work that Bill cared deeply about. Don’t forget Hope Springs and the work to be done, and don’t forget the call of Jesus on all of us, to “love the least of these.

 

 

laEditor’s note: Bill Carlisle, Jr.  was a performer on the Grand Ole Opry for over 40 years, many of them as a part of his father’s band, “Jumpin” Bill Carlisle, Sr. Bill and his wife June worshipped with the Madison Church of Christ where they both sang on the praise team. I personally have so many memories of singing with Bill on the praise team, and listening to his many stories and the jokes he loved to tell. He was a true friend and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Bills injuries would not allow him to sing, but Bill now sings with the heavenly chorus before the throne of the one he loved and served here on earth. Looking forward to singing with him again.


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HOPE SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL MOURNS THE PASSING OF ONE OF ITS ORIGINAL BOARD MEMBERS

Barry E. Becker, was born on May 13, 1943 and entered into eternal life on October 14, 2012 at the age of 69, He was the son of the late Thomas L. and Carrie (Riley) Becker. Barry was the devoted husband of Darlene M. (Nace) Becker, to whom he was married for 50 years. Barry was a 1961 graduate of South Western High School and a graduate of the International School of Evangelism. Barry served as a faithful minister of the Gospel of Christ for 35 years with the church of Christ.

While Barry will be greatly missed, we rejoice that he has gained that for which he lived.


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Love Is Stronger Than Death

Nigerian soldiers stand guard outside the church as the sound of worshipers singing; “blessed assurance, Jesus is mine” is heard coming from inside. One hundred yards away the smoldering city dump fills the air with the stench of burning waste. If you could see it you might be reminded of the Gehenna Jesus spoke about and likened to Hell. Pushed to this least desirable side of town by the overwhelming Muslim population, this group of Christians is just one of the many groups whose houses of worship line the streets here.  But only a few still come to worship. It has become very dangerous to be a Christian in this part of Nigeria.

The group is only about half the size it once was. Many of the families fled when the Boko Haram terrorists began targeting churches with their bombs. Striking often during services and killing worshipers, but on this Sunday a faithful remnant continues to meet under the watchful eyes of armed guards.

Celestial Church of Christ destroyed by a fire bomb.

I received an email today from Thomas (not his real name) the evangelist working with this church. It will soon be two years since our team of four visited with them and met with the churches’ Elders. The Elders are gone now, but the smaller flock continues to worship under Thomas’ capable leadership. The small farm that was located in another part of town used as an outreach of love is no longer operating, but the well continues to provide water to all who are thirsty and come to drink. A testimony to the living water that is also still available.

As I read the email from Thomas I was reminded of a different time and a different struggle, but the words of Martin Luther King still ring true as I think of this “little flock” meeting in the face of danger in northern Nigeria.

“Throw us in jail and we will still love you. Threaten our children and bomb our homes and our churches and as difficult as it is, we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hours and drag us out on some wayside road and beat us and leave us half-dead, and as difficult as that is, we will still love you. But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and your conscience that we will win you in the process and our victory will be a double victory. “From: Loving Your Enemies.

Ikechukwu was a leader among the youth group of this church until he was killed in one of the early Boko Haram attacks.

Tertullian [160-220 AD], one of the early Church Fathers is credited with saying, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”. There is something powerful about a person’s willingness to love rather than retaliate, even when faced with death. Is that not the power of the cross? Is it not also our power? Roman could not stamp out Christianity by physical force and the threat of death. In fact the more she persecuted the more the Church grew.

The email from Thomas reminded me that love is stronger than death.  Jesus told the persecuted church in Smyrna, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, [even if being faithful leads to death] and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10).

Will you join me in praying for those who continue to love their enemy even at the risk of death?

“So in many instances, we have been able to stand before the most violent opponents and say in substance, we will meet your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you.” Dr. Martin Luther King