End of Year 2015
Happy New Year from your friends at One Body One Hope!
As we look back on 2015 we are overwhelmed by God’s grace and providence in all things. It was an amazing year filled with growth and change—and we are so grateful for the role that you have played in it. We hope you enjoy this recap of all that 2015 had to offer...
Church Partnerships continued to thrive! Abide in the Vine Disciples Church has now expanded to 14 congregations across Liberia. Emmanuel’s dream is to plant a church in each of the 15 counties in Liberia, and it looks as if his God-sized dream will come true. There are 6 more congregations in the works for 2016, but our hearts and minds are open to whatever God has in store. There are currently three AVDC congregations partnered with churches in Northwest Iowa. It is our hope that all the AVDC churches will someday have sister congregations in the US!
The Harbel Farm
The Harbel Farm is in the process of expanding from 18 acres to 110. As Liberian workers continue to clear the ground for crops, we are exploring many different ways to make this land fruitful and rich. Our fundraising goal for this project is $180,000 so we can purchase a rice harvester, a threshing machine, a tractor, farm tools, seed, and supplies. We also intend to construct a storage building, and, of course, purchase the land ($550 per acre).
The Farm Bridge
The Farm Bridge was completed only days after Christmas by a team of college engineering students who dared to dream BIG. The bridge utilized beams recycled from the demolished Sioux Center Hospital building and connects the farm to the rest of Liberia. Three communities that were never accessible by vehicle have now been connected to the world. As we prayed over these beams, this bridge, and all who will pass over it, we were humbled by God’s miraculous plans!
Christ Our Hope Orphanage
Christ Our Hope Orphanage continues to provide for the needs of 69 children—who are growing into young adults! 2015 saw the completion of a three-story school building, in-depth medical assessments of all the kids, some classes in art therapy, and the re-opening of the Vine School System of Christ after the shutdown during the Ebola outbreak. We are currently working on transition plans to help the older children move from living at the orphanage to becoming vibrant, productive members of the wider community. The future is bright!
Christ Our Hope North
Christ Our Hope North is still in its infancy, but is currently providing for the needs of 35 children in Lofa County, the area of Liberia hardest hit by the Ebola crisis. Foya is a 9-hour drive or an airplane flight from Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. One team has already been able to visit Christ Our Hope North and reports that both the caretakers and the children are doing well. The kids of COH North live in a beautiful home only a short walk from the church and the school they attend. There are currently two trips to Foya scheduled in the next couple of months and we are excited to expand this program.
Of course, 2015 was not without its share of heartache and the OBOH community was devastated by the loss of one of our Christ Our Hope children, Emmanuel Siaffa. Emmanuel suffered from Hepatits B and succumbed to his battle with the disease in March. Emmanuel will always be remembered and beloved by the entire OBOH community. And while Liberia remains Ebola-free, we will not soon forget the scars that were left behind during the terrible outbreak. Praise God for his blessings, even in the midst of our brokenness. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.