Starting Over – Leaving Hope Behind

Five years ago this month, my husband and I were brought together by God to fall in love and work with HIV+, widows, orphans, and poor women.

This month, Paul and I will celebrate God introducing us to each other 5 years ago in X.  If one pastor’s battery in his car had not died I would have never talked to Paul, but I found him on the roadside and I stopped to keep him company while he waited for the pastor to return. God made it happen!  

We worked hard to learn how to help women and children who were suffering.  You, our friends, have been helping us do what God put on our hearts.  We could not have done any of this without God’s help and God’s people coming together.

We are still working hard.  We are facing many challenges, but God always takes care of us.  We have seen too many good things happen, and God move to do miracles for our women, us, and our friends in the US.  So we won’t give up!

These are  the many women who escorted us to the airport, these ladies are such dear friends now, we all cried saying good bye.  Some are alive today because we helped them get on medication!

Today, we are in Uganda in the new HOPE+ Africa house.  We left many friends in X who we have been helping to go concentrate on helping our women in Uganda.  After five years, we felt it was time to go and see how our women in X would do without us being there for them every day.

Jesus used to do this to his disciples too, teach them, leave them, then check back to see how they are doing with what they have been taught.  Sometimes they failed, many times they failed, but they also learned how to be “fishers of men” like Jesus.  We have taught them how to fish, by teaching them sewing, the bible, and how to love, then we left them with the nets to catch their own fish.

I am so happy to report that the women we have loved have formed “Hope Society” to join together to visit the poor helping them, visiting the sick people in the hospitals, and they will be meeting once a month to bring their money together and pray to decide which poor people they are going to help next.  They were excited to continue doing what we have been doing together.  It was hard to leave them, in fact I am still missing them, but I am proud for them doing this work without me!  And I can not wait to return to them to see them succeeding!  Please join me in prayer thanking God for his daughters of “Hope Society” in X.

So I appreciate the friends and donors who supported us with prayer and money so we could work in X and leave our women with skills, tools, and the desire to please God.  May God bless you!

Now, we are starting over in Uganda.  We left almost everything in X, beds, chairs, sewing machines, blankets, clothes, almost everything.  Moving from X to Uganda is not easy, but we did it, God provided!  We got a good house for the same money.  It is bigger and has more room for more women and a bigger sewing room too. The house is almost empty, but our hearts are full!

Me, healthy and feeling good the day after everyone prayed for me!

Last week, many prayed for me when I was sick, thank you so much.  The next day I recovered.  Today, I am working and strong.  Thank you for your prayers! They worked!!!

Here is what I need you to join with me in prayer about today.  We pray and then we lift our butts, then God lifts his butt, and good things happen when we all get up and work together with God.

We need so much, but this is the one thing that matters most to me, my girls.  I want to see God help us with the girls we have been caring for, sending to school the last four years.

From left to right,  our daughter Jojo, with Nyakato, Nalongo, Faith, and Nyangoma, with new backpacks sent by HOPE+ Africa friends on Facebook.

We need sponsors for four of our girls to continue to go to school.  Nyakato, Nyangoma, Faith are the kids of my sister, Nalongo, who is a single mother and HIV+.  She is the first women we started working with to get on medication and help with developing job skills.  Nalongo left school and married a man at age 12. He married other wives and infected them all with HIV, then abandoned them and the kids.  The girls and their mom live with us in Uganda and we help and love them everyday as their Aunt and Uncle.

This is Janet.  Janet was given to me to be my daughter by my cousin, Florida, when she was dying of AIDS.  I was just a girl at that time, maybe 12 year old.  Florida took me in because my mom had died of AIDS.  I loved Florida so much, she loved me too.  So I love Janet, because she has no mom and struggled to go to school, like me.

Janet is the orphaned daughter of my cousin who died of AIDS when she was taking care of me when I was a kid. Janet lives with another cousin.  She lives in my home village and I consider her my daughter.

One of our donors has been sending all the girls to very good schools.  They are so happy now, Janet used to not go to school and the other three went to the worst school.  They have improved their marks and are advancing in their studies, from the bottom of the class when they entered to the top 10%.  Now that sponsor can not help us pay their school fees anymore.

We need sponsors to promise to help us send them to school.  They would be so sad to have to quit their good international level school and go back to the poor quality school they were attending before.  The cost for all four is $1,500 every three months.  That means we need $125 per girl each month.  This will help them to stay in the best school with their teachers and friends they love.  Education is not free in Uganda like the US, the schools are poor, good schools are few and hard to enter.  We don’t want our girls to go back after they have come so far.  We want them to have a good testimony about God’s people showing them God’s love when they needed help.

The girls need:

20 friends to sign up here to give $25 a month  

OR

4 friends each to sign up here to give $125 a month

Anyone with lots of kids knows it is very expensive to raise them well. We love our girls so much.  We want them to move ahead, not go back. They praise God everyday for their new school, we want them to continue to see God’s people willing to help them.  They are praying for their new sponsors now.  Good bless you for helping them and sharing with your friends and church the opportunity to help!

Your sister in Christ,

Hope Phillips
HOPE+ Africa

GIVE HERE

P.S. Remember what James 1:27 says “The worship that God wants is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence. This is the kind of worship that God accepts as pure and good.”  We are inviting you to pure and good worship of our good Father with us!