February 2018 Calendar of HOPE…

The Mchini Compound, one of nine such areas surrounding the town of Chipata in Zambia, is home to countless vulnerable people. During the first phase of the Chipata Community Impact Project, launched in June 2017, several days were spent in this compound meeting people, discovering their needs and listening to their stories.

After going house to house each morning, community care teams invited people to a local park where an afternoon of games were hosted. Hundreds showed up… including the three girls featured in this month’s photograph. Sitting along a wall watching all the activity, these three were typical of the many that showed up. Life in the compound is difficult so anything is a welcome distraction.

After playing games, the whole crowd gathered for a time of encouragement and reminder that there is strength in community and that the team that had visited earlier that day, was in their compound and wanted to ensure everyone felt a part of a family. With Bible stories, songs and prayer, the team surrounded all the people with warmth.

Since that initial outreach, each month the teams have continued to return to the compounds to follow up with the widows and orphans who they met that first week. As the community has grown intertwined, their hope has increased knowing that they are a part of something significant!

We look forward to phase two of the project that is taking place in June 2018. Please remember the community care teams that continue to reach into the Mchini Compound and care for the most vulnerable people in the area.

Welcome to 2018!

2018 has arrived and with it twelve more months of images taken at our projects. The last image from our 2017 calendar captured one of our orphan teens currently receiving help in the Western Province. Attending school, working on an apprenticeship program and making significant progress, contributions to Project HOPE have helped this young man have hope for a brighter future.

The children in the classroom photograph begins our 2018 Calendar of HOPE. The Saikalo School needs your help! Each month Project HOPE assists with the daily feeding program as well as with educational supports so that the kids at this school, all orphans, have the best chance for an education. There are over 600 orphans now attending the school and we have a big challenge in 2018 to keep the lunch program functioning. With your gift, we can ensure all kids get a meal each day. Please keep your donations coming so that this critical service can continue.

December 2017 Calendar of HOPE…

The team at Nyangombe cares for many orphans. Most, like the little one featured this month in the Calendar of HOPE, would have no hope if not for the efforts of the dedicated men and women of Nyangombe who ensure they have a home, food and resources.

There are many more children much like this infant who need our help. With donations to Project HOPE we can assist the team with providing warm blankets, formula, critical resources as well as basic medical care. Without these supports vulnerable orphans are lost.

In 2018 Project HOPE will be returning to Nyangombe to meet with the Charles Kafweta and the community care teams to check in on their progress and needs. Your gift is essential to ensuring more children with no parents or extended family get the care they need to have a chance for a future filled with hope.

New Book in Progress Highlights Needs of the Vulnerable

Francis Chileshe is a man of astounding compassion and indomitable energy.

A native of Kasama, capital of Northern Province, Zambia, Francis has for nearly two decades worked with sacrificial commitment under the auspices of Project HOPE, serving widows and orphans in his community.

Coming from a broken childhood of neglect and abuse, Francis knows firsthand the struggles, the bleakness of life, for those who grow up without hope. But when faithful Christians witnessed to him about the love of God, Francis received the Lord Jesus as his Saviour. From hopelessness he awoke to a burning desire for service in the lives of the most defenceless of all people.

Now Project HOPE has joined with Francis in an exciting project: to write the story of his life and ministry. We pray that his book will excite and inspire our regular supporters, as you see Kasama through the intimate viewpoint of one of our most committed, long-term partners. More than that, we hope the book will reach beyond our ministry to inform and motivate others to join us in bringing a future and a hope to these people and their communities.

Please pray for Francis and for those involved as we see this book take shape and prepare for publication.

An excerpt from the book:

Josephat and his younger brother, Haggai, are just two of the five or six hundred vulnerable children we support in my community. I had found these boys on the streets, scavenging for plastic and glass bottles to sell—a way of helping their family survive.

Their chronically ill mother, long since abandoned by her husband, did piecework when she could, to fend for herself and her four children.

When I first met the brothers, they had dropped out of school, but I managed to get them to go back. On this day I was supposed to meet the boys with a couple of short-term missionary workers, to take them to buy school uniforms and shoes. When they didn’t show up, the visiting missionaries weren’t pleased. They were prone to believe the worst of the boys, but I couldn’t go along with that. I’ve seen too much of what life throws at them.

The next morning we went to the boys’ school, and Josephat sobbingly told us what had happened. As he and Haggai were walking into town to meet us, a drunkard on the road called over the younger boy, asking for directions to some place. When Haggai told the man he didn’t know, the drunkard started shouting at the young boy.

Frightened, Haggai took off at a run, but the stranger picked up and threw a stone, hitting Haggai in the head. He fell in the road, bleeding. Josephat picked up his brother and they fled home.

Hearing Josephat and Haggai’s sorry tale took me back again to the reason I decided that I wanted to get involved in the lives of people like them—such vulnerable children, often the sons and daughters of abused and abandoned mothers—when others not only didn’t care but chose to worsen the miserable lives of these innocents.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me”… who have no reliable parents to care for them, to take them to school, to support them in every physical, emotional and spiritual way.

It breaks my heart that, instead of being there for these kids, for all those in need like them, we—like the drunkard—so often choose to close our eyes to the brokenhearted, to neglect or totally ignore them.

Having seen people come on board to help me in my hour of need, I am endlessly inspired to want to be a blessing to others. I feel that, in so doing, God will be glorified. Project HOPE is a faith-based organization which works with various denominations, sharing the same vision. And God has been faithful.

***********************************

About Francis Chileshe: Francis Chileshe has been project manager in Kasama, Zambia, for Project HOPE since 2001. Francis’ passion and commitment to the vulnerable people in his community has inspired countless people over the years to contribute to his work and marvel at his tenacity. Francis serves hundreds of widows and orphans to ensure they are not forgotten. He collaborates with many community agencies and partners to reach those who are struggling and also connects with the teaching staff at the Saikalo School to help with the daily lunch program and teaching resources. Chileshe has embarked on this book writing journey to not only tell his story but also encourage others to advocate and participate in his ministry.

About M. Sharpe: Meg Sharpe, B.Sc., is managing editor of The Shantyman, the evangelistic publication of Shantymen International. She has co-written, ghost-written, or edited more than a dozen books on subjects ranging from parenting to marriage to cooking to a children’s novel, Slave, Brave and Free (with Cal Bombay) as well as numerous papers for the C.S. Lewis Society, various Christian publications, and sundry assorted bits and pieces, including politically correct restaurant reviews, and she hopes a soon-to-be-produced politically incorrect cookbook/travelogue related to her time in Provence and on the Côte d’Azur, especially in her old home, La Sarrazine, which overlooks the Mediterranean from the ancient ramparts of Antibes. Meg is a champion of Project HOPE and is donating her time to work with Francis Chileshe and Project HOPE Executive Director Christopher Graves, to complete this book capturing the life and passion of Chileshe’s commitment to those who are vulnerable.