This December, through the season of Advent, we wait with expectant hope for Jesus. We remember the waiting and hope that came when Jesus entered the world over 2,000 years ago, and we now wait expectantly for him to come again.
The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord."
- Henri Nouwen
As we reflect on this past year, we focus on the idea that Jesus can show up in our lives at any moment and in any way with “Advent” hope. It is why we serve year after year in Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now Pakistan. We want to maintain this focus throughout the year - to share the Gospel and the hope found in Christ Jesus to those who haven’t heard. We want to serve people so that they can recognize Him when he shows up in their lives. We want the world to share in this hope and joy. However, just as we can become so busy during the Christmas season that we miss the hopeful waiting of the Advent season, we can also lose focus throughout the year in a similar way. As we head into 2024, we pray that we will remain focused on our hope in Christ and our responsibility to share this message of hope with others, above all else.
Throughout 2023, many people met Jesus and put their hope in him through our leaders, programs, and physical demonstrations of God’s love. The following is a brief recap:
- Eric Schmidt visited Gabon in February to meet with church leadership, establish new relationships, and evaluate our programs.
- Created a sewing center for young women in Youngsonabad, Pakistan. Our first class graduated, and the second training will start soon. The gospel message is shared each week to the women at the center.
- Served persecuted Christians in Jaranwala, Pakistan. The team volunteered approximately 100 hours to support 50-60 families in Jaranwala.
- Monthly support for the Medical Debt Forgiveness Program at Nebobongo Hospital. We put together a recent blog post with testimonies of how people came to Jesus through their care at the hospital. You can read it here.
- The Malnutrition Prevention Program continues every week at Nebobongo Hospital. The gospel message is shared with families each week.
- Six oxygen machines were delivered to Nebobongo Hospital
- Launched a new website with updated giving platforms
- Supported three women from Gabon to travel to the States to share about the Gabon sewing center
- Distributed 59 carts to people needing mobility in Gabon, leading to some recipients accepting Christ as their Savior.
- The Family Stabilization team delivered school kits and presented the gospel to 140 children. This resulted in 63 people trusting in the saving knowledge of Christ.
- Christmas food distribution and celebration taking place with the Family Stabilization Program
- Monthly provision of food and testing for children who have HIV
- Two new hospital staff now serve at Nebobongo Hospital. Nebobongo now has a dentist and an anesthesiologist nurse.
As we head into 2024, we need your partnership to continue this work. 2023 proved to be a challenging year financially, but through God’s faithfulness, we continue to see Him meet our needs in remarkable ways that only He could orchestrate. We ask that you pray with us as we move into a new year. Please also consider a year-end financial gift as we continue to equip and empower local faith-based organizations to serve their communities through public health initiatives, community development, and training.
As I was reading about the Advent season earlier this month, I came across a blog post by Matthew Hall called “Waiting is the Hardest Part: Advent and Waiting on the Lord.” I can’t think of a better way to end this piece than by reminding us of our joy in waiting and our honor to invite others to participate.
"And so now, in our waiting, we trust in the promises of God. We trust that God is with us and will never leave us or forsake us. We trust that there is now no condemnation for those of us found in Christ. We trust nothing can separate us from the love of God. We trust that this momentary suffering is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory. We trust that Jesus will indeed return one day, just as he left. We trust that at his final judgment, we will find refuge in the blood of the Lamb. We trust that in his new creation, we will experience unbroken fellowship with God, completely absent of any sin, suffering, pain, sorrow, or death."
From the Blog
Nebobongo Hospital Medical Debt Forgiveness
December 12, 2023
Trust and Obey
November 1, 2023
Living Through a Gray Zone
July 26, 2023