Holiday ’12 Service Project with CUP

This is an exciting update on the CUP project that my SS Class group from HGBC North participated in over the holidays.  First off, just before Thanksgiving, 54 families identified by the counselor at Druid Hills Elementary were visited and brought Thanksgiving food and turkeys and a Bible last month.  From these visits and meetings with the families, 18 of the neediest families from this group were then visited with more food for a Christmas meal and a Wal-Mart gift card last weekend.  From that 2nd visit, 12 of the families were targeted for a 3rd visit with toys provided from an Angel Tree project at a local church and some blankets, housewares, and juice from CUP this past weekend.  As a result the teams were able to deliver practical help and make a loving connection with the families most needy, share Christ with several of them, and introduce CUP to most of them.  The multiple visits were really enjoyable and a blessing for us as well as the families.  Visiting 2 or 3 times makes a big difference in actually connecting with someone with credibility.

Some of the folks serving up some love to the needy families in Charlotte, NC

Some of the folks serving up some love to the needy families in Charlotte, NC

All the people involved in this had a great experience and many touching stories were shared.  We met people who recently lost their home to fire, lost loved ones in tragic ways, and had seemingly dim hopes.  We also met people who had little but faith and encouraged us.  One lady who was only in her mid 30’s and had 8 children and 2 grandchildren living with her, was so happy and blessed because she recently got a job as a nurse’s assistant with elderly people in their homes, it made our day.  We gave her 6 bags of food which she appreciated.  She said she needed nothing else except our prayers that she “gets it right”.  Some visits had one child and some had as many as ten.  Often Grandparents were raising children.  On the repeat visits especially, we were welcomed in and had the chance to pray with most and share Christ’s salvation with several. 

I feel there were more than a few special times.  Here is one experience that Kathy and I had.  This was last week, the 2nd visit to this home…we walked in an open door (because the door was missing and being replaced….project housing) and we said that we were from CUP and wanted to bless them with some food for Christmas.  They stared at us like they saw a ghost.  Four people were there and a man excitedly pointed at the woman of the house and said “she just finished saying 3 seconds before you walked in, that she was out of food stamps and her welfare was gone and there was no food in the house and won’t be any for Christmas.”  They really did not have anything but a couch and had lived there over 4 years.  I told her that God timed things (we even arrived early from our schedule because other people weren’t home) so that He could get her attention.  She cried and admitted that she had not been giving God any time or honor and I believe was convicted right there.  We prayed and hugged and I know that God did all that to touch this lady right then.  Her Sister and Brother-in-law also witnessed this spiritual moment and we had an opportunity to help them also with some food.

This project was a really positive experience for our Class.  Several families participated monetarily and/or with their time and the goal of serving God by connecting with people in need was accomplished.  Thank you very much to David and the servants at CUP for organizing this project and for having such a warm heart.  This project helped make my Christmas special.

I hope that more of these sort of projects can be taken on in the future.  It is a good outreach project for a SS Class, requiring low funding and moderate hands on effort suitable by men, women, and children..


Christmas at the LSH

They certainly do celebrate Christmas at the Lord’s Servants Home!  The kid had a 3 week break from school through the end of December and spent it playing and getting extra tutoring in school subjects.  We bought extra study material and a story book for each child.  Just before Christmas everyone got a new outfit and play shirt which they really enjoy.  Last week, they all were taken to the Kitale Nature Conservancy for a fun day.  Christmas day was enjoyed with a special meal and treats.  This was all made possible with kindness from the LSH sponsors.

New Christmas Clothes

New Christmas Clothes

New Christmas clothes

New Christmas clothes

LSH Kids at the Kitale nature Conservancy

LSH Kids at the Kitale nature Conservancy

Picnic at the KNC

Picnic at the KNC

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas! and Happy New Year! are greetings and blessings of peace and hope.  I feel that the true blessing that we can give and receive is when you do more than say words but instead work toward making them true.  It is arguably true that after decades of international effort and trillions of dollars spent trying to bring peace and end hunger and disease in Africa, the situation is relatively unchanged and remains a tragedy of daunting proportions.  It is clear to me that A) the only true hope and peace is found in Jesus Christ and B) the people who are going to make the biggest changes in Africa are going to be Africans.  It is a necessity that we all work on both short-term needs and long-term solutions.

Thank you for working in general for peace and hope in the world through your faith and compassion in anything you do and specifically with us at The Lord’s Servants Home in Kitale, Kenya to raise up Godly, loving, future leaders that we currently know as our Kids.  We have spent 100% of the over $100,000 provided in 2012 for support, clothing, schooling, health, and new and upgraded facilities for soon to be 60 children.  A similar amount will be spent in 2013 and will accomplish the same goals including a new water well and classroom building for The Lord’s Servants Academy, both of which will serve the community around the orphanage in the same way, providing a practical means toward peace and hope, investing in sharing the love of Christ and in children.

It pulls at my heart when our children thank me for paying their school fees, and when they get excited about new clothes or a book.  I’m impressed how they work hard at chores and schoolwork and play even harder.  I love how they care for each other and how they sing to the top of their lungs praising God.  Lastly I’m humbled by the intensity of the prayers that come out of their little mouths in unison like a beehive.  I know they pray for us way more that we pray for them.  This all has to be very joyful to our Father.

So….May the Peace, Joy, Love, and Hope that God gave to the world through Jesus Christ reside and manifest in you and your family this season and always!

Thank you again and God bless you,

Bob and Kathy Hillebrand, Pastor Moses and the staff at the LSH, volunteers and helpers around the world, and the children.

Here is a great Christmas Song making me think about Africa…from 1984.

Another version…from 1989

And again….from 2004

Lyrics to Do They Know It’s Christmas :

(B. Geldof)
It’s Christmastime,
there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmastime,
we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty
we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
at Christmastime.
But say a prayer,
pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard,
but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window,
and it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them
instead of you.
And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life (Oooh)
Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Here’s to you raise a glass for everyone
Here’s to them underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Welcome Lydia

We welcome another new child to the family at The Lord’s Servants Home.   She is 7 years old, doing well and will be starting the 2nd grade in January.  Her Father died in 2008 and her Mother left her and two siblings with her Grandmother.  The Grandmother could not support her and brought Lydia to our home.

Welcome Lydia!!!

Lydia 2

Lydia Nafula

Container Shipment Update

We get to praise God for the arrival of the container and receipt of the goods but we also get to exercise faith that God is working through the situation.  Many of the items were removed and are lost.  All is not known about why but most of the commodity items such as toys, toilet paper, socks, candy, books, CDs, solar panels, and balls, were removed.  We can only trust that God will place them with someone in need.

The project items such as playground slides, swings, and merry-go-round arrived as did tools, electronics, some books, Bibles, and some clothing.  At least we can implement the playground improvements during our visit in January.

We are disappointed in the world but not in God….He is good, all the time.