House of Hope Update

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Children, Featured, Field Updates | 0 comments

House of Hope Update

This month with all of our family and friends in America, we celebrated Independence Day. A day to commemorate freedom and America. A day to remember our roots, our heritage, and how far God has brought us. Where would any of us be, without His grace?

As we gathered with our children at House of Hope in Gulu, during this season of Independence Day celebrations, it was a different kind of celebration for our own children.

Our House of Hope family has been with us since the war was over, and each one has grown in every way. They have been with us for eight years now, and several of them are approaching 18 years of age or more. Each child has some kind of relative in the village, with whom they have stayed in touch over the holidays and on school breaks, as required by Ugandan law.

Immediately after the war was over, these family members found themselves unable to take care of another child or feed another mouth in addition to their own children. In some cases our children had a surviving uncle, aunt, grandparent, or older sibling. However after twenty years of tragedy and devastation, these relatives could not physically, financially, or emotionally handle caring for another life as they struggled with their own post-war survival, trauma, recovery, healing, resettling and rebuilding. (Many of them already had many orphaned relatives who had become instantly dependent on them in addition to their own children.)

Unable to be helped by their family, the children needed love, food, healing in their own hearts, as well as an education and spiritual training, and so God brought them to House of Hope.

As House of Hope, we have been moving into the “licensing process” of children’s homes, after already being “registered” for quite some time. During this process, we have learned that the Ugandan government would much prefer a child to be with their natural relative than in a children’s home setting. This helps prevent “disconnect” and “delinquency” when a child comes to maturity and enables them to better know their extended families, relatives, and home roots.

The Government is strongly encouraging that all children’s homes transition into “sponsorship” type programs. This allows the child to live with a relative, who is able to care for them, while still receiving necessary education, medical help, spiritual oversight, and social supervision. Compassion and World Vision have been operating under this is system for years now.

With the encouragement of these government goals and after much prayer, this has become our goal as well. Our children have been very  peaceful about the change and are eager to be with an extended family member, as long as we, as their House of Hope family, remain in their lives. That, of course, is our highest aim and desire.

We are currently in the process of working with the Child Probation Office in Gulu to perform a home visit and case study on every home where our children will be staying. Once they are placed, the House of Hope staff will continue to love, sponsor, follow-up with these children in their extended family units, pray for them, and be there for them as they continue to mature into adults and fulfill the call of God on their lives.

The children’s home village, itself, will remain a place of ministry to children, but in a different setting, as we move forward with the purposes of God for this facility. The vision for stronger and more widespread Christian education in northern Uganda continues to grow within our hearts. The village home will be connected in a large way to this ongoing vision, as well as remaining the location of House of Hope sponsorship and refuge, as we continue to house more children.

Though this is a wonderful step and gives every child a “natural” family, it is also a time of great transition. Please continue to keep each of these precious treasures in your prayers. Keep releasing peace and grace for our children, their families, and the staff.

Our work and our vision continue to grow at House of Hope. We are committed to our children and will continue to pray with them, love them, serve them, and visit them regularly. Our goal is to ensure their growth academically, physically, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually. As they reach high school level, their school tuition increases, as do other needs related to sports, music, and social development.

We still need additional partners to help us continue to care for these amazing children, who will be future leaders of the nation!  Will you still pray about “adopting” a child to pray for, support, love, and empower to become the best that God has called them to be?
We love you,

House of Hope and Favor of God Family

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