Light in the Midst of Darkness: HBI Partners Brighten the World for Christ
Good news is in short supply. Chaos and suffering are on the rise throughout the world. There is One, however, who brings good news wherever He goes. He has been doing that for 2000 years. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. His Kingdom overcomes the darkness of this world despite the enemy’s efforts to stop it. Throughout the first half of 2015, because of the Lord’s goodness and your gracious help, God continued His advance through Hope Builders International’s ministry partners. That help continues to be needed as the various ministries grow and the light they share becomes brighter. Yes, the darkness opposes that growth but the light cannot be overpowered. It was that way in the first century. It is that way today. Here are some examples of that advance.
In April of this year we unexpectedly said farewell to our beloved partner in Uganda, Gertrude Kabatalemwa. This vibrant woman was responsible for establishing schools, caring for abandoned and orphaned children, bringing lives of meaning to widows, training pastors, running a farm, and many other activities. We had to wonder what would happen to the work in Uganda without her passion and guiding hand. Like Paul, thinking about his precious friends in Thessalonica, we wondered how the faith of our friends in Uganda would handle this seemingly devastating blow and if they would come out strong in the Lord.
Now, having heard back that her adult children, who have labored long in the work with her, and the competent staff and board of the Nyamabuga school that she had developed are stepping up to carry the work forward, our hearts rejoice, for we have come to love these people and this work. As Paul put it in 1 Thessalonians 3, “For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before God on your account?”
UGANDA & HAITI: SCHOOL BUILDINGS RISE
The forces of Islam in Uganda and Voodoo in Haiti are striving to capture the minds of youth. But through your gifts new school buildings continue to rise in these countries where students are given Christ centered education. These young people will become ambassadors for the Kingdom of God who carry the good news of forgiveness and Eternal Life in Christ Jesus.
MIDDLE EAST: REFUGEES GIVEN NEW LIFE
In the Middle East the message of life in Christ has been brought to thousands of believers who have fled Islamic violence in Syria and Iraq through our friends at Manara Ministries. They have been provided with a mobile clinic, food, clothing, medicines, resettlement and the Word of God. Hundreds of families have been given sustenance and hope in Jesus’ name. Camp Gilead is also underway, calling youth to a real relationship with Jesus Christ. The influence of Camp Gilead cannot be overestimated for during these summer weeks many Middle Eastern young people commit to following the Lord Jesus alone.
BELFAST: TERRORISTS COME TO CHRIST
In Belfast, Northern Ireland the gospel continues to be presented to life-hardened terrorists along the Shankill Road. Through the work of our partners there, many have professed faith in Christ. Though fraught with danger, Jack McKee and New Life Ministries continue the work bringing the good news of Christ in fresh ways to their city.
INDIA: WELLS BRING LIFE
In India wells have been provided allowing villagers access to life sustaining, clean water. Our ministry partner friends who provide the wells also bring the good news of a God who loves them and use the wells as a drawing place from which new churches are planted in unreached areas.
Out of this ministry hundreds of churches have been planted and thousands have come to Christ.
INDIA: COWS for CHILDREN’S HOME
In India cows have been provided for the children’s home and school run by Sheba Sunayana. This ensures fresh milk for the children to drink every day. Solar panels are also being provided to the school so they will not be dependent on the on again, off again electrical blackouts in their area. With temperatures in the 110 degree range this time of year, having electricity for fans and well water is crucial in keeping the children and staff healthy. Now that the children are back from their break, funds are needed to provide books, school bags, shoes, paper, and teachers’ salaries. The school is facing growing opposition from neighbors as a result of increased Hindu fanaticism in India so your prayers for Sheba are coveted. Your sponsorship support makes a difference every day for these children.
Through our Indian partners, widows and orphans have received care, church planters have been sponsored, Christian literature has been provided and heretofore unreached people groups have been touched with the good news that Jesus has come for them. These are eternal benefits, ones that cannot be diminished by suffering or setback on this planet.
NEPAL: EARTHQUAKE HELP ON THE WAY
In Nepal, emergency earthquake aid has been provided for suffering families through our partners. Resham and Sita Poudel along with their co-workers bring aid to Christian families as well as carrying the love of Jesus to every corner of this former Hindu kingdom. Your gifts make that possible. The quake caused over 8000 deaths and over 100,000 injuries. The despair has caused an unprecedented openness to Christ in Nepal.
Much work remains to be done. The hunger to know a real and loving God grows daily in the Muslim and Hindu worlds. There is more openness than ever before. Our brothers and sisters are responding with courage and creativity. Now is the time for action; behold, today is the day of salvation! We are honored to serve with them and you in this effort.
With love in the Lord Jesus,
Lance & Christie Thollander
Contributions can be made online at www.hope-builders.org. Simply click on the Contribute icon and specify the chosen ministry or need that you’d like to support. Checks can also be sent to Hope Builders International, PO Box 91359, Austin, TX 78709. Areas that need funding include:
Missionary Outreach to Unreached Peoples
Gospel Tools: Bibles, Literature, Bicycles
Micro-Enterprise (Goats, Sewing Machines)
Refugee Support Projects
Emergency Aid (Food, Medicine, Clothing)