Monday, October 23, 2017

Mission 2017 Accomplished

WorldHope Corps Training Team 2017 fulfilled its intended mission earlier this month in Uganda and Malawi, assisting our ministry partners-- Communities of Shalom Uganda, Sustainable Action Uganda, and WorldHope Corps Malawi --further their projects and initiatives.


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This was WorldHope Corp's 10th Annual Mission Trip since 2007!



This year's international training team was experienced, gifted and motivated: Rev. Michele Robbins (pastor of Orinda UMC, in CA), Dr. Doug Smith (retired professor of computer science and current secretary of WHC board), Dr. Caroline Njuki (former associate general secretary and head of the Africa Desk at UMC Global Ministries; and current board member of WHC), Bishop Baamu Moses (District Director/Mayor in Ssese Bugalo, Uganda),  Br. Julius Kasaji (Executive Director of Sustainable Action Uganda), Pastor Dennis Singini (Program Director of WorldHope Corps Malawi) and  Dr. Michael Christensen (Founder/Director of WorldHope Corps, Inc. and team leader).  We worked together with our partners for two weeks, supported by our sponsors, to accomplish the following outcomes:


Accomplishments in Uganda:

Strengthened international friendships and partnerships by sharing in meals, visiting projects, preaching in churches, consulting with boards and cooperatives, sharing social innovation ideas, visiting orphan care centers, and participating in other mission activities.  "Reverse mission" is what this is about. We come here to help but find we are the recipients of great gifts our friends have to offer; that we gain much more than we give.  Thank you Mayor/Pastor Baamu Moses for being our example and leader in our shared work in Uganda.
Conducted Women’s Empowerment conference for 115 female community leaders near Jinja, sponsored by WorldHope Corps and hosted by the Mayor's Office on the topic of "Domestic Abuse and Preventing HIV", especially in mother-to-child transmission. Successful training days like this remind me of why we started WorldHope Corps 10 years ago--to help transform the world one village at a time.  
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Visited Women’s Jewelry Coop led by Annett (wife of Baamu) and presented gift of $1000 raised from previous jewelry sales in the USA; celebrated their success in producing fine products for an international market. Help: We need new markets to support women's empowerment. 
  • Conducted Leadership Training for 132 community leaders- local politicians, cultural and religious leaders, and community health workers--sponsored by WHC and hosted by Mayor's Office at District HQ. Focus of the day-long training was on Stigma Reduction under title "Is AIDS God's Punishment?" (You wouldn't do it this way in Dan Diego City Hall, but it worked well here near the Source of the Nile!).  
Planned with Shalom Coffee Coop board "The "Way Forward" after 3 years of draught and disease that destroyed their crops and prevented the international sale of their high quality "Robusta Natural" boutique coffee which they worked so hard to produce.  Assessed their current status and encouraged their progress toward the goal of "shared prosperity and community health for all" (shalom). Thank you Br. Julius for being our consultant. We pray to the "Lord of the Harvest" to help these good and hard-working shalom farmers to grow enough coffee beans to fill up a container next year for international markets at a fair-trade price. 


Assessed and planned with Br. Julius (Director of Sustainable Action) on the progress of the Water Store in Western Uganda, and identified "benchmarks of success" in going forward. Unfortunately, the project is stalled until we can raise another $5,000 to complete the electrical wiring for the water purification system. We continue to pray for a new sponsor.
Processed "incubation" loans and consulted with young entrepreneurs on their good ideas for social innovation, micro loan projects, and small business development. I predict good success! 

Highlight of the week: observing how well small working groups stayed engaged, processed and applied new learnings from the conference to their own leadership role in their communities. 

Accomplishments in Malawi 

Attended Shalom Training Graduation Day in Kachere for 28 new Shalomers, trained and equipped by Pastor Dennis Singini, Commencement speaker Dr. Caroline Njuiki inspired us all, and affirmed the graduates for having met twice weekly for six months of classes, completing 168 hours of training in Asset Based Community Development. Here is the way to transform the world one village at a time:  Invest in community leaders who will "seek the shalom of village where they are sent." (Jeremiah 29:7). Pray for the members of Kachere Community of Shalom as the seek health, wholeness and shared prosperity (shalom) in this otherwise impoverished community.

Met with men at risk for HIV, consulting and training in AIDS prevention, stigma reduction, available medications, and less risky behavior.  Thank you Doug Smith for sharing your story and equipping so many men and women with best practices for harm reduction.

Visited Hope Scholarship House to assess how well the house was generating funds to support the Hope Scholarship Program, currently supporting 9 students.

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Visited Hope Tailoring School at Mzuzu UMC, started 8 years ago by the local church and WHC to empower young women economically by providing them a teacher and tools for a profession. It lifted our hearts to meet these young women, see their high quality products, know that our investment in sewing machines and a teacher's salary had produced such great results.  Love my shirt they made for me in three days!  Thank you Copeland Nkhata for your original vision, and for how gracefully you transferred management to new church leaders.



Dedicated new Village Well sponsored by Val and Millie Christensen (my parents) in the remote village of Kakholi near a rural school.  As Rev. Michele Robbins sprinkled consecrated 'holy water' from from living well, the kids gathered around to witness the community event. Elijah Mkwate, village teacher, and Glanson Mruncha, village chief, described how far women and children had to walk to fetch water from the nearest stream, and how over2000 people in the cluster of five village now benefit from this new deep well. I counted 85 children (first through sixth grade) attending school near the well and they were happy to see us. Thanks Mom and Dad for providing good clean water to these kids!


Consulted with new board members of WorldHope Corps Malawi, saw their vision, heard their great ideas, felt their passion, celebrated recent accomplishments, and processed new proposals for program design and organizational development for the common good. The work is in good hands:  Mrs. Marion Phiri (secretary of the board), Burton N. Kayinga (Treasurer), Reuben Kahonge (Legal Advisor), Kelvin Zulu (Program Assistant) and  Matrider Mtemangao (community workers and volunteer). 

Congratulations, Dennis, on the success of WorldHope Corps Malawi with the Anti-malaria mosquito nets distribution and your other community development projects.  We will continue to work together to raise up new friends and needed funds for the needed office space, next village well, and Hope Scholarship program. 



If you've read this far, I know you are a friend of WorldHope Corps.  I ask you simply to continue your support of our common cause.  Beyond your prayers and goodwill, the easiest way to help is to make a donation online at www.worldhopecorps.org or mail a check to the address below.




Thank you, dear friends!

Michael J. Christensen, Director
WorldHope Corps, Inc.
PO 7688   San Diego, CA 92167

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Mission Trip 2017--Ready to go!

Dennis Singini, Michelle Robbins and Michael Christensen display Shalom Coffee
"I have come that you might have life more abundantly, life in all its fullness..." --Jesus in the Gospel of John

Michele Robbins, Doug Smith, Dennis Singini, Baamu Moses and Michael Christensen are preparing to spend two weeks in Uganda and Malawi on WorldHope Corp's 10th Mission Trip.

We'll be conducting HIV/AIDS consultations, meeting with Fair-Trade Shalom Coffee Coop board, doing Shalom Training and Graduation, dedicating a new village well (sponsored by the Ocean Beach Bible Study and Point Loma United Methodist Church), and holding two Women's Empowerment events in Uganda and Malawi (Sept 25-Oct 7, 2017.  Please for us and continue to support the mission at www.worldhopecorps.org

Shalom Training Graduation 2013
Nearly every year since 2008, WorldHope Corps has sent a Mission Team to Malawi and/or Uganda to support our partners in their ministries of compassion, health and wholeness and community development. 

This year, four veteran members of WorldHope Corps-- Rev. Michele Robbins, Dr. Doug Smith, Dr. Caroline Njuki, and myself--will join Pastor Dennis Singini and his team in Malawi and Pastor Moses and his team in Uganda for 12 days of ministry together (Sept 25-Oct 7, 2017). 
Rebecca Laird and friends in 2014

The theme this year is "Life More Abundant" in Time of AIDS" (John 10:10)

Our Goal:  To empower women to protect themselves and promote human dignity, economic sustainability and “life more abundant” (Shalom) in the community. To help men and women, youth and children, step up to the next level of positive living and good success through Shalom Training in asset based community development ABCD) 

More specifically, our work in Uganda is to help Pastor Justine (a local Shalom leader) facilitate a Women's Empowerment Conference focused on preventing domestic violence and abuse, HIV/AIDS education, and living healthy lives in the community.  Before and after the conference, we plan to present funds raised from sale of Uganda jewelry to the women’s group in Jinja; meet with Pastor Moses and Shalom Coffee Coop board to encourage progress; meet with Br. Julius and SARS representatives to encourage their progress on the Fresh Water Store project in Western Uganda. (Sept 25-30).


Women's Empowerment Event in Malawi
Our Mission in Malawi is to help Mrs. Marion Phiri (WorldHope Malawi board member) and her team lead a Women's Empowerment Conference focused on domestic violence and HIV issues; and help Pastor Dennis Singini (WorldHope Corps Program Director) conduct Shalom Training and Graduation of first Shalom Team (Oct 1-7).  And dedicate two new deep water wells recently drilled in rural Malawi, sponsored by the men of OB Bible Study, Point Loma UMC, and Val J. Christensen of San Diego.

We still need sponsors for the Women's Empowerment Consultation in Malawi. 

Your donation of just $50 to WorldHope Corps will help one more young woman participate in the women's empowerment conference.  

The easiest way to help is to donate online at  www.worldhopecorps.org or mail a check to the address below.

Thank you, dear friends!

Michael J. Christensen, Director

WorldHope Corps, Inc.
PO 7688
San Diego, CA 92167

Note:  Shalom Training is the name of our six month training program in Asset Based Community Development for economic empowerment and community transformation.