Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let’s raise another roof!

Yesterday, on the first day of Spring in Madison, New Jersey, it snowed! And today it was cold, but still beautiful flowers appeared in my backyard. Spring has sprung and soon the rains will come to both the USA and Africa.

I find it interesting that WorldHope Corps gets asked to help raise roofs in the rain in Africa!

The first such request came from Friends of Mzuzu Community Organization (FOMCO) when our mission team was there in March 2007, to help feed AIDS orphans during a rain storm. Once we saw and felt the water pouring into the small brick quarters where 200+ orphans were fed, our nine member team pooled our resources and donated $500 to fix the leaks on the roof of the orphan care center before the next rains came.

The second request came last spring, in May 2008, from the orphan care program we support, run by Mzuzu United Methodist Church. Just after returning home from my annual mission trip to Malawi, I got an urgent email from Pastor Copeland NKhata: “…robbers have stolen the tent that we had used as a roof on our church!” He was referring to the relatively expensive, waterproof covering on the wood and thatched-brick church where 150 people worship together. The simple sanctuary is composed of wooded planks and a dirt floor with sun or rain streaming in depending on whether it’s the dry or wet season in Malawi. It’s also the building where they feed 60+ orphaned and abandoned children in their care.

I posted a blog alert and many of you responded immediately with a desire to help raise the roof. Together we raised $2,000 in 10 days to replace the roof on the HopeChurch in Mzuzu that had been stolen by thieves during a rain storm! See June 3, 2008 blogpost

This spring our challenge is to raise $8,000 to put a new roof on a brand new medical clinic currently under construction, before the rains come. The project is called St. George Hope Health Centre in Uganda. WorldHope Corps friend and sponsor, Tom Dilts, alerted me to this opportunity and need last month, and made the first donation. He had been successful in getting two congregations to help build the foundation and walls of the Health Centre, but they now needed a sponsor for the roof. I told him I thought others would be interested in helping (since this seems to be one of our specialties).

WorldHope Corps assessed and qualified the need, and now seeks support and resources for a rural medical clinic that serves those who are poor. So, I posted the need and profile of St George’s Hope Health Centre on this blogsite: see March 16, 2009 blogpost

If you feel lead to contribute, you can designate a donation online at our website:

Or send in a check to help raise the roof. Just email me at and let me know your check in on the way.

This is one way God answers prayer: by inspiring believers in God’s inclusive love and justice to hear the cries of orphans and windows in distress, and to respond with tangible acts of loving kindness to people they have never even met.

And that’s how WorldHope Corps operates: by connecting available resources with qualified needs, facilitating specific ways to make a difference in the world.
Thank you for responding. Together, we can raise another roof!

Happy Spring time, my friends!

Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D.
Founder, WorldHope Corps, Inc.
11 Ardsleigh Drive
Madison, NJ 07940

For more information on this and other WHC sponsored projects, visit

For mission updates, visit

For email contact:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Uganda Health Clinic Profile

I want to share with you WorldHope Corps' most recent project in Africa: A new health clinic in Uganda, called St. George Hope Health Centre. The building is under construction, and we have made a $10,000 commitment to get the roof before the rains come. Please help us if you can. Here's the project profile compiled by Tom Dilts--the initial donor who brought this project to our attention:

WorldHope Corps Uganda Medical Clinic Project 2009

Mission Profile

Name of Organization: SARS
Sustainable Action for Rural Sector
Kibaale District
P.O Box 313, Hoima - Uganda
Telephone: +256 782 462 201, +256 392 949 257

Physical Address:
Igayaza Trading Centre
Kakindo Sub-county - Kibaale District.
Mid Western Uganda

Focus: On poverty eradication and sustainable development, education and health status enhancement in the rural areas of Kibaale district of Uganda. SARS Programs since 2007 include: (1) Education – sponsoring vulnerable children in school and providing school books and materials needed by children; (2) Sustainable Livelihood – piglets, birds (chicken), seedlings and extension work and training women and farmers; youth development activities; eight youth groups and six women’s groups have been mobilized and equipped with skills in saving and credit; conducted community trainings and awareness campaigns in human rights and anti-corruption activities. and (3) commence construction of the St. George Hope Health Centre Project.

Name of Sponsored Project/Program: St. George Hope Health Centre

Current Project Description: Support of St. George Hope Health Centre

Urgent Request: $8,000 needed to construct the roof of the Health Clinic before the rains come in March, April and May. The home made bricks are not like manufactured bricks, will face deterioration.


“Empowered and Developed Community for a Descent life”

Serving and improving the conditions of the disadvantaged people in rural communities in order to foster economic and social transformation for authentic development

The health centre is located in Igayaza A LCI Kakindo sub-county Kibaale District.

St. George Hope Health Centre:

The facility is designed in the modern artwork, and shall be graded on level III in Uganda upon completion.

The health facility will have the following when completed:
 An out patient block with nine rooms namely; waiting, dispensing, dental, injection, laboratory, two consultation, records, accounts with two corridors
 One block with a male and children’s ward of eight beds each.
 Maternity block with eight beds as a general women’s ward and labor ward of four beds.
 Administration block with a store, cold room, counseling room, mother examination room and a general common room.
 There are well planned toilets and latrines plus birth room.

This is planned phase one of the health facility. Phase two will include among others staff quarters, furnishing, and equipping.

Why the St. George Hope Health Centre is Needed:

The health facility will be important to the community in many ways thus offering the different services but not limited to the following:
1. Reproductive Health and family planning services
2. Maternity and gynecology services
3. Nutrition and domestic hygiene education
4. HIV / AIDS sensitization, counseling, prevention and treatment
5. Vaccination / Immunization
6. Treatment of other traditional disease cases
7. Primary Health care education and sanitation.
8. Supplement government effort, so far, in the provision of health and medical services.
9. Eventually develop the health centre into a hospital with on site and outreach services.
10. Train volunteer service providers from the community itself.

The People Who Live in the Area:

The Area is composed of two main groups of people: Bantu and Nilotics. Other groups include refugees from Sudan, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The people are basically peasant farmers (subsistence farming, from hand to mouth) with a relatively low income. The people’s economic performance is unexplainable where the main economic activity is subsistence farming coupled with poor farming skills, tools and limited market for the locally produced goods.

Uganda: The Context of the Project

Uganda lies on the equator in the heart of East Africa. It is bordered by Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Tanzania and Rwanda to the South and Zaire to the west. It covers and area of 241,000sq. Km, some 17% of which is open water. Most of the land forms a high plateau at 900-1500 meters. To the eastern and western borders the land rises to over 2,000 meters forming the shoulders of Rift Valley systems.

Kibaale district (vicariate) is situated in the Mid Western Uganda 285 Km north west of Uganda’s capital city Kampala. The district borders with Hoima District in the north. Mubende in the south and the democratic republic of Congo in the west, where they are united by Lake Albert as natural bordering.

The Needs of the People:

The diocese has many problems and the most prevalent ones include; limited knowledge on human and social rights, poor Health, sanitation and hygiene illiteracy, chronic poverty, these coupled with national and regional development obstacles such as corruption, civil wars with in Uganda and out side the country, climate changes have worsen the Christians’ way of life. Also, illiteracy, poor health services, marginalization are instrumental set backs to the wellbeing of the Christian communities in the Vicariate and the entire Diocese as a whole. According to current report indicate that the diocese has 45% illiterates, with 76% early marriages and 41% of school dropout.

Principal Contacts:

Fr. Paul Bigirwa, currently serving in Mugalike Catholic parish as a parish priest in Kibaale Vicariate (Kibaale District), Hoima Catholic Diocese.

Julius Kasaija Chairperson of SARS is dedicated and fully planning, monitoring and implementing the organization's activities on a full time basis, home parish is Magoma catholic parish.]

Initial Funder/Sponsor Tom Dilts

Previous Project Funding:

Tom Dilts donation of US$2,000 and approximately Euro €5,000 generously donated from the Christian community in two parishes in Sicily Italy, has enabled the substructure and the brick walls to be erected. The next need is the ROOF before the rains come.

WorldHope Corps 2009 Commitment

$10,000 commitment to future international support through WorldHope Corps in 2009:

To support this project, please send donations--designated to "Uganda Mission"--in
care of Dr. Michael Christensen to:

WorldHope Corps, Inc.
11 Ardsleigh Drive
Madison, NJ. 07940

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Shalom Coffee

This is a bag of Shalom Coffee, which embodies of values of Communities of Shalom:
It’s organic,
Grown on a collective farm
Not just organic but fair trade
The farmers and roasters receive a decent wage
Not just fair trade but interfaith
Jewish, Christian, Muslim growers
Not just interfaith but international
Dark roast, full-bodied, coffee from Uganda
Not just a cup, but a Just Cup
And it’s delicious Coffee
From Thanksgiving Coffee Company.
Plus one dollar that supports Communities of Shalom

Available on the road and from

Malawi Mission Trip 2009

Mission Trip to Malawi, Africa

Sponsored by: WorldHope Corps, Inc.

Led by: Dr. Michael J. Christensen, Director of the Shalom Initiative , Drew University; and Stacy Radmore, veteran mission team member

Hosted by:
Staff of CitiHope Malawi and Pastor of Mzuzu United Methodist Church

DATES: May 20- June 1, 2009 (12 days)

Cost: $3,200 per person (including international travel, accommodations, meals, and in-country transport)

Travel Plan: Depart JFK on Wednesday, May 20, for Johannesburg to arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi, on May 21; Return on Sunday, May 31, and arrive JFK on Monday, June 1. A two-day extention in Johannesburg also is available.

Destination: Malawi, a small land-locked, developing country of 12 million people bordering Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, is particularly vulnerable to famine and disease, and suffers from extreme poverty and AIDS. The May Mission Trip team will carry out its mission in and around Mzuzu City in Northern Malawi where WorldHope Corps supports an orphan care program and village well projects in partnership with CitiHope.

To raise hope in vulnerable communities through cross-cultural relationships, “reverse mission” and the ministry of presence.

Reverse Mission:
Our service team will focus its activities on being present in communities need and to vulnerable persons, who have their own gifts to share. By focusing our mission of help and hope on relational support and being with those who are economically poor, we hope to fulfill a ministry of presence (God’s presence through us) which may result in our own spiritual transformation. Henri Nouwen calls this “reverse mission.” In encountering the rich spirit of Christ in those whom we would serve, we ourselves are transformed in the process. A good way to prepare for the trip is to read Henri Nouwen’s book Gracias to deepen your understanding of “reverse mission.” Other reading material will be recommended to team members preparing for the trip.

Projects and Objectives: We will assist in emergency food distribution, visit selected mission sites, and participate in village well projects with the objective of mutual ministry and service. We will also explore with local experts social justice issues affecting Malawians, including the HIV/AIDS pandemic, extreme poverty, and local effects of economic globalization.

Specific Activities:

1. Visit at least one Orphan Care Center and Help feed 100+ Malawian orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children their daily meal, joining them in recreational and educational activities

2. Visit the Mzuzu United Methodist Church HopeHome caring for AIDS orphans and abandoned children with support from WorldHope Corps.

3. Visit with some of the youth recipients of Hope Scholarships and support for their secondary school education and vocational training

4. Deliver nutritional food products in hospitals, schools, churches, prisons, and social service agencies supported by CitiHope.

5. Visit prisoners in Mzuzu Central Prison, delivering food and hygiene supplies

6. Help dig a village well and dedicate other village wells recently installed by CitiHope and WorldHope Corp as part of our community development program.

7. Help local community members develop micro-financed small businesses

8. Help organize a new ‘shalom zone” within the Mzuzu Circuit of the United Methodist Church

9. Conduct art workshops for children and youth in different settings.

10. Worship with our Malawian brothers and sisters on Sunday in church

Local Ministry Partners: CitiHope International, Mzuzu United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Synod of Livingstonia, Malawi

Meals and Accommodations:
In Malawi, we will stay together in a Guest House near the CitiHope Mission Center in Mzuzu. Most rooms are double rooms, simple and clean, with shared bathrooms. Single supplements are available if needed. We will stay in a hotel in Lilongwe the night before departure. Group meals and accommodations in transit and in Malawi are included in the price of the trip.

Budget includes: International travel from JFK, hotel in Lilongwe, guest house in Mzuzu, in-country transport, group meals, and local hospitality expense. The total expense for this 10 day trip to Africa is approximately $3,200 per person, assuming international flight cost does not exceed $2,000. In-country costs are calculated at $100/day x 10 for meals, accommodations, airport taxes and exit fees, and transportation within Malawi by minivan. Plus $200 local hospitality expense. Total amount is payable in advance to WorldHope Corps, Inc. as a tax-deductible donation.

Funding: Although no scholarships are available from WorldHope Corps, team members are encouraged to request mission funds from their local church or association which can be channeled through WorldHope Corps. A sample “appeal letter” is available by request that can be adapted and sent to family members and friends.

Limited to 10 mission-minded people who have previously donated to WorldHope Corps or CitiHope International, with priority given to official representatives of local churches and organizations that help sponsor projects in Malawi.

Who Should Participate? Service-minded people of good faith and good will who share a concern for orphans and widows in Africa and who want to do their part to help end extreme poverty and AIDS in the world in our lifetime. Those who cannot go on this particular trip but want to participate through financial support are invited to donate to WorldHope Corps

Deposit Required: A $300 deposit with application is required before April 1, 2009, to reserve a space, with the total amount due before April 15, 2009.

WorldHope Corps is prepared to facilitate the Malawi Mission Trip but no corporate or leadership liability for medical emergencies or logistical failures. CitiHope Malawi and Mzuzu United Methodist Church are prepared to receive and host visiting groups to Malawi, but accept no corporate liability for mission team organization, travel or activities. Individual travel insurance is required of all team members.

Next Step: Request an application/information form (available via email or from website) which must be completed and returned before April 1, 2009, with the $300 deposit payable to WorldHope Corps and sent directly to Dr. Michael Christensen at
11 Ardsleigh Dr. Madison, NJ 07940.

Team members will remain in touch by email and meet once (by phone or face to face) in April to discuss final trip preparations and assess team dynamics before departing for Africa on May 20.

For further information, contact Stacy Radmore at or Dr. Christensen at

To support the mission, donate at

For Malawi Mission updates, see blog:

Prayerfully count the cost and consider joining us.
It will change your life and make a difference in the world!