READY TO GO … Ready to go into all the world and preach the gospel, the team of 15 that went to Uganda from New Hope Community Church is seen here at the church before they left. In the back from left to right are Darla Kruse, Wyatt Short, Kevin Dick, Nick Frame, Craig Belknap, Jesse Short and Seth Short. In the middle row are Autumn Ryan, Avery Carter, Sonya Frame, Kate Winzeler and Abby Mohre. Front row on their knees are Lea Lautzenheiser, Cammie Short, Vanessa Entenman and Misty Hageman. There are 16 in the picture because Vanessa was their prayer intercessor who did not go to Uganda but was a part of the team.
By: Rebecca Miller
New Hope Community Church in Bryan, Ohio may not have a Missions Department or a specific Missions Pastor or Director, but that hasn’t stopped them from stepping up to help the world around them. A few years ago they started a program called the Hope Unleashed Campaign, working together with the Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities to raise a million dollars over a three year period.
New Hope Church wanted to build a large indoor playground for the community, help the Board of DD and bless children in Uganda, Africa. Mrs. Cammie Short said that New Hope has a deep desire to make sure that people all over the world hear about Jesus and His love for them, here in their church, in their county and in the rest of the world, in this case – Uganda.
Due to the campaign, the Board of Developmental Disabilities was able to purchase a new van with the $100,000 they received from the fund raiser. The Nurture Baby Home in Masaka, Uganda, received $100,000 to help meet the needs of the children there, and the rest of the money went into the building project which has been up and running and giving local families a wonderful free place to play, especially during the winter when those outdoor playgrounds are just too cold.
Short who is the Director of Elementary Children’s Department at New Hope, has been to the Nurture Baby Home, which “provides a loving family environment for 30 orphaned or abandoned children, ages 1-12, many who were rescued from the brink of death due to starvation and neglect.” It is run by a lovely Missionary named Fay.
This was the sixth trip to Uganda for Cammie, with her most recent trip taking place just a few months ago. From December 27, 2019 through January 10, 2020, a team of fifteen, made up of six men and nine women including two high school students and three college students had the opportunity to fly to Uganda and help spread the gospel and physical hands-on love.
“We also had a prayer partner here at home, who didn’t go along, but was a big part of our team,” Short said. Those who went, flew into Entebe, Uganda, which is in Central East Africa, right near Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile River. While there they loved on the children at the Baby Home, which is what the orphanage is called, even though the children are not all babies.
“We did character building with the children while teaching, playing, and working. Some of the specifics were basketball, self defense, exercise, art, reading books, holding and hugging them, devotionals, worship, building boxes, riding bikes, and swimming,” Short explained.
One of the biggest efforts was teaching the boys and girls about purity so it can help stop the tide of abuse and sexual promiscuity. The men on the team shared with the boys and the ladies with the girls, trying to impress upon the sanctity of the human body and the need to respect others.
As she has had the privilege to go often through the years, she feels a real connection to the children she has met and grown to love. During this visit she had her three sons along and it became so real to her heart of the need to help all the children “write better stories” for their lives.
When they were sharing at New Hope after they returned, she shared “maybe we can’t change 20 million kids’ lives, but we can change the lives of 30” at the Nurture Baby Home. Also while there in Uganda the group got to do a Village outreach with Hilltop Church, which is the church in Masaka to which Fay takes the children.
They partnered with a church in the village and had the opportunity to preach and pray for people, with some going into the homes to evangelize and to pray with people. One of the most life changing days they spent was at the Comforters Life Choices Center, a pregnancy center in Kampala which is much like the Community Pregnancy Centers here in NW Ohio.
It is a christian organization to which young expecting moms come. Those who are abortion minded receive council to choose life and many are lead to Christ. The group always spends one day there and “it is an emotionally exhausting day,” Short said, but they pray together and worship together.
Just around the corner is the Namuwongo slums to which they go on the same day, “to take food and love on them and show them that God sees them and Jesus loves them. This time we went to the Remnant Generation, a place for girls who are victims of incest. They help the girls get back on their feet by teaching them job skills and helping them with their babies.”
They also have some men who go into the schools to try to talk to the boys to help stop the cycle of sexual abuse. The six men on this team were just involved there as the women, doing everything right along with the women.
“While there over the two weeks, we do some physical labor, but speaking truth to them is the main focus. We talk to them about purity, working with ages 7-12, what a biblical marriage looks like. The boys heard about how God wants women to be treated, about sexual purity and a godly marriage,” Short shared.
She added that it was way out of the comfort zone of most of them, but the reality that it is needed made them step up and do it. Their goal is to ask Fay, “What can we do to help you?” And then to step up and do it. “We don’t go there for the experience or for fun or our own leisure! We are there to help and whatever they need is what we want to do.”
“When we asked Fay that, this time, she explained that with children up through the age of 12 in the home right then, the need for them to share about purity and how it works in your life, was what she wanted us to address. So we did.”
Besides actually going to the home, New Hope also sent monthly support for food, housing, school fees, and medicine as one part of their Hope Unleashed Campaign. “While there, we speak and share our stories and pray for people everywhere we go. But most of all, we learn from the people of Uganda,” short said in a bio she wrote for the church.
“We don’t go to teach them or fix things, but we support them in the work they are already doing, encourage and build them up, and let them know ‘we see them, God sees them, and they are not alone.” If you would like to know more, go to newhopecc.org and scroll to messages to listen to “Hope Unleashed.”
Rebecca may be reached at email@example.com