Friday, June 22, 2018

Hope...Dream...Do

"Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality."
L.J. Suenens

Two paths do not necessary lead to the same place.


In this world, parents often choose the path for the child. Many think that any path will do or maybe the traditional path is best or maybe it is time for a change.  Let me explain by telling you a story: There were once two little girls who were born in an African village only one day apart. The first family named their daughter, Faiza and the second family named their daughter Linet. Each family chose their daughter's path at five years old.  Faiza was engaged to be married at five. Linet's family applied for a school scholarship and she went into kindergarten. The aim of both parents were for their daughters to have a good life.
Faiza was taught how to sweep the house, how to collect water from the river, and how to cook for the family. Linet learned how to read a book, write a letter and do sums and subtractions. Faiza was well trained to become a mother and wife. Linet was taught to dream, to consider, to do. Faiza was taught that life was hard and you had to hold onto everything you had. Linet dreamed of becoming a doctor while Faiza was already working on the farm.

At 13 years old, there were a community ceremony for Faiza, Linet and other girls. The girls were told that this ceremony would make them a woman. Faiza was now set to get married. She was told not to cry. Linet was now ready for middle school and looking forward to exams.
Four years passed, Faiza was working at the farm while pregnant with her fourth child. Her family lived in a mud house built by her husband and were excited that they could get free water from a local Christian school.  Linet was now in high school learning all about biology, chemistry and physics. She was living in the school dorm and being challenged to do well and follow her dream not only to be a doctor but to be the first one in her family to graduate high school.

This story is based on my experience of seeing many girls living in the village.  What is the main difference in the lives of Faiza and Linet? One was told that life was hard and this is the best that you can expect to get. The other was taught to think, dream, hope, and most importantly to do.

At The Hope Foundation, our goal is to demolish physical, emotional and spiritual strongholds. We know first-hand that a life can be transformed in a wonderful way by meeting the basic needs. But meeting physical needs is not enough to truly transform an eternal soul that is why the Gospel message of God's love is an intergral part of everything we do. Pray that we see fruit for our labor.

You can help. Pray and make a monthly donation to The Hope Foundation. Give a tax deductible gift on our main screen by clicking on DONATE. Make a difference in the life of a child, it's the best investment you can make.



Too Much to Tell It All...

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Newsletters keep people engaged with our ministry in Kenya but sometimes there is way too much to share.  God has been working in such great ways. Below are a few of the highlights from the last three months:


** Gifts, Gifts and more Gifts...
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In January, Lisa and I took sponsors' gifts for the children at Good News Academy in Majaoni, Kenya.  It is always great to see the faces as we hand out the presents. Some smile,
while other children become really shy. We hope that everyone received the picture of their sponsored child with their gifts. I wish you could all be there with us.
Click Here to Learn How to Send Gifts (http://www.hopefoundationofkenya.org/sponsors.html)


** Giving Out the Gospel
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It was exciting to see the new high school students move into our dorms.  It was even more exciting when Pastor David was able to lead 15 of our freshman to Christ.  Praising God for their decision to follow Christ.


** School Pictures
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Lisa was able to take new school pictures of all the students.  All the new photos are in the database. It is amazing for us to see how our Kenyan children are growing in Spirit and in body. Login and see these amazing photos.


** Kenyan Church News
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Our pastors' fellowship has grown to 52 pastors. We are so happy to train them for the ministry.  Also we build a new church in the village of Colorado, Kenya. Salvations in the first quarter were 36. Baptism scheduled for July.

2017 Year in Review

** 2017 Year In Review
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Dear Prayer Partners,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  It’s hard to believe that 2017 is coming to a close already.  It has been a great year and we are praising God for His blessings.

Overall results were as follows:
1. 122 people saved and 83 people baptized through the ministries of our five churches.
2. 70 new students added to our two Christian schools.
3. 62 families joined as monthly sponsors for children in Kenya resulting in 68 new students being sponsored.
4. A Pastors’ Conference was held with 50+ pastors attending.  The conference had an emphasis in teaching Church Leadership: The Role of the Pastor.
5. Two Youth Encounter Camps were held. An additional youth sports day was held at the high school with participants from five local schools. Praise God 7 youth gave their lives to Christ.
6. The last classroom block at Valerye McMillan High School is being completed through donation from a private donor, Dayton, OH.
7. Third floor of Park Chapel House (Female dormitory) at Valerye McMillan High School was completed through donations from Park Chapel.
8. Second floor of the male dormitory at Valerye McMillan High School is in progress through donations from Indiana based church.
9. Graduation of 30 students from the middle school at Good News Academy with many eligible for high school admission in January, 2018. Elementary Graduation ceremony in January 2018.
10. Graduation of 35 students from Valerye McMillan High School. Graduation ceremony was in November 2017.
11. Donations were given for two permanent church buildings.  We are in the process of considering congregations in need of help.
12. Two adult literacy programs are going strong and teaching people how to read and write in Swahili and in English.
13. Pastor Training Scholarship given through Hope Foundation to a student at Crossroads Bible Institute (Vipingo).


My best memory from 2017 is two-fold:
1. To see my boys serving with Lisa and I in Kenya during the summer; and
2. Baptizing over 30 people after one service.


Three main goals for 2018 are:
* To see a minimum of 100 people come to know Christ in 2018.
* Expand Spiritual Mentorship strategies by using area pastors to come and speak to the teachers and staff of Hope Foundation schools and projects.
* Plan and hold two pastors’ training conferences for rural pastors.


Goals Lisa would like to see accomplished:
* Expand her ministry through Days for Girls (health instruction program).
* To add 70 new students to our programs by finding new sponsors.
* Developing a mentorship program designed for girls in high school.


Thank you for your prayers and support. Without you and God working with us, we could accomplish nothing. God is so good.

Have a wonderful Christmas Season!
Bobby, Lisa, Ethan, Conner and Dylan Bechtel

Monday, October 23, 2017

Belief, Commitment, Salvation

The apostle, Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit stood up in front of the Jewish rulers and said,

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Lisa and I do missionary work for one reason: Jesus is the only way to God and people need to know about Him.  It is true that we begin feeding children because they were starving but it was the love of God that lead us there.  In 2005, Lisa and took the money out of our pocket to feed 25 children and God blessed those little ones.  A lot of changes have taken place.  With God's help we built a kindergarten for those 25 then an elementary school then a middle school then a high school.  Today those 25 children are getting ready to start their junior year in high school.  Praise the Lord.

But you now what is really amazing.  By giving our heart to those 25 children God has allowed us to help over 1,000 children ... that's right ... over 1,000 children to get the food, medicine and education they need to help stop the cycle of poverty in their villages.

But do you want to know what is truly amazing ... these children are getting saved. They are learning slowly to believe in Jesus' name. They are committing their lives to Christ. They are proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ for their salvation.

Here are the ones who accept Christ this year from our school:

Salama, Mary, Sandra, Mesalim, Linet, Katana, Moses, Emmanuel, Ali, John, Fadhili, Brian, Lucas

I had the great privilege of being a part of their baptism as they publicly told their village that they believe in Jesus because there is no salvation in any other name but not just them their parents and brothers and sisters have also accepted Christ. There were 33 baptized this day!!


Monday, October 2, 2017

Names. Names. The Name...Jesus


Does God really except me to read all of these names for devotions?  These chronological lists are just boring. I love to read David's psalms or a lesson from the Apostle Paul but just a list of names. Why?

In Kenya, names are important.  Many people's names include their name, their father's name and their grandfather's name.  For example a boy might be named "Mickey Stephen Kalama".  Why?  It shows the history of this child.  When someone hears their name, they immediately know which family and the tribe from which that child comes.  They know the heritage of the child. If his father and grandfather were good men or bad.  That heritage can even determine the ultimate destiny of how a person views the child.

In the Bible names were important so they were written down as chronologies.  In the beginning of 1 Chronicles, the names show an unbroken chain of God's children from Adam to David. It reminds us of the covenant God made to Abraham. Generation after generation God was faithful to His promise.

As I was reading these names, I suddenly realized that God knew each one of these people. He knew their hopes and dreams. He knew their sorrows and weaknesses. He knew them by name. Each one of these people were important to Him. So important that He eventually sent His Son, Jesus.

That is the name that we need to remember...JESUS.  Through Jesus we know that our name can be written down in the book of life.

One of our goals at The Hope Foundation is to make sure that everyone child in our care knows that they are important to God...so important that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for them. His name determines their ultimate destiny.



Please pray with us that our students not only hear the Gospel message but that they will respond to the name of Jesus and accept the forgiveness that only comes through his sacrificial death for us.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

We Can Do It! Together.



We can do it!!! We need sponsors for 25 of our adorable 4 year olds. These are children from a rural village in Kenya that come from very needy families.

By sponsoring these children, you give them food, medical care, education, and the love of God. It is just $35 a month to sponsor an elementary child or $45 a month for a high school student. It will greatly change their life.

Sponsorship means going from poverty to employment, starvation to health, uneducated
to educated, lost to found, hopeless to having HOPE.

Go to www.hopefoundationofkenya.org and click on "Child Sponsorship". Scroll down to see available children to sponsor or Email us at info@hopefoundationofkenya.org and let us know who you would like to help have a chance at a better life.

We can do it! Together.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Yes, It is Worth It!

"Is it really worth all the time, money and effort?" This is a question that I sometimes ask myself.  Usually God gives me a clear answer "YES". God's answer comes in many different ways.  This is how he answered my question this week.

A friend asked one of our teachers the following questions and God answered my question with their responses:
Question: "How does this school change the lives of the children that attend?"

Answer: "Being that the school is based on a strong spiritual background where every teacher tends to behave and act in the Biblical way many pupils have been helped. I can think of three ways. (1) They are learning so they will get good results at KCPE [National Exam] level. (2) Some have and more will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior hence the Kingdom of God is theirs. (3) These students will act as good Christian role models to the Kenyan society and bring honestly and integrity into their future careers.

Question: "What are your hopes for the children in the future?"

Answer: "I hope that they will continue believing in Jesus Christ and pass the Good News to their families and communities. I hope that they will become independent successful people in their our country of Kenya while always striving to be ambassadors of Christ who will help bring moral change wherever they will go."

As I read heard these answers, I thought of the words of Paul in Acts 20 when he was leaving Ephesus bound for Jerusalem and eventually Rome.  In verse 35, he said, "I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'."

My hope is that I will always teach the Kenyan people that I influence to put God in the center of their lives. With God in his proper place, the rest works itself out.  So "is it worth all the time, money and effort?"  I can honestly say "Yes" because if one little child gets saved then that is enough.

From April 2017

Have you ever had “one of those weeks”?  After months of drought in Kenya, I got an email on May 8th saying this: “We have had rain in the past week but yesterday it was so heavy the whole day the floods swept one of the bridges along Kilifi Highway. It also brought down sections of the perimeter wall at both the New Life and Good News schools. Also two cows drowned at the farm.” Wow!  We asked God for rain and we got a flood.

As I prayed over these things, I thought many of us are so focused on life’s valleys (problems) that we tend to miss the joys of this journey we are on. We all have hidden hurts, closed closets, and covered calamities. The book of Psalms is very helpful for our growth in faith.

I believe that Psalm 23 can best be understood in the view of a journey where an individual is wandering full of weary, confused by pathways, moved by mountains of mystery, venturing through life’s valleys, entangled in enemy web of destruction. Faced with fear, yet, looking to feast of food prepared on a table before them. Now I know that David was speaking of the valley of death but I want to broaden that valley to be the valley of tears, trials and heartache. “How do we get through the valley?”    
    
First I have to accept the reality of the valley.  Whenever you accept that there is a problem you then can begin to resolve the issue at hand. With our spiritual intellect, we know that God has promised “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.” So when we walk through sand, it won’t bury us; Walk through fire, it won’t burn us; Walk through water; it won’t drown us. No matter if its fear or failure; trials or tribulations; troubles or turmoil; stress or strain, we need to admit and accept that we are in one of life’s valleys.

Second, I must praise the Lord in the valley. We need to become more grounded in our faith. Don’t allow frustration to hinder you from walking on through the valley. David made it known he would not fear. Why? “For you are with me!” What a great promise from God. We should be confidence in God and say,” I will walk with confidence through the valley. Notice verse 4: it doesn’t say: “I will walk in the valley” but “I will walk through the valley” David had a destination in sight. There was a set goal to be reached.

A great American preacher J.D. Jakes said this in a sermon:
In the valley: He creates a clear pathway to walk.           
In the valley: He’s my guiding light in darkness.
In the valley: He’s my bright and morning star. 
In the valley: He’s my Rock in a weary land.
In the valley: He’s my shelter in the time of a storm.      
In the valley: He directs and orders my footsteps.


Let me praise God in this valley. We have seen 19 precious people saved and 36 get baptized in the past two months. God has provided donations to cover the cost of the last classroom at our high school, the third floor of the girls’ dormitory and the second floor of the boys’ dormitory. We have 3 groups coming to visit Kenya with us in the summer months. And if that is not enough, we have seen personal spiritual growth in the lives of our sons and ourselves.
From Dec 2016

We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It is impossible to believe that 2016 is almost over.  In many ways, I am looking forward to starting 2017 with all of its unseen adventure and possibilities.

As I review 2016, I wanted to share some of our successes:
·         131 salvations; 83 baptisms
·         102 families joined as monthly sponsors of students at our Kenyan Christian schools
·         25 pastors were trained in our seminars – Teaching Biblical Truth and Making Disciples
·         2 youth “Encounter” camps were held with six saved.
·         1 Pastor Training Scholarship given to student at Crossroads Baptist Bible Institute, Kenya
·         1 church building constructed for Voice of Hope Baptist Church, Bomani, Kenya
·         1 new church in Colorado, Kenya
·         60 new students added to our Kenyan Christian schools
·         60 of our students graduated from 8th grade (Good News and New Life Academies)
·         35 of our students graduated from our Valerye McMillan High School
·         1 Administration Building constructed at high school
·         Funds raised to build 3rd floor of female dormitory at high school
·         Funds raised to build 2 new classrooms at high school
·         Funds raised to build 1st floor of male dormitory at high school

We are praising God for all the was accomplished in 2016.  Thank you for your monthly support that enables us to continue serving God alongside Kenyans to reach their country for Christ.

Here are some of our goals for 2017:
·         To see a minimum of 100 people come to know Christ
·         Construction of one new church ($10,000)
·         Have a minimum of 25 pastors training in our seminars
·         Sponsor one student for pastoral training in our Bible Institute ($400)
·         Expand our spiritual mentoring program within our staff and employees
·         Hold 2 youth “Encounter” camps
·         Construction of the male dormitory and 3rd floor of female dormitory (high school)
·         Add 60 new children to our Christian educational program

Please keep us in your prayers as we seek God’s wisdom in reaching these goals and setting others for His kingdom. Could you set a goal to help us build a church or send a student to Bible school? We hope that as you pray that God would enlarge your vision for reaching the world especially Kenya with the Gospel.
Merry Christmas
From July 2016

A few weeks ago, I get a phone call from Lisa. She says, “I hope I make it to the gas station before I run out of gas. Which one is the closest to our house?” People use that phrase “I hope” a lot. “I hope I get married.” “I hope your mom beats cancer.” “I hope that I can come over this week.” “I hope I get the job.” Some hopes come true; others don’t.

Before starting our ministry in Kenya, I often wondered what life would be like without hope. I mean I grew up in a country where every little boy or girl really believes that they could be President someday. In Kenya there are many who live without hope and I believe we need hope to live. Hope for a better future is what drives us to survive…to keep moving…to seek healing…to face a new day.
The human race has tried to find contention in false hopes like money, a bigger house, education, friends, sexual relationships, and fame. But the truth is that none of these things will last and are unable to bring meaning, purpose and joy into a life. 2 Peter 3 verse 11 tells us that “…everything will be destroyed in this way [fire]…” In light of this thought, Peter asks “…what kind of people ought you to be?” Then he gives the answer “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of the God and speed its coming.”

In Kenya, we are trying to give hope and show the love of God daily.  In the last two months, we have had several community outreaches.  The last one was great. We were able to give over 200 families a food bundle that would last them for up to three weeks. It was great to see the joy on people’s faces as they received their gift of good but also the great gift of hearing the Gospel.  Why do we give away water free? Why do we have a school? Why do we offer medical clinics? Why do we present goats to school children? Why do we visit the local witchdoctor? Why do we hold pastors’ conference? Why? So that some may find the wisdom of God.

Proverbs 24:14: 14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you have found it, there is a prospect, and your hope will not be cut off.

Wisdom brings hope. Christ died and defeated the power of death. Christ arose because the grave could not hold him. What Jesus began he will conclude. Jesus is coming again and we need to let people know so that they will not miss it.


Since we know that our hopes and dreams are safe with God, let’s help to promote a world where purity and righteousness lives, where the love of God reigns, where we strive for peace and justice for all. In doing so, we can live in contentment and joy as we work together to see people come to salvation.