Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Can You Grieve Someone While They’re Still Alive?

Have you ever grieved for someone sitting across from you? I have. I remember looking at one of our students recently and thinking, “Where are you? Where have you buried that easy smile and gentle spirit?”

There is no other word for it but grief when a student is lost in the haze of substance use. This student is still alive, thank God, and this grief is not the same as the grief a parent feels should their child pass away. It’s not the kind of grief that brings people around with a show of condolences and support. It is a silent grief that no one talks about. It is buried in shame and despair. Nothing prepares you for the experience and certainly nothing prepares you for the deep sense of loss that enters your daily life. And so you grieve as you ask yourself "How did I fail this child?"  He started in our school as a little boy. His sponsor has given me attention, gifts and encouragement. His teachers have shown him love on a daily basis. He even prayed and asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins several years ago.  I could blame his mother who abandoned him or his father who is a drunk. By really where does blame get you.

While I was grieving such things as the loss of spending meaningful time with this student and what appeared to be the end of all the hopes I had for him, I also began to wonder if I wasn’t subconsciously preparing myself for an unthinkable outcome. I knew this student might be in mortal danger with his addiction. How could I possibly face that outcome?

It is so hard for us to minister to young people for years only to see them make bad choices in their high school years. I realized early that all I could do was pray for this young man and others like him in our ministry. I remind myself daily that the Lord God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” (Psalm 18:6).

The most important lesson I learned and would like to share with others in a similar situation was to never, never, never give up. If your family member/friend/coworker is still there, you can find him or her again. There are many roads to recovery but they all start with a real relationship with God. The power of prayer does not flow from us; it is not special words we say or the special way we say them or even how often we say them. The power of prayer is not based on a certain direction we face or a certain position of our bodies. The power of prayer does not come from the use of artifacts or icons or candles or beads. The power of prayer comes from the omnipotent One who hears our prayers and answers them. Prayer places us in contact with Almighty God, and we should expect almighty results, whether or not He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. Whatever the answer to our prayers, the God to whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us, according to His perfect will and timing.

Please pray with us as our church ministers to this particular young man and others who have been affected by addiction.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Hope Foundation - Love and Kindness are NEVER wasted!

Presenting New Pre-Primary Class

Good News Academy is happy to welcome our new 4 year olds to school. It is always exciting to see these little ones come to school on their first day.  Our teachers are so patient with them as they learn their schedules and get just a little bit homesick for Mom.  Because of your love and kindness, we get to not only educate these children but we get to share Jesus with them for the very first time.  Thanks  so much - you are the BEST!

Exciting News

We had a report that angels were singing in Heaven!  What I am trying to say is that 2 people have already accepted Christ as their Savior in 2020.  We set a goal of seeing 150 people become believers in Jesus so we are on our way.  Please keep our teachers and pastors in prayer as they continually witness to folks that need forgiveness which comes only through the GOSPEL.

Life Change Church in Des Moines, Iowa is praying with us about providing a church building for one of our rural pastors.  We are so thankful for Pastor Steve Christiansen and Craig who flew to Kenya to visit me and see the ministry.  We are looking forward to partnering with your church this year to see a young church start off right.

We have started planning our Pastor Training Sessions for 2020.  I always enjoy meeting and teaching these pastors from all over the coast of Kenya.

Pressing Needs
I need to let you all know of a pressing need.  The well at our high school collapsed so we are having to bring in water each day for the 300 + students who come to school each day especially the 150+ female students who live in the dormitory on campus.  This is our second well at the school to collapse.

We are being told that we need to put in a borehole instead of a well due to the type of soil in our area.  This was an expense that was not in the budget for 2020.  It is estimated to cost $4500 to construct the borehole plus an additional $500 for piping, tanks, etc.  We have a need to raise $5000.  If you would like to help with this project click below, fill out the form and hit submit.

If you would rather give by check, make out your check to The Hope Foundation of Kenya and mail it to:
The Hope Foundation of Kenya
P.O. Box 8154
West Chester, OH 45069
Make sure to write High School Borehole in the memo line.

Thank you for your consideration and prayers.

Faithfully Yours,
Bobby and Lisa Bechtel

Year in Review 2019

Can you believe that we have been doing missions work for 19 years?  2020 is our 20th year of serving Kenyans and it is a milestone in our lives. I wanted to share with you all that God did in 2019.
Here are the results:
1. 157 people gave their lives to Christ and 36 were baptized.
2. 70 new students were added to our Christian school ministry.
3. 42 families joined as monthly sponsors for our feeding/education program.
4. Two Pastor's training conferences were held emphasizing Ethics.
5. Two Youth Encounter Camps held with sixteen teenagers saved.
6. One new church was constructed in a village called Colorado.
7. One man was ordained into the ministry.
8. Begun construction of a new kitchen at Good News Academy, Majaoni.
9. Provided Biblical Learning Materials to Pastors such as Bibles.
10. Two adult literacy programs are proceeding with teaching reading.
11. 3 Training scholarship to Crossroads Baptist Bible Institute was awarded.
12.  Construction of a kitchen/dining hall at high school is planned for 2020.
13. An Christian community center is now open outside Kisumu, Kenya.
14. Phillip, one of our staff members, surrendered to full-time preaching ministry and we hope to enroll him in Bible College in 2020.
15.  We had two tremendous teams who came from the states to minister.
My favorite 2019 memories:
- Seeing 13 people come to know Christ when an American team shared their testimonies during a medical clinic in Majaoni.

- Hearing a sponsor in Indiana tell me that she needed to come to Kenya because her sponsored child was getting baptized then being in Kenya with her in June to witness the baptism.

Thank you for your prayers. In many ways, this has been the hardest year of our 19 years in ministry.  We lost some financial support which is always a strain on our family and to a ministry that seems to grow every year.  We need around $500 monthly to make up that loss. Then we lost over 40 child sponsorships only to have God give each child a new sponsor one by one.  Please continue to pray for Lisa as she is still battling with her chronic pain. Doctors have recently been helping with a vitamin supplement. We know that without you, our partners, praying we could not go on trying to accomplish wonderful things for God.

Just a final reminder - God is ALWAYS faithful!

Have a wonderful 2020.
Bobby, Lisa, Ethan, Conner, and Dylan Bechtel

Monday, November 4, 2019

Pastor Training Needed

Dear friends and supporters of The Hope Foundation of Kenya (HFK),

"Thank you for the training today. I now understand how much more I need to know about the Bible to teach it well."  This statement was made to me after our last rural pastor training session. 

Many Kenyan pastors were saved when an evangelist came through their small village then they felt called by God to tell others.  They got a Bible and started to read it and preach it and people started coming to hear it.  But they have no real Bible doctrine education.  This is why Pastor Allan and I started the rural pastor training seminars for these men.  HFK pays for the rural pastors to come to our high school campus three times a year to receive training.  We teach on many different topics for Biblical ethics, Church Finance, and Doctrine.  It is one of the highlights of my year to see these men learning about God and then having the privilege to visit them in their villages to see their small but growing congregations. 

Allan and I were able to visit a new church building that was provided by an American donor. It was wonderful to talk to the pastor and his deacons and see the excitement that this permanent building has brought to this tiny speck in the middle of nowhere.  The pastor told me, "I believe that God really does know that we are here and wants people to know about Jesus."  The church in Kenya is alive and well and I will add growing. We have around 60 pastors who have joined our HFK Fellowship. Great news - the Bible study specially designed to reach those from an Islamic background has seen three receive Christ in the last few months.

You can help a pastor get a full Bible Institute education by becoming a sponsor today. You can donate $400 and it will provide a 3 year scholarship to one of our pastors to join Crossroads Baptist Bible Institute in Vipingo or another great school in his area. 

Summer of Service

June/July 2019

Have you ever had so many things happen that you are unsure what to share? That is how I feel right now. Here are some of the highlights from June/July:

(1) Salvation of 24 people
(2) Baptism of 21 people
(3) Pastor's Training of 30 men
(4) Youth Rally that drew an attention of over 800 teens
(5) Visits by two American teams
(6) Surrender of two young men to full-time Christian service
(7) Awarding of 2 Bible School Scholarships
(8) Preaching at three of the churches we helped to start - one is now running 1400, the second 1000 and the third 400.
(9) Servicing the Majaoni community with a one-day medical camp
(10) Traveling to Kisumu, Kenya to be an encouragement to two church planters and their families
(11) Having my sons ministering to needy children right before my eyes
(12) Watching my wife cry over the lives of women who have accepted Christ.

I could go on and on because it was a summer of adventure and amazement. Adventure because for the first time in a long time our whole family got to be in Kenya together. Amazement because we serve a BIG God who does BIG things.
One of the highlights of every year is to be able to provide buildings for faithful pastors and see them meeting on a permanent site.  Pastors sign up for the program every year and we have a long waiting list.  Each pastors must have a congregation of at least 50 adults and own their own land to even qualify for the program.  If you would like to help us build a church in the 2019-2020 planting season, please submit your donation to the address below.  It takes around $10,000 to buy a building which may seem like a lot but with each one giving something, God provides at least one building every year.
 I was talking to two teenage boys who are now seniors in our high school.  These two particular boys have been with us since they were in kindergarten.  We have in some sense grown up together.  As we were talking about plans for the up-coming August youth camp, out of nowhere, one of the boys asked, "Do you know how much you are loved and appreciated?" It took my breath away and I didn't know how to respond.  He went on to tell me that the whole school knew that Lisa and I had sacrificed over the years to see them get a good education but then he concluded with "but we love you most for bringing Jesus to us."  It was exactly what I needed to hear in 2019.

So I want to ask you as a sponsoring church or individual..."Do you know how much you are loved and appreciated?"  We love you and appreciate all the sacrifices you make but most of all we love you for allowing us to bring Jesus to the people of Kenya.

Bobby and Lisa Bechtel

A Big START in 2019

January 2019

Our quest to save souls and break the cycle of poverty continues! 2019 started with many graduations and celebrations (see pictures below).  It is always amazing when the grateful parents of our sponsored children come together to see their children graduate from eighth grade and even better high school.                                               
For many of these families this marks the first time that a family member has finished school.  It is a tremendous occasion filled with shouts, music, speeches, dancing, cake and smiles.  We wish that all of you could experience a Kenyan graduation one day!
We must remember that Kenyan children face overwhelming obstacles to stay in school:
  • lack of financial resources
  • pressure to marry early
  • alcoholism or abuse in many communities
  • gang culture
  • lack of confidence to believe in themselves
  • belief that education is not worth investing in

As a result, MANY rural students never graduate from high school.

Our sponsors say wonderful things...

"I have seen the lives that have been changed through these centers. I have become friends with, hugged, sang in worship, prayed, cried, and rejoiced with students and staff that have shown an undeniable gratitude that their lives will also NEVER be the same." Kristen

"As for the schools and churches, they are resounding proof of what God can do when we let Him." John 
"Thanks for letting us be a part of these children's lives from such a distance. What a privilege!" Bernadette

 But you know what makes us the happiness? It is when one of these little ones gives their lives to Christ.  PLEASE pray as Bobby spends time in March with the aim of seeing people to understand their need for Christ and salvation.  Specifically pray from March 12 to 21 when he will be preaching, teaching and leading in evangelism.  We hope to give you the results in our next letter.
We are so happy to report that all of our churches are doing great and Bobby is hoping to attend several baptismal services while in Kenya.  Pastor Abraham and Pastor Allan have been reporting great responses in their communities to the Gospel message. Please keep Pastor Simon in your prayers as his church is located in an area that is being targeted by terrorist type activity. Pray for the safety of his whole congregation.

We wanted to thank a donor who gave $5000 to build a new church building. We will be announcing where that church is going in our next newsletter. Bobby will be meeting with the pastor and making plans while in Kenya. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness.

As always, we thank you for your help. Please pass along to your friends that we need sponsors for several children. They just need to go to and pick a child. Remember when they sponsor they are not only giving an education to a child they are giving us a chance to give the Gospel to the whole family.

God bless,

Bobby and Lisa Bechtel
The Hope Foundation of Kenya

Friday, June 22, 2018


"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...


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...
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 (

** Giving Out the Gospel

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
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

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

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!!