International Ministry Partners

The Kenya Project and its Kenyan Operating partner, Utunzi, provides opportunities for the children of Kenya to know and experience the love of God through the support of Christians. Their mission is to be in ministry to children of Kenya by providing resources and facilities for their health, education, and spiritual development through: Student sponsorships programs for private and public education. Health and welfare grants to provide for the wellbeing of students and orphans. Opportunities for Christian mission work in Kenya. And providing homes for orphans in Kenya. To discover more about The Kenya Project and how you can sponsor a student or orphan visit their website at www.thekenyaproject.org.

Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to share God’s love in a tangible way with needy children around the world. Every gift-filled shoebox is a powerful tool for evangelism and discipleship.

Village of Hope: BFUMC partners with the Village of Hope Liberia’s project to build a United Methodist Church in the village of Gbata in the district of Kokoya in Liberia. To donate to Village of Hope please email liberiavoh@gmail.com

THE VILLAGE OF HOPE UPDATE August 2021

      “The Village of Hope” is a very small village located in the Kokoyah District of Liberia.  Although it is only about 70 miles from Monrovia, the nation’s capital, it is about a 5 hour trip due to poor transportation.  85% of Liberia is Christian. From 1989 to 2003 Liberia experienced a fourteen year civil war, resulting in huge losses in terms of human lives, resources, capital investments, and infrastructural developments.  Before the war there were 2,300 schools in Liberia.  80% were destroyed. The Liberian Education Ministry built an elementary school in Gbata in 2014.   The village of Gbata had only six classrooms for education and no church. The village children (plus six surrounding villages) were only educated through the sixth grade.  After 6th grade, since there were no more classrooms, the students were expected to go to work and their education stopped. Since there was no permanent church building, the villagers worship outdoors.  The rainy season in Liberia is several months long, making this worship difficult. 

Where are we now:

Education: 

Additional classrooms have been completed and the Liberian government has supplied some of the teachers. The government however does not provide supplies for the students or teachers (paper, books, pencils, etc.)  There are also many teachers who volunteer and get no pay at all.

Church:

The church has been completed to allow a sanctuary and storage areas. This provides space for church services and other activities centered on the church.

How did we get here: 

Over the past 10 years, Hebron Christian Academy, Bethlehem United Methodist Church and several generous donors have raised money to build the school and the church. Money was also raised to ship supplies for the teachers and their classrooms.  This will allow educating the village children thru the twelfth grade so they may have the possibility of pursuing a higher education.  Alma Flahn flies to Liberia each year to distribute the materials that are shipped.

School after the civil war and now:

A dirty old room

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A person standing in front of a house

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The new church has also been completed and worship can now be held indoors.

Present Needs:

   Hebron Christian Academy has two yearly fund-raisers to help pay for the shipping and a school supply drive in May and a hygiene supply drive in September.  The Bethlehem First United Methodist Church Serve Team is generous in helping with the cost of shipping.  

This year we have had two special requests.  First of all, the Principal of the School, Meshech Freeman, has requested the following items: (The village does not have electricity but the school does have a generator.) a projector, two laptops, two volleyball sets, Biblical,science and math DVD’s and CD’s, science kits, small white boards, book bags, and used sewing machines.

The second request is for food.  The volunteer teachers are in need of food and the children only get two meals a day.  Alma Flahn supplied a list of recommended foods: (Need foods that do not require a can opener and are non perishable.) Dried beans, baked beans, rice, pasta, powdered milk, flour, raisins, cranberries, hot and cold cereal, corn meal, powdered eggs, peanut butter, canned meat, packaged tuna, Spam, canned salmon, Vienna sausage.  Also, if you have any gently used items on the principal’s wish list please bring them to the church.  Please give as generously as you can!

Thank You,

Lizzy Sutton and the Village of Hope Team: George and Sandi Roberson, Joe Brooks, Buddy Neel, and Alma Flahn