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World Hope Canada began in the year 2000, when Anne Medders and Georgina Hayes were visiting Odessa, Ukraine. It was a pivotal moment for both women that morning and a new beginning in ministry to World Hope Canada. To celebrate our 15 years in ministry, we will be hosting Gala 15 in the lower level of Saunders Irving Chapel, at Kingswood University, Sussex New Brunswick. To help us celebrate this amazing event, please click here to sign up and reserve your space.
And So it Began. By Georgina Hayes
It was a beautiful sunny morning and two women were walking down a broad tree-lined street of a busy city. They were engaged in conversation but neither of them missed the hustle and bustle going on around them as people hurried to work both on foot and in older, well-used cars. Many were trying to enter trolleys that were already packed with workers and students. They passed old buildings and churches with onion-topped steeples as well as internet cafes tucked in between the sidewalk boutiques.
These two women were on a mission to find a place to eat breakfast and get a coffee. However, as they rounded the next corner there it was. You guessed it, a MacDonald’s! Right in the middle of this city so far from their home and next to the monstrous train station for which everyone seemed to be heading.
After placing their order they found an outside table and started to enjoy their meal. They were so engrossed in their breakfast they did not notice the unkempt young boy staring at them a short distance away. Finally he worked up the courage to approach the ladies slowly and gingerly. When they finally looked up at him he held out his hand all the while speaking in a language that was unfamiliar to them. They could tell by his actions that he wanted either food or money.
The ladies quickly grabbed for their handbags and searched for something to give to the boy. The boy, meanwhile, pointed to his leg and indicated that he wanted them to look at it. He yanked up his filthy pant leg to expose the horrific injury to his leg which oozed with a serious infection. The ladies immediately knew that if this boy did not get medical help quickly he would not likely survive.
They began to discuss their options. They could take him to a doctor if they knew where one was located. If they did get him to a doctor they were aware that the boy would need documents such as a birth certificate or medical card. By now it was evident that the boy was homeless and thus would not possess such papers. They could ask someone for help nearby if they could make themselves understood but they did not speak the strange language.
Suddenly, misunderstanding the ladies intentions, the boy pulled down his pant leg and turned to go. One woman quickly handed the boy a fruit to go and without even a thank you he disappeared into the crowd and headed for the train station.
As the young boy walked away from the two women sitting at a table outside Macdonald's they were at a loss for words. They had failed at what they had come to this city to do.
This story of the two women who connected with the young boy on the street is true. It happened in October 2000 in the seaport city of Odessa, Ukraine. One lady in this story was Anne Medders, the first director of World Hope Canada. I had the privilege of accompanying her on this trip to Ukraine and I was with her that morning at MacDonald's. It was a pivotal moment for both of us that morning at the very beginning of ministry to the over 10,000 children reported to be on the streets of Odessa in the year 2000.
We never saw the boy again. Chances were high that the boy never survived. We did not give him what he needed that morning. Anne and I have never forgotten that incident. But I can tell you that in the next few years, World Hope Canada was able to establish a safe place to take the children who needed our help. Today, World Hope Canada works to assist children in securing documents which prove to the government that they do exist. We assist teenage girls in getting education and learning to make it in the world. We teach sixteen year old children who are about to be phased out of government orphanages the life skills needed to avoid human trafficking and how to survive on the streets. World Hope Canada provides a home for vulnerable girls to live with a house mother while studying in university, college or technical school. A second home will be opened in the summer of 2015. World Hope Canada has developed and implemented a foster care program and several foster families provide loving homes for girls as they study and prepare to live independently.
Yes, the work is difficult, the country is difficult and the government is difficult to work with but, it is God's work and He does provide.
So, thank you supporters for your willingness to give of yourselves to the work of World Hope Canada. You are following the Micah challenge to do what is good by doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with your God.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God. – Micah 6:8
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We connect people in need with people who want to make a difference! More than just giving a gift, we invite you to make an investment in a life, in a community and in a country. Together, we can bring hope and help!
Our focus is on clean water and sanitation, health care, education, economic development and anti-human trafficking. By working with national people, we overcome many of the barriers that could hinder our work.
We are currently working in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Ukraine.