Hope 4
The Helpless

Purpose: To help those unable to help themselves by ministering to their most pressing needs and sharing the Good News of the Gospel.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”
(Matthew 25: 35-40)

EGYPT

Shortly following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Egypt went through a period of sociopolitical chaos. Seizing the opportunity, radical Islamic groups burned down churches, homes, and small businesses of Christians who had already been living in extreme poverty. Seeing the agony and desperation of our fellow Christians, our Hope4MENA team could not remain silent.

A relief and mercy ministry was launched in August of 2013 and we have since been serving hundreds of desperate families through our partnership with 250 churches in Egypt, mostly in the Upper Egypt governorates of Menia, Assiut, Sohag, Luxor, and Qena, along with a small impoverished area in Cairo.

The Lord has used Hope4MENA to restore a sense of humanity to those who lived in the most inhumane conditions. Extended families lived together in one-roomed walls with no roof to protect them from the scorching summers and rainy winters. Not only so, but living in a desert environment also means scorpions and snakes. It is terrifying. By the grace of God, Hope4MENA was able to put roofs on hundreds of homes, and build bathrooms and extend running water into homes whose families had no concept of a bathroom inside their home. We were also able to provide basic home appliances, bed covers for the cold winters, and clothes and schooling expenses for children. Parents really appreciated our helping out with schooling expenses; they want their kids to have a tomorrow better than theirs.

Aware of the human need for productivity, the Hope4MENA team was also able to launch several income-generating projects; from helping families raise chickens and livestock, to teaching hairdressing to both men and women, as well as purchasing sewing machines and training women to make a living off of sewing.

“You’re an answer to prayer” is the most common phrase we hear.

Women are among the most marginalized groups in Upper Egypt. Especially desperate are those whose husbands were killed by extremists or died in other serious accidents or from fatal illnesses. COVID hit many families hard in Upper Egypt, leaving behind desperate widows and orphans.

And so we launched a women’s ministry that serves hundreds of women among the most affected 20-45 age group with the purpose of empowering and supporting vulnerable women physically, emotionally, and spiritually; physically, by providing women with small income-generating business ventures, and spiritually/emotionally, by involving them in Bible studies and support groups. Our goal is to see widowed women who, along with their orphaned children, can maintain a minimal level of self-sufficiency after years of dependency on hand-me-downs from relatives or church.

Our message to women is: “You are not alone.”

Impact Stories:

  • “God, what do I do?” said a woman silently as she looked up into the sky. She’s a mother of three whose husband was killed by Islamic extremists. After he died, she opened his wallet and found the equivalent of USD 2.5. That’s all the money he had left her, and all the money she had. Hearing of the killings that took place in that small town, Hope4MENA visited the priest of the church in that town and asked how we could help. He sent us to the woman. By the Lord’s provision, we were able to buy her a cow, which is a huge investment for families. She couldn’t believe that her silent prayer looking up to the heavens would be answered and that she would be able to make it!
  • Asking a little child what his dream in life was, he shared, “I want to go to sleep at night without being afraid.” Sleeping without a roof over his head, this little boy was terrified of the sounds he heard and the scorpions and snakes he saw. He has four other siblings. His father suffers from kidney failure and lives on dialysis. His mother tries to makes ends meet by selling bread. Hope4MENA gave them hope for a better tomorrow by installing a roof. The kids were ecstatic!

Another 70-year-old woman’s dream was to sleep on a bed before she dies. In response, Hope4MENA not only bought her a bed, but started a small carpentry workshop, hired young men to make beds, and they made her a bed! We were able to make a woman’s dream come true and provide unemployed young men with a job and means of self-sufficiency.

IRAQ AND SYRIA

Torn apart my ISIS, Iraqi and Syrian nationals suffered deeply on every level possible. Men were killed, women faced with unspeakable atrocities, kids witnessed lifelong trauma. The physical and emotional needs were unsurmountable. Once again, Hope4MENA could not remain silent. An Egyptian couple whose heart the Lord had ignited for the people of Iraq and Syria joined our team and have served in the region for many years.

Among the “relief” efforts we were able to accomplish thus far in Iraq: Providing 30 food packages to 30 families along with hygiene products every three months, as well as assisting families with rent, medications, and basic electrical appliances and home furnishings.

Among the “relief” efforts we were able to accomplish thus far in Syria: Providing 100 food packages to 100 families along with hygiene and baby products to both Christian and Muslim families. Our team in Syria also has a special ministry to elderly Syrian women whom they visit regularly at their homes.

SOUTH SUDAN

For those who’ve never been to this part of the world, it’s very difficult to conceptualize the conditions under which people in Toposa live. From not wearing any clothes to living in perpetual famine and rampant disease, conditions are inhuman to say the least. Believing that we are called to go out to “the ends of the earth,” not only do we share the eternal hope of a pain-free new heavens and new earth, but work to serve the people’s most pressing physical needs as well. The Hope4MENA center in Juba cooks meals for 200 children ages three to fifteen twice a week, along with providing clothing and medical attention. We are also committed to the feeding of 70 families on a monthly basis, feeding them both physically and spiritually, and providing them with clothing. When people in another village heard that we were providing clothes and food, a group of 600 adults and children walked a distance of about 3-4 hours to the center to request food and clothing!

Not only are the natural conditions very harsh, but this area of Sudan has also been ripped apart by violent tribal clashes, leading to looting, burning, and killing among villages. One such war took place between the villages of Toposa and Boya. Our team was able, through multiple negotiations between the tribal leaders (in very risky conditions) to bring peace between the two. We were able to help rebuild homes, provide food, and over 200 mattresses!

Our team also has a special Prison Ministry that began in 2015 and serves three areas in South Sudan: Juba, Terekeka, and Yei. We serve between 200-250 prisoners, visiting them on a monthly basis to provide food, clothes, and hold a Bible study.

Hospitals too, understandably lack the very basics, and so our team has a Hospitals Ministry as well. We visit adult and children’s hospitals, providing them with food, clothing, and medications, and share the Good News.

NORTH SUDAN

Distraught by years of civil war, many families left their homes and the little they owned and moved to tents in remote inhumane places with no water and no electricity. COVID intensified everything, causing families to lose the only source of income they had to make it on day-to-day basis. And dirt roads and soaring gas prices due to the recent inflation meant that many of the sick in these remote places will die in their homes due to their inability to get to a clinic or medical center of some sorts.

Seeing this desperation, the Hope4MENA team in North Sudan couldn’t remain silent. Being medical doctors themselves, they started travelling to remote villages in North Sudan, ministering to the medical and spiritual needs of the sick with check-ups, medication, and sharing the Good News.

Churches of various denominations began forming centers to minister to their “congregations” in remote areas. Hope4MENA was able to join forces with these centers and provide medical help there as well. So far, our team has been able to provide medical help to 200 such centers, meeting the medical needs and sharing the Gospel with 20-30 individuals on a daily basis. To date, around 5,000 individuals received medical attention and 10,000 individuals heard the Good News! The doubled number of those who have heard the Gospel as opposed to only receiving medical attention is due to the fact that when families bring a sick member to the center, they all attend the evangelistic service together! Some families bring emotional burdens with them as well, and our team offers a listening ear and sound Biblical counsel whenever needed.

One of the amazing testimonies shared by our team is that over the past four years of ministry in the area, only one individual resisted the message of the Gospel and when he rose to share his resistance during the meeting, our team didn’t need to say a word… everyone else did! They simply told him that he’s free to leave if he didn’t want to hear the message! Praise the Lord!

Hope4MENA dreams of launching a clinic in North Sudan with two fulltime physicians to minister to the immense need for medical attention in the region. Good physicians usually leave Sudan to make a better living elsewhere and those who remain charge astronomical fees! We dream of making high quality medical care available for everyone at minimal fees.

Not only did those destitute families need medical attention, but some died of hunger. The Hope4MENA team was able to provide families with their basic needs for food. We started visiting 80 families per month and distributing food packages to each family. During our fifteen-to-twenty-minute visit per family, we would spend ten minutes sharing the Good News. Due to their extreme poverty, entire extended families—many from various religious backgrounds—live together in the same tent. Everyone has the opportunity to not only have their basic earthly needs met, but their eternal needs as well!

Time and time again we heard of testimonies from families who said they were so desperate, they cried out to God in prayer, and the following day the Lord answered by sending our team with a food package wrapped in heavenly love!

As if things weren’t bad enough with COVID, as soon as the intense wave began to die down, horrible floods hit North Sudan. Yet God continued to faithfully use our team to minister to the needs of the families hit most severely by the floods. Over 2,000 food packages were distributed to these families, with police helping us reach their tents and helping us distribute the packages. Not only did the trucks bear food packages, but it also carried a large banner with Bible verses and speakers where a pastor shared the love and hope found in God, inviting people to pray and seek God. By the grace of God, we accomplished this task in cooperation with the governmental ministry that governs churches in North Sudan and in cooperation with the Evangelical Church. Government officials later attested to the role of the church and our ministry on national television and newspapers! Praise the Lord!

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