Monday, June 15, 2009

Wells of Hope

Wells of Hope is the 1st organization that we worked with. Francis Ssuubi founded this organization after he was unjustly imprisoned.  While in prison, he felt called to fight for those who are often forgotten and dismissed by society.  Francis met us at the airport when we arrived in Africa. He didn't actually believe we were coming until saw us at the airport.  In fact, when Jolena sent him money in advance to pay for our hotel and ministry items, he went to the bank, got the money, and then he thought it was a trick so he ran from the bank with the money. I think he was quite relieved when he saw us get off that plane.  Pictured: Me with Prossy and Emma, Wells of Hope Volunteers

Often families of prisoner's are outcasted from their communities which can be very devastating to the family.  Sometimes the children are left to wander the streets.  Wells of Hope does the research to find families of the prisoner's and then they offer their support.  Sometimes their help is rejected because the family is so ashamed of the person in prison, but if help is accepted then they provide school fees and basic needs for the children.  They assist families of prisoners to start up income generating businesses. They also conduct programs to educate people about AIDS and provide prisoners with hygiene items, bibles, food, and counsel.  Check out their website to see all they do: 

They do this all on a voluntary basis and I think Gabe said it best, "They have shown us what it is really like to follow Christ."  Not everyone understands the mission of Wells of Hope mission, but God does and their reward awaits them in heaven.  This is the verse on the Wells of Hope business cards: "The Spirit of God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners" Isaiah 61:1

Wells of Hope Offices

While we were with Wells of Hope we were able to visit families of prisoners and hear their stories, speak at 3 different prisons, and spend a day in worship and encouragement with the Wells of Hope team.  Here are some highlights:
  • Seeing the prisoners worship. They worship with everything they have!
  • When going to the prisons we split into 3 groups: Men, Condemned, and Women's.  I was with the woman's group and we witnessed 4 women become "born again" in Christ!
  • Visiting the homes of prisoner's families.   One woman decided to accept Christ while we were there! (Pictured with her family below) 
  • Visiting a grandmother's house who takes care of many children.  We put on a play for the family and neighbors who stopped by to see why all the white people showed up.  I was in charge coming up with a way to minister to the grandmother and before I left for the trip I read about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and I thought, "that is what I want to do."  So I did, and it was one of the highlights of the trip for me. She was speaking to the translator and kept saying things like, "I can't believe this is happening to me." and "I've never seen God work in the flesh, but this is showing more about who God is."  Wow!  I don't often have the chance to serve someone like that and I can see why Jesus said now go do this for others.   There is such joy found in serving others, and it truly reflects Christ's love for us. 
Above: The grandmother with some of the kids she takes care of.  They are all looking up at Gabe in this picture.  He is one tall mizungu (white person)!
  • Meeting the Wells of Hope team and seeing what it means to not conform to the patterns of this world.  Gabe was so inspired by the ministry that we have agreed to be their US representatives... we are not really sure what this means, but we are excited about the possibilities.  I'm sure there will be more on this later...
After we said goodbye to Wells of Hope, we got in our vans and headed off to Kenya... to be continued...

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