We had just finished unloading boxes of food at a makeshift refugee camp in Lebanon, filled with refugees who had fled Syria, when a little boy stuck out his hand to ask for the empty roll of shipping tape in my hand. I handed it over to him and instantly this circle of trash became a make-believe steering wheel as the young boy drove off on an adventure. It’s these moments of unplanned joy that remind me of what a pleasure it is to be on the frontlines of bringing hope to families in crisis. In 2013-2014, we delivered over $60 million in nutritional food, medical resources and basic need items to those in need both across the street and around the world. Our desire is that each container, pallet, and box of temporary relief supplies become a stepping stone to sustainable hope.
This past year we sent supplies to over a dozen countries. Following Typhoon Haiyan, we immediately responded with shipments of food and air freight deliveries of water purification systems to our network of partners in the Philippines. Since the typhoon struck in November 2013, we have sent a total of 16 containers of supplies. I was able to visit the Philippines and see the impact in these people’s lives while overseeing distributions of the supplies we sent.
Another emergency response that has evolved into a long-term commitment has been the plight of Syrian refugees. Over the last three years we’ve sent 18 40–foot shipping containers of relief supplies to the Middle East for Syrian refugees! I’ve seen first-hand the impact these containers filled with food, clothes, blankets, medical resources and hygiene products has on the families. Their struggle is survival, and these items bring practical hope to their dire situation. Sadly, the Syrian refugee crisis has no end in sight and we remain committed to serving these families.
While the scope of our service is large, our prayer as a staff is that with every project we do and every item we send, we would be aware of the fact that there is a real person in need, like the boy I met in Lebanon, receiving our support. As we begin our 22nd year of service, we thank you for being part of the continuing journey of providing wellness to vulnerable children and families.
Since August, GCHope has prayerfully and strategically worked to support those treating Ebola patients in Liberia. The World Health Organization reports that the virus has tragically taken over 8,000 lives, with 10% of those deaths being health care providers who contracted the virus while treating those with Ebola.
Thus far GCHope’s response team has partnered with four incredible nonprofit partners – Kids Around the World, Africa Mercy Partners, Containers of Hope and Global Med Farm – to get six 40-foot containers with sanitation and other medical supplies to those in need. One container went to a clinic in Paynesville, Monrovia where Dr. Martha Zarway runs a clinic. Zarway described one major difference between living through the Liberian civil war and the Ebola outbreak. “During the war, we could hug each other and give some comfort,” she says. “But now, with Ebola, you have to be careful. You have to stay distance apart.” Two containers were sent with our valued partner, Containers of Hope. The food, clothing, and medical and school supplies in the containers are being distributed by Containers of Hope throughout the county of Bonga and to multiple orphanages in Monrovia, Liberia.
Website Hacked by Cyber Terrorists
One Monday morning in early January, our staff came to work and found the GCHope website had been hacked. No personal or donor information was compromised; all personal information is stored elsewhere for security measures. The hacker group, self-identifying as Syrian rebel sympathizers in Algeria, took over the homepage, turning it into a black screen with the words, “I love ISIS” in red text. GCHope staff immediately took down the site but was able to get it back up and running within a few hours. The FBI says there is no way to know for sure if our website was targeted because of our Syrian refugee relief work or if it was just by chance. GCHope is accepting donations to help us update our website and security to prevent this from happening again.
To donate go to gchope.org/website or mail a check to Giving Children Hope, 8332 Commonwealth Ave., Buena Park, CA 90621.
Thank you for supporting Giving Children Hope! Our programs are gearing up for a busy fall, and we appreciate your prayers for them.
Giving For Living: That through the resources in our donation center, we are able to work with the schools to assist our families in moving from temporary relief to true, sustainable hope. That the schools may join us in partnership in getting donated product where it is most needed in our communities.
We’ve Got Your Back: That we may continue to be blessed with our food partnerships and continue to introduce new food donors into our cause. That we may impact hunger in Orange County by serving the children’s most basic needs and ensure they are ready to learn and succeed.
Uganda:On Sept. 12, our container full of medical supplies should arrive in Uganda. Please pray that the customs process goes smoothly, and that it can get from Kenya, where it will initially arrive, to Uganda.
Medical supplies: That we will receive adequate donations of basic medical supplies and hygiene items, which we are running low on.
New staff: We currently have two open positions. Pray for the right people to quickly fill these positions.
Thank you for joining us in prayer! We truly believe in its power.
There is a lot happening at GCHope! We want to lay some prayer requests before you and ask that you lift us up in prayer.
TRAVEL - Founder and Chairman of the Board John Ditty and Logistics Coordinator Janet Valencia are traveling to Jordan and Lebanon. Please pray for:
Safety and health in their travels.
Wisdom in assessing GCHope’s role in continuing to help Syrian refugees.
The refugees that they will be working and meeting with as they travel through the regions.
Warehouse Manager Marius Marza will also be traveling this month; he will be traveling to his home country of Romania with Women for World Health. Lift up their team in prayer for:
Safety and health in their travels.
The medical work that this team will be doing throughout Romania.
WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK – We have an urgent need for food to finish out the school year and keep distribution going throughout the summer. Please pray for donations, as well as the funding needed to sustain the program.
HOPE 20/20 – Our 20th anniversary celebration is going strong. Please pray for the existing communities of Uganda, familes in the Middle East, Romania, Fullerton, Syrian refugees, Military families, and Belize, as well as all the communities we will be serving in the near future.
MEDICAL CLINIC – The Buena Park Community Clinic is expanding! Please pray that the necessary funds and labor needed to complete this project will be provided.
FAMILIES - Two of our staff members have babies on the way — Communications Coordinator Cathy Baek and her husband are expecting a baby in June, and Development Coordinator Drew Bryson and his wife are expecting a baby in August. Please pray for the health of both mothers and children.
GIVING CHILDREN HOPE – Please pray for the funds, product, and other resources we need to keep GCHope moving forward. Pray that the necessary partners, donors, and funders are brought to us and that we can wisely and efficiently make connections and use these resources to sustain our mission.
Thank you for praying for Giving Children Hope! Please feel free to forward this email or invite others who may be interested in partnering with us in prayer.
Hope 20/20 – This is Giving Children Hope’s 20th year of Bringing Health to Kids in Crisis. To celebrate, we have launched a campaign, Hope 20/20, to create 20 healthy communities in 2013. Please pray for our fulfillment of this vision and our continued efforts in creating these communities to help those in need.
We’ve Got Your Back – We are currently serving over 4,000 children per week— the largest amount yet. As the need in our community has grown, unfortunately, our food supply hasn’t. Pray for God’s provision for enough food and for us to continue to provide for these students.
Syria Container – We have sent out a total of five containers for Syria; the fifth one recently shipped. Please pray for the container’s clearance at customs and that items may safely reach the Syrian refugees. We are planning to ship two more containers but we still need supplies for them. Pray that God will help provide enough supplies for us to continue to assist the Syrian people.
Uganda – We recently applied for a shipping grant for Uganda. Please pray for this grant approval and that we may use to it ship medical equipment to a hospital being built in a rural underserved community.
Dominican Republic – Praise report: Our Chairman of the Board, John Ditty, returned safely from his trip and successfully laid the groundwork for the Children’s Hospital we are helping to establish. Please continue to pray for this new project and it’s successful completion.
Development Department – Pray that our grants, events and outreach opportunities are fruitful. Pray for the staff members in this department; pray for their health, wisdom and discernment in each of their roles.
Thank you for the wonderful role you play at GCHope through your prayer commitment; we truly believe that prayer makes a huge difference!
Thank you for praying for Giving Children Hope! Please feel free to forward this newsletter or invite others who may be interested in partnering with us in prayer.
1) Jordan Container – Many Christians are being persecuted in Syria and are seeking refuge in neighboring Jordan. A container of medical supplies was recently requested from our partners serving in the Middle East. That container shipped out last week for Jordan and will be arriving in November. Please pray that it will get there safely and will help relieve the suffering of the Syrian refugees.
2) Djibouti and Kuwait Containers – Last month GCH sent Pharmaceuticals to Djibouti which will be used to treat Somali refugees. In addition we sent two containers of Medical supplies to Kuwait which will be distributed to medical partners in Iraq . The containers arrived safely in both countries, but please pray that they will clear with customs, so that they will get dispersed to people who need them.
3) We’ve Got Your Back – Praise report: Our food drive with the City of Buena Park was a huge success! We collected 17 pallets of food for the students and families on our program. Please keep We’ve Got Your Back in prayers, as we are hoping to add an average of seven schools per week. Pray that God will provide food for these students and families. Looking ahead, we are also planning our annual We’ve Got Your Back Toy Drive. Pray that we would be able to plan a successful event, providing for all these children and families.
4) Staff – We are planning to have a retreat at the end of this month for GCH Leadership Staff. Please pray that our Staff will receive wisdom, leadership and guidance to better serve our partners and communities.
5) Board Members – GCHope is seeking new Board Members. Pray that God will help us find the right people to continue to guide the organization.
6) Saddleback Church – One of our partners and his family is battling severe illness. Please pray that God will help heal and restore them back to health.
7) Grants – Please pray for favor with recently submitted grants that will help fund our programs.
Thank you for the wonderful role you play at GCHope through your prayer commitment; we truly believe that prayer makes a huge difference! If you would like to be placed on our prayer list, please send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Add to Prayer List.”
It is a brand new (fiscal) year for us here at GCHope and with a new year comes a number of changes; the most significant of those changes is that our Founder, John Ditty, is stepping down as CEO of Giving Children Hope, a position he has held for the past 19 years. My name is Sean Lawrence and I will be serving as the Executive Director here at GCHope. I have been a part of the team here at GCHope for the past two years as the Non-Profit Partner Manager where I have been responsible for our international projects. We at GCHope are so grateful for the vision, direction and legacy that John provided us and his voice will continue to be a support as he serves as the Chairman of our Board of Directors.
It is my privilege to follow in his footsteps as the leader of GCHope. I want all of our partners in the community, nationally and internationally to know that my focus in this next season will be to preserve our organizational values as we seek to follow God’s heart in serving the world’s poor and alleviating suffering through our resources and programs.
In the midst of this transition, we have been struggling financially through a tough quarter at GCHope. While we continue to serve through our programs at the same capacity, our revenue over the last four months has not reached our budget goals.
I want to ask for your prayers for myself and for the organization as we step out in faith into this new chapter at GCHope. I know that I am here and that GCHope has been able to serve so many over the years only because of the Grace of our God. Please pray that I will be a servant-leader, equipping, encouraging and empowering the staff at GCHope to grow the impact of the organization in relevant and meaningful ways. Pray also for John and the Board of Directors as they guide GCHope into this next phase. In addition, we would humbly ask you to pray that God will provide for the financial needs of the organization.
If you would like to partner with us in other ways, please consider serving as a volunteer or giving as a donor.
Serving Him Together,
Giving Children Hope
8332 Commonwealth Ave
Buena Park, CA 90621
(714) 523-4454 www.gchope.org