change their story | impact report

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Author: hannah-eloge

Post on 24-Mar-2016




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HopeChest set out last Christmas to change the stories of children all over the world by engaging our partners in something they care deeply about – making a big difference in the lives of children they have come to know and love. Little did we know that together, you would blow right past our $100,000 goal for Change Their Story – all the way to $167,554! But we did know you would change stories – a lot of them. Through you: -One community in Ethiopia now can live healthier lives because they have clean water -One community in Uganda has new facilities that will help them equip their kids with the hope of becoming self-sufficient -Youth in Russia and the U.S. now have the life skills they need to live as independent, productive adults Flip through our Impact Report to read additional stories that were changed around the world. Thank you!


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CHANGE THEIR STORY | IMPACT REPORT“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him

for what he has done.” | Proverbs 19:17

At the start of the year, Children’s HopeChest was pleased to bring you the great news that you had shattered last year’s Change Their Story goal by nearly 70% for a total of $167,554. Thank you for everything you did. It really is making a difference around the world.

Because it takes time to build structures, bring clean water to a community or help a young man see his full potential, we wanted to bring you up-to-date on where some of those stories are today.

A total of 572 team members came together last year through 36 Change Their Story teams. Because of you, thousands of children, their families and communities can now experience such essentials as clean water, medical care and support for life’s challenging journey.

If you ever thought you couldn’t make a difference, think again. From Ethiopia to Uganda to Russia and even the United States, God used you to change stories everywhere.

We couldn’t be more thankful for your care and compassion, and we hope you will receive this report as a token of our gratitude and celebration of what is possible when God’s people come together to serve others.

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Joel Home is more than a home for young men aging out of foster care in Colorado Springs. For recent Joel Home graduate Tyler, it is more like “a home not a house, a place where people want me to succeed.“ To Tyler, “It means the world to me that there is a place where I can [get] the skills I need to make it in this world.”

As a donor and volunteer at the Joel Home, which is HopeChest’s first U.S. initiative, Stan Douglas couldn’t be a prouder “papa.” An adoptive father of children from abroad, he also wanted to help vulnerable children in his own community.

“Working with the Joel Home is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. To see something go from idea to watching it happen is exciting. And what is even more exciting is to see results; to see the vision of these youth change. When we see one of our youth change and get a greater vision for their lives, we are watching generations change.”

This is certainly the case with Tyler. Last month, he moved to Wyoming to attend engineering school. When he first arrived at the Joel Home nearly a year ago, he says, “I used to always be angry and felt that the world owed me something for everything that happened in my life. Now I feel that I should use my past troubles to make a better future for myself and the people that care about me.”

At that time, Tyler had no desire for the “religious” piece of the Joel Home program. All that has changed. Now: “I strive to be a man of God. I work harder at everything I do.”

“I used to always be angry and felt that the world owed me something for everything that happened in my life. Now I feel that I should use my past troubles to make a better future for myself and the people that care about me.” -Tyler

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Before the community of Chapa was able to locally access clean water, one thing was certain – drinking the available water was a big risk that often brought life-threatening disease. Now, because a caring team reached out through Change Their Story, Chapa Care-Point’s children and the community have potable water from two new access points. Clean water flows freely from multiple spigots. Young children no longer labor at a pump, nor do they have to choose between participating in CarePoint activities and filling “jerricans” for their family. Most importantly, they can enjoy a drink without becoming ill. Thanks to you, 150 kids now have access to water they can drink straight from the tap. And that means you have changed many stories, not just one.

Neima Redwan had spent two months in the hospital, away from her husband, Ato Nesru Awol, and their three children. Her breast cancer was only the first of the family’s struggles.

“My family’s survival depends on my husband’s little income,” Neima described, but as Ato’s health declined due to tuberculosis, their situation became even more desperate. Their four year-old son Amir is among 150 vulnerable children who attend Merkato CarePoint.

Last year, one Change Their Story team raised $2,000 for food support at the CarePoint. As a result, Neima received 25kg of flour to help feed her family. She conveyed her deep gratitude saying, “This enables us to eat bread and at least to have hope. Really this is difficult to express in words, but let me say thank you!”


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Because Selamawit is a bright, hardworking student at Greenlight CarePoint, her family worried when she stayed home sick. Selamawit and her brother live with their mother and aunt in a home made of plastic in Bulbulla, Ethiopia. Their aunt, a day laborer, supports the family with a meager income. Because of sponsorship through Children’s HopeChest, the children are able to attend school.

While her family hoped she would feel better the next day, Selamwit’s condition worsened. She wouldn’t eat and hardly even opened her eyes. Her mother and aunt sought the help of the CarePoint staff, who took Selamawit to the hospital for treatment.

The doctor said if Selamawit had stayed home any longer, she may have died. Your care and concern for Greenlight CarePoint last year made it possible for Selamawit to receive lifesaving treatment. Today, she is healthy and looking forward to starting second grade.



In communities like Ambo, Ethiopia, children with an education can expect a far better future than those who do not have access to it.

The Andrews family led a Change Their Story team last year to help change that for the children of Ambo. As a result, children whose futures could have landed them as day laborers or worse, completely unable to support their families, now have the opportunity to grow in knowledge and lift their families out of extreme poverty.

“Our family chose to do Change Their Story last Christmas because we knew that our money spent on gifts could be put to much better use by helping a child receive the simple benefit of education. Something that we so easily take for granted here in the U.S. is usually a far-off dream for kids in Ethiopia. Education is everything,” said Rachel Andrews, whose family adopted their son from Ambo in 2011.

“This choice was very personal to us…. In March, I was able to visit the CarePoint in Ambo and see firsthand the excitement and hope in these children’s eyes! Their stories are being changed.”

Tsige Waktola, mother to six-year-old Jitu is overjoyed her family can benefit from the Andrews’ team effort. “First of all, I am very happy to get this opportunity, because my daughter has got the opportunity to go to school by having all school necessary materials. She is also attending Sunday school. Now she is very happy and has started worshipping God.” Tsige adds that she is also learning how to save money and become self-reliant. “We are so thankful for the support and may God bless you abundantly.”


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After young orphaned Russians graduate from their orphanage, much of their story depends on where they turn for support. While they receive some government assistance, without proper support and guidance, many of them turn to crime and substance abuse.

Fifty-two graduates from the Ryazan region attended Ministry Center programming this summer. In May, 20 of them joined Ministry Center staff to discuss how to find a good job and keep it. The young adults engaged in dialogue for many hours. “I like our discussion about jobs very much. Now I understand how to get a job that I would like to do,” said Eugene E. Thanks to your support through Children’s HopeChest of the Ryazan Ministry Center, these vulnerable young adults can develop the critical life skills necessary for a successful transition into society.


In 2013, Vladimir Ministry Center hosted 19 young women in their Young Mothers’ program. Several of these moms, including Yana B. (shown with her baby, right) recently gathered over tea to share their stories with a HopeChest team and shared how they no longer feel alone. In one mother’s words, “It was very helpful for me to... know that I’m not the only one who has problems. I’m very grateful for the Young Mothers’ program.” She added that she felt surrounded by a supportive community — connections made possible through your support. Because of you, these young women are experiencing restoration and a sense of hope.


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Dylan and Jennifer DeBruin are Sponsor-ship Coordinators for Ogoloi CarePoint in Uganda. “We thought [Change Their Story] would be a good way to include our friends and family in rethinking Christmas,” Dylan said, adding that they wanted to raise funds for infrastructure projects at the CarePoint.

The DeBruins set a ‘lofty’ campaign goal of $5,000 and invited friends and family to join in and set their own goals.

According to Dylan, “By the end of the campaign (just a few weeks later), our team had raised over $27,000 for our CarePoint — enough to move our CarePoint to its new site and construct much needed facilities.”

Change Their Story veteran Morgan DeVries, who had begun sponsoring chil-dren in Uganda shortly before the CTS 2012 campaign, joined the DeBruin’s CTS team and invited her own friends to help raise funds for Ogoloi during CTS 2012.

“I chose to raise money for a new building to make the meals for the children and new and cleaner outhouses for the children to use,” Morgan said about last year’s campaign.

“I was so thankful I chose to help raise the funds to provide such basic things that were so needed for the children. The people were so thankful and appreciative for everything they were given.”

The CarePoint staff wholeheartedly agree. In the words of one leader, “The building will enhance effective learning during discipleship. The kitchen will help in proper preparation of good meals, free from contamination and diseases. The threat of typhoid, cholera and diarrhea will be dramatically decreased because of the availability of a pit latrine.”

The DeBruin family are still in awe. “It was incredible to see not only God’s provision, but also to see the impact in the lives of our kids and all of our friends who rallied to support the cause.”

For Morgan, the best part of being a part was going to Uganda last summer and seeing the newly constructed facilities.

“Going to see the children was such an awesome experience and really showed me how true it is that it’s far better to give than to receive.”



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Join us for Change Their Story this Christmas and unwrap the God-given potential of even more children around the world!


PO BOX 63842 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, 80962-3842