Category Archives: Fundraising

July/August 2015 Prayer Points

IMG_3986bWell the summer is flying by here in Kenya. Here are some ways you can be praying for us this month and next:

  • The Village of Hope Medical Centre is exploding with growth! Word is out that medical and laboratory services are available and the patient flow has been very high. Some days it’s hard for the providers to find time to grab a bite of lunch to eat! Give thanks for the many patients who are receiving care at the medical centre. Pray with us that the Lord will open doors for additional space and staff as we are already outgrowing our current facility and are in need of more hands to help treat the high volume of patients.
  • We were extremely blessed by our Nursing Team from Kingsburg Community Church. They taught two courses of Helping Babies Breathe in which we saw 37 providers receive certification in this critical skill. Give thanks for all they accomplished and pray that the providers will not forget what they have learned, and that lives can be saved as a result of their training.
  • Our next team is en-route to Kenya I type this. This team from Kingsburg Community Church will be involved in several major optometry/diabetes/hypertension outreaches. They have a very busy schedule during their time in Kenya and will be serving with us from the 21st through 28th of July. Pray that they will be strong and effective in their ministry.
  • In August we will have an intern from Canada serving with us for two weeks to help our staff transition into an electronic form of patient record keeping. This is a huge undertaking! Pray for her and the staff as they take on this huge task.
  • We have learned that the soonest our patient Ann might be able to have her open-heart surgery would be October. This is because of the level of complication to her case and the need for an American surgeon to perform the procedure. Her condition is deteriorating and I have some concerns whether or not she will be strong enough for surgery when fall comes. Please pray for God to be in the middle of this difficult situation.
  • We have been blessed to have a major Hope Advocate named Kim taking on a huge task to benefit our ministry. She is running from the American/Canadian border all the way to Alaska to raise funds. You can read more about her journey here: Alaska or Bust! Please pray for her safety and success on this huge endeavor! Pray that her efforts will be fruitful and that our ministry in Kenya will be blessed.
  • We are still trying to raise the funds needed to bring our shipment of medical supplies over to Kenya. As the health ministry is really taking off, it would be a huge advantage to have access to these supplies. Pray that the floodgates of heaven might be opened so that we can get this equipment shipped to us where it can be put to good use!

We value your prayers and support! Please let us know if there is any way that we can be praying for you this season! You can contact us at office@hopemattersintl.org Thanks!

Alaska or Bust!

Alaska? What does that have to do with medical work in Kenya? Read this special message from Hope Matters supporter Kim Sparks to find out..photo (17)

The best ideas come when you least expect them! Hi, my name is Kim Sparks. I am a young professional who currently lives in Seattle, although I have spent most of my life in Southern California. My life is relatively ‘normal’ considering I work a 9 to 5 job, pay bills, enjoy spending my free time with friends and family, and being active etc. All of that is going to change this summer. I am quitting my job, hitting the road and spending the summer running from the U.S./Canadian border to Hyder, Alaska in support of Hope Matters International!

Why Run?

Self admittedly, this is a pretty crazy undertaking. But I think that’s part of the appeal for me. I love being in the outdoors, and the thought of a challenging adventure excites me! I once took a summer to hike the Sierra Nevadas five years ago, and it’s been too long since I’ve been out. As John Muir would say ‘The Mountains are calling, and I must go.” Only, this time I’ll be in Canada!

This also marks the end of a difficult chapter in my life. It is a celebration of the difficult, but life-giving, decisions I’ve had to make in regards to personal and work relationships. But I also want this run to be about something bigger than myself. While continued personal healing would be great, I’m more excited to see how this experience could be used to bless others.

Why Hope Matters International?

I have known Michelle for about 15 years now. She was highly involved in my church high school youth group, and I really connected with her. I admired all the work she was doing to become a nurse at the time, as well her passion for Africa. Although we both became busy with our own lives, we’ve stayed connected through periodic updates. Michelle’s work in Kenya has been on my heart for some time, and it was a natural choice to support her organization.

The Daily Grind

Essentially, this is one really, really long camping trip. We are officially leaving July 2nd from Seattle and heading to the U.S/Canadian border. Once we clear customs, I’ll hop out and begin!! I am so thankful to have the support of my boyfriend Caleb, without whom this trip would not be possible. He will be driving all the gear as we travel. Essentially I will be running part of the day for approximately 10 miles along country roads, and then setting up camp. Caleb will be spotting me (following me with the car) on some of the more narrow portions of road/up the 1 major mountain pass we have to cross. There will be some time for rest and sightseeing, but for the most part this will be our daily rhythm for the next 3 months. If you would like to get updates from the road, follow us at www.findingalaska.net!

How Can You Get Involved?

Please consider joining me, and donating to an extremely important cause. Many of us are extremely fortunate to have accessible medical care, unlike many people in rural Kenyan villages. My goal is to raise $14,160, which is based off of the total KM of this trip. If you want an easy breakdown, consider donating 25 cents a mile, which is $220, or 50 cents a mile which is $440. All donations are tax deductible. Check out Hope Matters at www.hopemattersintl.org

Donations can be made through http://www.hopemattersintl.org/give.html. Online transactions are through Pay-Pal. Please indicate in the note/memo section that your donation is in support of: Alaska or Bust 2015.

Donations can also be made by check made out to Hope Matters International and mailed to P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma, CA 91701. Again, please indicate in the Memo section that your donation is in support of Alaska or Bust 2015.

Update on Ann

IMG_8674Last month I shared with you about Ann. She’s a 24-year-old mother of four, who is dying…. She is in heart failure because of damaged valves in her heart. The damage was caused by an untreated case of strep-throat when she was a child. We were recently able to arrange for Ann to see a cardiology team from the USA at Tenwek Mission Hospital. There was good news and bad news. The bad news was that Ann had deteriorated pretty significantly from where she was when she had her last work-up. Because of this, she is not eligible for the simplified balloon procedure they had hoped to perform. The doctor actually told her that she could die at any time without surgery. That’s right. Any time….

But I told you that there was good news too. The good news is that Ann’s life can be saved by open-heart surgery to replace the defective valves. The surgical team would like to schedule Ann for surgery in April. The total cost is going to be in the neighborhood of just under $4,000. That’s right, $4,000 to help four children grow up with their mother.

We would appreciate your prayers for Ann. She was understandably very discouraged to be told that she could die at any time. The amount of money she will need for surgery also seemed very overwhelming to her. Last week I sat down with her and reviewed the situation. I let her know that at Hope Matters we are committed to making sure she gets this surgery. Please pray with us for the following:

  • For Ann to find her HOPE and strength in Christ.
  • Pray for her spirits to be lifted and for our team to be an encouragement to her.
  • Pray for her children as they grapple with having a mother who is critically ill and requires a major surgery that will take her away from home for a few weeks.
  • Pray for the finances to be provided for her to receive this life-saving treatment

Thanks for standing with us in prayer for Ann. If you would like to send her a word of encouragement to Ann please e-mail your message to me at michelle@hopemattersintl.org and I will make sure Ann gets your message. And please remember that when you support Hope Matters financially you are assisting patients like Ann to get life-saving care.

Laptops Needed

CRW_5002Hi Friends! Here in Africa we are pretty excited about the way ministry continues to move forward. We are currently in the process of preparing to launch walk-in clinic services not far from the Hope Matters property. As we prepare for this exciting growth we have some special needs. One of those needs is for a few new laptops to use in accounting and patient records. We’ve identified a reasonably-priced model of computer that we think would work well to meet this need. If this is something you think you might be able to help out, with please contact Michelle at michelle@hopemattersintl.org about working out the details. You can order direct from our wish list on Amazon and ship to our office in the USA. Donations like this are tax deductible within the United States. We have an opportunity for someone to hand-carry the computers over in early Feb so it’s an opportunity we’d like to take advantage of. Thanks so much!

Christmas Shoes

VictorI first met Victor at his school when we were doing an assessment to determine how many children required jigger treatment. Victor stood out for two reasons. First he had the saddest eyes and countenance about him for such a young child. And secondly, his jigger infection was so bad that even his hands were affected.

IMG_2381bAfter two weeks of our soaking intervention, we saw a few children improve enough to be discharged from the program. But there were many others who needed to go on to receive surgical intervention. Victor was among the second group. Treating that little boy just about broke my heart as his tears silently streamed down his face. Once finished, I bandaged him up in gauze. And it was then that I realized that he would be walking home down the dirt road on his bandages because he had no shoes. For a moment I asked myself “Why am I doing this?” Why go through so much trouble to help this one child who will go home with a good chance that his surgical wounds will be infected, and an even greater chance that he will be reinfected with jiggers? It was honestly a very discouraging day for me.

IMG_2385bAs a team at Hope Matters we have talked about how we will continue to treat the same children with the same problems repeatedly if we can’t get them in shoes. Will shoes fix everything about their life and guarantee they will never get another infection? No, but getting those little feet into shoes will be a huge step in the right direction. It will also be a physical representation of our love and care for these kids. We want them to know that we love them and more importantly that Jesus loves them too!

We have completed a survey and found that there are approximately 130 children under the age of 10, in the Kampi Mawe slum, who currently need a pair of shoes. We are holding a special Christmas Eve program for these kids. At the conclusion of the program we hope to provide them with a snack and a pair of Christmas shoes. We would love your partnership to help make this happen. We are estimating that it will be approximately $10 for each pair of shoes. If you would like to help us, you can do so by making a donation on our website by clicking here. Just make a note in the comment area that says “Christmas Shoes”.  Thank you!

Video Message from Michelle: Giving Tuesday

Click on the video above for a special message from Michelle about Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday follows the American Thanksgiving holiday, and has been designated as a day of giving. This year Hope Matters has a few special projects we are hoping to accomplish through this event. First, we are hoping to be able to provide as many pairs of shoes as possible for the children in the slums of Turbo for Christmas. Each pair will cost approximately $10. Our second project is related to bringing specialized medical equipment from the USA to Kenya for use in our medical ministry. We have an incredible opportunity to bring a forty-foot shipping container filled with donated medical equipment. We only need to pay for refurbishing of some equipment as well as the purchase of the container and it’s shipping expenses. The total cost will come to around only $24,000. The value we will be receiving is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. And we are excited to report that we have already received our first donation of $6,000 making our current need only $18,000 to make this project a reality.

We would love for you to partner with us in helping make these goals a reality. You can give to Hope Matters this Giving Tues by clicking here to make an online donation. Or you can send a check to: Hope Matters International, P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma, CA 91701.

Amazon Smile

AmazonSmile Banner

We have good news for Amazon shoppers! Hope Matters has been approved as an official charity for Amazon’s Smile program for non-profits. When you shop at Amazon Smile using this link:

http://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-2372391

a percentage of your purchase will be donated to Hope Matters!

A Word from Michelle

IMG_8394  Compress

This journey of Hope Matters has been an exciting one. In 2013 our community outreach program has come to life. From chronic disease screening and treatment, to health promotion and trainings, we’ve been busy. Our outreaches have taken us from the highlands, to the coast, and all the way to the remote northern deserts of Kenya. It’s truly been an honor to serve the under-served in this country.

As we look forward to 2014 we see exciting things on the horizon. But the simple fact is that we cannot move forward without a strong support team. We are so blessed to have already raised enough funds to purchase a community health vehicle/ambulance. We also have raised approximately 50% of the funds needed to purchase land for our future Medical Center. We already have commitments for approximately 65% of Hope Matters monthly operating expenses.

To meet our minimal operational budget we currently need to enlarge our monthly support base by about $2,500/month. That’s just 25 families or individuals committing to give $100/month. Or perhaps 50 donors at $50/month. The point is that every little bit does add up to make a big difference. Throughout our last six years of serving in Africa, the backbone of our support has always come from families and individuals who have chosen to stand with us through financial support of our work. We have individual donors who give anywhere from $15 – $250/month. Some make annual or semi-annual contributions to help support the work. We truly consider each donor to be a member of our ministry team.

Would you prayerfully consider joining the support team for Hope Matters? If you have never given to our work in Africa before, this would be a fabulous time to start. If you are already a part of our support network, would you consider a special year-end gift to help with our capital expenses? One of the exciting things about being a young organization is that we have virtually no overhead expenses. Our minimal US office expenses are being covered by some generous donors so that 100% of your donations can go directly to the work in Africa. And all donations are tax-deductible in the United States.

We have been blessed with a very generous donor who has agreed to match every dollar designated for the purchase of land up to $5,000. Contributions must be made before the end of the year to qualify for the match. These donations will help us to purchase 5 acres of land for the new Medical Center.

There are several ways to give:

  1. Set up monthly donations using online banking through your bank.
  2. Sign up for automated credit card giving. E-mail me for more info and I can get you set-up.
  3. Make a one-time gift or set up monthly gifts online by clicking here.
  4. Mail a Check to: Hope Matters International, P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma CA 91701

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! michelle@hopemattersintl.org

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The Launch Party was a Great Success!!

Thank you to everyone who participated to make the Hope Matters Launch event a success! Many funds were raised for the work in Kenya! And much fun was had by all! On display was a small hospital room, complete with a real hospital bed representing the hope of medical supplies for the new medical center in Kenya. The evening included a special Swahili blessing and cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the launch of this new ministry.IMG_7503

The silent auction and raffles were both a hit. We had some GREAT local community sponsors and some anonymous donors so that the entire evening was 100% supported with all proceeds from the silent auction and raffles going directly into the non-profit ministry. The people who attended were very generous as well. THANK YOU! The donations made that evening were seeds representing the hope that God will continue to bless and multiply this work.

IMG_7627IMG_7639

One of the highlights of the evening included the blessing of having our entire USA board of directors present. Some had to travel quite a distance just to be there. William and Michelle Kiprop shared about how God is moving and at work in Kenya. The personal stories they shared were encouraging and reminded all present that there truly is HOPE for the hurting in Africa. Board president Mike Dyar also shared from his heart.IMG_7517

If you were unable to attend the launch event, please know that it is not too late to see the Kiprops while they are still in CA.  They will be at an open house event in Alta Loma on Saturday November 16th. For more information please write to office@hopemattersintl.org

 

Meet Mary: She’s Climbing for a Cause

Mount-Kenya-tents

Today we have the pleasure of a guest post from Mary. She shares her story here:

 

Meet Mary: My name is Mary Saugstad. I am a Canadian, an RN, a climber, a naturalist, a wife, a volunteer, a traveler and a humanitarian. For the first time in my life all these labels that ‘I am,’ will all be intertwined in an adventure of a lifetime in Africa! I will be climbing with my husband throughout Africa, with a particular goal of climbing to the top of Mt. Kenya in an effort to raise awareness of the beauty of Kenyan mountain culture and humanitarian relief needs in Kenya.

The Back-Story: We decided to climb Mt. Kenya after spending a few months in Nepal trekking through the beautiful Himalayas and spending 2 months volunteering with Porters’ Protection. After our trip we said to each other that Africa is next … Mt. Kenya will be our goal. So this adventure has been brewing in our heads for the last six years. On a personal level, I have always valued volunteerism in any community and made a commitment to myself that I will volunteer my time and my resources on every travelling adventure that I embark on. One of my major driving ambitions to becoming a nurse is to use my nursing skills in promoting health around the world.

My particular connection with Hope Matters International began in 2012. I shared my passion for community health in Africa to my nursing community health practicum instructor Denise Beaupre, who has been involved in several community health initiatives in Africa. We met for coffee a few times and after much discussion she referred me to Michelle Kiprop, RN, MSN, FNP. And now a little idea of mine will spring into fruition in December, when I will finally get to meet Michelle in person in Kipkaren, Kenya where I will volunteer as an RN alongside Michelle.

The Cause: My husband, Don, and I decided that it would be a neat idea to add value to our climb by trying to raise funds for Hope Matters International. This initiative of ours is in hopes of raising awareness of the beauty of mountain culture in Kenya, and raise awareness to the importance of community involvement in the areas that we travel to. We believe that as members of this wonderful world we have the duty to share our resources to help build communities. We hope to raise $17,057 for Hope Matters International to help fund Michelle’s medical clinic initiative in Kenya.

mountain_hiking_bootsDetails of the Climb: 17,057 is the number of feet of Mt. Kenya. This is equivalent to 5199 metres. We will likely hire porters and perhaps cooks, and maybe a guide. My husband is an expert mountaineer having climbed several mountains all over the world for the last 20 years. I started climbing in 2005. We have been training for this climb all summer by climbing in our local crags in Squamish, BC and summiting a few mountains the last two years, including Squamish’s Stewamus Chief, a 700m granite monolith. We will also train in Cape Town climbing Table Mountain and several other crags in Africa as well as trekking through various parts of Africa including Drakensburg, in Botswana and perhaps Namibia from November until the start of our climb up Mt. Kenya around November 30/December 1. Likely, the climb will take about 1 week including trekking to base camp and acclimatization. We are going to try to attempt the Normal Route to the top of Mt. Kenya which is a 5.8 route. The actual climb itself is about 400 metres, which equates to about 20 pitches of climbing.

The Goal: So far we have raised approximately $1000 by simply sharing our objectives to family and friends. When we get back from our trip we will organize two film nights: one in Squamish and one in Vancouver to share our adventure, raise awareness of Michelle’s health initiative and hopefully raise funds. We will not stop until we get to the $17,057. We are now only two and half weeks away from embarking on our adventure of a lifetime and truly look forward to it. We feel so fortunate to have the health and the means to be able to go on this trip. I truly look forward to volunteering with Michelle and giving back to a community that I know will give so much to me and to my husband.

How You Can Help: Donations can be made in honor of my climb by clicking here to make an online payment. Or if you would like to send a check you can make it out to “Hope Matters International” and mail to P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma, CA 91701. Please include a note in your envelope or with your electronic donation designating that the donation is in honor of Mary’s climb.

 

Thank you for reading this blog. And thank you to all my family and friends who have so far supported this initiative.

 

Sincerely,

Mary Saugstad, RN

mary.saugstad@vch.ca