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bff - best friends forever, in Brazil

In Brazil, Star of Hope works primarily with pre-schools in the slums. The desired outcome of this work is that the children will acquire the preschool skills they need to enter the primary school. It is also important to give them a good start in life and prevent them from becoming street children. Of Brazil's large population, some say 200,000 children live on the street while others say have of all children live on the street. Who knows for sure in any case it seems millions of them are street children.

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Please see, https://www.starofhope.us/give for latest news on this section.

 

With 30,000 kids to look after, a charge that comes with insuring they become educated men and women of God it is important to know where we stand as far as needs are concerned. Here is a list of the top needs for 2014 and beyond, if anything strikes a cord or if God taps you on the shoulder please give us a call and lets talk it over.

Top Needs 2014 and beyond.

We have had a wonderful 2012-2013 with many projects completed. We were blessed with funds for new construction projects including Churches, Schools, and water projects, as well as seed and tool projects and more. Our main thrust is always the 30,000 kids in our schools, learning their abc’s as well as hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Vision is a world where all children have an opportunity to become educated, healthy adults, get involved in their communities and share their love of Jesus Christ.

We depend on your time, talent and treasure. Without you, the kids would not be in school and our extra important projects would never have a chance, so thank you and God bless you.

Our desire is that you become a sponsor. That is what we need to make is possible to help kids around the world. $30 a month will fill the need for one child!

Top needs for extra projects include:

1.            Hesse Church. An additional $50,000 needed

Hesse church is under construction and scheduled to be completed within a few months. The additional funds are needed to make the building a little nicer and provide the furnishings like benches.

A gift to this project will greatly encourage the church people and children who have been holding worship under a tarp since the earthquake in 2010.

2.           Repair to 4 other Haitian Churches. $80,000 needed

There are simple church buildings in each of the other project communities, where we work. These buildings are all in need of repairs. Some paint, some structural repairs, others roof repair or furnishings.

This project will provide clean up and repairs to various church buildings and result in bringing Glory to God as the people see that God does provide.

3.           Four (4) classrooms for Bois Negresse school. $76,000 needed

The Bois Negresse school is in one of the poorest communities where we work. We have been able to procure land and build a 4 classroom preschool building with kitchen and dining area. The kids in grades 1-6 have been meeting under a shed without walls for the past two years. A youth group in Sweden has raised the first $38,000 to build 2 classrooms. We need to build two more units, each with 2 classrooms to complete the school. Each unit of 2 classrooms is $38,000.

4.           Build new children’s home to replace one that we have to vacate. $375,000 needed

This is the Carrefour children’s home for 100 kids. They have to vacate the property which they did not own. The government has made land available outside the city. Other donors have pledged or given half of the total cost of $750,000. The balance we need is $375,000.

This will build 4 group homes, each holding 20 children and an apartment for a set of house parents. The project also includes a dining/study hall and office/guest house.

5.           School Based Community Health Pilot Project- Haiti. $25,000 needed

This project has been conceived to meet the need of helping the children grow up healthy. It is not an acute care project, but rather education and community (public) health.

6.           Pastor and Christian Workers Seminar. $15,000 needed

This provides a retreat setting for the Haitian pastors and workers. They will sit under the teaching of men from the USA and or Sweden. It includes the cost of the facility, transportation for the men, food and materials costs.

7.           Child Evangelism & Discipleship Training. $97,500 needed

This project will make sure that each child has a Bible. Each teacher has training in child evangelism and child discipleship training. Since this is a startup project for us that we intend to replicate world-wide, I estimate the cost to be $25 per child. We have 3,900 children presently in our projects in Haiti.

The dream is to expand this all 30,000 children we work with worldwide. The cost for that will reach $600,000.

8.            Christian Youth Complex in Argentina. $1,500,000 needed

This project now has a 500 strong church body, however they meet in a tent and it is overflowing. The Church in the Chaco province is concentrating on winning souls in the Church and on the streets. The young pastor and his whole team are on fire. The church building within the complex is expected to run $250,000 or about 15% of the total project. They are growing fast and they need a real church building.

This church will have multiple uses and is tied to the Christian sports activities as well. The dream is to get the church built at create a soul winning machine in northern Argentina.

9.           School books in all countries. $500,000 needed

Every year school books cost more and it does not matter where in the world you are. The need is endless and we always need funding for school books to produce graduates.

10.         Romanian family conferences and bible classes. $40,000 needed

Starting in September 2013, in Dorohoi, Romania, we have begun Bible classes we have planned for some time. We want to do expand these outreach efforts.

In Romania (and Moldova), Star of Hope is improving the lives of children with special needs. We are also working to keep children off the streets. The center is changing lives and we want to empower the team much more.

11.         Church support in rural Philippines. $15,000 needed

We support a school and a church in western Quezon province of the Philippines. Pastor Ben Mergano who spearheaded the work passed away last December, however his work continues and we want the work to prosper.

12.         Church support vehicles in Argentina and Haiti. $80,000 needed

Some projects have a real need for vehicles, in these countries the roads are terrible and reliable transportation is a must for Church and School work.

We have many other smaller projects not listed here so please give us a call and tell us what your interest is. ( 1 866 653 0321) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Blessings and thanks.

Staff, Star of Hope

Donate Now

After driving from Iasi for over 3 hours we arrived to the Star of Hope center in Dorohoi. We were meet by children with disabilities and their parents. The love and hospitality they show us is so touching.

 

I have received so many hugs and kisses, the children and their parents are so loving and sweet and happy to meet us. One of the most special things I will take with me home is the concern and love they all show us. We have been blessed and prayed for and I have learned so many new things. It is easy to come to another country and think we have a lot of answer’s and solutions and then find out I´m the one getting answer’s and solutions while being totally surrounded by love.

In Dorohoi there are 25 children at the center and 44 parents are involved in the parent association. Some of the children have been there for 10 years, today they are too old to attend but there is no were for them to go so one day a week they are still able to come to the center. Marius who is the president of the parent association said this is one of their biggest concerns, what will happen with their children after they turn 18?  

This is a project were the integration with children with and without disability is working. 2 of the rooms in the building are used for our children with a disability; the rest of the building is for children attending kindergarten.  

It has been a blessing for Star of Hope having the Tillotsons here. It is a first time a child with a disability has come with his family from another country to share their life, both joy and difficulties. It has been hard when it comes to the practical things like stairs and the size of doors etc. Romania is not handicapped accessible for someone needing a wheelchair to get around. But everyone has been so helpful. Hearing parents say after they listened to Debbie and Scott “We have no reason to complain after meeting you, you are so strong and patient. Thank you for bringing us hope and to teach us to be more patient” feels great.  When Debbie shared “God makes people different, we are all God’s creation. God does not make mistake” many of the parents had tears in their eyes. Hearing their child is perfect in Gods eyes was an eye opener and you could feel the relief they felt.

We also went to Botosani were I meet Ioana what a delightful and joyful girl. She wanted me to carry her around while she was kissing and hugging me. I have to say I must have the best job in the world.

One boy I meet in Botosani was Andi. He lived with his single father; his mother left both of them and moved to Italy when he was a baby. Cretu his father was amazing the way he beamed with pride when he talked about Andi. Andi had so many medals from “Special Olympics” and awards for dancing Romanian folkdances. Andi have been selected to go to Bucharest, the capital of Romania to preform and be in a national competition.

When you meet fathers like Cretu you know there is hope for Romania. With Scotts testimony and fathers like Cretu  I´m convinced there will be change among fathers.

I’m so lucky to be able to visit and see all these children and their parents. They are like us we all share the love of our children and they also want what is best for their children.

 

 

 Year-End-Gifting-Streets-Alive-Mission-web.jpg

As you consider the charitable gifts you will make to close out the year, I ask you to please remember Star of Hope and our work on behalf of children across the world.

Now 2016 is quickly coming to an end, and 2016 will be here before we know it. We get caught up in the end of year activities and we forget about making year-end gifts.
These gifts, large or small, are important to us as it allows our work to blossom and the return on investment is seen in the children's eyes.
Looking over your charitable giving plans between now and Dec. 31 can help assure maximum benefits for you and your family as well as Star of Hope. Giving sometimes helps you meet personal goals as well spiritual goals.

There many ways you can make a gift before the end of the year that will provide you with valuable benefits and help further the work.
These benefits include tax savings on this year's return and bypass of capital gains tax on the sale of your property.
Here are three options for year-end giving:

A. Make a deductible gift of cash

While all gifts mailed or hand-delivered by Dec. 31 qualify for the charitable deduction, gifts of cash are the most common and the easiest way to give. If you itemize your tax deductions, gifts of cash are deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

B. Make a deductible gift of securities
Making gifts of stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds directly to Star of Hope can bring extra tax savings. If you have held such assets longer than one year, the gift can be deducted at full fair market value, not just the original cost. Giving this way enables you to bypass capital gains tax. Gifts of securities are deductible up to 30 percent of AGI. Please ask your expert too.

C. Make a deductible gift of real estate and avoid taxes
If you own appreciated real estate that you no longer need, consider gifting this property to Star of Hope for the benefit of your personal cause weather it be; education, health, spiritual leadership or other. Star of Hope will sell your property tax-free, and you will receive a charitable tax deduction for the fair market value of the property and avoid paying capital gains tax.

 

Now is also a good time to review your estate plan as well, will you leave a legacy?
Many want to make an impact on the world, to leave it in a better state after we are gone. A bequest is one of the easiest ways to have a lasting impact on the people and organizations that mean the most to you. You can create a bequest of any dollar amount, gift specific property, or designate a percentage of your estate in your will or trust.
Ten percent can make a big impact. Your generosity will make a difference for years to come.

These are but a few examples of what we plan for the New Year;

• Get more youth bibles in children's hands

• Water wells in Haiti and Argentina

• New building in Argentina

• Enhanced nutrition for our kids

• Training and services to families caring for children with disabilities - Romania

• Teacher training

• Economic opportunities for people in Haiti and Argentina

• Alpha classes all over the world

• Lunch program needs a refill

Contact Mark Presson on 620 204 1865 or 1 866 653 0321 for more information on year-end gifts.

God Bless you and Happy New Year

Star of Hope

 

 You may donate by clicking Donate now or here

 

As I have been pondering how to condense what we in Star of Hope are accomplishing into a short phrase, I have found it difficult. Like many non-profits we seem to be pretty good at telling you what things we are doing but not what we are actually accomplishing.

This exercise in creating a short blurb message has been a good one for me to work on because it helps me focus. After looking at all the things we have going on - quite a remarkable list itself - I have come up with a phrase I like. "We are helping kids change the world" Then I thought to myself, really? That's quite a statement.

As I researched more, I found it is true. It fits in with measuring success one child at a time.

I found this Blog by my good friend Dennis Thern that highlights this well. Read his blog Success Stories from the Philippines by Dennis Thern

My next blog I will tell you more of how I decided that we really do help kids change the world. Barry Borror President & CEO

We’ve made the trip over the “puddle”, through Rome, and to Iasi (pronounced yash, light on the h), Romania. We spent about 30 hours in route, about 10 hours on airport layovers, arriving on Wednesday evening Romanian time. We were greeted by Aurora and her husband Adi at the Iasi airport and taken to a restaurant named Little Texas with an American and Mexican menu. We got a twilight tour of Iasi on the way to the Star of Hope Center for Rehabilitation where we are staying while in Iasi. We were soon asleep and slept for 11 or 12 hours.

In the morning among other things, we were served “mellon” which was very similar to cantaloupe only the fruit is oblong and the meat of the fruit is much closer to while than the orange we’ve come to expect in America. 

We were provided a tour of the Star of Hope Center for Rehabilitation, where children and families with disabled children receive therapy and assistance. Prior to the fall of communism, 20 years ago, children with disabilities were taken from their families and institutionalized receiving little care.

Star of Hope is an agent of change in Romania encouraging change for those with disabilities. Chase met and connected with Razvan who has Cerebral Palsy. Chase was pleased to see Razvan beat me in a game of ping pong. We met with speech and physical therapists learning more of what they are treating here at the Center. Later, we met and refined plans for the conference schedule.

In the evening we were able to meet a Christian Roma (Gypsy) family who live about one hour outside of Iasi. They have a daughter who is affected by Down’s Syndrome. Their home is still under construction with help from Star of Hope. They sleep 2-3 to a bed. They were most gracious. Friday we take a longer trip out to a rural area and will spend the night in a home.

 

See also Latest news and photos

 

 

I had the privilege for the first time to meet the “Star of Hope drum and lyre Band” in the Star of Hope village Ilog, Infanta Philippines. It is located four hours east from Manila on the other side of Luzon Island. Children between 5 and 12 years old preformed an amazing selection of songs like “Oh when the saints” and a song from the band “One Direction” plus many more.

Assortment of thoughts for the New Year

Star of Hope star

Here it is a big "Thank you", to all of you who has sponsored Star of Hope during 2013.
Without you we could not change lives just like the young girl in the photo, she represents one of our 30,000 kids. She was so happy she is made a sign. That's happy.

The violence reported in Argentina has long since calmed down and things are back to "getting back to normal", I wonder what would happen if all the police in your country would go on strike, all at the same time. In any case the projects reported no damages but as you might recall the staff emptied everything from the outlaying places. It was good planning and diligence by the Staff in Argentina that minimized the risk at Star of Hope Argentina.
The work after the disaster in the Philippines continues, the medical teams have gone home and the rebuilding efforts are under way. Maria Presson will have a look in the affected areas in a few weeks so we will hear firsthand how the efforts are shaping up. Also we will send about 27 tons of roofing materials.

Star of Hopes Ben Mergano Dec 2013 A Great Man donate on www.starofhope.us/give to support his family.

Pastor Ben Mergano, a staff pastor in the Philippines passed away just before Christmas. He was a good friend of mine and a role model. He was poor but had much integrity, when we together in 2005 built over 400 homes and apartments and of course the school after devastating mud slides and typhoons he worked relentlessly always putting others before himself. Pastor Ben would always find someone who was needier to help before he allowed us to help him in any way. He was much loved by all in "Real, Quezon Province Philippines". I am a better man for knowing him. We are covering the funeral costs and a small nest egg for the family, please help if you like.

Thank all of you who gave to the Christmas catalog this year it has been the best year ever for giving and we can't wait to get all the photos and reports back; so together we can see and know how many lives we touched. I often wonder about a hen I gave in 2008, how many offspring that one hen has produced, I bet it's a very large number by now.
Haiti is approaching the 4th year anniversary since the earthquake that destroyed so many of our projects; our schools, Churches and tarnished the lives of countless children. Due to the combined efforts of the Star of Hope family, you the donor and the grace of God we have realized some astounding works in Haiti, new wells, churches, schools and a renewed signal that we are in it for the long haul. Whatever it takes, we will do to produce Godly men and women who are educated and have a fighting chance to break the chains of poverty with their education.

Yearend giving was up and we thank you, this extra giving we hope has extra advantages for you as we are so extra grateful for this type of giving as it allows us to do more good works that otherwise would never be done. A new well, a set of 600 school books; a party the list goes on and on.

We are always ready to talk about legacy giving with you. Yes it's a somber topic but it should be fun! Simple accounts or more complex instruments like a charitable trust or a fund. All these gifts represent a powerful and meaningful way for you to create a philanthropic legacy for your family or yourself. Perhaps you have land, oil or capital investments you have contemplated "doing something different with", if this is you let's talk.

It makes me happy that each day we are able to help so many children earn an education and learn more about Christ. In the US we talk about the education system, our children's education, and college costs all while the older segments talk about continuing education for themselves. It is arguable that education is directly connected to income. In Christian circles it is always continued learning and relationship building. So it feels right that so many people are concentrated on education as that is what we do every day!


JOIN US BECOME A SPONSOR

A lot of children in the local communities are very happy and blessed when they have a sponsor! You can be one of those who change a child's life.
Blessings to you and yours.

Mark Presson

This is a repost and a cross post! But it is important!! (MP)

Friend's of Star of Hope, We are doing it again, join us and be a part of this! By Aurora Vatamaniuc

We are approaching the second time to be involved in a very special conference happening in Romania. The following information from Aurora Vatamaniuc, Director, Star of Hope Romania Foundation, will enlighten you of the value of this conference as she shares the results of previous conferences.

"For 4 years (2008-2012) we have organized a yearly conference with a Christian message for the mothers and specialists that work in the field of children with special needs. Most of them belong to the state Orthodox Church. I have witnessed how our Lord talked to them personally and these women demonstrated a significant increase in self-worth, confidence and their value as a person.

 

"Sam" plays at the center while his mother gets practical and spiritual counseling.

After these conferences the mothers started to meet in small groups at our centers where they are taught to read books that will guide them in increasing their faith. At the moment we have 5 groups with 25 mothers in each group. In one of the meetings the theme was a chapter title from the book "Calm My Worried Heart" – "How To Be Happy Being Myself", written by Linda Dillow. The discussions focused on how the Lord created the human being, the miracle construction of every cell in our body and how the Lord made all the organs to function, to have life. For this, the most relevant scripture was Psalm 139.

 

Maine and Aurora, give talks to help the mothers of severely handicapped children

Another miracle we talked about is that the Lord has a plan with us and this is why we have been created – to be part of His plans. Mothers talked about the role they have in their child's life (remembering that the child is disabled). It is a role received from the Lord, to raise, educate and love the child. They also spoke of the importance of the body, soul and character. – understanding that The Lord wants us to do our part and to let Him do His.

Our goal is to provide more opportunities for our parents to hear of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this we wish to work in 2 ways:

1. To hold a yearly conference for the families with disabled children. We wish to have a 5 day conference for at least 150 parents and their children. We would like to have young Christian volunteers to help during the conference by caring for and playing with the children while their parents attend various sessions.
2. To set up Bible classes to help the parents learn more about Jesus and living the Christian life and helping them study the Bible in small groups.

 

Praise during the conference

We intend to involve brothers and sisters from the evangelical churches to lead our groups of training, starting this year in Iasi, Barlad and Dorohoi.

For us to be able to fulfill this dream we need support, prayer and financial means. Today we have this opportunity to do what Jesus w ants us to do. If you want to be part of this mission, we invite you to stand together. Certainly our God will reward any effort for His message to be heard unto the ends of the earth and go gain new hearts for the Kingdom.

We truly want Him to transform our country, Romania!
Pray for us and our country!

Be blessed!
Aurora Vatamaniuc


Above are the desires that God had put on the heart of this dear woman in Romania. This year there will be a new component. THE FATHERS will be included as well. This is an opportunity to bring families closer together and in the process make the gospel come alive as never before in their lives. This is a new element added this year. It is a harsh country. The inclusion of men in the conference is a big deal. The men in Romania are not accustomed to being so directly involved with the hands on care of their disabled child. And we know that in general men are less active in Bible study circles. So, there is a great potential at this conference to make tremendous changes in the spiritual lives of these families.

 

Last years attendees

I will be attending the conference this year along with a family from Ellinwood Kansas. Not just any family but a family of 3, including a 14 year old disabled son. They are traveling with me to the conference to be an encouragement to men, women and children of Romania. They will have a major part of the conference in sharing their experiences. It will be highlights to have the dad share what it means to be involved in the care and spiritual teaching of a disabled child.

 

READ ABOUT CHASE AND A FAMILY'S HOPE

Now you know about this year's conference. These are all good plans and dreams but we need help to make them become a reality. Consider what your part will be to make this happen. Changing lives is such a rewarding experience. Even if you never meet the people affected - - -the blessings are felt.

Sincerely

Maria Presson

YES I CAN GIVE RIGHT NOW TO THIS CONFERENCE!

We had the honor to meet with Hon. Guia Gomez the San Juan, Manila Mayor. A few years back when Star of Hope was going to be forced to give back the land we had lease grant for 25 years. The same land our Taytay School is located on. The Mayor was part of the land swap deal that enabled us to keep the land in Taytay and more importantly the school. Instead of a returned lease we would give land to the government.

Thankfully, Star of Hope Philippines owned a parcel in an attractive spot in a subdivision of Crame. Today when we meet with the Mayor she was so grateful for the land swap because now the City of San Juan is building a school on the lot Star of Hope swapped with the city. Land is so expensive here in Crame so the government could not have bought the land themselves. So even if we did not put up a school on that lot as we planned to do; if the Taytay land swap deal had fell through. The great news is that there is a school being built there right now and the children in Crame, a squatter area will soon have a school and no longer will they have to commute 30 minutes to go to school.

On Dec 1, 2013 I was privildged to be part of the dedication and inaguration of the new church campus in Rigaud, Haiti. It was a joyful time, celebrating how God heard His people's cry and saw their distress. He provided a new place to gather following the loss caused by the 2010 earthquake. It was a joyous time and you can see pictures and read about it by clicking here.

Returning to Tony and Myrtha's home just after dark, we were talking about the events taking place and how excited we were to see how God had provided. Getting close to our destination, bouncing down the rough road, our headlights illuminated a young boy, maybe 7 years old on the side of the road. We were busy with our own conversation and didn't pay much heed to him.

As we passed by we glanced at him and noticed his head was down and his eyes were darting to and fro over the rough dirt road. As we passed our impression was that he was crying. As we rounded the next corner, Tony and I both commented that he probably lost a coin that his mother had given him to go to the corner merchant and buy something that family needed for dinner. He will be in big trouble for losing the money when he returns home. For us it would not have been much. He might have had a 1 gourde coin (about 2 cents). Maybe he was sent to buy one bullion cube to season the evenings rice and beans. We will never know because we didn't stop.

As we sat in our airconditioned car, waiting for someone to open the gate into Tony's home, we looked at each other and both said almost in unison, we should have stopped. We should have stopped to lend a light for that boys search. We should have stopped to meet his need. We easily could have given him a few gourdes to replace his loss. But we didn't because we were too busy.

That feeling of regret is as strong as the joy of the celebration we had with the 500 people who came to dedicate the new church building.

I have committed to be more aware of people. Don't let regret live alongside the celebration of Christ's birth. See the needs, hear the cries and take steps to help. I can always do something.

I pray that you will have a blessed Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to be aware of people around you. You may be the blessing that someone needs.

Twenty five, 25 students will soon be graduating from a Star of Hope sewing class in Hesse Haiti. They are young boys and girls, parents and adults that decided to attend the sewing school. The school is supported by Star of Hope Haiti. Now for the first time these courageous students will have a profession and will be able to make their own living after graduation. What a fantastic result.

 

 

Some of them plan to go find work that requires their new skill set, others have dreamt to open their own small business working as a professional seamstress to earn an income. For now none of them has a job yet but soon they will graduate and start their new adventure.

If Star of hope had not offered this class, for free, the students would not have had the opportunity to attend sewing class as it simply would have been out of reach economically, to become a seamstress or tailor would be very expensive for a normal Haitian. The tuition is one aspect but then you have the issue of being able to buy material to do the sewing practice in class and as homework.

As Star of hope provides free fabrics to the students they are able make as many samples of dresses after each lesson. Usually Star of Hope purchases the fabric yet sometimes we receive donations of pieces of fabric that we give to the students. The last time star of Hope received donated fabrics for the class was in March this year, it was bags full of different pieces of fabrics that was very welcome and useful. For practice all pieces count no matter how small. Not only are students making dresses for they also practice the economy of the raw materials as to save the precious fabric; any small piece of different color can easily be used to make collars, pockets, leaves, belt and so on.

It is to say that all donated fabric pieces that we received from the family of SallyLou La Pierre have been used and have been greatly appreciated by the 25 students. They are so grateful for the donation that they join star of Hope Haiti staff to greet warmly Karen and the family to thank them for this great donation that means so much to them. The pictures attached prove the students appreciation for the donated fabric.

Blessings
Tony B Star of Hope, Haiti

DONATE TO THE SEWING

 

 

In Taytay, the sounds, the excitement, the multitude of colorful children who meets us feels fantastic. The children rush forward and greet us with big smiles and shout “Mabuhay” or hello in Tagalog.

This is the 26th “Foundation Day" at Star of Hope’s school in Taytay, Rizal Manila Philippines. This school was built 26 years ago in a garbage dump, an area without roads, electricity and water. Now however it is a place for 2200 students from grades one through high school.The day is celebrated with dance performances in the form of a competition where the different grades will compete.

 

As you consider the charitable gifts you will make to close out the year, I ask you to please remember Star of Hope and our work on behalf of children across the world.

Now 2016 is quickly coming to an end, and 2016 will be here before we know it. We get caught up in the end of year activities and we forget about making year-end gifts.
These gifts, large or small, are important to us as it allows our work to blossom and the return on investment is seen in the children's eyes.
Looking over your charitable giving plans between now and Dec. 31 can help assure maximum benefits for you and your family as well as Star of Hope. Giving sometimes helps you meet personal goals as well spiritual goals.

There many ways you can make a gift before the end of the year that will provide you with valuable benefits and help further the work.
These benefits include tax savings on this year's return and bypass of capital gains tax on the sale of your property.
Here are three options for year-end giving:

A. Make a deductible gift of cash

While all gifts mailed or hand-delivered by Dec. 31 qualify for the charitable deduction, gifts of cash are the most common and the easiest way to give. If you itemize your tax deductions, gifts of cash are deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

B. Make a deductible gift of securities
Making gifts of stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds directly to Star of Hope can bring extra tax savings. If you have held such assets longer than one year, the gift can be deducted at full fair market value, not just the original cost. Giving this way enables you to bypass capital gains tax. Gifts of securities are deductible up to 30 percent of AGI. Please ask your expert too.

C. Make a deductible gift of real estate and avoid taxes
If you own appreciated real estate that you no longer need, consider gifting this property to Star of Hope for the benefit of your personal cause weather it be; education, health, spiritual leadership or other. Star of Hope will sell your property tax-free, and you will receive a charitable tax deduction for the fair market value of the property and avoid paying capital gains tax.

 

Now is also a good time to review your estate plan as well, will you leave a legacy?
Many want to make an impact on the world, to leave it in a better state after we are gone. A bequest is one of the easiest ways to have a lasting impact on the people and organizations that mean the most to you. You can create a bequest of any dollar amount, gift specific property, or designate a percentage of your estate in your will or trust.
Ten percent can make a big impact. Your generosity will make a difference for years to come.

These are but a few examples of what we plan for the New Year;

• Get more youth bibles in children's hands

• Water wells in Haiti and Argentina

• New building in Argentina

• Enhanced nutrition for our kids

• Training and services to families caring for children with disabilities - Romania

• Teacher training

• Economic opportunities for people in Haiti and Argentina

• Alpha classes all over the world

• Lunch program needs a refill

Contact Mark Presson on 620 204 1865 or 1 866 653 0321 for more information on year-end gifts.

God Bless you and Happy New Year

Star of Hope

 

 You may donate by clicking Donate now or here

 

One of our board members recently traveled to Indonesia on a Mission Trip with Grace Community Church; although Star of Hope no longer works in Indonesia we thought to share the article as a blog. Some text changes have been made for the protection of individuals home and abroad.

So our guest blogger is D & J Williams.

 

THE INDONESIA TIMES
Tuesday May 1, 2013

Great Bend, KS. Grace Community Church mission team returned to central Kansas late Tuesday evening, the 23rd of April to cold temperatures and snow on the ground after experiencing hot, tropical weather on the big island of Sumatra, Indonesia for eight days. Culture shock and weather shock were evident on all their faces!

Team members commented on their exhaustion after spending close to 40 hrs in transit from their hotel in Pekanbaru to their homes in Kansas. The transit included flights from Indonesia to Singapore, Singapore to Tokyo, Tokyo to Minneapolis/St. Paul, and from there to Kansas City, culminating in a four hour van ride home to Great Bend.

 Team members.

The in-country time was exhilarating, humbling, and eye-opening! As with many third-world countries, Indonesia is a country of contrasts with abject poverty side by side with wealth and affluence. For the most part, the team saw the poverty and spiritual darkness of the country, the largest Muslim country of the world. Many of the people are Muslim because they were given that distinction at birth and their religion is a mixture of Islam, animism, and superstition. The goal of the short-term mission team was to observe the work being done. Also the team was able to participate in some of the "platforms" or on-going activities, the work is slow and tedious, and requires much patience.

Team member JW stands to the side of one of the Reading Posts which are placed in schools and homes. Local missionary team members, like Maya, visit these posts weekly and read to the students. This develops the relationships from which faith discussions will hopefully follow.

 

After visiting four Reading Posts and an English school which also had a Reading Post, for the first part of the trip, the team was able to travel to West Sumatra to experience the culture of the Minangkabau people group. The team stayed in Bukittinggni, Indonesia where they visited local tourist attractions and markets. The goal there was to engage locals in conversations during which discussions of faith might be confronted.
The three-fold aim was to learn to "live out loud" as a Christian in a Muslim world, learn how to start spiritual conversations with a Muslim, and learn how to point them to the glorious Christ!

A row of shops outside a tourist attraction.

One day the team spent in the local shops and markets of Bukittinggni, seen above and below, and the next day was spent at lake Maninjau, a nearby crater lake in the mouth of an extinct volcano. Rice production and fish farming are the local means of income here in West Sumatra, while in Pekanbaru the economy revolves around petroleum oil and palm oil production.

A typical market scene. Here a woman is roasting bananas over a charcoal fire.

 

Team members J & D stop for a breather while on a hike through the jungle to a waterfall. Yu Chung, a local team member from New York, looks on from behind.

Rice production and fish farming are two of the local industries in West Sumatra. Here the rice paddies can be seen in front and the fish farming "pens" in the waters of a crater lake just beyond the trees.

DW teaching a lesson on good eating
habits and nutrition with help from Jonathan on the flannel graph and Maya as the interpreter.

JW reading a book about a little cloud and his imagination showing the children that their imaginations while reading a book can take them anywhere. Maya interprets the English for the children.

This river water was used as the local bathroom, water for dishes, drinking, and laundry and only 20 yards from one of the Reading Posts we visited.

Team members J, M, D and J doing the motions of mimicking a rain shower after Jan had read the book about a cloud.

We thank all of you, our supporters, for both the financial support given to allow us to take this trip and also for the abundant prayer support. We truly felt the presence of your prayers while we were traveling and in Indonesia. For Jan and me, we were kept from sickness and any harm while on hiking trails, traveling on the roads, and sampling the local cuisine. We are convinced this was due to the many prayers being offered on our behalf. Our continued prayer request is for you to pray for the Unreached People Groups (UPGs) of Indonesia and for the national church planters and their families as well as for the missionary families that team with them to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to these people living in a spiritually dark country.

Morning egg delivery. Note the jumble of cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians.

 

 

Helping children become godly men and women, so they can change their world.

That’s what you have done this past year through your support of Star of Hope. Whether you sponsor a child, helped fund a project or have made a general gift, you have made a difference, and I appreciate it greatly.

As I write this, across the world, the thousands of children we help and their families are preparing to celebrate Christmas. With your support, we have been able to make sure they have heard the true Christmas message. For most of them Christmas isn’t about receiving “things” and getting “stuff”. Rather they love to hear the story of how God loved them so very much He sent His own Son, Jesus.

They find it easy to relate to being born in a barn, as most of them were birthed at home, many in simple houses that are no more than a “barn” or “shed”. They understand that the birth of a child is special as they have been there for the birth of their brothers and sisters. They get to celebrate those births. When we talk about the shepherds coming to celebrate the birth of Jesus, they understand it in ways we do not.

Christmas helps me put things in perspective. It reminds me of why I do what I do each day. It reminds me of how much I appreciate your support which sustains Star of Hope as we work to help these children.

As I look forward to 2015, I believe we must do more to help these children grow into men and women that God can use to make a real difference. I am committed to make that happen.

Would you join me?

Barry Borror, President & CEO

 

A young 84 year old, Bessie Dewerff and Star of Hope's CEO Barry Borror report on a trip that is long overdue here is a compilation of tweets and texts and photos from the duo.


Nov 30 We have arrived in Haiti. Bessie with Tony and Myrtha at their home.
We had a wonderful flight into Haiti. All the suitcases are here. Tony and Myrtha are doing a brunch and then we will go to Jeanton to see the preschool building.

Tony, Bessie and Barry visited Jeanton School. It was Saturday afternoon and very hot. But more than 100 preschool age children came to show off their classrooms to us! Here are the preschool children singing to Bessie. They came to the school on Saturday afternoon to show off their school classrooms. Thanks to the donor who provided the preschool classrooms in Jeanton! http://youtu.be/gxYy9koJOnU

 

Rigaud, Haiti a Church dedication. Bessie was the honored visitor. It was a true celebration and time of prayer for the donor who made it possible. More will follow later. — with Bessie Dewerff.

Bessie Dewerff had the joyous honor of cutting the ribbon to open the church. This was the first Sunday that services were held in the new building. An estimated 500 people joined the celebration and dedication. — with Bessie Dewerff and Antonio Boursiquot in purple, Star of Hope's project manager in Haiti and for this project as well.

The people of Rigaud honored Bessie Dewerff with a plaque and flowers. — with Bessie Dewerff.

 

 

GUEST BLOG - Mikael Good, social reporter, documentary photographer, philanthropist, graphic designer, communicator, social commentator and artist. Location Huskvarna,Sweden

 

 

Places like Jayer in St. Petersburg are dark places that make far too early graves for young people who never stood a real chance in life. Even if the situation is tough for young adults who´s graduated from institutions in Russia there are some oasis of Grace to be found in the darkness.

When orphans turn 18 they are dropped from the institutions where they grew up. One day they where kids and the other day they were grownups who don´t know how to live in the real world on their own. The problem is that they have not learned to deal with the various problems of life that they now encounter. They are completely left alone and don´t have any parents, siblings, grandparent or other persons who care about them and can help them in this new situation. They often lack the everyday knowledge that others children learn in their families, such as washing clothes, cooking, managing household cash. They often feel lonely and left out, and in reality, they really are.

The statistics for orphans who graduate from institutions in Russia is very dark. Only 10% of them can adopt to a normal life in the society after graduation. The other 90% are doomed to a life in misery which often puts them in far too early graves. Some of them are lured into prostitution and criminality, some of them becomes alcohol or drug addicts. some of them end up as homeless or couch surfers and some of them take their lifes.

Jayer is street talk for a girl who is willing to do any kind of sexual act with everybody she meets. It´s also the name of a unfinished hospital in S:t Petersburg. Jayer is a house of death were young prostitutes sell their bodies for drug money and they spread HIV to customers who often refuses to use condoms. It´s a place where heroin addicts injects slow death into their veins, most of them are HIV-positive and when they share their needles they also share the deadly disease. Jayer is also a place were homeless people live and young hipsters get together to have Squat Parties in the weekends. Those who come to Jayer are exposed for GHB and heroin and many of them end up as addicts.

Nearly 70% of all heroin addicts in Russia are young people and you can find places like Jayer all over the country. It´s estimated that between 1.5 to 3 million out of 142 millions Russians are heroin addicts. The Russian authorities are not powerless before the big drug problem in the country. In recent years, the authorities have invested a lot of money on drug prevention among young people. And they try to limit the supply roads of heroin and other drugs flowing in from Afghanistan. 21% of the heroin produced in Afghanistan goes to Russia.

Even if the future for former orphans are very dark. There are some oasis of Grace to be found in Russia. One such oasis are Grace Family Center which is located in a Russian Orthodox monastery in St. Petersburg. The work at Grace is very successful and according to Valentina who is the volunteer director at Grace 90% of the orphans who have received help and support at Grace after their graduation have been able to adapt to a normal life. For orphans who has never had a family of they own, places like Grace Family Center must be worth one's weight in gold.

At Grace Family Center, orphans meet and spend time with adults who give them support and encouragement and help them develop into independent people with strong self-worth. The staff, at the project, prepare an individual plan for each young person who comes to it. The work is based on Christian principles. They live and work in an environment where they can meet and know the saving grace of Jesus. Even if the work at Grace Family Center is very successful. They are in a desperate need of money so that they can continue with their important job.

Maybe it's you who read this article that shall provide an economic miracle so that Grace Family Center can continue with their important work among the least of our brothers and sisters.

You can support Grace Family Center and donate money to them via Star of Hope, USA

"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done". - Proverbs 19:17

 

"We can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by the society - completely forgotten, completely left alone. That is the greatest poverty of the rich countries." - Mother Teresa


Click the following link if you want to see the pictures in the slide-show on your cell phone or on your pad: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chasid68/sets/72157633493146234/

Text and Photo © Mikael Good, All Rights Reserved
Note from Star of Hope, we do not currently prioritize or report about this project as we concentrate our efforts on different countries, however if you wish to donate we will be happy to funnel your gift to Grace.

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My wife, Linda is a gifted writer. She works part time for Star of Hope and was the primary person involved with the 2014 Christmas Gift Catalog.

Did I mention she is also a grandmother? Three beautiful little grand daughters. That probably spoke to her heart when she heard from another grandmother who used the Christmas Gift Catalog.

She tells the story in her blog. http://bit.ly/KingsGifts

May you be blessed by her story.

-Barry Borror

President & CEO

 

Star of Hope Haiti has started the 4th year of the Sewing class in Marigot in which program 36 participants are taking part of; 29 women and 7 men.  We will be together for 36 weeks learning from the simple stitches, the patterns, setting and cut out on fabrics of all lessons from the skirts, blouses, dresses, sleeves and collars.

I invite you all to follow us every week in Marigot until our graduation that is schedule on July 13, 2014.

Once again, Star of Hope Haiti is thanking everyone who had contributed through their donation and prayer to make it possible for this group of 36 participants to become seamstresses to help their community and families.

Myrtha Dor, Director, Star of Hope, Haiti

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School’s produce graduates, children and youth better equipped to succeed. It might be a step for them to the next grade or a job; it could even be a stepping stone to a degree or advanced degree. Whatever the grade level the individual has completed more education will generally give a better collection of education and tools for that person to succeed more in life than without an education; a generalization yes, but for the most part absolutely a truism.

In the developed areas like the USA it is a given, kids go to school and get an education through high school. However in many places in the world access to free K-12 educational the desired state. In the developing countries many see education as a luxury or even a dream. I think it’s a small percentage of our kids here in the USA that dream about school.

Of course as it remains a fact that in some places ‘even today’ on this blue marble, education is not a right it is a privilege. Unfortunately education in the US is a hot current topic, what class size, what schedule, what core groups, Christian or non-Christian, block schedule or period schedule.

Sometimes you hear people say “if we could get everyone educated then poverty would disappear.” There are many ideas on poverty and many opinions about why some people who continue to live by choice or not. In economically deprived or war torn areas where education is still in the local common people’s reality an item, “for the others.” This is a huge topic and I will not open the door further on it however I will say that a child in the US with a solid quality K-12 education should be poised to make much better life decisions for themselves than a non-educated person. My point being that our kids have education through the local school as a right not a privilege. What happens with this right is not a definable outcome however it is generally a more positive outcome than without government funded education.

What do you do if there is no school, where there are no laws that guarantee children’s rights to education?  Well; sometimes it is an easy fix; motivated teachers in Africa sometimes teach under a tree, in Timor teachers volunteered and taught in ruins with no roof, in the Philippines school is “free” but school fees are required for the most part and this excludes the poor. Others might use a church or assembly hall to teach. Sometimes though there needs to be a physical school, perhaps for more than educations sake perhaps to help build up a community.

It is my opinion that a Church or a school is a great place to start if you must anchor a community for development;  with the right partners and the right local community eventually a school is on the menu because it will produce graduates; it’s is not a necessity but adds to the institutions and the local community’s legitimacy.

So how is a school born where no government can assist but the need is real? In Infanta Quezon, the Philippines we had one such case. About a week before the huge Indonesian tsunami,  Infanta Quezon was devistated by one of the worst mudslides in history; then it was the center of the world news and over 180 international organizations were on site. Star of Hope had been in the area for a long time previously and we ended up building about 400 houses and apartments (Philippine style) and one area that received houses was Infanta. Of course we have built many schools and churches since then but this one was special to me as it helped develop the community and gave birth to micro business and citizens’ rights and much more as the community was well on the way to being a developing community.

The condensed version of how and why is this, after we built the housing complex we had many preschoolers who had no school and many of the older kids had to walk miles through mud and farm land to get to the nearest school if they could afford school that is. 

The Manager for the Philippines Gani Corunia and for Quezon pastor Ben Mergano told Star of Hope, of the problem and wanted to build a school on site to give quality education in a close proximity. It was a go on all fronts and we decided to build the school a bit at a time, in sections, starting with preschoolers and then first grade rooms would be built and so on. The donors of Star of Hope are lucky to be able to say; "we did this", and we have changed lives!

Call 1 (866) 653-0321 to be a sponsor!

 

Working in the non-profit sector helping across the world in the poorest areas, I often ponder on the difference a normal "working joe" can make. After all, most of us are not able to fund extensive development projects, costing millions! Most of us couldn't take off for a year or two and volunteer our time and knowledge. So can I as an "average American" really make a difference with my $50 or less?

I can answer that with a shouted - yes, you can. How? Simple. Sponsor a child through Star of Hope (my organization) or another organization you trust. You see, our interest shows up in the life of the child we support. That child receives hope in the knowledge that someone cares. They feel a sense of responsibility to do well for their sponsor.

Don't do nothing because you believe you can't change the world. The only gift that doesn't make a difference, is the gift not made.

Barry W Borror
President & CEO

Scott Tillotson, August 22, 2013.  Chase, Debbie and I have completed our formal sharing about Chase's disease, our experience as a family, physical therapy and nutrition.

debbie tillotson, romania, speaker,star of hope, yes

We have been experiencing the mountains with other parents and children at the conference.

I'm not sure how popular the fist bump was in Romania, but Chase has been winning people over. Many of the children (and adults) have switched from a handshakes to fist bumps.

Several families have asked to have pictures taken with us. I have mixed feelings about that. We aren't rock stars yet I'm pleased that what we've been able to communicate, has been well enough received, to merit the honor of being photographed with these wonderful families. The smiles of their children make the sun seem to shine a little brighter.

 

Even though communication is often difficult, the other parents and children have reached out to us wanting us to know their thoughts and to learn of ours. We have been blessed and God is using our communication in spite of our poor to nonexistent Romanian.
Today we were in the Carpathian Mountains near Bran Castle with Switzerland like scenery.

Scott T

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Water, just plain old water and yet life giving. So easily we take for granted our clean fresh water, yet not even in the Midwest especially Kansas are we completely spared from water troubles, just think about the fields the last few years, an entire section of the USA is currently affected and the outcome for more farmers than ever is up to chance alone. Right now there is a bit more than the last 3 years however some US farmers have used up their allotment for the year!

corn in bad shape

Even if not historically groundbreaking, an unwelcome sight in the Midwest.

Of course for us who live here we are solaced by the fact that the water faucet just needs a small turn and the life giving liquid will flow, almost never do we give it a second thought; faucet on-water flows. In many places where we work, people live constantly under the exact opposite condition. We have children in some of our schools that may spend several hours each day to get water, and then there is still no guarantee that the water is clean, in fact in many places where the water is not clean one would fib about that fact as life is just easier that way. Can dirty water be better than no water, I wonder.

More than 1.1 billion of the world's 7 billion people lack access to clean water. Last year over 1.5 million children died in diseases related to dirty water and poor hygiene. Many of the diseases that plague people in developing countries today would not exist if there was access to clean water and good sanitation was the norm. The international consensus states that if current trends continue it is estimated two-thirds of the world's population lack access to clean water by 2025. Let’s just break that down in a different syntax; only one in three on earth will have clean water in the future, come on it’s just water!

Not a normal situation across the globe.


Humans can survive without food for up to three weeks, but without water we will die in less than 3 days. I fear that the lack of water will lead to more conflict and deteriorating living conditions for the worlds already vulnerable. Even when it comes to something as obvious as water, it is the poor who take the biggest and hardest hit. They cannot afford to buy bottled drinking water, they do not have city water nor can they buy the water treatment products needed to make the water drinkable. They do not even have the ability to protect the natural springs, rivers, streams where some for centuries they have obtained water. Extreme poverty and ignorance makes it difficult for people to take responsibility for the future of natural resources. But our Western lifestyle has also led to an over use of water and in that context, even we with our good access to water are complicit in belittling water availability.

Did you know that it takes 1 and 1/3 pound of chemicals and 3000 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans? Many of the clothes we wear right here in the USA are manufactured in countries that already have a shortage of water and some of the manufacturing processes do not help the water situation with illegal dumping and leakages.

Think instead that for many, all the time spent to get water or time in sickness due to bad water , could actually be used for something more productive, such as work, school, or why not rest or play. I think our world would look different. Of course there is no shortage of methods to solve the world's water problems, but we need to take joint responsibility for the water. Cultivation, supply, respect and hygiene can be realized only if people have access to the resources and knowledge needed to be a steward of the resource.

Large schools need large amounts of water.

Sometime we have to go deep!

I feel Star of Hope has an important function; in our schools and in the projects where we work, we want to provide knowledge about the importance of water. In several places we work we have water because water systems have been built; dams, wells, irrigation canals or made rainwater capture a workable technology of course sometimes we have to run ½ inch pvc water pipe for long stretches. We teach children and their parent’s hygiene and the importance of sanitation; we give them the tools to fight for their rights - and of course the right to clean water something that without a doubt is worth fighting for and something that must be respected.

The finished product, right thing at right place.

That's what it's all about, sweet water!

When you sponsor a child through Star of Hope we make sure water is also a deliverable to that child’s school or community and that is a good thing my friends!


Mark Presson
Star of Hope

If you would like sponsor a Child Today, click here to get started.

Did you know that...

18 landerStar of Hope has projects in 15 countries around the world?


30000 barn

Also every day, more than 12,000 children receive education and care through Star of Hope? Also, we touch over 30,000 children each day with services!

 

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