Assortment of thoughts for the New Year
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.
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!
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.