Tuesday, November 21, 2017

100 Christmas Dollies: 2017 Beneficiary Announcement

I felt strangely pressed to visit a church we’d ministered through about four years ago. We don’t often lose touch, but somehow my life in Uganda made staying connected to this coastal Kenya church a challenge. We reconnected through the Sensible Shoes short-term ministry program in August and I was surprised by what I saw. Instantly I knew it was the Holy Spirit bringing me home. Prs Raymond and Amos humbly presented their church expansion project by leading us over the half-built threshold into the old church structure, which was overflowing with children.

At a later interview, Pr Raymond introduced four ladies who started new businesses as a result of our ministry-teaching, but was sure to point out they weren’t alone. A short time after these new businesses were launched the church had a fundraising ceremony and began constructing their expansion. We don't often get to see the results of seeds sown many years ago, but I am thankful for blind obedience in the urge to return to visit with Pr Raymond and the way the Lord encourages us all through relationships.

Between the time I met Pr Raymond for the Sensible Shoes ministry and the time Pr Ephantus returned for the interview, even more work had been done. Their next phase of constructions is beams and iron sheets for the roof.

Before the addition began, this is the church photo I took many years ago.
Walls for the expansion under construction in August.
The new construction almost doubles the size of the church.

The beautiful tree is gone now.

Who Qualifies
  • Surprised by Hope has several criteria that must be met before selecting the beneficiary of the 100 Christmas Dolly gift.
  • The church pastor or leaders must have attended a Surprised by Hope workshop.
  • The church must evidence direct application of some lesson from that workshop toward positive change in their church. We acknowledge that there are many ways to apply our lessons and that not all of them are tangible. However, our goal is to leave a tangible, long-lasting legacy and so we aim at selecting churches making physical improvements.
  • Church members must evidence their own motivation toward their goal without expecting the 100 Christmas Dolly gift.
  • Our gift must be only a minor portion of the overall work of the church construction. We are not in the business of building churches, it’s members are. We simply wish to offer a small gift to help them along.

As you can see, Prs Raymond and Amos, and Emmanuel Baptist Church of Hadu, Kenya, meet all these criteria very well. We are excited to award Emmanuel Baptist Church the 100 Christmas Dolly gift for 2017 and are so thankful for Pastor Raymond’s faithful service to the people of Hadu, Kenya.

How it Works
  • Choose the one (or several) dollies calling your name.
  • Make a tax deductible donation of $25 per dolly using PayPal, or send a check in the mail to the U.S. address at the bottom of the home page. Don’t forget to include your dolly number(s) in the comment field.
  • On Christmas day we will bring a full meal to the church and a simple Nativity message to the children with a gift for all the dollies we have sponsored.
  • Watch for a picture of your dolly with his or her new Kenyan mommy or daddy. Often these photos are posted online before your family gatherings on Christmas day.
  • Then we’ll use your donation money to invest in a roof for Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hadu. Watch for future progress updates.
  • Pray regularly for the child who received your dolly and for the church.

Read About Previous Gifts

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