the Hope of Survivors

Kenya Division Update by Hephzibah Akunga & Samantha Nelson

(From the October 2008 edition of HopeSpeak)

Recently The Hope of Survivors Kenya representative, Hephzibah Akunga, was able to come to the U.S. and attend the ASI Convention in Tampa, FL as well as the Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day program at Thompsonville, IL. Writing about her experience at the Thompsonville Church, Hephzibah says:

“It was a wonderful experience being my first time to hear Steve and The Hope of Survivors testimony. If God’s people would be bold enough to call sin, sin, then there will be less cases of such abuse in church congregations. I was touched by the testimony by Kim and Gerald. I have not heard such witnesses before, that it happens in an extent of even someone threatening to take life. Jesus paid it all on Calvary, and as human beings, we need repentance and forgiveness. I was very pleased with the involvement of The Hope of Survivors to have had so many people from the congregation and neighborhood attending the benefit concert and the willingness to support The Hope of Survivors activities here and abroad. I had not seen the story of David and Bathsheba in the “Abuse of Power” context. I praise God for Steve, and you know, I saw Steve with a glittering face and I would see shadow-like smoke when he was preaching. I thought it was a candle lit, but I never saw a candle in the pulpit. The music was fantastic from Jill and God bless her for the time she sacrifices to assist in the running of The Hope of Survivors. I would imagine how many emails and answers you have to give to all the enquiries.”

During the benefit concert, Hephzibah shared with us about her sister’s planned contribution to The Hope of Survivors. She says:

“My sister was moved by the brochures and banner at the Convention in Tampa, FL and felt she would do something. She said she would give part of her land she has in Nairobi for a construction of a counseling center for the hurting to get help.”

Praise God for moving upon Jane Simbe’s heart to donate land for a healing center in Kenya! Thank you, Jane, for your generous sacrifice. Once Hephzibah returns to Kenya, she will begin the paperwork for the legal transfer of the land and then we can begin to estimate costs for such a building. Already, several individuals have expressed an interest in going with us to Kenya to help with the ministry there. If you’d be interested in joining us, or helping to sponsor others, please let us know.

Hephzibah has been busy making plans for The Hope of Survivors outreach in Kenya. Below, she shares some of her experiences and plans for when we are able to go to Kenya:

“After meeting twice and sharing with the pastors in Nairobi, they felt there is a missing link of information and wished to have a seminar by The Hope of Survivors ASAP. When The Hope of Survivors (U.S.) representatives visit Kenya, we shall conduct seminars for pastors and church leaders of various congregations and conferences. We shall have an opportunity to meet the Director of Christian Association of Kenya (CHAK) and thereafter meet some of its member churches and hospitals. We will visit various church congregations in the city and some out of the city. We shall visit victims at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital with arrangements, and meet some of those who have communicated to The Hope of Survivors in the past. We shall launch counseling services too. In the recent past, the data from the Rape Act is high, and many cases are not reported. We shall also visit one of the internally displaced centers and talk to women of their observations on rape.”

That’s a lot to do in such a short time but, by God’s grace, we will share information, spread hope, provide help and facilitate healing to those in need. Thank you, Hephzibah, for the work you’re doing in Kenya on behalf of The Hope of Survivors. May God bless you!

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18