Crisis Adverted- Hope Restored

Not long ago, a young single woman faced a seemingly insurmountable life crisis. Freshly unemployed, homeless, on the losing end of alcohol consumption and in a toxic relationship, she discovered she was pregnant.

The next steps seemed obvious. This was not a woman ready to become a parent. The only reasonable course of action, they assured her, was to abort. Instead, she scheduled an appointment at a Care Net of Puget Sound pregnancy center. Nine years later, her “crisis pregnancy” became her greatest blessing. He’s a curly-headed third grader with a passion for orphans and a keen interest in presidential trivia.

His mother is the ever-grateful narrator of this story, now gainfully employed by the very organization that ministered life to her nine years ago. It is an unspeakable joy to now help women and families in Puget Sound with life-affirming hope and encouragement that Care Net has so faithfully provided for over 30 years.

Care Net offers hope by providing compassionate practical care, accurate information and life-affirming resources on pregnancy, sexual health, and abortion recovery. We are fiercely committed to the value and dignity of every life and our work starts long before a woman shows up for a pregnancy test. Our Smart Programs faithfully engage young people on sexual health and safety. This past year, Care Net engaged 9,000+ students in 200 schools. Teachers and educators in the region regularly request our presence in their classrooms.

One recent Smart Programs participant, after hearing our staff presenter, reached out and let her know she was pregnant. The staff member meets with this young woman weekly to help her make important life choices preparing her to navigate the road ahead successfully. Her eyes welled up with tears when staff gifted a basket full of clothes and necessary supplies for her baby boy last month. She has now signed up for parenting classes so we can continue pouring love and support into her as she continues her journey.

And while we are overjoyed that 97% of our pregnant clients who have an ultrasound in our centers choose life for their babies, we know that 3% do not. We offer continued support to these women. We make sure they know they are welcomed back in our centers for additional services and resources as they need them.

At Care Net, we realize, for many, the mention of the “a-word” can feel like pushing on a painful bruise. The emotional and spiritual wounds of past abortions are very real. Often, women believe they must shoulder the burden of these wounds alone. Our Healing Tide program provides a safe, confidential and non-judgmental place for women to process and release painful post-abortion emotions so they can begin healing and restoration. A recent participant remarked, “For the first time in decades, I feel restored and healed.”

That’s exactly what we are about at Care Net – extending hearts and services to those needing hope and transformation by the saving love of Jesus Christ so they can freely live out the abundant lives He designed them to enjoy.

My Long Journey- From the Streets to New Life

On August 20th 1994, NSHIMIYIMANA BOSCO was born in Kigali city. He’s an orphan of one parent; his other parent died when he was twelve years old. Having lost his parent who provided support and care including education, Nshimiyimana left home and became a street boy for many years. While wiping tears away during his testimony, Bosco couldn’t believe he survived such an unpleasant situation.

Seeking God, Bosco said “I met Mr. Alexis RUHUMURIZA, the unbelievable man in my life who took me to his home and provided all I was lacking from my family.  For sure, Alexis is the forgotten parent in my life and my future.  May God bless him.  I now have hope for my future and am working hard to bring this same hope for those who need it.  I will always remember all the support I received from Alexis.“

“After leaving my family, I didn’t expect to return to school. Despite the fact that I felt hopeless, Alexis took me to school and provided everything needed including fees to catch me up to high school.  I completed my high school diploma, so I am now hoping to attend the university.”

“I want to thank Mr. Alexis very much for all his support, prayer and encouragement that has changed my entire life   God bless him and his family.”

“I remember the day I met Alexis.  He was preaching that night at SODOMA. It was around 2 am. I was doing my job serving prostitutes condoms to use for sex.  The next day, Alexis came to ‘ Sodom;’ he took us (6 children) from this very bad life to live with him.  I respect him for working so hard to change my behavior and my life.  Imagine the behavior of people who are separated from parents (drugs, alcoholism, prostitution and so many other dangerous behaviors) that threatened my whole life. Thank you so much, Alexis, for now, I know that the future is better. The good news is that I am a good man.  My dream is to bring hope to others by sharing my story, equipping the younger generation and encouraging them through the story of my life.  God bless all who have contributed to Alexis’ boys’ home:  Jean McAllister and Ali Bloom.”

 

If you haven’t had the joy of meeting Pastor Alexis Ruhumuriza, come worship with the New Hope Revival.  Services are  Sundays at 10:00am in UC-105

Fighting Human Slavery

Last week in Ghana, International Justice Mission (IJM) supported the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) and local police to rescue four children – two boys and two girls – enslaved in the fishing industry. The children ranged from 7-15 years old, and three of them are siblings. The 13-year-old boy was terrified and stressed through the rescue operation. The girls rescued are his younger sisters. But after receiving food, a shower, and fresh clothes, he approached the team with a huge smile to say, “God bless you.”

The aftercare team provides crayons and coloring books to the children as an outlet for their feelings, and to help them to feel calm and relaxed in the midst of a very confusing situation. The photo shows the children spellbound while watching Tom and Jerry cartoons. All four children are now safe and being cared for at a shelter home, where they will receive immediate medical care and counseling services.
As we celebrate the good work of police and the AHTU in the second

IJM rescue this year, we are also encouraged by the growing support for ending slavery on Lake Volta that is coming from communities around the lake. This month, Ghana’s Church and Community Relations team led a Justice Conference for pastors, church members, and school teachers to learn about God’s heart for justice in a town not far from some of the villages where children are being enslaved on Lake Volta.

Join us in celebrating the progress made in Ghana, that communities and law enforcement are ready to fight for the end of child slavery in the country.
On Sunday, August 19 at 12:15pm in S-140, Jocelyn White of International Justice Mission will be our featured speaker for the Global Outreach Talk at BelPres.  Join us for light lunch and to hear about the work International Justice Mission is doing to rescue people from slavery and helping local authorities capture suspected slave owners.

Hu Ran’s Story

My name is David and I’m a case manager at World Relief. We, at World Relief, wanted to share the story of one of our participants, Hu Ran.

In September 2017, I met Ran and was immediately puzzled by him. Born in China in 1975, Ran looked and seemed completely ordinary. Nothing besides his Christian affiliation suggested that he was someone who could be targeted for persecution. He worked in IT in Beijing translating Mandarin documents into English. His hobbies included table tennis and photography.

Over time, like many refugees, Ran opened up about his story. He told me that he had been a street photographer and began showing me his photos. I was amazed at the compassion his photos rendered towards their subjects and how boldly his photos challenged the status quo. Ran’s love for the poor drew him into Beijing’s hutongs, narrow lanes in a traditional residential area in China. While he sought to capture how people really lived, his love called him into the opulent city plazas where he composed photographs revealing ironic and bold truths. Because of Ran’s humility, I only learned much later that his photos received an award from Magnum Photos and were published by National Geographic. I also learned the degree of admiration was not shared by the authorities in China – who monitored him at work, stalked, harassed him and threatened his family.

Ran fled China and arrived in the U.S. in October 2016. He spent 11 months in the Northwest Detention Center, fighting for political asylum. After receiving asylum on September 18th, 2017, Ran came to World Relief. Through Bel-Pres’ generous donations, World Relief moved Ran into a fully-furnished apartment with roommates. Our on-site ESL teachers helped his English and our job specialists helped Ran create resumes, apply for jobs and shop for work attire. Ran now works part-time at Sea-Tac and attends a Chinese-American church in Federal Way. He’s searching for another part-time job so he can prepare a place for his family and resume his work as a photographer.

“What do you miss about China?” I asked him in an interview.

Ran told me about his four-year-old son, Hu Huaipu, and his wife, Wang Lei. Her name means “flower bud.” Ran misses the hutongs, the narrow streets, and alleyways that line metropolitan Beijing. He misses his idiosyncratic neighbors and the closeness of life in Beijing. “20 million people packed into one city,” he says, fondly.  Nostalgically, Ran talks about how he misses his DSLR camera, which he sold for fear of losing it on the journey to America.

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I ask him.

Ran tells of his dream to bring his family to America. He talks about the refugees still in the Northwest Detention Center who left a deep impression on him. “I want to do a documentary on refugees and immigrants,” he says. He explains to me that refugees are good people looking for a fresh start and how some people are fearful of refugees. “They need someone in the middle,” Ran tells me, “to help them understand each other. I can do it! Just like the project I did with the peasant workers in the hutongs.”

“What does Huaipu’s name mean?” I ask Ran, curious about his son’s name. Ran pauses for a moment to translate it. “Honest heart,” he says.

We, at World Relief, are honored to know refugees like Ran. They remind us that refugees are made in God’s image; that they brim with creativity and offer a fresh voice from which we have much to learn. Thank you for your generous donations to help refugees like Ran find a new home in America.

 

Please click here for the National Geographic gallery of Hu Ran’s photography.

Please click here for World Relief Seattle to learn out more about their work with immigrants and refugees.