Monday, December 28, 2009

IHH Widow Care Program

IHH Missionary Pastor, Ziblim Mohammed, of the Northern Region of Ghana, West Africa, has researched and identified needy widows (and their children) living in the remote mud-hut villages of Tarikpaa, Sankpem and Kushibo.

IHH is very pleased to launch the WIDOW CARE PROGRAM, which seeks to provide funds to village widows for basic needs such as food, healthcare and education.  In addition, widows will receive job training and seed money to help them become independent wage earners and providers for their famililes. These funds and services will be provided through the leadership of Shalom Baptist Church in Tarikpaa village.

If you are interested in helping to improve the life of impoverished women and children, please click here.

If you have questions regarding the IHH Widow Care Program, please contact Cheryl at


Widow Mariama Imoro  of Kushibo Village
Children: 4 (2 pre-school, 2 school age)
Occupation: selling of cola nuts and farming
Daily Income:  None
NHIS (National Healthcare): Registered
Religion: Muslim
Support Needed: 2 goats, School Fees for 2 children, Seed money for small business venture
Total  Needed:  $250.00 USD

Widow Adamu Imoro of Kushibo Village
Children: 4 (2 pre-school, 2 school age)
Occupation:  farming
Daily Income: None
NHIS (National Healthcare): Registered
Religion: Muslim
Support Needed: 2 goats, School Fees for 2 children, Seed money for small business venture
Total Needed: $250.00 USD

Widow Sanatu Imoro of Kushibo Village
 Children: 5 (3 school age)
 Occupation: None (too old/sick to work in fields)
 Daily Income: None
 NHIS (National Healthcare):  Registered
 Religion: Muslim
Support needed: 2 goats, School Fees for 3 children, Seed money for small business venture
Total Needed:  $300.00 USD

Widow Sanatu Dahimani  of Tarikpaa Village
Children: 7 (4 school age)
Occupation:  None
Daily income:  None
NHIS (National Healthcare): Registered
Religion: Christian
Support Needed: 2 goats, School fees for 4 children, Seed money for small business venture
Total Needed:  $350.00 USD

Orphans Sharifa and Ibrahim Zakaria of Tarikpaa Village
(mother deceased, homeless)
Ages:  Jr High School, Sr. High School
Daily Income:  None
NHIS=Sharifa, registered   Ibrahim, not registered
Religion: Muslim
Support Needed: 2 goats, School fees for upper education, housing
Total Amt Needed:  $650 USD

Widow Bibata Imoro of Sankpem Village
Children:  1
NHIS (National Healthcare): Registered
Daily Income:  None
Occupation:  None
Religion:  Muslim
Support Needed: 2 goats, school fees, seed money for small business venture
Total Amount Needed:  $250.00 USD

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Friend to the Fatherless

IHH is a friend to the fatherless through orphan advocacy programs in China, Ethiopia and Ghana.

Click here to read an overview of our orphan advocacy program.

Click here to help an orphan.  100% of your donation goes directly to the orphan program of your choice. 

Questions?  Contact IHH at

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sankpem Water Project

Sankpem is a remote mud-hut village located in the Northern Region of Ghana, West Africa.  The single water well in Sankpem has dried up and now the village women and young girls are forced to walk several miles, one way, to find a clean water. 

By the grace of God, in the early part of 2010, IHH will begin construction on a water pipe system that will bring clean water to the villagers of Sankpem for the first time in several years!

Click here if you are interested in helping provide fresh water to Sankpem village.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Give Hope Through IHH

This Christmas, take an opportunity to bless a child or a family through your gift to IHH. An updated list of IHH's giving needs is available on our website.

If you plan to contribute to the programs and projects of IHH in 2009, please contribute online or ensure your check is postmarked by December 31, 2009.

End of year tax statements will be sent out to all IHH contributors.

Click here to give hope to someone in need.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

IHH Ghana Mission Update

*2 starving children were found by Pastor Mohammed. By the grace of God, IHH was able to send funds for nutritional food and medical care. It looks as if they are going to survive.

*IHH Missionary Pastor, Ziblim Mohammed, recently reported that today's big fund-raising effort by Shalom Baptist Church in Tarikpaa was a huge success. They raised enough funds for the foundation of the church.

*The church in Sankpem is almost complete. They currently meet under a tree.

*Funds for the water project in Sankpem, a very poor village with NO clean water source, continue to come in. IHH is scheduled to begin the task of piping clean water into the village as soon as January 1, 2010.

*IHH is in the process of launching a Widow Care Program in the Northern Region. Pastor M. has researched and identified widows who will benefit from the program by receiving 2 goats, healthcare registration and educational funds for the children. We are also looking at ways to help them become self-sufficient with raising their own food and learning a trade that will bring in enough funds to feed their children.

*Plans are underway for a Ghana 2010 Men's/Women's Conference at Tarikpaa. Pray as the leaders prepare curriculum and train team members.

*Suyuhini Napari and Eunice Alidu, 2 young village girls, are now attending Tamale Poly-Technic, thanks to generous donors.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adoption Advocacy in Ghana

From Darren Sapp, IHH Volunteer Coordinator for Ghana Adoption Advocacy:
My son and I, having returned from Ghana, West Africa, are processing all we saw and experienced. We were privileged to meet some of the finest and nicest people in the world. The Lord blessed this trip immensely, providing one opportunity after another to meet with various groups and individuals on the subject of domestic adoption and orphan care in Ghana. I am pleased to announce that we began a ministry modeled after the Christian Alliance for Orphans and it will be led by Miss Dorcas Osei-Asantewah. Although this will be an extension and ministry of International Hope & Heritage, the name and NGO status will need to follow some regional requirements.

Some things we discovered
There is overwhelming agreement that approximately 20% of orphans in Ghana are available for adoption. The remaining have both parents, one parent, or relatives that cannot care for them but do not want them adopted, perhaps hoping they might be able to take care for them at some point. This fact alone makes it clear that this ministry’s primary goal is the restoration of every orphan to a family, whether biological or adoptive. The belief system of many Ghanaians does not look favorably at orphans or adoption and in cases of abnormalities some believe it a curse. Many that do adopt want to be able to say that the children they adopt were born to them biologically and they demand only healthy babies. Children with slight to severe special needs and/or older orphans have very little chance at adoption. The work of the Holy Spirit to pierce through this belief system is ripe for harvest.

The major goal:
We do not seek to create a ministry to replace the work of the church, rather we will help the church in Ghana with this ministry work as long as it is needed. We seek to encourage pastors to communicate through preaching and other means the numerous Biblical texts on the caring for orphans. We ask the church to find orphanages in their area and partner with them. Every partnership will look different but some things they might do are regularly visiting orphans, supporting the orphanage through gifts of food, clothing, and labor, education of children, discipleship, medical care, sports, games, and on occasion holding worship service at the orphanage. We contend that through this work, church members will engage the orphan and work toward their restoration to their biological family or an adoptive family. Many will realize that they too can adopt regardless of a child’s age or condition while others will experience the joy of reuniting an orphan with their biological parent. While we absolutely support international adoption, this ministry focuses on domestic adoption.

Some things we will do:
In the course of our eight-day trip, we met with several pastors, orphanage directors, laypersons, missionaries, and government officials. Our goals included a ton of fact finding and networking. All of this will continue as we progress toward a regional conference in the spring of 2010 in Accra and possibly one more in Kumasi. The design of the conference will enable maximum contact and networking for those in this type of ministry but also be results-oriented. Through various seminars and workshops, ministry workers can leave with a plan to either begin or broaden their ministry and perhaps form partnerships where none existed. The ministry will act as a central location for information, networking, and education. Much of this information will be located on the ministry website. In addition, the ministry will conduct adoption seminars in churches, educating believers, and helping them realize their calling to adopt. Future work will continue in networking, holding an annual conference, and production a high quality DVD with testimonies from adoptive families. This ministry will not be limited to the things I have discussed but this represents the core plan.

What can you do:
Starting today, you can forward this information to anyone interested as we build a network of interested parties whether in Ghana, neighboring African nations, and the United States. Feel free to provide our contact info.

Dorcas Osei-Aswantewah
0246541366 Ghana

Cecilia Nketiah
817-715-2091 U.S.

Darren Sapp
214-477-4039 U.S.

Friday, October 30, 2009

IHH in Ethiopia

We (Luke and Cyndi) are beyond thrilled to be returning to Ethiopia. This is a much-anticipated and prayed-for opportunity. We are departing Friday October 30 and returning Saturday November 7. It is a quick trip, but we are trusting in the God of time (and of timing) to help us be good stewards of the days on the ground there. Thank you so much for your involvement and support of IHH's ministries there. We are looking forward to maintaining some of our existing connections, praying with our ministry partners and coming alongside them in some of their work, as well as laying the groundwork for some future team trips in 2010 and beyond.

By God's grace, and keeping in mind that "man makes plans, but the LORD directs his steps" (Pr. 16:9), here is who we plan to meet with during the week. We humbly ask that you pray for the names and ministries below with whom we will be meeting, and that God would provide even more "divine appointments" as we seek to minister to all with whom we come in contact as well as prepare to bring future teams in 2010.

Getahun Tesema - founder/President of Bright Hope Organization (a.k.a. Buckner/Bright Hope) a large, effective NGO involved in nearly a dozen ministries. We’ll visit at least a couple of these projects. Getahun’s wife, Tegist, is the director of Buckner/Bright Hope’s children’s home – their combination orphanage & transition home (where our son lived) We will also visit this home during the week.

Joe & Karen Bridges - leaders in Ethiopia for their 501(c)(3) out of Tennessee called The Foresaken Children. From their website: “...exists as an advocate for Ethiopia’s children at risk by building sustainable financial support for Christ-centered Ethiopian organizations working with children at risk, and helping these organizations to develop into strategic, long-lasting interventions.” Joe & Karen moved to Ethiopia last year, along with their two children. They work closely with their Ethiopian NGO partner, Children’s Home Ethiopia, to run both a boys’ home in the Lafto area (near the guest house) and a daytime drop-in center in the Mexico area. (another area of Addis…)

Wondwossen (Peter) Abera – founder of Compassionate Family International, an Ethiopian NGO which operates two drop-in centers we will visit. One is within walking distance of the guest house in Lafto and the other in the Kechene area of the city. Peter is just an outstanding, humble, joyous servant who has blessed us just by his friendship, let alone the way he cares for those in need.

Ephrem HagosEthiopia Guest Home manager and leader of his own soccer/sports ministry to street children. We’ll visit the site of the soccer ministry which takes place nearly every afternoon, and probably take some of the kids out for a very special meal that evening (for us and them). With one or two of them on each of our arms, we’ll visit the local Ethiopian version of Starbucks/cafe and spend some time with them… giving them a voice while we hear their stories.

Beza Entoto Outreach – through Beza Int’l Church in Addis, a multi-faceted outreach program primarily aimed at the HIV/AIDS community on Entoto Mountain. Aspects of the program include: job creation; Self-Help Groups - like life groups with a micro-finance twist; weekly children’s ministry; health care. We’ll visit not only the Outreach center but also the Entoto community as well.

Win Souls For God – a ministry based in the heart of Addis and run by a small group of energetic, giving young men. We’ll hear about their ministry and visit at least two of their projects: a shelter/home for women rescued & rehabilitating from prostitution; and a vocational training center where boys rescued from lives on the street are learning a trade – in this case weaving very intricate fabrics.

Bole Bulbula – an impoverished rural village that lies literally right behind/next to the airport in Addis. IHH has taken steps to sponsor some of the children there and to provide vocational training opportunities for some of their parents. We’ll visit the village along with Pastor Abdissa Bente Leye of Addis and the local leader in Bole.

Kids’ Care and AHope – two larger orphanages located in Addis. In contrast to the smaller Buckner/BHO children’s home that serves as both orphanage and transition home, Kids’ Care is a large orphanage where children are waiting to be adopted through one of at least four different agencies (from the U.S. and several E.U. countries). Typically, when children have been “referred” or matched up with adoptive families, they will move from the orphanage to that particular adoption agency’s “transition home,” a smaller facility. A-Hope is one of the largest orphanages serving predominantly HIV-positive children.

Elolam orphanage – serving a small rural area near Debre Zeit, south of Addis. IHH has been working with this orphanage to facilitate the paperwork needed for children at this home to be eligible for adoption.

Additionally, we are personally going to visit the home of our adopted son's extended family and take this opportunity to update them once again with photos of him. Luke had the opportunity to visit them last January and all of our son's relatives and neighbors were most overjoyed by a tangible reminder of how loved he is and how we regard them as important in his/our life. It is an amazing privilege and opportunity to maintain this connection.

Again, thank you for all of your prayers, interest, and participation in IHH's work. God is doing a mighty thing in this generation! May He bless you richly, and we pray you will return with us to Ethiopia at some point in the future.

"Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God."
William Carey

Eph. 3:20-21,

Luke and Cyndi

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ghana Adoption Advocacy

From Darren Sapp, IHH volunteer for adoption advocacy in Ghana:

I will be traveling with my son to Ghana soon to meet with numerous folks to discuss adoption and orphan care. Our goal is that by raising awareness, primarily through the church and interested entities, we will increase the number of domestic adoptions and encourage churches to begin adoption and orphan ministries. Ultimately, this will be a coalition much like the Christian Alliance for Orphans led by Ghanaians and supported by the church here and abroad.

Following are just a few of the things we hope to accomplish over the next two years:

  • Hold an annual conference for orphanage workers, pastors, government workers, etc.
  • Conduct seminars in churches to provide biblical foundations for adoption, present testimonials of those that have adopted, and present the logistical means to complete an adoption
  • Establish financial assistance programs such as church adoption funds, U.S. sponsorship programs, etc.
  • Appeal to Ghanaian government to remove any unnecessary boundaries to adoption
  • Appeal to those with the concern that an adopted child will be seen as a second class citizen
  • Create awareness in communities and train social workers to ensure that no adopted child is treated differently than biological children
  • Provide training and mentoring for experiencing parenthood for the first time or needing support adopting an older child
  • Provide theological education for pastors and layperson on adoption
  • Produce quality DVD of well-known Christian Ghanaian who has adopted

I earnestly seek your prayers over the next several weeks for divine appointments, God to speak through me, open doors, logistics, safety, missional vision for my son, and for those of my family not with me.

Darren Sapp

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ethiopia Child Sponsorship Program Launched

The child sponsorship program for the Ethiopian village of Bole Bulbula is now officially launched!

For $20, $30, or $50 per month, you can sponsor a child to provide him or her with good nutrition, healthcare, and educational supplies. At the higher levels of sponsorship, your contribution will also fund micro-enterprise development in this impoverished village.

There are 75 children in the village and we are just getting started. At this point, 1 child has a sponsor, and we hope to have all of the children sponsored as soon as possible.

Through your support, we can give these children and their families hope for a future!

If you are able to help, please let us know at our sponsorship webpage.


"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Training the Village of Bole Bulbula

Last week, IHH hosted training at Bole Bulbula, a small impoverished village just on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Literally, the village is within a mile of the Addis airport, but the village itself is small and seems to be very remote from the city.

The training at Bole Bulbula went on for four days and ended on Friday by giving out certificate for the trainees.

The people who attended the training include parents of the children who are going to be sponsored and members of the society who are in extreme poverty. The rest include members of other churches in the surrounding area. Also, pastors and elders of Mesgana church were there.

During the training, Mr. Girma, the trainer, started by speaking on how God speaks on work in the Bible. He gave the training using easy & natural materials available around their village. The training covered two major areas:

1. Natural medicines and protection: For malaria, diabetes, skin disease, hair protection, to protect against mosquitoes, mouse traps.

2. Income generation: Alcohol distillation, soap making, extraction of essential oils, creation of chalk for schools, solid fuel from alcohol, and other ways of creating income.

What makes the training so special was that there was a prayer and Bible study in between the training and lunch time which blessed every one. The pastor of the local church at Bole Bulbula, Pastor Gezahegn, told us that most of the people in that area are engaged in ancestral worship so it was a great opportunity for them to hear the gospel.

All of the families personally thanked the IHH team stating that they are very happy to share knowledge with their community, and they also wished to thank IHH’s contributors in God’s name.

Our training and self-sustaining income generation projects will continue in Bole Bulbula. The next step is going to be organizing the workers into groups and helping to prepare the work materials. Through these efforts, our hope is that the village is able to improve their situation and give them hope for a sustaining means of income. Our objective is to also see God glorified in all of these efforts.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Teaching at Lafto, Ethiopia Drop-In Center

Children Learning in Class

Children Learning in Class

Children happy to have a toothbrush.

Peter teaching the children how to brush their teeth

Peter teaching the children how to brush their teeth

Children with parents and representatives from local government.

Children with representatives of the local government.

Teachers and children playing games.

Peter provided this update on the teaching and celebration of the children and families at the Compassion Family International (CFI) drop-in center in Lafto, a neighborhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

We had wonderful time together at CFI with all the children, parents and some people from the government office and with some of the volunteers from the Ethiopia Guest Home. There were about more than 60 people having meals and drinks, distributing clothes and toothbrushes, and for the children to have a fun time.

The purpose of the meeting was just to have a get-together and to know each other. We also heard feedback from the parents about their children's progress since they come to CFI. People from the government who had selected the children to place with CFI expressed their appreciation for our work with the children and community. The also promised to stand behind me when ever I needed help. The promised us that the children will be able to be promoted to at least grade 1 and 2 starting from this coming September. It is very good for us.

One of the children's mother gave us a feedback about her 7-year old daughter, Mekides. She said that Mekides had never obeyed her and always created troubles at home, and because of this her mother not happy. But now she says Mekides' character and personality has been completely changed and their home is now full of peace. Now Mekides tells her mother that she loves the Lord and she loves singing every time at everywhere.

There is another boy named Abush, who moved here from the countryside and lives with his uncle. He is now 12 years old, but he didn’t get a chance to go school until this year. He is thankful for CFI since now he can write his name properly, and he is surrounded by many friends, and able to eat a meal every day.

Another child, Fasil, has had a difficult background. His mother is a kind of young lady and she always suffered to earn a daily income. She meet a man who became her boyfriend, and after a while she became pregnant and gave birth to Fasil. When her boyfriend heard that she gave birth he left her alone and she couldn’t find him. She start working in an undesirable job to make sure Fasil received proper nutrition, and she heard that CFI had opened our door for the poor. Fasil's mother brought him there. After Fasil was approved by the local city administration, he started attending school at CFI, and now Fasil is growing very much and he is happy every day. Fasil's mother is so thankful about the opportunity she had to help her child.

At our other drop-in center in Kechene, the children are growing very much mentally, physically and spiritually. We have made a lot of progress there. The kids working very hard on their school and they speak English very well. We always asking them about their future and every child has a dream that they are aspiring to.

For example, Yerderder is the top performer in Grade 1 last semester. Yerderder is a bright, motivated leader at Kechene. Her high grades are a reflection of her enthusiasm to learn, exemplified by her active participation and the numerous questions she asks during class. Yerderder wants to follow a career as a doctor when she grows up and enjoys math class.

Yerderder embodies the spirit of the student body of Kechene. With our help, Yerderder can receive a proper education and realize her dream of becoming a doctor.

God bless.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

IHH Team doing construction in Ghana

An IHH team is in Ghana right now doing church construction work.

Here's a note from the team leader:

As of 7:30 Ghana time, Tues evening:

Everything is going great here in Ghana. We've completed our second day of construction. Yesterday we finished the slab under the first phase of the building, and today we formed and poured the concrete columns that will be in the walls and that will ultimately support the next floor.

We're all healthy. All of our luggage made it. Everything really could not be better.

The kids are working very hard, and we are very proud of them. Between the three of them, they have toted a truckload of rocks and concrete with their head-pans.

We're working alongside about thirty Ghanaians, mostly church members but some hired people as well, and they've all been a joy to get to know also.

So, all's well here. 3 more days of work, then we head home Saturday morning.