What is Chrestos
Life Ministries International have a passion to help orphans all over the world. Our first step into making a difference in children’s lives began with Hope Foundation in Tanzania after Bishop Robert Chidundo asked a small team of volunteers from Kingswinford Christian Centre to visit the Hope Foundation’s Children's Orphanage as they were in desperate need. Bishop Robert had investigated the Staff and the work and found it the most in need. They experienced first-hand the deprivation and poverty in this region and particularly at the Orphanage.
In February 2012 the first (Chrestos) team meeting was held with several people who had heard the story of this little orphanage in Tanzania and wanted to help. This first meeting was a fruitful one and out of it was birthed the idea of the child sponsorship scheme to get the most support directly to the children.
As a Church based mission, our actions are directed by what we believe God is saying to us. All of the team, right from the beginning, felt strongly that God wanted us to help these children. And so, the Chrestos Team sprang into action.
Over the first few months, the team didn’t have a specific banner to work on until the name Chrestos was suggested. The Greek adjective, "Chrestos" means: Kind - it speaks of, ‘being kind, showing kindness, a way of describing who we are, what we do - a reflection of our God who is kind’!
The title Chrestos also gives us two sub meanings as well:
a) Christian Response to Tanzanian Orphans... (this concentrates on our specific focus at this time- it is Christian, it is to those who are either Tanzanian or in Tanzania, and Orphans.)
B) Christian Response To Orphans (For when we move forward to work with others outside of Tanzania.)
Unfortunately, it was during this time that we also learnt of the passing of one of the children, Eva Shavunza due to medical complications ensuing from poor diet and other areas. This galvanised the Chrestos Team into ensuring that for this orphanage this wouldn’t happen again: ‘Not on our watch if at all possible.’
"For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help. I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy." Job 29:12-13
Since 2012, we’ve been able to help, and make a major difference in these children’s lives. 100% of your sponsorship money that came in went straight to the children. This ensured the children were eating on a regular basis more than once a day.
When we first encountered Hope orphanage there were 39 children being accommodated. This number has now grown to 65. Several of the children have left as they have now grown up and are making they own way in life. A few have decided to give back to Hope and repay what they gained there by helping the next generations of orphans; others like Omega Mringo who is attending teaching college, a dream previously well out of her reach.
As well as providing regular meals, we’ve been able to make it possible for the Hope Foundation to plan with long-term storage for grains/wheats etc. Due to the funding provided, the orphanage can now purchase items in bulk rather than the smaller amounts they had to rely on before; no longer hand-to-mouth!
Alongside this, we have run several different special projects, raising funds for different areas from clothing to farm animals. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the local community and the church family at KCC,
Alongside this, we have had the pleasure of knowing some amazing people who have freely given money or goods, above and beyond what was expected enabling us to make a major difference in the lives of these children. Thanks to local people and businesses, we were able to send over feminine hygiene products, soaps, disinfectants, razors and toothpaste (donation from Local Dentist). For the first time ever in 2013, The Hope Foundation was connected to the Tanzanian Electrical Grid allowing for a constant supply of electricity rather than rely on an old generator which only allowed power for short periods of time and was very costly to run. This has had a profound and measurable impact upon the children’s education, as it now became possible for them to complete homework and revision after the ‘sun went down’.
During another special appeal we were able to collect a large quantity of basic first aid supplies, gloves and other related products to donate to a local hospital, which operated with very limited supplies. This donation of items benefitted the local community and helped with keeping those who are willing to give of their time to achieve more than they could have before.
When we look at The Hope Foundation Orphanage today, through your involvement, we can see an amazing difference compared to when we first visited in 2011.
The children are healthier and happier, with a hope that readily shines in their eyes. Since the start of our sponsorship programme, not one of the children has died due to illness or other means that, compared to other orphanages in the Tanzanian area, is a major improvement.
Their attendance and attainment at their various Schools has markedly improved, and as already mentioned, some are now pursuing dreams that were previously impossible. The Children are now accommodated in comfortable environments with improvements to
Kingswinford Christian Fellowship Annual Report 09.2017 – 08.2018 page: 45
their security, furniture, dining arrangements and washing. They now have designated toilet and accommodation blocks, along with doors and windows!
Our aim has always been to show the widows and the orphans that God connects us too, the love, goodness and kindness of God. Our desire is to lift these orphans out of their desperate, impoverished, malnourished situation - to not just give them a future hope, but changed lives today.
Our aim has also been to bring them to a position of self-sufficiency, so that they are no longer dependant on donor-foreign aid-support.
We can report to you, that The Hope Foundation are now in that position. Isn't that just wonderful. Oh, thanks be to God, that He has worked miracles through you, our sponsors and the Chrestos management team.
So now it is time to end this stage of our involvement with The Hope Orphanage.
We will continue to be a part of their lives, standing with them as we see them, the children, Orphanage, Schools and Church grow. We continue to regularly communicate and pray with them. We will be there for them in times of emergency, and consider future special projects.
Over the past 6 years, you, the sponsors, have made a massive difference in these children’s lives and for that, we thank you.
A new Chrestos 2 management team has been formed. We are now seeking God regarding the future, adopting the lessons we’ve learnt from working with The Hope Orphanage and seeing where we can help next, where our partnership is strategically
needed most among the most desperate. There are many places and people that need help – but we want to be guided by God.
We would love to keep in touch with you regarding our future projects, sponsorship programmes, and missions or joining the Chrestos 2 management team.
There are lives – people – that are in desperate broken hopeless situations. Together we have already made the difference. Tomorrow – we want to make the difference to yet more people. We will need YOUR help, support, prayers and encouragement.
Please would you consider helping us to help them – bringing the love and kindness of God to the neediest: the widows and the orphans.
To each of our many sponsors we say a really big African hearted, "Asante!" (Thank You)
On behalf of the Life Ministries International Chrestos Management team