News and Events
By Debi Axford, Bangla Hope U.S. Office Director
I write this update on Bangla Hope as I sit at my dining room table. The Bangla Hope US team has been working remotely for nearly two weeks now. Washington State has a “Stay at home” order from our governor. However, we began working from home a bit before that in an effort to prevent our founders Dave and Beverly Waid from being exposed to the virus. For those of you who are not aware, the US Bangla Hope headquarters office is located in a portion of the Waids’ home.
Many of our supporters have contacted our office with questions and concerns regarding how the ministry, Children’s Home and Village Schools are faring during this unsettling time. This message is our way of updating our supporters as to how Bangla Hope has been impacted, and what we are doing to manage the situation both in Bangladesh and in the US.
As I write this, none of our children, youth or staff have been infected with the Corona virus (as far as we know). However, in Bangladesh, all schools have been closed for some time, so all our 164 children and youth are home on the Bangla Hope campus. As you may know, we have had four student missionaries this year helping with teaching and other duties on our campus. At the onset of this pandemic, we only had two SMs remaining with us, and they have now returned home to the US earlier than planned. Our Executive Director, Robyn Griffin, who is currently in Bangladesh, will return to the US in early May as previously planned.
Our fundraising efforts have most certainly been negatively impacted by this pandemic. Our primary method of informing others about our work is to participate in camp meetings, ASI conferences and church services, all of which are now on hold. Every month we have the responsibility of support for our 164 children and youth at our Children’s Home campus, 155 boarding school students and 505 Village School students whose tuition is provided by our ministry. Finally, there are nearly 80 staff members, most of whom serve our ministry in Bangladesh and whose incomes are supplied by Bangla Hope. However, we rest confidently knowing we are in the care of our Heavenly Father.
We would appreciate your prayers for our children, youth, and staff. The Bangla Hope team would like to thank you for your faithful support over the years. You have truly been partners with us as we do the work God has called us to do in Bangladesh. Thank you, and may God bless you.
Joab’s family was very happy to welcome him, their very first baby boy, into their family. His Father worked hard as a day laborer, trying to earn money to support his family. It was then found that Joab’s Mother was mentally ill. She wasn’t talking very much with people, even close relatives. They believe in superstition, and she was taken to the village doctor several times. One day something very sad happened. Baby Joab was on the bed sleeping that morning when his Mother committed suicide by burning herself in the small kitchen while nobody was in the home. After an hour a neighbor came to visit the new baby and saw the situation. They immediately took her to the hospital which then referred her to another good hospital, but sadly she died along the way because her burns were too bad. It is so sad for the family and the baby too. The family didn’t know how to handle this crisis and later they came to know about Bangla Hope. They decided to give the baby to the orphanage because they could not care for the new born. Upon hearing this bad news, our Bangla Hope team with Robyn Griffin went to the spot to show our sympathy to the family. Now this infant has joined us at Bangla Hope and is being well taken care of.
Update January 30, 2020: Joab is now fully sponsored! Thank you to our caring and generous sponsors for making it possible to care for our children
My name is Kate and this last spring quarter was a crazy roller-coaster ride. I finished my sophomore year of nursing at Walla Walla University and had plans to continue my degree at the WWU Portland School of Nursing campus in the fall. But, God had different plans for me, plans that I didn’t think were possible.
For the past few months have been having these thoughts about taking a year off to go serve in a community, although I knew deep down inside that it was only a dream for the far-out future. At the end of May, however, I felt that I needed to take steps and clear my mind of the consistent and unsettling controversy happening in my own brain.
Through a lot of considerable thought, prayer, and being fully vulnerable with myself, I have enthusiastically accepted God’s call for me to serve his people in the country of Bangladesh. There have been many open doors and answers to prayer showing me that God has undoubtedly woven Himself in my life from beginning to the end. I cannot be more ecstatic!
I have the privilege of working with Bangla Hope, an orphanage with 162+ kids who all get to know and feel Jesus’ love. I am planning to leave at the end of September and stay until June 2020. My dad has graciously been helping me with setting up this blog so that you can follow along on this adventure with me. Stay tuned!
Link to Kate’s blog: https://thebangladish.weebly.com/
As many of you know, the Lord presented an opportunity for us to purchase nearly 3 acres of land almost adjacent to our Bangla Hope campus. We have shared with you our efforts as we have labored with the sellers to abide by the terms of the original contract that we had established with them over a year and a half ago. Countless requests were made by the sons of the owners, who were not present at the original meeting when the agreement was signed, to raise the price of the property. Many different tactics were used in an attempt to accomplish this goal but to no avail. We informed them that we had been more than generous with the price and would stick to the original agreement.
Finally, a meeting was set up for June 3 to finalize the purchase. After the government surveyor measured the property, which took most of the day, he declared that only 2.6 acres were free to sell…the remaining .4 acre did not belong to the sellers. The identity of the actual owner of the .4 acre was unknown and it would take between 3-4 years to untangle the situation. Upon hearing that we stated that we would only purchase the 2.6 acres and no more. The sons declared that we must purchase all or none, to which we responded…” Then it is none, I guess”. At that point the sellers resorted to yelling…then tears…then, pleading. They begged us to purchase all of the property. At last, they gathered their things to leave and we informed them that if they were planning on selling the land to us, they MUST do so before June 30…that is the close of our fiscal year and we had re-budgeted everything in order to make this purchase. It seemed that we would not be purchasing the property after all.
After three weeks of silence we were suddenly notified that the sellers would return on June 28th with their own surveyor to re-measure the land and then, sell on the 29th. We informed them that we would only have the government surveyor measure the property and that we would not purchase on the 29th since that was Sabbath but could do so on the 30th. After the re-measurement was accomplished it confirmed that only 2.6 acres were available for sale. The land purchase was made truly at the eleventh hour of our fiscal year.
This is only a very brief description of all that took place; however, the bottom line is…the land now belongs to Bangla Hope! We praise the Lord for His guidance and love. Now, we pray that what is done on this property will truly be a blessing to heaven and to the people of Bangladesh. Thank you for your interest in and support of our mission!
By Debi Axford
Who of us has not, at one point or another, felt as though our look was just a bit outdated and in need of an update? Well, Bangla Hope is no different. We have been around for nearly two decades and decided to refresh our look. Now, when you go to our website, you will notice our new logo. Soon, our newsletter, letterhead and other materials we utilize to connect with the public will also sport this new appearance.
Over the years, Bangla Hope has benefited from the volunteer service of many dedicated, Christian, young people who have served us in Bangladesh as Student Missionaries. This past year, I reached out to Walla Walla University to see if we could engage the services of a Marketing Intern to volunteer in helping us update our look. The Lord had just the right young person in mind: Madison (Madie) Youngberg.
Madie was a senior Graphics Design student. A big part of her senior year was completing a senior graphics arts project. Madie has a heart for missions as mission service runs deep within her family, and she volunteered many hours for the Student Missions Office on the WWU campus. Rather than have her hours of work toward her senior project have no practical purpose, Madie determined she wanted Bangla Hope to benefit from her efforts. Thank you Madie for the makeover. We appreciate your hard work and pray God will use your talents for Him in the future.