Dunn Family’s Sponsorship Story

Dan & Dana Dunn first traveled to Haiti in 2010 on a big mission trip. After falling in love with the country and people of Haiti, they wanted to do more.

They began supporting Touch of Hope with sponsoring a child right away. Dana says, “It is always good to see our sponsor kids when we visit Haiti.”

They’ve been able to travel back to Haiti with their children since then.

“It was great that our kids could meet them and spend time with them so that our kids can put a real face & personality with the names that we pray for.  It helps our kids have a closer connection to the country that we love and allows them to build a real relationship with the kids and their families.

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The Dunn’s most recent visit was this past November after they spent months fundraising to help buy bikes for children of the school. Read more about that story here.

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Dana finishes, “When people ask if we are going to Haiti for a mission trip we say yes and no.  We no longer see it as a mission trip, but a trip to see friends and family that we have grown to love.”

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Alex’s Sponsorship Story

Alex Hage, originally from Inwood, IA and now a college student at Iowa State University in Ames, IA began sponsoring Rosemond about a year and a half ago.

Alex quotes, ” I love this program for many reasons.  One of the biggest ones is because it seems much more personal.  You cannot beat getting the chance to actually go and see the child you sponsor.  I have been lucky enough to actually visit Haiti.  Since I’ve gone there twice now, I feel like I have developed a relationship with the child I sponsor.  That is something you don’t get with other programs out there.  I know that the child I am sponsoring is getting food, clothing, and an education.  Education is going to be key in giving the children of Haiti a strong future.  I feel confident that Rosemond is getting the knowledge that he needs.”

Alex meeting Rosemond for the first time.

Alex meeting Rosemond for the first time.

Alex continues, “Also, it is affordable.  I am a poor college student and am able to fund this monthly payment on my own.  It has motivated me to be better at trying to figure out what things I need and what things I just want.   If you cant afford it, split the cost with multiple people.”

Sponsoring a child is $35 a month, which provides school supplies, a uniform, and a meal everyday amongst other needs for the school. (Learn more about the sponsorship program here)

He concludes, “Most of all, I love this program for giving me the ability to make a difference in someone’s life.  When I first got the chance to visit Rosemond’s house and deliver a care package, I knew that it was all worth it. I highly recommend the program to everybody.  It has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.”

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Alex has a great experience to share, and you can too by joining us to help make a difference in a child’s life.

Kendra’s Sponsorship Story

Kendra Michael is an inspiring fourteen-year-old girl who is out to change the world. She has come up with creative fundraisers and uses her own babysitting money to sponsor two young girls through Touch of Hope.
The first little girl she sponsors is Dialina. Here’s what Kendra has to say about her relationship with Dialina:

“When I first laid eyes on this little girl in the Touch of Hope photo it touched my heart!  I just knew she was my little girl and I had to sponsor her.  I was 11 years old when I fell in love with this precious face,  I am 14 now and have grown to love her even more!  I have been able to travel twice to Haiti, and  show her how much she means to me.  The times we have spent together I was able to bring her clothes and other needs.  She was very excited!!!  We laughed and danced and played together.    I am counting the days till I see her again.  I am so thankful for Touch of Hope and the opportunity to make a difference!  I love my little girl Dialina!”

Kendra & Dalienda

Kendra & Dalienda

Kendra continues telling us about her second girl is Selineda:

Meeting Selineda for the first time was amazing!!!  She ran up the hill to her house where I was, and jumped into my arms!!!   I guess she recognized me from pictures I had sent, and Kayla had told her I was coming.

 I love her so much!

I started sponsoring Selinda when I was 11, now I am 14.

My mom and I have been able to visit Selinda and her family twice bringing them gifts and lots of love. We can’t wait to see them again!

Kendra with her mom, Joni & Salienda's family

Kendra with her mom, Joni & Salienda’s family

Hugs with Salienda

Hugs with Selinda

It breaks my heart and makes me so thankful at the same time when I hear them ask “When is Kendra coming back?”

I am so thankful for Touch of Hope and the opportunity to make a difference!

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January Newsletter

Dear Ministry Partners,

I hope this newletter finds you well in this new year. I’m excited to update you as so many things happened over the holidays. We celebrated with the school staff by treating them to a day at the beach. We celebrated the new year by hosting a worship celebration at the school. We estimate 2,500 people attended and it was fun to watch numerous churches of the community come together to host a worship service on the mountaintop.

The sunset and worship at our New Years gathering.

The sunset and worship at our New Years gathering.

We were also able to hand out 150 gifts to students. Most of the children who received gifts were sponsored, but we were able to hand out extras from extra donations. It can be a lot of work to buy and put together these gifts, but it brings me such joy to go around and visit so many children in their homes and wish them a merry christmas in such a personal way. Thank you to those of you who made it all possible.

Erica Locke visited me over the new year and helped me pack and deliver many of these gifts. She has been sponsoring Katiana for three years now and dreamt of the day she would meet her. Erica goes on to say, “We felt the tug to sponsor Katiana immediately when we saw her picture. We have been able to see her grow up so much over the past three years through pictures and updates. To visit her home in Haiti and hug her in person was so overwhelming and surreal. When I held her hand we made a life long bond. She is always in our prayers. By sponsoring a child through Touch of Hope, we aren’t just sending money, we are raising them up and they become a part of our family. They have hope and it is a beautiful thing to able to be a part of that.”

Erica Locke with her sponsor child, Katiana.

Erica Locke with her sponsor child, Katiana.

As we embark on a new year, we want to thank you today. If this newsletter is in your hand, you have been such a blessing. Whether your donations, gifts or support were small or large, know that they mattered and that you matter to us at Touch of Hope. Without your support, so many things wouldn’t be movingforward in our ministry.

Right now, one of our largest needs is to find more sponsors for our students. With this update you will find a picture that breaks down our sponsorship program and how your money is used. If you haven’t started sponsoring a child, we challenge you today to pray about starting and making a commitment to Touch of Hope in a whole new and exciting way. If you already sponsor a child, we ask you to pass the image along to a friend, coworker, social media outlets or a family member – help us get the word out! Challenge them to join us and become a world changer.

Information on our sponsorship program with the differences of where your money may be going and where it could go.

Information on our sponsorship program with the differences of where your money may be going and where it could go.

God’s richest blessings,

Kayla Raymond

Our Christmas Wish

The end of the year is drawing near, and how can we begin to thank you all for showing up in the many ways you did. New children sponsored, a kitchen and office building built, a road paved, an orphanage stayed open and running, and many, many more people were touched as you showed up and walk alongside us.

But, we are dreaming up something new for this Christmas. We are hoping and wishing and praying that in the year 2015 we will be able to touch more live, educate more children and shine light where it may not have ever shown before. We want to start 2015 off with a bang, and so here is our first dream:

To build 5 new homes for 5 families who have been living in a blue tent for 5 years now.

January 12, 2010 will mark the five year anniversary of the 7.1 earthquake that shook Haiti to its core. Five years later we have neighbors, students, and friends who are still living in blue tents that were meant to be temporary. I stand in these “homes”  and wonder, just how do they do it?

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How do they keep on keepin’ on with no running water, no electricity? How do they sleep so many nights on dirt floors with roofs that leak over their heads?

More than their survival, I ask myself, “why does the world still look this way? When will change ever come?”

Well change is coming and it is up to us. In large, five homes may not be much as thousands still live in tents, tarps and structures made of scratch. But to me, it’s a start. And I want you to be here for the start of something beautiful and new.

So, will you join us as we begin to raise the funds to building 5 new homes for 5 families who have been living in what I would consider hell for the past 5 years? Will you see to it that 2015 will look different for these families? Will you pray with us for heaven’s gates to open up and for blessings to rain on down?

To read more about the families and stories, you can go on over to our friends’ blogs Jennifer Dukes Lee and Lydia Lee as they write about their wishes for the end of a blue Christmas. Kayla has also written today about how she remembers the day the earthquake hit and how she wishes for a better tomorrow.

Donations can be sent to Touch of Hope:

205 Old Mill Lane Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246 {please leave a memo 5 houses for 2015}

Or donate through PayPal by clicking here Or donate through Pure Charity by clicking here

Our Haitian Black Friday

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Black Friday on the mountaintop was unlike any other Black Friday.

One hundred and five bicycles were handed out to students who walk over a mile to and from school each day. And, where did the money to buy these bikes come from? It was raised by six Kingdom seeking kids from Northwest Iowa.

Seriously, so cool.

Mom to two of these children, Jennifer Dukes Lee, tells the story perfectly: click here to read all about our Black Friday!

Touch of Hope loves seeing projects like these come full circle. We have built a playground, paved a road up a rocky, steep hill leading to the school, built a chicken coop and handed out hundreds of presents from sponsors. We love dreaming of a better tomorrow for the least of these in Haiti. Have a dream and want to make it a reality? Have a desire to create a better tomorrow? Want to hear what else we want to do on the mountaintop?

Send us an e-mail and let’s chat about making tomorrow a better place…

touchofhopehaiti@gmail.com

A day at the dentist!

Two weeks ago a dental hygienist visited the school and saw lots of kids who were in lots of pain from many cavities and infections. I became overwhelmed, because even though we could diagnose the problem, we couldn’t fix the problem.

So, I threw out a request on a Haitian expat Facebook page and God showed up. Today, 12 students, 2 ViBella employees, 4 people from the community and myself piled into the orphanages truck and traveled over an hour to a visiting dentist from the States. The visiting dentist and his wife were so amazing to us. We shared God stories and swapped testimonies as they filled cavities and pulled teeth.

Our view was beautiful as we overlooked the bay in front and had the green, lush mountains behind us. And it became a “cold” day, too, when the rain fell at lunchtime.

And thanks to the Lazarus Fund we were able to pay for the transportation and buy meals for all of the patients.

Praise be to God on a cloudy, rainy day in Haiti.

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