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February 2020 Newsletter

March 26th, 2020 Posted by News No Comment yet

Hope Community Center Newsletter  ~ February 2020

By Irene Hamm

Once more, I was privileged to be part of the family at Hope Community Center the end of February 2020.  It was wonderful to be picked up by Mama Lucy along with 2 other women who arrived from the Toronto area.  The children greeted us at HCC entrance even though it was dark when we arrived.  Their songs were full of joy and praise to God.

African mornings are serene with the sun sliding above the horizon, the birds waking up the neighborhood in flight, and the freshness of a new day begins.  There are always new physical changes to behold.  This year, it is the building of a technical school on the HCC grounds.  The plan is for it to be ready to operate by August, teaching students the craft of welding, carpentry, dress-making and hair dressing.  Mama Lucy is excited to be able to offer this teaching to her students and to make it possible to supply needed wooden beds, tables, or any other structure to the surrounding community, some of them too poor to purchase them from stores.  Her plan is to receive orders which her technical students will build.  It is a win/win situation!  This technical school will allow those who are not intellectually inclined, to have a way of earning a living plus fulfilment in their own life.

Hope Community Center is recognized as one of the highest achieving academic students in her county.  Their world revolves around studying.  As a result, 85% of her university and college students’ costs are covered through scholarships.  That is huge!  Praise God for that provision!

Mama Lucy has a new vision that is becoming part of Hope Community Center.  Over many years, while on safari with visitors, she befriended the Maasai tribe who have a village situated close to the safari hotel.  Some of the Maasai men had asked her for a job and so she offered them the role of being her night security guards.  They are now on rotation, being at HopeCC for a few months, then back home for a month.  Then last year, she had 12 Maasai high school students join her big family.  This year, there are 70 Maasai students living at HopeCC.  Some of them knew no English yet are persevering in learning the English curriculum, with some additional help on the side.  Wow, is all I can say!  They are happy to be there, learning the ways of living in a civilized situation with toilets and all.  They have big smiles!

Mama Lucy has the plan to bring Jesus into the Maasai community.  She is excited about it.  She hopes to rent some land within the region of the Maasai and teach them how to grow crops.  The Maasai are a nomadic tribe with strong traditions, feeding mostly on milk mixed with blood, and also meat.  Her ultimate vision is to plant a church there, igniting worship of our Lord.

While I was there, the high school boys’ basketball team played a tournament and won!  The other school students refused to go to their classes and Mama let them cheer.  What cheering there was!  This was the first time that HopeCC hosted a tournament and it was a grand success.  The girl’s team also played their very first competitive game and lost, but as they gain confidence and skill, that will change.  The following 2 weekends, there were more tournaments and the boys’ team were the champions!!  We are so very proud of their endurance, skill and also their attitude of gratefulness to God.

It has been a tough agricultural year for many in Kenya including HopeCC.  There were many months of drought, then in January, much rain.  All their planted potatoes rotted.  The prices of food has increased greatly.  Yet Lucy is full of hope that God will keep on supplying what is needed.

The children get three meals a day, starting with a healthy porridge of milk and sorghum.  During my stay this time, they had mostly beans in broth along with either rice or ugali (made of milled maze).  They mill the wheat and maze themselves, and the cook bakes 60 loaves of bread every few days in the wood-heated oven.  It is a two-hour art of baking the loaves to perfection.  They taste wonderful.

HopeCC’s cows, bulls, goats, and sheep are increasing in number.  During our stay this time, two calves were born as well as twin lambs.  The lambs and goats have multiplied quickly with the birth of twins.  The steers are kept for two years before sold for a good price.  The chickens continue to lay daily, filling a five-gallon pail ¾ full.  They are big eggs with tough shells.  We ladies enjoyed eating them every day as our food.

It was my joy to have a daily hour-long session of teaching regarding God’s trustworthiness, forgiveness, anger, healing of pain, etc.  The students were attentive and one evening, I spent close to two hours in answering their many questions.  I really enjoyed that time.  On our last weekend, I had the privilege of baptizing 17 students and one lady that came along from Canada.  The children’s singing always fills our hearts with celebration of the love of our God.  They are a wonderful family.

I would ask for prayer specifically for Mama Lucy.  She has a huge organization in motion.  There are headmasters of the high school and primary school, which frees Lucy of that responsibility.  A former teacher is now her righthand man, helping her with various responsibilities.  Her board of 12 support her, giving her direction and advice as she needs it.  These local adults – lawyer, social worker, education specialist, doctor, health department, etc – cover all aspects of potential and real challenges.  Pray that God will give Mama Lucy strength, wisdom, perseverance, courage and rest in the midst of all the happenings.  Above all else, that the Spirit will fill her inner being with His love – for God above all else, for others and her workers, for herself, for her community, for the Massai people – and that God will keep on directing her and guiding her in His will.

Thank you for your prayers!  God hears them and is answering them.

Phil.1:3-6 = Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.  Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

January 2017 Newsletter

February 21st, 2017 Posted by News No Comment yet


God is a good Father – always.  There is no distinction between the God of Canada and the God of Kenya, He is the same God and yet there is a unique vibrant fullness within the singing of the children at HopeCC.  Though they come from a past of poverty, of abandonment and abuse, their hearts are full of the love of their heavenly Father.  Such joy!  When I asked them what the most special time of the day was for them, they replied – ‘the singing!’.  The younger children’s favourite song was ‘You Lift Me Up’ and it sounded glorious as it echoed throughout the building.  Singing fills the heart with huge emotion and it certainly filled mine.  From the young children to the adult teachers, their hearts unite in unison, expressing the goodness of their Father.  It fills my heart with His Presence.


It is a long trip to Kenya and yet it is worth every travelling hour when our ears are filled with the excitement of the children singing as we enter the gate of HopeCC.  We settle into our rooms in the baby dorm and try to adjust to having our time zone turned upside down.  In the morning, the children’s laughter and talking wake us into participating in the new day.  There is beautiful sunshine in the clear morning sky.  Though there is much vegetation and trees in this area, the ground is crying for rain.  The day sun is hot yet the night can get frosty cold.  We distributed the pajamas that we brought along for the smaller children.  They are full of giggles.


It is evident that God is their Provider as we view the second floor of the new primary school being prepped for the continuing placement of the stone walls of the three storey building.  Mama Lucy is dreaming of it being completed by the end of the year.  Their existing primary school has dirt floors and tin roofs so this new school will be a great advantage for the learning of the students.  We drove out to Mama Lucy’s grandmother’s land and viewed the acres of land with eleven laborers digging up the plentiful potato harvest.  We stopped and thanked God for the heaped pile of potatoes this field produced while many neighboring fields had yielded few potatoes.  The children enjoy potatoes in their meal menu along with beans, cabbage, maize, and onions.  Their plates are piled high with food giving them the nourishment that is needed in giving them strength mentally and physically.  Thank you to Ralph and Peter who contribute monthly for food.  


It is so exciting to watch the babies grow into little people.  Though Mama Lucy has not gotten any newborns from the hospital lately, there were several babies who were new to me.  It is wonderful to see their smiles light up their faces.  It has been quite the process over the last year to acquire efficiency within the baby nursery.  A head nanny was lacking but now a young lady, Rebecca who grew up at HopeCC and just finished her teacher’s degree, will take over the role as head nanny.  She loves the Lord and loves the babies.  Her teaching skills will equip her to manage the baby nursery.  Please pray for her.  Mama Lucy’s passion is focussed on rescuing abandoned babies for there are many abandoned babies in the hospitals, waiting for a place to call ‘home’.  We are anticipating that this big family of HopeCC will grow bigger with the addition of many new babies this year.  God has a plan for each one. 

It is always very enjoyable to hold seminars with the high school students, discussing how God speaks to us and how we hear God speaking.  They are hungry to learn and grow in their understanding of who God is.  The older girls spent time with us by asking various questions such as how to be able to study better, how to deal with temptation, do our children have manners, if there is drug addiction in Canada, etc. They thanked us for teaching them new info but it was us that learned a lot from them. 

The three ladies that came with me were a great support in playing with the children, giving devotional thoughts, serving food to the children and taking care of babies.  Their giftedness of fundraising will be a huge gift to HopeCC and also every person who would love to be involved in supporting this amazing big family.  They will promote the support of HopeCC by fundraising for the ongoing need of food and the  medical care of the babies as well as the financing of the building of the primary school.  Mama Lucy is working hard not just in managing HopeCC but also doing various bookkeeping jobs that she does on the side in order to supplement the incoming donations.  She is determined that God will continue to supply all of HopeCC’s financial needs.  Her unwavering trust in God inspires me to trust God more in my own life.  We in Canada may be rich in resources but HopeCC is RICH in the ‘knowing’ that God is faithful and is trustworthy.  We belong to the same God and we each have our part in serving our God.  What is your part in bringing God glory?  Do it well, with all our might – with a song of praise in our hearts!    Most sincerely, Irene Hamm




May 2016 Newsletter

June 2nd, 2016 Posted by News No Comment yet

It’s early evening and my head is jerking, nodding out of control as I fight sleep. Jet lag is one of the hard aspects of making a trip to HopeCC but do I go again? For sure! It is always amazing to see what changes are happening there and the presence of God is seen in new places within the compound. Mama Lucy led me to the area behind the kitchen/dining room to view the large piece of land that had many trenches dug with rebar sticking up in various parts. A new elementary school is being built! Stones are lined up on the grass, ready to be set in making a wall. It is going to be a big school in a U-shape right beside the high school. The new building will be 3 stories high, a huge change from the present building with its tin walls and roof. Wonderful new desks have been ordered for it. Mama Lucy is constantly stepping out in faith, believing that our God is a good Father, One who provides for her every need. She has remarked to me that she has learned to trust God. That brings peace in the midst of the unknown and the courage to keep on moving forward.

The baby house is slowing coming together. The older children age 3-9 had been settled into the building last time when I was there in February. Their beds are all lined up in the 4 bedrooms, 2 for the 14 girls and 2 for the 15 boys. A nanny sleeps in each of the bedrooms. There was so much laundry every morning – thick wool blankets and the children’s night clothes. So with the incentive of stickers and huge cooperation from the nannies getting them up at 12 midnight and 4 am, the next morning there was only 2 wet beds! Wow! We were all overjoyed and we did a lot of high 5s. Smells so much better too! They are such great kids.

The 8 babies age 2 weeks to 1.5 years old were moved into the new baby house. It took awhile to sort through all their clothes and settled each item at its appropriate place. The 2 ladies that came with me were so AWESOME in their instruction to the 2 nannies in caring for the babies. It’s a big job taking care of these babies! They too had so much laundry so were guided as to how to minimize wet clothing. They are doing a great job in spite of getting up at night to feed the 2 youngest babies. We were hoping to pick up more newborns but the nursery just wasn’t set up properly, and with Lucy coming to Canada and US very soon, she thought it would be wiser to pick up the babies when she returns to HopeCC.

We did have a service of dedication of the new baby dorm. After some singing and a little message, we toured all the other students through the building, letting them take a look around. We celebrated with a cupcake for everyone. The tradition when I go is to have an ice cream celebration and a cupcake party in the time I’m there. It is always a delight for the kids and staff.

We took the children age 3-9 on a bus trip to Crescent Island which is just outside of the closest city, Navaisha. The kids were excited as we crawled into a boat, seeing hippos in the water and landing at the island where we saw all sorts of wild prey animals. It was a warm day and the kids walked the circuit without a complaint. After that, we went to a restaurant and each had a plate of chicken and fries. They were so polite and patient as they waited until each received their plate before thanking God and appeasing their very hungry bellies. I wonder who they will grow up to be? Only God knows.

I always love to hear and watch the older students laughing and playing on the basketball court. It had been raining for weeks already but that didn’t keep them from having fun. Their greatest entertainment were 3 dilapidated wheel barrows. It was quite a sight to see them giving each other rides – no safety regulations there. On Sunday they had a soccer game in the soccer fenced in area. Thank you to Louis for the great games area that he developed and financed.

When I think of my time there, one occasion comes to mind as being a highlight for me. I remember being with the smaller babies, holding 3 little girls on my lap, all around age 1. I was bumping them on my knees and singing a bouncy song, just making it up, no words, just an energetic melody. Soon one little girl, Emily started la-la-la along with me and then Diane started humming. The third one was just enjoying the ride when she started to clap. That is pure joy! How very privileged we are to enjoy each other and be filled with God’s joy. It is good to be together! Thank you Lord.

Love Irene


May 2015 Newsletter

June 24th, 2015 Posted by News No Comment yet

“This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is given by our heavenly Father with a purpose. It is given in love. This trip to HopeCC held a lot of emotion from deep mourning to great rejoicing.

February 2015 Newsletter

February 20th, 2015 Posted by News No Comment yet

It is midnight and my plane pierces the darkness, leaving behind the fading lights below, the only visible sign of in habitation. The moon lies on its back and I settle in for a night’s sleep, reflecting on my stay at HopeCC. I had just found out this morning that my sick sister had died and so Lucy and her big family had gathered around me praying God’s presence around myself and my sister’s family. Just a month previously pastor Gerald’s wife had died leaving him with his 2 week old son, Abel. Family means being there for each other in support. Death is part of life and God is a good God who comforts us with the anticipation of being with Him forever. And He sustains us through the hard times.

February 2014 Newsletter

February 20th, 2014 Posted by News No Comment yet

Another trip has come and gone. It has been nearly a year since I have been at HopeCC, which is a very long time! My companion, a young lady, came with me this time. Since we arrived in the evening, we stayed at HopeCC’s guest house
not far from the airport in Nairobi. It is a very comfortable and safe townhouse with 3 bedrooms on the upper floor . It was great to have a shower and sleep lying down after the long flight on the plane. In the morning, we met with Lucy and did
several things before arriving at HopeCC.

March 2012 Newsletter

March 20th, 2012 Posted by News No Comment yet

Yes, that’s right – I made another trip to HopeCC. I woke up Friday morning and felt that I was to go along with a local dentist scheduled to check out the condition of the teeth of the children at HopeCC. My husband agreed and three days later, I was on a flight bringing me to Nairobi. That is the quickest trip to Kenya that I’ve ever made for myself.

January 2012 Newsletter

January 20th, 2012 Posted by News No Comment yet

This last trip was a challenge and full of great experiences. There were 11 of us spending 12 days at HopeCC this time, 4 of us being siblings! We traveled from several different locations within Canada as well as my sister and daughter from Australia. It was a diverse group of backgrounds and expectations. Through it all, I learned more about myself, the difference in cultures and also about God’s heart.

August 2011 Newsletter

August 20th, 2011 Posted by News No Comment yet

Once again the long trip to Kenya was made by myself along with 6 other ladies. It is always delightful to bring new people and see the orphanage through different eyes, – eyes that had not yet seen, touched, smelled and heard the beautiful children of HopeCC. But in the next 11 days together with this big family, their eyes would behold gratefulness, kindness, powerful singing, fervent praying, and
the togetherness of many brothers and sisters. It is difficult to explain accurately one’s experience for there is nothing in my Canadian life that it can be compared to. It is a deep beauty of the soul and spirit within the children’s hearts.

April 2010 Newsletter

April 20th, 2010 Posted by News No Comment yet

Another trip to HopeCC has come and gone. The group that went this time consisted of various people from Grande Prairie, Calgary, Edmonton and Chemainus, each having a part in making important contributions to HopeCC. Louis B and his daughter were already there when I arrived, immersed in introducing track and field activities with the children.

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