The Project Hope Worldwide (PHW) Board of Directors announced PHW’s fourth project at its first-ever Hope Gathering Thursday night October 8th, 2020.

Lyndon Becker, President & CEO, said in his announcement to the 150 guests present for the event, “When it comes to children in crisis, South Asia has no rival. South Asia has more orphans than any other country in the world. Child laborers in the South Asia silk industry get just one non-workday per year. Girls as young as seven are being forced into prostitution and 30,000 girls are trafficked annually in South Asia.”

He asked that everyone sacrificially give to get this project successfully launched. Funds raised that night and over the following weeks will provide holistic care (food, safety, medical care, education, & spiritual/character mentoring), a used van, a motorcycle for the director, furniture, beds, refrigerators, cookstoves, etc. for 22 orphans.

He then went on to say…

“I am often asked the question… ‘How do you decide each time where PHW’s next project is going to be?’

We original founders established PHW with what I would call ‘A Certain Uncertainty.’ We were certain that the Lord wanted us to be ‘worldwide’ in our reach, but we were uncertain where that meant beyond our initial launch in Uganda, Africa.

All we knew was this…. We were to have vision beyond our resources, and we were to allow the Lord to take us to places we did not intend to go in order to accomplish, through us, what we could not achieve on our own. We have learned much over the last decade about successfully starting new projects on three continents, and we applied those key learnings again two years ago.

The Monday before Thanksgiving 2018, a former pastor of mine now living in Florida called me and asked if I would have breakfast with a young man from South Asia that was in Tulsa for his friend’s wedding. My pastor had met this young man while doing mission work overseas several years earlier.

At that breakfast meeting, I first heard his story. He shared his experiences of becoming an orphan at a very young age, and even now as he shared those stories he would occasionally break down in tears.

As a young boy, he was raised in a combination boarding school and orphanage. The kids in the boarding school all had parents and on visitation days the boarding students would jeer and mock him saying, ‘Your parents not come. You don’t have parents. You orphan.’ He longed to be like the other kids and to see his parents walk through the doors someday to see him…but they never did.

He came to know Christ during this time and because of his experience as an orphaned boy and his love for his people, he and his wife are now caring for 22 orphaned boys and girls in their 1200 square foot home.

Now we were not looking to expand PHW or even considering a fourth project. But, I was deeply touched by his story and I sensed that this was one of those appointments or opportunities that the Lord was placing before me and before PHW. I came home from that breakfast meeting and told my wife, ‘I believe the Lord wants PHW to help this young man.’

Over the next 12 months, as the Board of Directors prayed and we fulfilled our due diligence, the Lord directed us to Isaiah 54:2 ‘Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs.’

It was clear to us that the Lord wanted us to enlarge our tent…to bring in more orphans. In order to make a tent larger, it takes stronger anchors or stakes and longer ropes or cords. For us, this meant that before we could expand to another project…to bring in more orphans…; we had to ensure that our current projects were financially strong; and had the systems, structure, and staffing in place to sustain their operations in the long-term.

After much prayer and due diligence, the PHW Board of Directors unanimously approved the launch of PHW’s fourth project in South Asia.

I would like to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the amazing generosity of those donors and child sponsors who faithfully help sustain our three existing projects in Uganda, Mexico, and Nicaragua as well as those who are now helping with the launch of our newest project in South Asia.”