This past Monday, Keith Townsend, our Director of Partnership Review for Russia and the former Soviet Union, had the opportunity to visit a Hope Center just 30 miles from the border of Afghanistan. Last year, when our partner in this region visited our offices in Hampton, he shared the testimony of a baby boy who was rescued by a girl who lived at the Hope Center, who was being trained to be a suicide bomber before they rescued her. The boy’s mother was drunk and threatened to throw him from the balcony, but the girl persuaded the mother to give her the boy. She took him to the Hope Center where she found refuge, and he is happy and healthy and beginning to learn Bible stories. The boy will turn 4 this fall. He is pictured here (in the white shirt) with Keith in the boys’ dormitory.
The Hope Center was started in 2009. ICM, through a generous donor, built the new dormitory for the children in 2014. More than 50 children have been helped there. Ten of them have been baptized, and three have gone on to a missionary training school in Moldova.
In a dark culture of drug trafficking, believers started meeting here in 2005 and now hold their services in the courtyard of the Hope Center. They number about 20 adults and 30 children. The improvements to the property and Hope Center have to be done incrementally, so as not to draw complaints from their Muslim neighbors.
“Hope” can show itself in many ways–rescued children, believers who push through incredible difficulties to meet and worship, faithful donors who want to make a difference in the lives of others and committed partners who bring the Gospel to dark places.
God has honored the work of these faithful people and blessed all who have partnered to bring light in a dark place.