“What God Starts, God Finishes”
So says Stephen Tomor, New Hope Representative to the Diocese of Kajo Keji. Five years ago we set out on an aggressive journey to love our neighbors at the very time when most of the country was focused on loving themselves. We raised over $4,000,000 in the worst economy of our lifetimes and continue to raise additional funds in the face of a five year economic disaster…..and are giving every last penny to the poor. We’ve built six schools and a college, bought books, trained and hired teachers. We’ve fed the hungry and clothed the naked. We provided emergency shelter to those who had no roof over their heads. We’ve comforted inmates and their families. We’ve welcomed newcomers to our country and done so much more.
New Hope has been a tremendous success for all involved; our diocese and her members, our brothers and sisters in Kajo Keji and in northeastern Pa. We have learned what sacrificial giving means and hopefully have taught it to those around us and in the Sudan. There are too many examples to list them all but let me give you a few:
- The couple who sold their Steinway
- The woman who went back to work and donated her entire pay
- The couple that sold the family silver
- The family that gave half of their children’s college fund
- Many families who tapped their retirement money
- The little girl who gave me her Teddy Bear to take to Kajo Keji
- The little boy who gave half the money in his piggy bank
At my most discouraged moment one of our most faithful donors told me he needed to “increase his spirituality” and gave New Hope a check for $100,000. Through my tears I saw Jesus in his face. I have been with the Holy Spirit that lives in and with you as I have visited your parishes and homes working with you these last five years. We have shown the world what we are made of and it is sacrificing to love our neighbors. Maybe it will rub off.
New Hope leaves a rich legacy for us and those whom we have partnered with. We have roughly $500,000 in outstanding pledges with over $1,200,000 in trust to support schools and grants for NE Pa. New Hope has been a grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth for our diocese and for those who we were called to help. Now we are in extra innings. Fund raising will continue as we finance school maintenance and support new building projects. We developed a UTO grant to build a new office for the Diocese of Kajo Keji. New Hope funds are helping finance flood relief in the recently stricken area. Teachers’ salaries, primers, desks and chairs, scholarships and supplies are in need. We need your prayers and support to win this game in extra innings.
Lastly, I stand in awe of the people I have been blessed to interact with the last five years. You have opened the gospels for me. You and the Kajo Kejans have taught me and hundreds of thankful recipients what the great command means. Hat’s off to all who helped in the organization and fund raising efforts. A special thanks to those on the Bishop’s staff who cheerfully added New Hope to their daily tasks and organizationally kept us moving forward. We couldn’t have done it without the “Black American” Stephen Tomor who faithfully oversaw the construction in the Sudan. I would like to thank our Archdeacon, Bishop Jack and especially Bishop Paul for their vision, courage and leadership. It has been an honor and the opportunity of a lifetime to represent you and our Bishop. And we’ve only just begun. Stephen is right, “What God Starts, God Finishes.” See you at the finish line!
Yours in Christ,
New Hope Chair