As we look back over this past year it would be easy to concentrate on all the negative things that have happened.
Burkina Faso had two military coups took place in January and September 2022. It is estimated that two million people have been displaced and thousands have been killed because of extremist attacks. Both of these have caused Burkina’s food insecurity to double this past year. The issues in Burkina have caused some of the Village of Opportunity (VOO) students to remain on campus instead of return home for the summer.
Haiti continues to struggle because of political uncertainty caused by the assassination of their president in 2021 and increased gang violence in 2022. These two things along with fuel shortages have cause businesses to shut down adding to the food insecurity there. We do know that in Port-au-Prince three of the Feminine Training Center (FTC) teachers and 16 students have been displaced from their homes because of the violence.
Flooding in South Africa displace over 40,000 people and killed nearly 450 people. This flooding destroyed homes of single moms who are already struggling. This affected Since Single Moms Raising Sons’ Bible studies which were held in homes in the affected area.
Sri Lanka’s president resigned after protests this year. Food and fuel shortages caused by government import bans fueled the protests. The inflation rate is now at 85% making it even more difficult for those in poor villages.
There was hope that when Mugabe was no longer in power that things in Zimbabwe would get better but five years later there seems to be no improvements. An inflation rate of over 260% does not even seem possible but that is what they deal with in Zimbabwe. This has caused the number of Zimbabweans in extreme poverty to grow to 50%.
Just as we celebrate this time of year the Good News that our Savior was born, we celebrate all the great things that God has done this year through the ministries of CWO.
We are thankful that the VOO in Burkina Faso has become a safe haven for our students and continues to invest in young women’s lives both educationally and spiritually. They are becoming strong in their faith even though they may face persecution. We also have seen how God has used the food insecurity to give us the opportunity to provide food during the Mobile Clinic visits to villages. At a recent Mobile Clinic 14 people gave their lives to Christ.
Despite the continued gang violence in Port-au-Prince and now other areas, the FTCs have continued to minister to women. Students at the Port FTC are determined to attend classes when they can travel to the FTC. The new FTC in LaJeune continues to grow and remodeling of the building on the CWO property is in progress. The Children’s Feeding Program has continued to provide much needed meals as inflation has driven up food costs for families. Also, the churches have continued to meet and minister to those in their communities sharing the Gospel during these difficult times.