Don’t you just love the holiday season and the amazing joy it brings? We are joyful about the coming of Jesus. We find joy in spending time with friends and family. We sing “Joy to the World” by candlelight at church. We cry tears of joy over our mom’s perfectly concocted puppy chow (What? That’s just me?). And, we joyfully rejoice over the incredible things that have happened throughout the year. As we start this new year, we wanted to take you guys with us as we remember what God did in 2014. Spoiler alert: it was epic.
January 2014: Construction at the second classroom at Sharing Hope Preschool (SHP) in Mozambique is complete!
February 2014: School starts for our Mozambabies and we welcome 30 more sweeties into the SHP family!
Also in February… The Sustainable Farm Project in Swaziland produced its first potato crop. We had basically a zillion potatoes to harvest, so that means we got to do something we love to do–hire people to help us harvest!
March 2014: We got some pretty sweet updates about the construction of the farmhouse/workshop in Swaziland.
April 2014: Kid President liked AND commented on one of our Instagram photos. I’m still fangirling like it’s my job over here.
May 2014: One Heart Africa and North Cleveland Baptist Church partnered together to launch the Water For Life campaign. This church-wide campaign raised awareness about the global water crisis and set a goal to raise $5,000 to dig the second fresh water well in Licilo, Mozambique.
In May we were also able to get uniforms for the Mozambabies thanks to a very generous donor! They are SO cute.
June 2014: Ryan heads to Mozambique three weeks before our summer team to prepare for their arrival. Side note–that’s never going to happen again. Three weeks is WAY too long for him to be in Africa without me. I simply won’t allow it.
The total amount raised for Water for Life came in and… (drum roll, please) NCBC more than doubled their goal of $5,000 allowing us to build a well in Mozambique AND one in Swaziland! Can I get a “woop woop” for clean water?!
July 2014: Our friends at White Oak Hammocks gifted us with three amazing hammocks for our sites in Swaziland and Mozambique. We had an awesome time hanging them on our farm in Swaziland and watching the terrified looks on our friends’ faces as they experienced #hammockjoy for the first time. It was so hilarous!
In July, we also got to bring this group of wonderful people with us to Mozambique, Swaziland, and South Africa. It was such an amazing trip as we got to be a part of constructing the well in Mozambique, feeding the Mozambabies, and building the new greenhouses provided by Harvests of Hope on the farm in Swaziland. We also got to build on relationships with the teachers, farmers, and some new translators for future trips. We love relationship building!
We also saw the farmhouse for the first time. EEEKKKK!!!
August 2014: The well in Mozambique is officially done! Clean water for all!
Oh, another little thing that happened is that we obtained 501(c)(3) status. No big deal, though.
September 2014: MANCOBA CAME TO VISIT!!! While he was here, we got to speak at to a few different groups and have dinner with lots of lovely people. Mancoba so enjoyed his time here and we certainly enjoyed it as well!
The greenhouses in Swaziland started producing spinach! It was a beautiful sight.
October 2014: LOTS happened this month, so I’m about to hit y’all with a very organized bulleted list.
- We introduced child sponsorships and started encouraging you guys to help us sponsor 39 kids by Christmas.
- Emmanuel Baptist Church in South Carolina invited us to be a part of their first ever Missions Conference. We had such an incredible time learning from the other missionaries and speakers as well as making some great new friends! Thanks again, EBC, for having us!
- Mancoba returned to Swaziland and started a trash pick-up service for his hometown of Logoba, Swaziland. The first pick-up day was a huge success, and we look forward to growing this service in the years to come!
- Our website got an upgrade and we started using a new online giving system that makes giving SUPER easy.
November 2014: In just over two weeks (that’s only 14 days), you guys sponsored ALL 39 Mozambabies!! Y’all. That’s incredible! Also, we got to spend a week with Abante International in Puerto Rico. We know, sometimes visiting fellow missionaries is hard work. It’s all part of the job, though. 🙂
Quick shoutout–if you are a college student who loves missions and wants to be able to do school and pursue a degree at the same time, you definitely need to check out Abante. Not only is the program legit, but the founders of Abante are wonderful, kind, and Godly people. That’s important.
December 2014: The farm started looking like a farm
We started making bricks in Mozambique.
And with those bricks, we started building the third classroom at Sharing Hope and a teacher’s office.
See? God is gracious and we are so very grateful! Which bring us to the present…
We don’t exactly know what this year holds. But, I bet ya it’s gonna be a good one. Here’s how you can pray and partner with us in 2015:
- Go with us! We have three teams joining us for two weeks across South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique this summer. Join one! You can get more information about the summer trips by clicking here.
- Become an advocate! It’s probably the best job on the planet because all you have to do is repost, share, and retweet our social media posts. That’s it. Told ya it was super easy!
- Partner with us financially. This year will be a year of change for us. We have grown tremendously over the past year, and we are so so SO thankful for that. But, with Ryan and I both working full-time jobs outside of One Heart Africa, we began to see that our busy schedules were making a negative impact on the efficiency and excellency of the organization. So, in a leap of faith, I decided to quit my full-time job in September. We completely feel like stepping down from that position was the right decision to allow us to finish this year strong as an organization. Now we are asking for your partnership in our ministry through monthly support. If you are able to give towards supporting Ryan and I in being obedient to Christ through full-time ministry, please click here. In addition to raising our own support, we are hoping to purchase a car, install aquaponics systems, and build family and guest housing and install solar panels at our currently electricity-less farm in Swaziland. Whoa, baby! If you would like to give towards one of these projects, please click here.
- Sponsor a child. In the next few months, we will be adding 30 new Mozambabies to Sharing Hope Preschool which means there will be 30 new opportunities to sponsor a child! Stay tuned. 🙂
So, there you go. Thanks for sticking with us and rejoicing in the joy that 2014 has brought to our hearts! We appreciate you all so much and are walking into 2015 firmly believing that the best is yet to come.
– Anna Carmichael, Co-founder