Newsletter Issue 1 — Christmas 2007
Dear Friend of Agapé Heart,
As we celebrate this wonderful season I pray that we never lose sight of what it is all about. It is all about Jesus, the greatest gift for mankind, given to us by our heavenly Father out of His awesome and incomparable love for us — “for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
We exalt our Lord Jesus for His supreme sacrifice, which has given us, believers in Him, eternal life. We are forgiven, we are restored. Hallelujah!
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas with our families and friends, let us remember those who are hungry, destitute and impoverished in our world. The Bible tells us that the “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
In the same way that God, in His greatest gift to us, has demonstrated that love engenders giving, we are compelled to give to others something of that love that God has placed in our hearts. We are blessed so that we in turn bless others. It is the highest privilege to be a vessel of God's love and compassion.
With all my heart, I thank all who have given to Agapé Heart since we started this mission in April 2007. We have funded several medical operations, including that of 74-year-old Mr Ikenga Ibe. Those who attended our informal fund-raising barbecue will recall the horrific state of his gangrened leg prior to receipt of medical treatment. As one Agapé Heart supporter commented, it looked as though a great chunk of Mr Ikenga's leg had been bitten off by a tiger. We prayed earnestly for God to prepare this man's heart for what seemed like an inevitable amputation. But God answered our prayers in a way that far exceeded our expectations. Not only did he not require an amputation, but his leg has shown and continues to show extraordinary healing.
We have taken on two orphaned children, named Ugochi and Nnenna, aged 6 and 7, both of whom were ill and required medical treatment. They lost their parents recently and are now under the care of their grandparents, who are poor peasant farmers. Agapé Heart has paid for and continues to fund their medical treatment as well as provide food for them. They are responding very well to the treatment.
We are also funding the treatment for three-year-old Chinemerem, whose mother and sibling recently died of HIV-related illnesses, and who has unfortunately tested HIV positive himself. He has recently been retested, and we await news of the result of that test. We have received report that he is, however, responding well to treatment for malnutrition, and related conditions. We appreciate your prayers for Chinemerem.
There are very many people in desperate need in Amuma and the surrounding villages, who are petitioning Agapé Heart for assistance. It is our hope that, by God's grace and through your continued donation and support, we will be able to provide medical treatment for more people and meet other pressing needs within these communities in the coming year.
It is also our hope to start the Agapé Heart Soup Kitchens in the new year. With this program, free food will be provided for the most desperately poor on a regular basis, and visiting preachers as well as pastors from the local churches will present the message of the Gospel to the people.
We will also be applying to The Charity Commission for registration of Agapé Heart in the new year. There are many benefits of registration, including the additional funds that the charity will receive in relation to your donations through the Gift Aid scheme. Agapé Heart has been supported thus far by friends and family, and with successful registration, we will be more able to appeal for funds from the public.
We deeply appreciate your continued prayer for more supporters and donations, and for God to guide and protect our workers in Nigeria.
Thank you again, friends of Agapé Heart, for your vital support. May the “Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
God bless you.
Yours in Him