All posts by Cynthia Schutt

West Michigan Missions Forum 2014

Saturday, March 29


Kim Sorrelle and I had the pleasure of attending the West Michigan Missions Forum last Saturday in Byron Center. This day conference was encouraging in every aspect. Working in missions is not easy. So often life happens and gets in the way of the dream. Despite the struggles of serving internationally, the joy that transforms lives on these trips is why we do what we do. Looking out at the gym full of participants and charities, we were reminded that we are not alone out there. The world can be a frustrating, scary place, but focusing on connecting people and resources produces incredible results.

There’s a reason why deep down we all dream of traveling abroad to discover more about our global community as well as ourselves.Serving on a short mission trip opens our eyes and hearts to new ideas, new friends, and worldviews. John 12:26 states, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Whoever serves me must follow me?

Follow where?

As the world’s 1%, are we really called to serve in the poorest place in the world? How do we act as the 1% in poverty?

The journey of service requires sacrifice. This sacrifice can be to donate money for the cause or volunteer time to support the organizations we care about. Is this how we serve because it is comfortable, or is this a creative solution? There are misconceptions about service. God is calling each of us to serve out of our comfort zone, but life changing experiences don’t need to be around the world. In our own communities, we have the potential to cultivate meaningful relationships and serve others.

We were made for a mission, rather than missions made for us. This isn’t your Grandpa’s world anymore. The major trend of missions in this day and age is evolving with each generation. Instead of focusing on church planting and process-oriented trips, new trends suggest that missions are highlighting project-oriented, holistic ministries.

Conference attendees where encouraged to pray about what part is God calling each person to. The home arena supports national workers and new paradigms for churches and agencies. The strategic arena works with urban missions, partnerships, and uses prayer as warfare. The overseas church arena is maturing of international missionary movements and globalization of the church. The global arena seeps into global culture.

These are the areas that Rays of Hope will be working towards. Our goals in missions include:

  • Human dignity is to be given to each individual. We are all created in God’s image. We are to treat others like how we would treat our own children. 

  • Be who we are in partnership.

  • Ask questions, but don’t use struggle as an excuse to drop support.

  • Capacity building of individuals.

  • Capacity building of the organization.

  • Business as a part of the solution.

Village of Hope Update

Rays of Hope received an incredible response from our supporters in response to the emergency at Village of Hope in Burkina Faso. On February 11, a deadly strain of meningitis was exposed to the 496 children at the school. Each child had to be vaccinated to prevent the potential spread of the disease, which totalled $8,400. Thanks to the immediate actions of Rays of Hope, Careforce International, and donations, each child was able to get vaccinated!

Donations for this project totalled $1,300. This generous support fills our hearts and keeps us passionate about working to help those who need it most!



Emergency at The Village of Hope

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Children at The Village of Hope

The Village of Hope provides incredible care, excellent education, and unending love for nearly 500 children in one of the poorest countries in our world.

* On Sunday 11 year old Josue attended church with all of the other children and enjoyed a day at play.

* On Tuesday morning 11 year old Josue died in a government hospital from Meningitis.

* The doctors said that this is extremely contagious and the children must be immunized as quickly as possible.

* The cost for each vaccine is $20.

* There are 476 children living at The Village of Hope plus an additional 20 toddlers
that are children of staff members.

* Besides the cost of the vaccines, there have been and will continue to be additional costs, such as the hospital bill for Josue, funeral expenses, and any other medicines or doctor bills if any other children contract the disease.

We are asking our supporters to donate money for vaccines! Please pray for the children and keep them in your thoughts. Keep checking our Facebook page for updates in Burkina Faso.

There Is Always Hope

God is good! So many incredible things are happening in Haiti. There is hope, always, everywhere.

photoIn January, I spent a few days with Partners Worldwide, sharing ideas to help create jobs in Haiti, which in turn means food on the table, a roof overhead, and education for their children. Touring several businesses and seeing first hand true missions and real love was amazing.

There is a new company called Surtab making computer tablets in Port au Prince. And not just any tablets but the best quality tablet on the market. The company pays more than double the Haitian minimum wage of $5 per day. Payroll taxes, health insurance, beautiful working environment, are all part of the package. In fact, all of the companies that we visited had the best interest of the staff in mind.

photo (2)

Topline Materials, started by a tall Texan with a big heart, is producing 10,000 top quality concrete blocks every day. Since starting production just a short time ago, the company gainfully employs about 50 people and expects to double that by the end of this (1)

Enersa owner Jean Ronel manages a staff that creates solar panels, really high quality, theft proof, long lasting, solar panels! Itala makes tons of the best pasta and snacks. Maxima creates beautiful cabinets, granite counter tops, and caskets out of raw materials in a work area that would rival any operation elsewhere in the world. Farmatrix is producing top notch pharmaceuticals and the taste of Rebo coffee is outstanding.

Jobs bring hope. Hope for a country that has had so much tragedy. Hope for people who have just tried to survive. Hope for a momma to see the future in the eyes of her children. Hope for all of us that want to see that future with her.

Hope. What a gift.