College Visit

We recently took a couple students to Johannesburg and Pretoria (5 hour drive) to visit a couple colleges in the area and write a university placement test.


We also had the chance to spend some time with some good friends from Kenya, Uganda and America who were in Johannesburg conducting leadership camps.  It was great for our two students to get to see their Ugandan uncles that they hadn’t see in years.  We enjoyed great fellowship over dinner and playing games.


Another benefit of the trip is that we got to visit with a couple of our university students who are studying in Pretoria (the capital of South Africa).  Shirley is studying Clinical Electrical Engineering and Bonginkosi is studying Public Management.


We are very proud of our hard-working university students and the 14 students finishing up secondary school that will hopefully qualify for college/university next year.


Amy and the Hope of Africa Team

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Memorial to an amazing woman

Everyone's friend

Everyone’s friend

A year ago today, Polly Lytle, the grandmother of Heather and Andrew Lytle, went home to the arms of Jesus. Her strong faith in the Lord led many know Him more deeply. Many witnessed how God moved mountains through her steadfast prayers and love for people.

Many of those that knew her and loved her wanted to give a gift of thanks for her life. A memorial fund was set up a year ago through Hope of Africa. We now have land in Uganda and hope, one day soon, to build a ministry house called ‘Polly’s Place’. It will prayerfully be a place of joy and laughter where we can replicate the many things that she loved… helping children & youth, caring those without family, music, gardening, raising animals on a small farm… taking care of those in need of physical or emotional healing.

Many of us at Hope of Africa knew and were impacted by this precious lady and we were blessed to have had her in our lives.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24


Heather and the rest of us at Hope of Africa

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Cross Country Motor Racing Rally in Nkomazi

Some of our older students had an opportunity to participate in marshalling at the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing Championship.  We had a great time recording the times of the cars as they flew by and keeping cars and people off the race track.  Everyone was covered in dust by the end of the day, but no one minded.  There was a popular South African Dj co-piloting one of the cars, which excited the students to no end.  They cheered the loudest for his car and even had the opportunity to pose for pictures with him.  Following is one of our students thoughts on helping with the rally.

“First of all I wanna say thanks to the Lord and to the people who are in charge of the rally for letting me take part in it.  It was the most exciting experience, I must say that controlling racing cars is not easy but if you do it knowing that is for the best it becomes easy.  The only thing is that I didn’t get the chance to ride in one of the cars, I also saw one of the world’s best DJs (Dj Fresh).  I really enjoyed myself controlling the cars, even though I was full of dust. I wish I can do this more often.” – Tshepo

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Sakhile and Tshepo meeting DJ Fresh


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Vanessa Vuma – Practical Work Experience

Vanessa Vuma is one of our students who has completed 18 months of college studying Human Resources and is now in an 18 month experiential learning/internship with the Mpumalanga Provincial Government in the Department of Agriculture.  The Provincial government is kind of like a State government.  When she completes this 18-month practical work experience she will be awarded her 3-year diploma in Human Resource Management.

Vanessa 2

She has learned many things about working in Human Resources, such as using different computer programs, coordinating all aspects of business trips, and being a part of employee evaluation.  She completed a course on and was awarded a certificate in Personnel and Payroll.  She is currently acting as the secretary for the HR manager.  The program has given her a well rounded experience in other areas as well.  Every day is started with devotions to remind everyone they are ultimately working for the Lord.  The department has also taken the interns on a few outings.  They have done team building exercises; they observed a court case on a college campus to learn about a student’s misuse of government money; she has participated in community outreach at an orphanage, delivering food, as well as cooking and cleaning; and she attended a conference on womanhood and it’s importance.  Every Friday the team goes to the local stadium to learn and participate in different sports and aerobics.  Through this practical experience she is learning many different aspects of human resources and how she can care well for an organization’s employees (from hiring/firing to payroll to benefits to health & welfare to morale programs).

She is enjoying her experience and learning many new skills.  This experiential learning will greatly increase her chances for getting hired by the government, getting a paid internship next year, or getting hired by another company.

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Support Ami Shetler’s Run For Hope of Africa

Ami with kidsAmi Shetler will be running the Bozeman Marathon on September 13, 2015

Fundraising Goal: $1K/mile

Purpose: Funds will support leadership training for youth in South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.

Personal Connection: She volunteered for this ministry for 10 months, witnessed the impact, and believes in the mission of Hope of Africa.

Donation Address:

    The Hope of Africa

    3295 Bell Mountain Drive

    Colorado Springs, CO 80918

    memo line: Ami’s Marathon

 More info: Visit



Ami with kids 2

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So Much Fun At VBS!

We had a wonderful time of learning and playing at VBS.  We had two three-day camps, and each camp ended with over 200 children in attendance.


These VBS camps are a great opportunity for our teens to develop their leadership skills while learning the blessing of serving in ministry.  They did an amazing job and it’s so encouraging to see our older teens mentoring the younger ones.  It’s been a blessing to watch them grow in  confidence and leadership over the years.


After each week of VBS we had a one day youth camp with the students who helped us.  We played a variety of games to strengthen their leadership, communications and problem solving skills.  We also hiked, cooked s’mores over a bonfire, and had group devotions where we discussed how they could affect the people around them for Christ.


We are very proud of these young men and women who are striving to follow God. Please pray for them as they work on their studies while continuing to grow in character and their relationships with Christ.

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Testimony to the Grace of God

With all the trainings and conferences and celebrations we have had so far this year, we would like to share some of the testimonies we were given. These have encouraged us, and we hope they will bless you as you read what the Lord is doing here in Nkomazi.

We held a graduation celebration in January. It was a time for encouragement to continue in the strength of the Lord, to maintain energy and consistency, and to celebrate the work the Lord has done this past year.  These testimonies are from a few of the participants who have been leading AWANA for over a year.

Inkazimulo ka Jehova CC in Zion – Schoemansdale

Parents, leaders, as well as the clubbers are thankful to the program because the number in our church is increasing as well as the kids. We as leaders get any assistance from the church, and they are working hand in hand with us. This program did make a difference in us as well the congregation at large.


In His Presence Tabernacle – Jeppes Reef

Some parents gave testimonies about the change they observe in their children at home that they are responsible, obedient and passionate about reading the Word of God. As they read their memory verses at home they ask their parents to help them.

One father was not allowing his children to go to church, so the children, when they see their friends going to church they go with them. When they return home they were sharing everything that was happening at church like story time, team time, and counsel time. The father was impressed when he heard his children saying the memory verses and dramatizing the stories. From that day he allowed his children to go to church and their mother.


New Covenant Bible Church – Kamhlushwa

I had little knowledge on how to handle and teach Sunday School children, but now AWANA has helped me. By attending their conferences I gained a lot. Even the children in the club have gained a lot through the materials (books) that AWANA gave us. Some of the kids were able to be a good influence to their parents who were not saved and now they are saved through their children.


We held an AWANA Seed Planter’s Training (SPT) in March. We trained 50 participants, representing 31 churches.  Almost every participant attended all three days of the conference. The purpose of the SPT is to teach participants how to start and run an AWANA club in their churches.  The participants were enthusiastic, teachable, and interactive. Overall the training went well and we have started helping these teachers establish AWANA in their churches. Here are a few testimonies from some of the participants.


Majestic Christian Church – Mdladla

My husband and I are blessed with five children, three boys and two girls. As a child of God I have received Jesus as my Savior and I have a heart to help and desire to work for God in my community and around the world. I have seen so many children that need help and also God, but many are orphans and from poor families. I am very grateful to get this opportunity of learning about God and how to spread the ministry/Word of God to these children as I have learned how important these children are. I will go out there, not only to my church, but everywhere to teach them and know how to treat them. I’ll also need prayers to continue to do the work and God to touch people’s hearts to help me with the work I am going to do.

Yours Sincerely,

Nelly Mtshabi


Kingdom Seekers Worship Tabernacle – Driekoppies

I am very grateful to the Almighty God for you, the AWANA sponsors, your training, prayer, and financial support. Thank you for your purest heart for the love of children. Coming to the training has made me realize that the ministry of children is important. There’s a lot that I have learnt that will help me to change the children’s lives and their future by teaching them God’s words because it is essential for children to know and understand the Gospel well and to teach them some activities like games. The AWANA program will help me to recruit more children because in our community many children are orphans living with their grandparents or their elder siblings. The AWANA ministry will help them to change their lives through Christ.

Serving with you,

Ngwenya Mariah Promise


Potter’s House International – Tonga

Dear Sponsor,

I am grateful to God for you, your prayers and your financial support of our AWANA ministry at Kamhlushwa Community Hall. Thank you for your desire to see the children in our community come to know our Lord Jesus Christ!

I have learnt much concerning ministering to children. I was able to study and understand God’s Word and understand how important children are to Him. I have been trained on how to share the Gospel more effectively. I now have a clear vision for spreading God’s Word to children and families in our village. I am looking forward to an exciting time training other members of the church and teaching the children so that together we can build God’s kingdom.

Praise God for you and your generous heart! May God richly bless you and your families, may He enlarge your territories. Pray for my children, that they will be good children. Pray that more souls will be saved through the AWANA ministry.

Serving with you,

Rosemary Tshalibe


House of Acts Tabernacle – Mzinti

I am very grateful for the way the AWANA ministry at Kamhlushwa Community Hall has come to uproot us, so that we desire to see the children in our community come to know our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am a single mother of two kids aged two and six. This workshop has helped me a lot. Hence I will be able to deal with my emotions in a better way from now on, not only to them but to all the kids in the village because most of them need motherly love with they don’t get at home. I believe I will be able to maintain God’s work and bring more kids to God. Hence most of the kids I have in class are not our church members’ children.

Praise God for your willing souls and spirit to serve. Praise for giving me a chance to be a part of this sermon. Pray for me to be able to tell others about God

Fikile Zitha


The House of Mercy Ministries – Block C

Thank you so much to AWANA about the camp we had, the support you have given me. I do believe that the method or the strategy will help the whole South Africa to be saved, and it can also help me as well as the Sunday School teacher because now I will have a direction on what I am doing and it will make more souls of children to be saved.

Lindokuhle Mnamathi


International Gospel Bible Church – Kamhlushwa

I want to thank God about this sponsor. Thank you for your desire to see the children in our community come to know Jesus Christ. I was able to study God’s Word and understand how important children are to Him. Thank you for the opportunity to bring AWANA to my church and share the gospel with the children and families in our community. Pray for the children’s parents, that they too will understand their need of a Savior. Pray for the Lord’s protection and provision for us daily.

Nompi Shabangu

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Gap year tutoring

As many of you know, we run a gap year program out of our house in South Africa that is focused on developing the academic, leadership and spiritual strengths of our youth.  We asked four of our gap year students to give us their thoughts about their tutoring experience this year as they are working hard to prepare for university in 2016. Be blessed knowing that your prayers and your support for this ministry are changing these kids’ lives and changing their communities.


Painful, but also worthwhile, are the moments I have spent in the gap year program. Learning is fun with class discussions and group work that drives the hunger within for more knowledge. However, never do we forget the LORD who brought us here nor the hearts that He has touched to bring about this golden opportunity. Some days are hard but we try our best to strive to be educated. Giving up seems like an amazing idea but we know that it’s not an option. Our future is not made bright by giving up or seeking comfort but by always working hard. We are also fortunate to have aunties who take time to build up our faith and mentor us to be leaders. Giving back to the community is also something we are encouraged to do. I am a science student and science is confusing, but I love my subject especially biology and physics. I see this program as a gift and I am thankful to everyone who made it possible for me to study.
Busie   Busie 2


This year tutoring for me has been quite an enjoyable activity. In the past years it has not been my favorite thing. Early this year I did some deep thinking about tutoring, and I realized that tutoring is a privilege. Not many students have this opportunity. With that in mind, I told myself that I am going to grab this opportunity with both my hands and make use of it. Since then I have been enjoying tutoring and I have been learning a lot. This year I am only upgrading one subject and it is math. I have to say that Aunty Amy has been doing a very excellent job at teaching us. Math used to be one of the subjects I disliked, but that changed this year. I am developing interest in math. The topics we have covered so far in math is algebra, financial math, number patterns and sequences, functions, graphs, equations and inequalities and finally trigonometry. I am still looking forward to rest of the time I have tutoring.
Themba   Themba 2


The gap year program has helped me in many ways, some of which are building me spiritually and academically. I am upgrading some challenging subjects, namely life science and math. The gap year program has helped me to be more focused in those subjects and all the practice tests we have done so far are helping me do better. Going to villages to teach the children more about God has also built me spiritually and has taught me a lot about loving and caring for other people.
KhanyisileKhanyisile 2


This year’s tutoring has been great ever since we started. I am studying two subjects which are math and physical science. I enjoy being taught by the teachers. In math, we have covered five topics and I understand them better than last year. The math teacher teaches very well. She is the best math teacher I’ve ever met. I think I’ll do well and pass math. The science teacher is also good. I thank God for bringing people to help us this year. It is a blessing to me.
Noluthando   Nothando 2

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Cultivation in a new environment

Danielle Bink, one of our long term volunteers in South Africa (and an integral part of HOA) went to Uganda recently to help with our newly purchased land.  She also went to meet our partners in Kenya and Uganda and make a plan for implementing AWANA programs in those areas.  Below are some of her thoughts on her experiences from that trip:

I was able to go to Uganda and see the plot of land HOA has purchased. It is so exciting to be in a place where things grow in abundance because the ground is fertile, there is plenty of water, and the climate is ideal. I love farming/agriculture! I think that it has to be one of the best occupations and everyone should cultivate something in the course of their lifetime. The first job God gave to mankind was cultivating the garden. There is something about being a part of helping things grow that is extremely satisfying to me. It’s also really important, because without food, humanity wouldn’t be able to survive. I have been gardening and working with land and plants for many years. Being in a different country, however, is a different story. The basic principles I have learned can be applied, but I have to be willing to learn, seek advice, and do things differently than I would normally do. There’s not a cold winter season, so things grow so much faster here than they do in Montana. Planning takes on a whole different picture when there is a shorter time frame until things are fully grown. The variety of plant life is overwhelming at times because pretty much anything will thrive here. There are people who have been working with the land here for many years and the wise thing to do is glean information and skills from them. They know what works here.

The same things I have been learning about agriculture in a different country can be applied to cultivating people. This kind of cultivation is even more important than plants because it has eternal implications. I have been working with different groups of young people over many years and had the opportunity to observe a workshop that Tamsin (HOA’s East Africa Director) was conducting with local youth from the Kampala area. Much like farming, I realized that when working with youth, what works in one culture doesn’t necessarily work in another. Again, I have to be willing to learn, seek advice, and be willing to do things differently. I can come into a situation with my preconceived ideas and completely offend people with my careless words. There are people who have been ministering here for years and the wise thing to do is learn and listen. Each person has been through things that are different from my experiences. Humility needs to play a huge role in how I interact with people. I have something to learn from every person I come into contact with. I will be completely useless to anyone if I think I can fix the problems people face. Thank Jesus that He is the One who changes hearts, lives, and situations. I am not in charge or in this alone. When we are focused on obeying Him and loving the people He puts in our lives, we will be much more effective. He has given us the tools and power we need for the situations He places us in through His Word and His Spirit. He is the ultimate expert on the human heart and what we need to flourish. He knows what works here.

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Written by Sakhile and Tshepo, two of our gap year students:

What a program! This program teaches us gap year students to be in leadership, and not just being in leadership but also being in line with our God. We learn a lot from one another, the kids learn new things from us, and we also learn new things from them. In this program we get to see the real person, or lets say, the inner person in those kids, and we get to see what they are good at and what they love doing. Indeed they are good kids and when it comes to Bible verses they are really good at memorizing, and they have good memories.

As for us leaders, we learn new praise songs, worship songs and new games. The kids have potential when it comes to church items, e.g. Bible stories, verses, etc.  AWANA helps a lot in helping those kids that are not close to God to come closer to him each and every day. When the leaders talk to the church pastors, they do say that lots of new kids are coming in to church every Sunday. That really inspires us as young leaders to do our best because it shows that God is helping us in sharing His Word and many children are touched and moved from what they hear and practice.

We say shout out to the Lord for helping us and for being with us in doing His work, may He give us the strength and ability to continue doing so.

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