Monday, November 29, 2010

We've Moved to Our New Site!!

Wild Hope has a beautiful new WEBSITE

The Wild Hope blog is now incorporated into our official site.
Big thanks to Steve Denler and Oliver Lo for all their hard work.

See you over THERE ...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Digs for Wild Hope!

The Russells' dining room table was nice and all, but everyone is thankful for the pleasant work space/office/showroom that Wild Hope Tanzania has moved into!

Faith's wonderful smile reflects how thankful we are for a clean, spacious area to work on accounts and keep all aspects of Wild Hope TZ running smoothly. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Liz and Shannon Roddy, the place is shaping up into an attractive and effective area where productivity is enhanced. Between the day to day operations of administration and the monthly deliveries of carefully crafted beadwork to be inventoried and displayed, things remain colorful in our new abode.

All of us breathe a sigh of relief as we settle into the generous office quarters. It feels great to have a place to properly house our administrative work as well as store equipment, host our interns and even plant a garden. Join us in giving thanks!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nyota Kids are Thankful

We're so thankful for the contributions made by our interns, Steve Denler and Tom Shank. Steve and Tom were here with Wild Hope for 10 months, helping to coach the Nyota kids in football, English and life. During their time in Tanzania, growth was seen in all 3 of these areas as the Nyota kids benefited from focused attention and relational connection.

Steve and Tom brought encouragement to the inner city community of Unga by reaching out to the kids and believing in them. Steve gave much of his time to football training and took the U-13 team to the East Africa Cup in Moshi where they were recognized for their integrity and good play. Tom poured hours into Nyota's English Club, helping kids become more comfortable in this much needed language. Together, they built friendships in the community and hosted times of Bible study and deeper discussion with those who were interested. Steve, along with Oliver Lo, also spent countless hours designing and building our soon-to-be-launched fine new website.

The Nyota kids gathered to show their appreciation and send the guys off as their time with us came to a close. Their love and affection were very apparent :-)

Thanks so much, guys! God bless your next adventures!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

What a Summer!

We've had the most amazing summer (well, winter in the southern hemisphere) of visitors here in Tanzania!

We are SO thankful for the fantastic contribution made by each of the visiting teams. Young people in our inner city have been challenged by lessons on integrity and faithfulness. They've gone to new levels in their English classes and they've been blessed with new gear for their soccer team while watching the old dump they usually play on slowly transformed into a level playing field.

Maasai kids, so extremely underprivileged you wouldn't believe the condition of their lives or standard of education, have enjoyed stimulating games and lessons and celebrated the morale boost of a fresh paint job on their school. Their headmaster beamed at the results!

Rural women have gathered for honest and helpful teaching on health and HIV/AIDS. They've seen the care teams have taken to help them with their artisan business and been blessed by the commitment to their well-being.

Through it all, in direct and indirect ways, God's love has been expressed to many. What a privilege to participate in spreading the reality of his passion for people. What a joy to do it together with the amazing people who came our way in these last 3 months.

Photo at top: the last of the summer teams heads out of camp. More photos soon! :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gifts to Soccer Program Make Big Difference!

The Nyota Youth Sports and Community Service Center was recently gifted with $1,000 to buy fresh cleats for many of the kids on our teams. A big shout out of thanks to our friends at U2U for the gift that brought such big smiles. A thousand dollars makes a huge difference to a soccer club in the inner city of Arusha, Tanzania, and we are so thankful.

"Nyota" seeks to help kids succeed on the field and in life. Beyond the benefits of sports alone, we offer academic scholarships, sponsorships to vocational training courses, English lessons and other life-skills seminars. What a privilege to encourage the highest potential in the lives of youth-at-risk in our city. With your help, we're changing that term to youth-with-hope!

The BBC recently posted an article about the impact of football on African kids and how they dream of using it to find a way out of their desperate circumstances. If World Cup fever is affecting you and you believe in reaching out through sports opportunities, please consider hitting the DONATION button at top right and designating your gift for NYOTA SOCCER PROGRAM. Every gift makes a real difference for the young Africans in our academy.

Friday, April 30, 2010

INVITATION to Wild Hope's 1st Annual Golf Tournament in Glendale, CA!

Wild Hope is putting on its 1st Annual Golf Tournament in Glendale, CA on Friday, May 14th to raise money for Nyota Youth Sports and Community Service Centre. Peter Russell and Byron Borden will be present from Tanzania, though they don't expect to impress you with their golfing! If you, or anyone you know, would like to participate in the golf tournament, download the registration pdf here (!

Here is some more information on Nyota and the golf tournament from the pdf:

Unga is a ramshackled neighborhood in Tanzania, consisting of mud houses and trash-strewn streets. Poor education, high HIV rates, massive unemployment and lack of basic mentoring are rampant. In this community of 10,000 residents, the deck is stacked against young boys and girls succeeding, let alone making it safely to adulthood. This is where the Nyota Youth Sports and Community Service Center (NYSAC) is located and has become one of Wild Hope’s thriving ministries.

“Sports has the power to inspire, the power to unite people
in a way that little else can.” - Nelson Mandela

Nyota means, “star” in Swahili and it is NYSAC’s goal to prepare young people to be stars not only in “football” but also in life. Currently there are over 100 young men (8 to 20 years old) in the growing soccer academy. Sports-based character development, essential life skills training, community service projects, English language camps, scholarship funds and opportunities to discover Jesus inspires these kids to stay in school and most importantly provides hope for the next generation! All proceeds from this event will benefit Wild Hope International’s Nyota Youth Sports and Community Service Center. Thank you once again for your prayers and generosity!

Four Person Scramble

Scholl Canyon Golf Course
3800 East Glenoaks Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91206
“considered one of the top
mid-length golf courses…”

Friday, May 14, 2010

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

12:30 PM

$50 per player
(includes 18 holes of golf with cart,
practice range balls,
event contests & prizes)

To register for the golf tournament, download the PDF here (

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Release of Hope and Joy

James Ole Kukan is a gentle presence. A quiet demeanor belies the strength of character and resolve that are very much alive in his Maasai heart. Of the many things to admire, James’ love and concern for his people is one that sets him significantly apart from peers around him. This love, combined with a tenacious spirit and a living relationship with Christ, has worked to set the scene for a beautiful story of hope unfolding in the remote community James calls home.

“Home” is a valley called Engeua in the basin formed by the curve of the Meto Hills. In 1997, after a request for “the words of God” from local people in that area, James and a group of friends began to visit the region and just pray over it. This is a place full of the spiritual power of local diviners, yet there was a hunger for something more in the lives of many of the residents. The prayer walks led to teaching trips and, for several years, James and a handful of others traveled in regularly to bring God’s love in the form of lessons from the Bible. James looks back and says, “The response was slow in those years.”

By 2000, the local diviners had declared that “church work” would not go forward in this area. Instead, they said, they would use their spiritual power to hold it back. Yet in 2003, partnering with Christian Missionary Fellowship, James helped to bless the foundations of a permanent gathering place for the church. Though it had begun slowly, good news began to make an impact. “Many healings happened in the next years,” James says humbly. “Not many people heard about them, but a lot of people were prayed for when they were sick and they became well.”

In August of 2008, an event occurred that would significantly impact the entire region. The daughter of a well-known diviner was suffering terribly from what some might have thought of as a severe mental illness. Nothing that her father did could stop her from fits of agitation, incomprehensible screaming and running away when people tried to help her. In desperation, her father asked the people of the church to come and pray over his daughter.

The men and women of the church met in their normal Sunday gathering to worship and pray. Afterwards, a handful of them walked to the diviner’s village. Here, before they could even enter the village proper they met the young woman, herself. As they began to pray, she took off running.

Catching up with her about a kilometer later, the group surrounded her and continued to pray. By all accounts, it became quite a wild scene. The young woman alternately yelled in unknown languages, frothed at the mouth, flailed around or hit people. Her father, fearing that she would never be of sound mind again, kept saying that his daughter had died. Yet the group did not stop praying. At one point, quite an eerie voice issued forth from the young woman declaring, “We will not go!” Still, the group continued to pray, calling out in Jesus’ name for healing.
(The young woman and her baby with the group that prayed for her.)

Finally, a peace came. No more violence or voices. The young woman was totally still. She was taken home where she rested. Returning the next day to pray with and encourage her further, the group found her whole, in sound mind and totally free. She has remained so.

News quickly spread that there is hope and healing in Jesus Christ. In December of 2009, this same little church that prayed celebrated the baptisms of 54 new believers as they made their faith public, and James is regularly invited to come and share in locations all over Maasai-land. Hope travels fast ☺

James’ standing in the community has always been strong. His character speaks even when he is quiet. Yet since the healing of the diviner’s daughter, there is even more opportunity for James to make a lasting difference among his people. Continually asked to serve on local and regional boards and committees, James is sought out for his wisdom and influence. Transformation on many levels, from educational to agricultural, is happening in his community and we know the way has been opened by the power of the Spirit partnering with this humble man.

It’s our privilege to assist our long-time friend, James, in every way we can to see lasting hope and transformation in Maasai-land. What a joy to walk beside this quiet man who simply wants to see his people find every kind of freedom.