A JOYOUS HOMECOMING
December has been a month of family reunion for many countries around the globe and so has it been for the Village of Hope family. As is the tradition at Village of Hope, all children, past and present, reintegrated and independent, returned home to the Fetteh campus of Village of Hope for last year’s homecoming. As usual, there were many festivities to celebrate this season, as the children had lots of fun and so much to eat and drink. The activities included a football competition, visits to the beach, movie nights, an ice cream party and lots of parties. An awards night was also held to appreciate the hard work of children who excelled in their academic work and those who were also noted to be of good moral behavior during the past year. The older children of the Village of Hope who had returned home used the opportunity to encourage the younger ones to aspire for greatness, using themselves as testimonies of the goodness of God. At 9:00 p.m. on the night of December 31, 2022, there was a watch night service held to bid farewell to 2022 and welcome the new year, 2023. All children and adults on the Fetteh campus assembled at the Gaylon and Deanna Smith Hall to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving; to offer personal and intercessory prayers; to make confessions and seek forgiveness and renewal from God. It was a night of thanksgiving for the goodness of God and His protection over our lives in spite of the numerous challenges last year presented us with.
Samuel Osei, Managing Director of Hope Children's Village, joins some of the children of the home to cut a cake
Some of the delicacies served at the New Year Party
At about 11:45 p.m., we left the church auditorium for the soccer field to observe the burning of Village of Hope's traditional 31st December bonfire. There was joyous singing amidst the burning of the bonfire and fireworks, which ushered us into the New Year. A prayer of dedication for the new year and for renewal was offered.
With January 1, 2023, being a Sunday, the day of the Lord, we returned to the Gaylon and Deana Smith Hall for our Sunday worship service at about 12:15 a.m. We observed the Lord’s Supper after a few songs of praise. It was a great way to start a new year, as the first "food" that entered our mouths as Christians was the bread and the wine, which represent the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper was followed by a sermon from the minister of the church, Fred Asare. The New Year's message received through the preaching was that "we have to stretch beyond our limit." 2023 is a year of stretching out in whatever we do. The worship service ended at about 1:45 a.m., and we retired to bed.
To crown the celebrations for the homecoming, there was a "New Year Party" on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. Various kinds of food were prepared from the children’s homes by the House Parents and the children. There was plenty of food and drinks for everyone to eat, drink and make merry. Present at the party were the House Parents and children from the children’s homes and members of staff of other subsidiaries of the Village of Hope. This year recorded the largest number of staff attendance to the New Year's Party yet. It was all fun!
The joyful moments gradually came to an end on January 3, 2023, after the New Year's Party was held. Some of the older children started bidding farewell to their House Parents and their younger siblings as they had to return to work the next day and some also had to report to school to begin a new semester. We are thankful to God for a wonderful family and the strong bond we have. We always look forward to seeing our older children during homecoming in December, as it gladdens us to see the goodness of God in the lives of these children, who, at one time, were hopeless but are now full of life and causing positive change wherever they find themselves.
Some of the staff of Village of Hope inspecting the food before the party begins
Some of the older children together with House Parents of Village of Hope help to serve at the party
Some of the older children and staff of Village of Hope share memories and some fun times as they converse and laugh over food
House Parents and children of Hope Children's Village pop non-alcoholic sparkling champagne in celebration of the New Year (Top and bottom left)
Elizabeth Ayimbota smiles as she enjoys her ice-cream (Top left)
Some of the older children of Hope Children's Village serve ice cream as dessert during the party (Top right)
Members of staff of the Estate and Security Departments of the Village of Hope join the party (Bottom left)
Awardees Kareen Ama Frimpomaa Afriyie (left) and Evans Noamesi (right) with a House Father, George Arthur (middle) (Bottom right)
Awardees Kafui Nugbienyo (left), Melody Asante (second from left) and Emmanuella Gyabaa (right) with their House Mother, Betty Afriyie (second from right). (Left)
Awardees Abraham Armah (left) and Prince Agbeshie (right) with a House Mother, Juliet Asumeng (middle). (middle)
Awardees Kingsley Duodu (left) and Mercy Thomas (right) with a House Father, Victor Agbeko (middle). (right)
Staff and children of Village of Hope gather to praise God Fireworks Bonfire and pray in the glow of the bonfire