Monday, August 25, 2014

Exciting news from DRC!

I have some great news to share with all of you!

Project Sunset has officially launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We recently received an incredibly detailed report from Jean Claude, the Congolese surgeon, who is heading up the program in the DRC. He is in charge of Nebobongo Hospital, the only hope for so many people in the surrounding area. Although their resources are very limited this hospital is still the best-equipped and staffed hospital in an area serving over 260,000 people. Just the fact that they have doctors and medicine in their pharmacy puts them on a level above the majority of hospitals in the area. In addition to all of the never-ending work he has with the hospital he has graciously taken on Project Sunset as well.

Below are some excerpts from his report that I found extremely educational and thought it would be very helpful for everyone who supports Project Sunset to read.

“Mosquito nets treated with long acting insecticide are one of the well-known means which strongly contribute to the malaria fighting around the world and saves many lives of infants as well as of adults. Thus, all kinds of means regardless how great their efficacy is, if they are not well mastered, understood, and accepted by the people who are supposed to apply them, end up being obsolete.
“Pygmies, our targeted group of population are a specific people by their culture and lifestyle and preferences of living relatively isolated in the forest make them sometimes vulnerable to even avoidable and preventable diseases.  Pygmies are the least educated and least informed concerning ways of fighting malaria. They are also reluctant to come to the hospital when they get sick.

“The DR Congolese government with its partners has distributed mosquito nets in the previous years. But unfortunately the population and pygmies did not use them properly. The mosquito nets were used to protect growing food from insects, chicks from sparrowhawk , killing termites in terms of protecting houses from destruction by these insects, fishing with either the mosquito net itself or using the soaked insecticide, or constructing indigenous houses with mosquito nets trimmed and used as rope…
“From all problems emphasized above, The Nebobongo team for the prevention and promotion of good health, decided to act first by conducting an assessment of the situation, specifically of pygmies and then train and teach them about good ways to fight and prevent malaria.”

Throughout the various education sessions “eight medical providers were involved in these activities: 3 medical Doctors, 5 nurses of different levels and they were helped by 6 Pygmy facilitators who would introduce us to pygmies and sometimes translate to their own dialect.”

They were able to educate 625 people in all of the various education sessions. The next steps are to further the education programs and begin net distribution once they fully understand how to properly use the nets.

We have an extremely significant opportunity to directly impact the lives of so many in DRC, so please continue to give and pray about how God is using Project Sunset! 


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Expanding to the DRC!

Such exciting news!!!! 

Project Sunset has officially expanded to a second country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)! We are very excited about expanding our work and seeing all of your support benefit people in both Gabon and now the DRC.

Initially, funds from Project Sunset will be used to educate the people of DRC about malaria and the value of mosquito nets. Nebobongo Hospital is creating an education program that they will roll out to the Pygmy population first, who have not made use of the nets before.  People can currently get nets from relief organizations in the area; however, they  don’t understand the importance of the nets or how to properly use them. The vital education component is missing. Without education about the nets, the villagers are  using them as fishing nets, pillows, and anything other than to prevent mosquitos from biting and spreading malaria. 

As long as there are not education programs about malaria and mosquito nets, all distribution efforts are pointless.  After education programs take place, mosquito net distribution will begin in DRC! 

I hope this news is as exciting to all of you, as it is to me! It is so encouraging to me not only that we can expand to work in another country, but that our support is continually growing - making this dream a reality!  

Thank you so much everyone for your continued support!

Monday, March 24, 2014


The original goal a little over two years ago was to raise money for 50 mosquito nets. The blue package in the picture below holds the first 50 mosquito nets raised through Project Sunset.

God has worked through all of you supporting Project Sunset in 13 states and 5 countries around the world to raise enough money to buy 1,206 mosquito nets!! Which looks more like this:

In the first year and a half 593 nets were raised, and in 2013 we raised 613 nets! That’s at least 1,206 people protected from malaria!

Thank you SO much to every person who has bought a shirt, held a fundraiser, or spread the word about Project Sunset.

Excited for what 2014 will hold!!!! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Four E's

E4 Project is a very unique organization, created by God through Eric and Brynn Schmidt. I have always known this, but in the past year E4 has begun to stand out even more in my eyes in many ways. Since E4 “adopted” Project Sunset and me into their organization - rather into their family - two years ago I have been very thankful for this opportunity to serve with them. Their strong focus on accomplishing goals through long term relationships and partnership is the foundation of everything they are and every decision and act they make.

The four E’s of E4 stand for Engage, Empower, Equip, and Educate. This mission’s model sets E4 apart from many missions and non-profit organizations today. Most of the time these four E’s apply to our partners in ministry overseas, but I know from personal experience that anyone who gets the chance to interact with E4 in any way experiences these four E’s in their own life as well.

Before my adoption into E4 I felt like I could make a difference, but with their support I feel so empowered to continue to work for God’s Kingdom and make a real difference in the lives of His Children. E4 has equipped me with the tools to set higher and higher goals and continue to soar past them. E4 is the reason that I was able to go to Gabon for the first time in June 2012 which engaged me even further with Gabon and would change the course of the next two years of my life, and hopefully many more to come. Once you hear the vision of E4, it’s hard not to be engaged both with their goals and with serving God in any aspect of life. As a college student with a lot to learn about life, E4 continues to educate me not only in the non-profit side of things, but in all areas of life.

Brynn and Eric have become two of my greatest life mentors and that is a huge reflection of them as people but also a reflection of the heart of their organization from top to bottom. They are in it for the long haul to honor God with every relationship and partnership they have, whether in Gabon, the DRC, or stateside and I am so thankful that Project Sunset gets to be part of such an amazing organization.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

LOTS of Great Things Have Been Happening!

It's been a while since I've posted a blog because of starting nursing school this semester, but great people have still been doing GREAT things for Project Sunset!!! 

Heather Andreasen and her son, Brayden, raised money for 90 nets by doing garage sales over the summer! Heather is the Women's Coordinator for my church here on campus at SVSU and her son Brayden heard about Project Sunset through her because she has been a huge supporter of Project Sunset since the beginning! Brayden really wanted to start raising money and so to begin he got his little brother Tolbin and some of his friends to wear Project Sunset shirts with him every day for a month to school - talk about good advertisement! Then this past summer Heather and Brayden worked extremely hard gathering items to have numerous garage sales to raise money to buy nets. Thank you so much Heather and Brayden!!! 

In October I was blessed with a lot of opportunities to spread the word about Project Sunset to a lot of different people! 

I had the privilege of going to Faith Alliance Church in Ohio to participate in their Missions Conference. I had the opportunity to share about Project Sunset and E4 Project with Eric Schmidt, one of the founders of E4. A huge personal highlight for me was that I also got to see Pastor Jacob from Gabon who was there to speak all week for their conference. It was so great to see him again! 

During the weekend I got to meet a lot of people that have supported Project Sunset in the past and meet people who now look forward to supporting Project Sunset in the future. I spent Sunday morning with the kids and we had tons of fun playing games and they were so interested in learning about Malaria so that they could find ways to help! I had a wonderful weekend and I am so thankful for all of the support Project Sunset received in just two days! We now have 39 more people proudly wearing Project Sunset shirts and spreading the word in Ohio! Thank you Faith Alliance Church!!! 

In October I had three other speaking opportunities to share about Project Sunset. Michigan Campus Compact, a group who is focused on getting college students involved in community service, asked me to sit on a panel for a student leader's conference about how to make a difference in the world around them. The second opportunity was thanks to Brian Thomas, one of my professors here at SVSU who has always been a great supporter of Project Sunset. He asked me to share my story about Project Sunset at the Michigan Sociological Association's conference. Later in the month I was also asked to speak at a Resident Housing Association conference on campus for student leaders about how to start projects they are passionate about to make a difference in the lives of others. All of these were wonderful experiences and I am so thankful for everyone who made them possible! 

Last May I went to Bowling Green Alliance Church in Ohio and spoke to their Sunday School class about Project Sunset and the kids have been faithfully bringing in money from their allowances and have raised money for 4 mosquito nets! Every little bit helps! Thank you Bowling Green Alliance kids!! 

Also in October Project Sunset was asked to help host an event on campus where Jackson Kaguri, CNN Hero of the year in 2012, spoke about all he has done and is doing for his home village in Uganda through the Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project that he founded. It was a great night! He gave Project Sunset two shout-outs during his speech and even bought shirts! 

I am so thankful for all of this continued support and encouragement and for all of these amazing opportunities that are better than my dreams! Thank you to everyone who has had a part in Project Sunset and continues to support Project Sunset! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Meet Ginette!

In June I was blessed to take my third trip to Gabon with a wonderful team from my home church in Troy MI, Bridge Community Church. 

During our ten days on the ground in Gabon, our team helped run three mobile medical clinics in villages over three different days and we saw many patients with all different kinds of problems ranging from hypertension to malaria and HIV. At these clinics 76 mosquito nets were distributed through Project Sunset! We hope and pray that means that at least 76 more people will never have to come to the clinic for malaria treatment again!

On my last trip in March I met this woman in the pink shirt at a village church in Nkok, she was all smiles on Sunday! 

 Then on Monday I saw her at the clinic and she was very sick. This picture is of her getting tested for malaria and she tested positive. This was the first time I saw first hand how quickly malaria can make someone sick and it made my work with Project Sunset even more important to me. 

This woman was able to get the right care through our amazing Gabonese partners that day at the clinic. I left the clinic that day knowing she got the right care and medicine, but I never thought I would get the privilege of meeting her for a third time...

But 4 months later I did!! 

The first village clinic that we went to during that trip was in Nkok, the same village I got to got to church to on my last trip! I was excited just to be headed back to somewhere that I had already been and to see the new 
church building they built in those short four months. 

Church in March

Church in June
But an even greater surprise was waiting for me! Two women recognized me and remembered me by name as soon as I got there! One of the women happened to be the same woman that I met at church and then at the clinic when she had malaria. I found out that her name is Ginette and I had the privilege of playing with her kids and talking with her.

Ginette's Kids

She is healthy and pregnant! While we were talking she told me that if she has a girl she is going to name her Sarah after me! But that's not the best part of this story. The best part is that God is building relationships like this and doing great things that are impacting people through the support that you give to Project Sunset, things that we sometimes will never know about and then some that we will, like this story. As you continue to support Project Sunset there will be more and more stories like this, which makes me so excited! This greatly encouraged me to keep working hard and see who else God impacts though this program! 

Thank you so much for all of your continued support!!! It means so much to me, and so much to amazing people like Ginette! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thank you Allegheny Center Alliance!!!

The support we are receiving from groups around the country is astounding!!!

I would like to thank Scott Wakeley and Allegheny Center Alliance in Pittsburgh for raising 250 mosquito nets for Project Sunset!!!! Yeah, you read that right everyone, 250 nets!!!

In March, Allegheny Center Alliance held a two day famine for their youth group where they fasted, prayed, served in the community, and raised money for a variety of causes. We were blessed to be one of those causes!

125 students gathered for the event and as they fasted together they prayed for several different topics, one being Project Sunset. They learned about several issues that people face around the world with a concentration on Africa. These topics included orphans, HIV, and malaria.We are so thankful for the prayers of these students and their hard work as they raised money for these 250 nets. 250 nets that will now protect at least 250-500 more Gabonese from malaria!!!