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As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up - one on one side, one on the other - so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Exodus 17:11-12

The fate of the Israelite army quite literally rested in the hands of a single man. When Moses’ own strength failed him, Aaron and Hur used their hands to support Moses. As the sun set, the Israelite army, with Joshua at the helm, defeated the Amalekites because Moses sat, arms raised, with the help of his friends.

Human hands empowered by God have the ability to change the world!

This is what drives the Helping Hands Ministry at Chapel Pointe. Through Helping Hands, Chapel Pointe sends toiletry, sewing, and toy kits, plus pill bottles, to international workers in Burkina Faso. The international workers, in turn, distribute them to individuals in need.

“Many of our residents were missionaries or friends and family of missionaries, so they know the experiences and impact the international workers have overseas,” explained Michelle Shaffer, Household Coordinator. “We began looking at missions to see how our residents can continue to contribute, and we discovered that many people’s basic needs aren’t being met in Burkina Faso.”

For instance, in the United States, we don’t give a second thought to the stacks of pill bottles in our medicine cabinet. In Burkina Faso, however, hospitals lack basics, like pill bottles, to distribute desperately needed medicine.

Widowed and young mothers receive sewing kits that not only encourage their spirits but give them basic tools to care for their families and potentially make money through sewing for others. Hospital patients receive the essentials – like soap, a comb, and lotion – in a toiletry bag so they can tend to their hygiene while doctors focus on their illnesses. The addition of a small toy and colorful hair ties turns the toiletry kits into the perfect gift to give a smile to a pediatric patient. 

While international workers hand out the Helping Hands kits to meet very practical needs, they have the opportunity to share God’s love with people and meet their spiritual needs, as well.

Helping Hands has become a campus-wide effort. Residents in independent living collect and donate pill bottles, toothbrushes, mini soaps, sewing supplies, grooming items, and much more. Gifted quilter, Joe Dopsovic, sewed dozens of three-pocket bags in an array of colors and patterns with ribbons for closing the kits. Household residents gather periodically to create assembly lines and stuff the bags. Once everything is assembled, Debbie Cowles, board member, arranges for people traveling to Burkina Faso to take the kits with them and deliver them to her sister, Esther Schaeffer, who is an international worker in the field.

“Andrew and Esther Schaeffer see the benefits the kits are making, and send photos for our residents to see,” said Michelle. “The residents love seeing the photos and gain a great sense of purpose through Helping Hands.”

Like Aaron and Hur from Exodus, Chapel Pointe residents experience God’s power at work as they serve behind the scenes to support our international workers abroad. What a difference a few Helping Hands can make!

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