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About Bright New Hope

About Bright New Hope

Bright New Hope History

In 2015, I was asked to serve as pastor of a church in Nabitula, Uganda after the head pastor had a moral failure and was removed.  Because there was such an upheaval, those overseeing this transition changed the church name to Victory Christian Center Nabitula.

Though the conditions were less than ideal and the location remote, I fell in love with the people.  Kamuli, where I live, is 112 km (70 miles) northeast of the capital city of Kampala.  Nabitula is about 25 km (15 miles) NE of Kamuli.

Before long, I decided to reach out to those members who left the church because of the aforementioned tragic events.

As I went door-to-door preaching and visiting the people, I became distraught at how many young children and teens I saw taking drugs and even having sex in public.  I began looking into why these horrible things were so prevalent.  There were many factors, all of them heartbreaking.  Some children are born to prostitutes who do not want them.  Some are the innocent victims of a mother who was raped and so ashamed they poison themselves. Some children have lost both parents to AIDS, drug overdoses or a host of other health issues.  Extended family members struggling to raise their own children refuse to take these orphans in.  Grandparents are willing but cannot afford their care.  As a result, many innocent children are forced into an ungodly life in the streets in order to survive. 

The more I learned, the greater my heart grieved for these young ones. The village has over 1000 children, but many will not attempt the 5km walk to the nearest school because rape is rampant.  The risk of pregnancy is very real. One day during my long drive home my heart was filled with pain.  I cried out,  “God, why are these children suffering like this?”  He answered in a soft voice, “Because they do not have someone to care for them.”  Instantly, I replied, “Lord, here I am to care for them!”   In the same soft voice, I heard, “Thank you Yusufu.”  It was the most profound event of my life!  I knew without a doubt God was calling me to rescue these children and care for them.

At that time, I was in a courtship with Bridget, who became my wife in 2019.  I shared with her my burden for the children and the incredible experiences I had with the Lord.  Bridget said, “I am willing to stand with you.”  I was so pleased, and now Bright New Hope is the central purpose of our lives.

We began asking GOD for His direction.  In 2016 February we rented a piece of land.  We started gathering the children one by one, fed them and provided simple huts for them to sleep in.  We and were so grateful they were no longer on the streets.  We told them that God loved them and that if we prayed and trusted Him, He would provide all our needs.  And we able to then purchase the land on which Bright New Hope now sits.

Officials in the local community continue to bring many children to us to care for since any other resources are practically non-existent.  These are just some of the reasons why we have grown so quickly.  After only one year, we were caring for 85 children.  After two years, 121; after three years, 154 and now in 2022 we are at 168.  

But sometimes, very sick children are brought to us when it’s too late.  We’ve lost 12 of them.  The pain of having one of these little ones die in my arms has been unbearable.  So, we continuously cry out to God for help. 

God has heard our prayers and connected us with some key people in the United States, such as Pastor Mary Shelnutt in Alabama, who was instrumental in helping us purchase land and feeding the children.  She has also informed others of the needs we have; and a faithful few have come alongside us.  We are so grateful.   

Bright New Hope brought on four teachers and one support staff who arrived and began providing education for the children in February 2017. 

These key supporters have become sincere advocates for the children; not only for their basic needs but for quality education, health care and security.  With their guidance and assistance, we have now become officially registered with the nation of Uganda and established the name of “Bright New Hope Orphanage Nabitula Limited.” 

We’ve been able to build 8 classrooms and acquire a minivan (which also serves as an ambulance).  But we are still lacking housing for the children, unfortunately.  Some stay with willing family; others in my home with my wife and children. 

Serious health concerns like malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS are a constant threat in Africa, so we are also praying for a full-time nurse and well-stocked infirmary.  Clean water and sanitary conditions can be difficult to maintain, but over time, will save far more than the cost of medical care.  We thank God that an American missions organization dug a well for us.  Before then, the children had been helping carry clean water from a great distance.    

The needs continue to grow and there’s much to be done.  The children need medical care, clothes, shoes, uniforms and a playground as well as housing, beds, bedding and pillows. 

While meeting the needs of every child in our care is our utmost concern, we recently learned that farmland adjacent to ours is available to purchase!  This means we could grow and harvest our own crops for food and become more self-sufficient.  We are trusting God to help us acquire this land as well as farming equipment and supplies.

The joy, gratitude and growth in the Lord of the children are a miracle to behold.  Please pray with us for more to come alongside us; not only for support and prayer, but to witness the great things God is doing in their lives.  His Name be Praised Forever!

My name is Muyingo Yusufu, but I’m known as Pastor Joseph to many others. I was born on March 18th, 1987into a Muslim family in Uganda in the village of Bulama, about 75 kilometers northeast ofthe capital city of Kampala.

I was raised in the Muslim faith but after many trials, I called out to the living God of Israel who saved me out of Islam and gave me the peace and love He promises in His Word. I eventually sought training and became a pastor.My wife Bridget and I were married in 2018 andhave five children ages two to 15; three are biological and two are adopted.

I began to have a deep concern for children abandoned or orphaned by parents who could not afford them, addicted to drugs or sick with AIDS and other problems rampant in Uganda and Africa. In 2016, I took a few of these children into my care. The word spread and before long, many people brought such children to me. It was clear that God was calling me to make this a ministry. Now, we have as many as 200 children have been in our care.

I have had to learn to trust in God alone for clean water, food and basic housing so the children are nourished and educated; both academically and biblically. But the needs and the struggle are overwhelming. I have often wept because some children I’ve taken in have died in my arms before medical care could even be attempted. My heart has broken for these children and times when the rest go hungry when we run out of food.

We named our ministry Bright Hope Open. However, since learning there are many organizations in Uganda with that name, we’ve changed it to “Bright New Hope.” The local leadership is aware of our ministry and we coordinate with them ensure we comply with every law, ordinance and guideline. Through some of our contacts, CBN paid for a well to be dug. We now have fresh water! Some children have even received their very first pair of sandals and are learning to read and write. The joy on their faces is worth the efforts and sacrifices we have made. They are, as Jesus said, “The least of these.”

Our vision is to meet the needs of all our children, provide quality education and access to healthcare. Every child needs these essentials so they can fulfill the purpose God has for them.

Bright New Hope is my life; and my prayer is for God’s people to share in our joy with regular and generous support from a loving heart. Our most urgent and specific prayers are for shelter, food that provides a balanced diet, salaries for our teachers, a children’s hospital/infirmary, scholastic materials, bedding, school supplies, clothing, mattresses, pillows and bedding.

I urge you to read my testimony below. You will hear how the God of Israel dramatically saved me from death and destruction and from my own sinful ways. To God be the Glory, forever and ever. Amen

As stated in my bio, my name is Muyingo Yusufu, known as Pastor Joseph to many others.  I was born on March 18th, 1987 into a Muslim family in Uganda in the village of Bulama, about 75 kilometers northeast of the capital city of Kampala.

My father was an important leader in the Muslim faith, but my parents divorced when I was four months old.  My mother married another Muslim, and that’s how I was raised.  I was well-liked by the Muslim leaders in my area; and after I won two singing competitions, I was chosen to lead the choir.  My popularity helped me recruit many other young men to the Muslim faith.

Once, when I saw someone preaching about Jesus, I shouted at him that only Allah saves.  The preacher rebuked me and commanded a spirit to leave me.  I immediately became so confused I was unable to sing well at a competition later that day.  I began a zealous hatred for Christians.    

My favorite radio station broadcast the Bible teachings of a local pastor named John Osire.  I would call the station and verbally abuse him on the air, calling him stupid and a liar.  I said, “Only Allah can heal and save.”  This man did not respond in anger; nor did he raise his voice.  Instead, he told me, “I pray that one day God will meet you and save your life forever.”  Yet I still enjoyed calling him during his broadcasts to harass and insult him.    

One Sunday, he preached from John 11 regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus.  I called again and spoke as harshly as I could to him.  Within days later, my mother became so ill she could not eat or drink.  We took her to hospitals and witch doctors, but she only got worse and was near death.  Many of my relatives were distressed.  Part of their distress was due to the fact that if my mother died, they would then be responsible for me.  (Although I was 21 at the time, Ugandan culture makes one a dependent up through age 25).  Many of them were arguing about taking me since I was very arrogant and stubborn.

I was so confused.   I was upset over my mother, yet resentful toward my relatives.  I went into the bush out of grief, but also out of anger.  I brought my male goat with me to poison him to spite my relatives, so they could not have the benefits of owning my goat.  I also wanted to call out for help, but in my mind, I heard, “God of Israel.”  So, I cried out and said, “God of Israel, if you are really there please save my mother and I promise to serve you when I grow up.”

That evening I went home with my goat and found my mother sitting up, eating and drinking again!  Everyone wondered how this miracle occurred, but I didn’t say anything to them about my prayers.  Despite God answering my prayer for my mother, I called the radio station when Pastor John Osire was preaching and repeated my pattern of abuse.  But I struggled to bring the harsh words to my lips.  The rebellion in my heart against God became a battle which nearly cost me my life.

My friend Ndifa Tofa and I stole a large quantity of cassava, (a crop grown to make flour) from his uncle an sold it for money.  In Uganda, animals and crops are extremely important for survival.  Such an act was very serious.  When we returned to our village, a group of people were waiting for us.  The crowd attacked and beat us so savagely that Ndifa was killed.  I was then handed over to the mayor and eventually sentenced to prison.

At first, I accepted my punishment, but soon escaped by seriously beating a number of others and ran back home.  It took them 3 weeks to recover.  But then they came looking for me.  They found me and beat me again, but worse than before.  They broke my hand and tore off two of my toenails.  It took me six weeks to recover.  I ran back home and packed a few things, intending to run away again.  But that was not enough; my heart was still filled with spite, anger and revenge against the mayor.  It was he who got the people to beat me and kill my friend.

I went to the mayor’s home.  Using some seed to attract them, I caught and killed 37 of his chickens.  But that did not satisfy me.  He had five goats and I beat them to death.  I knew that my crimes were horrible.  If caught I fully expected to be killed like my friend was, so I fled to another town called Kamuli, where I now reside.

I hid, sleeping in buildings and doing anything I could to survive.  A night watchman caught me and beat me, accusing me of being a thief.  He took me to the local police who were not aware of my other crimes.  I convinced them I just needed a place to sleep, so the police did nothing further.  However, the night watchman still wanted to punish me.  He forced me to stay at home his for six months to do menial labor and feed his pigs.  By then I was a very broken man. 

It was during these circumstances that two people visited the home to share the gospel.  They shared some scriptures that touched my heart.  Proverbs 8:35-36, “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.  But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”  I prayed with them and received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I began attending their church and fellowshipping with my new brothers and sisters. 

After a time, I knew I was supposed to find another church and settled down at Victory Church Kamali.  I enjoyed this church greatly as I grew in my love and knowledge of the Lord among His People.  What is most surprising is the pastor was John Osire, the very man who I had called and abused on the radio.  When he discovered that I was the man who had tormented him, I expected him to respond with anger.  Instead, he welcomed me into his home and fed me.  He did Bible studies and mentored me in my spiritual growth. 

In 2011, he helped enroll me in a theological Bible school and followed up until I received my Certificate of Pastoral Care.  I joined him in ministry on the radio, in prison and hospitals.  I learned how to intercede for others in prayer and interpreted for him when he preached.

In 2015, the church elders of Nabitula miracle center came to my bishop requesting help after a moral failure of their pastor.  He gathered his church committee who began to seek the Lord over who would quickly come and help restore the church. After one week the elders and church members were gathered for the announcement:  “We thank God for this place and the community for He has appointed his servant Muyingo Yusufu to take over the church.  From now on, the church is no longer miracle center but “VICTORY CHRISTIAN CENTER NABITULA.”  Though this location was remote and in desperate need, I fell in love with the people.  My ministry began the following week.   

I thank God for the miraculous way in which he delivered me, protected me and saved me.  Not only that, but He now entrusts me with the care of nearly 200 children, whom I want to love with the arms of Christ.  I know I don’t deserve His Love, but where our sin abounds His Grace abounds all the more.  (Romans 5:20 ).  My salvation and transformation bear witness to His Amazing Grace. 

Our Humble Beginning

We are glad to share with you one of the photos of the children how we begun life in 2016. It was so hard for me and my wife to bear with the situation but we thank God, He had already given us the confidence and love for the children and we don’t regret serving them.

Acknowledgement

We thank God for His Love and the Divine Connections of friends who’ve helped Bright New Hope Orphanage (BNH) get off to a great start.

 

One important supporter and advocate of BNH is Pastor Mary Shelnutt in the United States. She’s been instrumental in helping us acquire land and feeding the children. By God’s grace Pastor Brad Abley and his wife Maureen have also provided significant support. When we were in dire need of a clean water source, they arranged for CBN to dig a well for us. Pastor Abley’s Riverbend Church and their children’s ministry also raised funds for school structures and food. Dottie and Dave Slatery contributed towards the land, for farming supplies, medication, two years’ salary for a nurse, food and scholastic materials. Rick and Susan Borbons have contributed towards food, goats, mosquito nets, medication, tables and the school van; all this during the Covid-19 lockdowns over the past two+ years. McCabes Shaynes has also given generously to help feed our children.


God graciously brought Linda Lapointe and Ron Richerson to assist us with provision for the children, especially when basic needs have become critical. Ron has provided administrative assistance and guidance and helped in the design and content of our website. They are both committed advocates for our children’s education, health care and future.


We thank God for how far He has brought Bright New Hope; and we trust Him to supply the ongoing needs for our children. These needs include an infirmary, shelters, clothes, shoes, uniforms, staff shelters, salaries for our teacher’s, more classrooms, academic books and supplies and a playground with recreational equipment. Beyond that, we pray for farm equipment, that we might become more self-sustaining. We thank God for every bit of support; past, present and future. May He Bless all who minister to His Children through their loving generosity!

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