State and regional Women’s Ministry coordinators were recently recognized for their efforts in supporting the 2016-2018 Women’s Ministries project, the Provisión de Amor Safe House in Cota, Colombia.
The awards ceremony took place on August 1, 2018 at the Faith, Fire, Freedom international celebration during the 77th Church of God General Assembly in Orlando Florida. At the event, Paula Hill, president of Church of God Women’s Ministries, announced the project had exceeded the challenge goal of $500,000. Funds were raised through various projects and in partnership with Women’s Ministries, Youth and Discipleship, and Girls Ministries programs across the United States and Canada.
The project is located in Cota, a city located in the Central Savanna Province. Founded in 1604, the population is around 25,000. Colombia has been a country at war for over 50 years.
“Because of the war, many are abused, displaced by violence, orphaned and at high risk,” stated Paula Hill, president of Church of God Women’s Ministries. “There are young women that find themselves on the streets of Bogotá with no hope of a better life.” Hill, who launched the project, said, “We can provide a place for them to live and be protected, taught job skills, be educated, and release hope into their lives. When we become God’s hands in releasing hope, these young women won’t have to rely on prostitution for their next meal. They won’t have to sell their bodies for a roof over their heads. They won’t have to be separated from their children.”
Rosalba Pérez Gómez opened the Asociación Jireh Provisión de Amor safe house as an answer to many small girls who were orphaned as a result of death, abuse, neglect and abandonment. Provisión de Amor provides a loving environment in a beautiful setting on a hillside in Cota.
Girls have passed through the program and moved on to higher education and vocational opportunities, some ranking in the top 10 percentile within the country, and receiving scholarships to prestigious schools in Colombia.
The school currently hosts more than 270 students. Funds raised from the Women’s Ministries project will furnish the school’s 21 classrooms with desks, boards, iPads, and computers for the technology lab ($150,000) and update and remodel the safe house for girls, providing a safe protection home for young women and mothers ($350,000).
The following states/regions were recognized at the Assembly event for their efforts toward the Cota project (Women’s Ministries president listed; category awards based on size and church population of state/region):
Winner: Hawaii, Vicki Abbott ($0.93 per capita)
Runner-Up: New Mexico, Joy Claypoole ($0.55 per capita)
Winner: Rocky Mountain Region, Jan Jarvis ($1.84 per capita)
Runner-Up: North Central Region, Sonja Kemp ($2.50 per capita)
Winner: Northern New England, Jodi Cushman ($3.49 per capita)
Runner-Up: New England Hispanic, Sara Ramos ($1.61 per capita)
Winner: Alaska, Jan Wright ($1.07 per capita)
Runner-Up: Indiana, Lorna Gosnell ($1.41 per capita)
Winner: California/Nevada, Alice Fischer ($1.46 per capita)
Runner-Up: Mississippi, Teri Moody ($0.41 per capita)
Winner: Southern New England, Janice Hill ($0.83 per capita)
Runner-Up: Texas, Rhonda Brown ($1.17 per capita)
Winner: New York, Karen Smith ($1.84 per capita)
Runner-Up: Alabama, Ora Hart ($0.20 per capita)
Winner: South Carolina, Cathy Gillum ($1.05 per capita)
Runner-Up: North Georgia, Charla Madden ($0.10 per capita)
Winner: Florida-Tampa, Debbie Ivester ($0.35 per capita)
Overall Winner and Runner Up
Runner-Up: New York, Karen Smith giving $51,535.40
Winner: South Carolina, Cathy Gillum giving $55,167.00