Blanketed With Love

blanketsBy Steve Straw, serving in Gabon

Steve Straw and his family recently returned from a three-month home assignment in the United States to Gabon, where they’ve served since 2007. An Alliance pastor and former commercial pilot, Steve started Gabon’s first-ever, dedicated medical air transport program. The following article includes adapted excerpts from his blog that reference Hope House, a home for at-risk youth located in Libreville.

While we were in the United States in July, Cassels Alliance Church, a small country church in Manchester, Pennsylvania, asked if we would make a special delivery of blankets-made by their summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) students-to the 28 youth living at Hope House (Maison d’Esperance).

An outreach of Alliance churches in Gabon, Hope House operates as a safety net for young people whose parents are disabled, missing, or dead, and whose extended family members can’t be found or are unable to help. 


Recently, the shipping container with the promised blankets arrived in Gabon. We delivered them to the kids at Hope House, who range from 19 months to 15 years of age. They loved them!

“Our church purchased the blanket kits as part of our VBS program-‘Pit to Palace’-which was about Joseph’s life,” explained Heather Grim, the Cassels Alliance Church’s VBS coordinator last summer. “We liked the idea of the kids doing something tangible with their hands for other children. One of our activities was to create a marketplace with various venues, including a linen shop where the students tied the two sides of each piece of cloth to create each finished blanket.

“God just worked out all of the details; I believe this was a wonderful experience all around!” Heather added. “We are a small church, and many of the people in our area have financial issues. We thought that this project was an excellent way of showing how God can use anything we have to give-even a few minutes of time.”

For Rent

Monetary need is something Hope House staff members and its residents understand well.

About a year ago, the children were displaced from their former Hope House residence of many years, after it was sold and the new owners were unwilling to let them stay. The good news is that their new home is much better-it has all the space they really need. The bad news is that although we had hoped that government funding would kick in to offset the home’s higher rent, there’ve been delays. 

The government is requiring that a perimeter cement-block wall be completed around the home before the funds are delivered. Thanks to the labor of workers with Envision-sponsored short-term trips, the wall is almost complete. 

We are praying that funds will arrive soon, but there is no guarantee when that will be. Our Alliance team members-including missionaries, associates, and other workers-have put their own money toward helping Hope House pay the rent through the end of this year. Praise God for this provision!  Now, we are praying that the Lord will continue to meet this need. Pray also for wisdom for Hope House directors Pastor Israel and Mama Nathalie.

What You Can Do

Praise God for the blankets VBS students in Pennsylvania made for the youth living at Hope House in Gabon! Pray for more funds to come in to prevent the children at Hope House from being forced to move during the middle of the school year and into a smaller home.

Learn More


Get Involved...


We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »


Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »


Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »