Raised in a Christian family, Catharine Coon gave her life to the Lord as a child. She was active in her home church, moving over the years from assisting Sunday school teachers to serving as youth intern. But she never anticipated a call to the mission field. “The idea scared me,” says Catharine. “When I finally gave in and said, ‘Okay, Lord, I’ll do it if that’s what you want,’ I was amazed at the transformation in myself. Dread disappeared to be replaced by deep joy. God was confirming the rightness of the choice and that taught me some profound lessons about the Lord and about myself.”
In 1988, Catharine was appointed by WorldVenture and spent the first two years in France studying French. She then left for Cote d’Ivoire, with a focus on children and youth. “The village kids captured my heart almost immediately,” confesses Catharine, “and God quickly showed me the great potential for village and school ministries to students.”
During her second term in Cote d’Ivoire, she briefly taught at Bethel Bible School in the north of the country, then spent the next three years at International Christian Academy, teaching middle school, then fourth grade, and filling in as acting elementary principal for one year.
After a brief leave of absence, Catharine returned to the mission field in 2001, but to the opposite side of the African continent. She landed in Kampala, Uganda, where God laid on her heart the plight of Uganda’s millions of orphans and widows. In October 2002, Catharine founded Hope Alive! (formerly Children of Hope!), a relief and development project focused on orphans and fragile families.
The Ugandans who Catharine serves are a beautiful people with firsthand experience with war and deep poverty. Among those in the lowest economic sectors, there are few opportunities for changing their situation. We are surrounded by vast needs each day and have limited resources available to meet them. We would appreciate prayer for committed, strategic partners who will us meet the needs of a hurting nation.