By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
After she experienced a steady stream of nightmares several years ago, the Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Hayes-Danto, a Newport News pastor, arose from her bed, booked a flight to Ghana, and launched an orphanage.
Now, a steady stream of donors in Virginia and elsewhere are helping Danto care for the “frantic and visibly abused” youngsters in Ghana who streamed through her dreams late at night for several months, according to a post on her website – Standing On The Promises of God Children’s Home Ghana. This means more than a dozen orphans now live in the new, 7-acre school she is building in Asamakese.
The orphanage is located on a plot of land that a coconut farmer sold to Danto after her family and friends financed her first $2,500 trip to Ghana in 2021. Later, relatives and friends gave her another $2,500 for her second trip in November 2022. Soon, Danto returned home to the USA, raised $27,000, flew back to Ghana, and bought a tract of a land from a retiring coconut farmer.
“We purchased seven acres of land in Asamakese Ghana (located near Krodua Village) in August 2022,” Danto said in a recent interview with The New Journal and Guide. The project still needs about $15,000.
The orphanage, which is expected to be completed in 2026, is located about one hour from Accra, the nation’s capital, Danso explained in a recent email. “I first went to Ghana in 2021. I went back in November 2022.
Both trips cost about $2,500. I visited Accra, Asamakese, and the Cape Coast. The trips were funded by family, friends and through fundraising efforts. During my second visit, the land that was purchased was finalized and the first phase of building was underway.”
This means her nightmares not only launched a bright brand-new orphanage. Her troubling dreams also launched a steady stream of income for local residents who are actually receiving paychecks while they build the new orphanage. The new facility will offer local residents an office, counseling department, cafeteria, nurses station, classrooms, a chapel, and dormitories for boys and girls. Meanwhile, streams of fresh distilled water will soon flow to local residents and a chicken farm will soon produce a new stream of income at the new orphanage, thanks to partnerships that Danso launched.
“We have connected with donors through social media, donation letters, word of mouth, and mission programs,” she said. “The three streams of income which have already been mentioned will bring employment into an area that is extremely poverty-stricken. The community will benefit from the clean water that will be produced and the local children will not have to go so far to attend school. I foresee better roads being built in the area as a result of our presence there.”
Danso said she attributes the gushing streams in her life to God. “I was led by God to establish and pastor a church, Standing on the Promises of God Worship Center in Newport News, Va., on April 16, 2005,” Danso explained.
“I am married to Edward Danso. We have three adult children (Gregory, Timothy and Charity). Approximately $25,000 has already been spent,” said the Newport News pastor. Please contact her at P.O. Box 15286. Newport News, Va. 23608. “Our presence there and the work that we are doing have proven to be an asset to the economy because we are utilizing workers from the local community.”
The gushing stream has not stopped since she had her first nightmare. In fact, it continues.
“The businesses that we are looking to create are chicken farming, vegetable farming, Tom Brown breakfast cereal (porridge), and Distilled Water business,” she said, in a recent email. “The (orphanage) will be built in stages and it is estimated that the completion will cost approximately $150,000,” she said.
“Our project completion date is January 2026. Academic classes will start upon completion of the temporary school building which is estimated mid-2024,” Danso said. The facility is equipped to serve up to 50 children.
It is important to remember that US dollars stretch farther outside of the USA. Land, labor and supplies cost less, in other words. This means your donation may double and triple. “Monetary donations can help us achieve (our) goals and I am a believer in the power of united prayer,” she said.
While some may ask why she flew all the way to Ghana instead of opening an orphanage in the USA, the answer is she felt compelled “to go forward in this work,” she explained. “I am a firm believer that hand in hand we can turn dreams into realities. Love, support, and mentoring of one child can positively affect generations. Some ask why I have to go all the way to Africa to be a help to children. My response is. … ‘God chooses different people to do different things in different places.’”
Danto, a Newport News native, was born to Adron(Jack) and Cleo Joyner Hayes, who are deceased.
“My mother was a caregiver and my father was a locksmith by trade,” she said. “He was also a well-known barber in the surrounding cities. I have four brothers; Adron, Dewayne, and Stephen, who are deceased, and a living brother Arnold. I’m also blessed with a twin sister, Jocelyn, and my youngest sister Kalandra.” She has two god daughters who live in Ghana.
“One was given my first name and the other has my maiden name, Jacquelyn Beryl Adomba Mensah and Esther Hayes Kwaom” the Newport News pastor explained..
“None of my family members went to church,” she said. “There didn’t seem to be much of an interest in God. I felt somewhat odd until one day my uncle gave me a very old Bible.”
The Bible changed her life. After she graduated from Ferguson High in Newport News, earned an undergraduate degree at Norfolk State University, as well as a undergraduate degree in theology at Christian Life School of Theology and a masters at International College of Bible Theology, she earned her doctoral degree at Midwest Seminary.
She believes her troubling dreams came from God. “None of my family members went to church,” she said. But she feels empowered when she looks at the worn Bible from her uncle.
“He told me, ‘I felt that you would appreciate this more than anyone else.’ “
He told her that he prayed for his descendants. Hearing these words “touched me so deeply,” she said. “Wow, the power of a great-grandfather’s prayers.”
To help build the orphanage, please scroll to Standing On The Promises of God Children’s Home Ghana or CASH APP $SPGWORSHIPCENTER or https://www.spgworshipcenter.com/contact.