For John Sahid this past May, it looked like this:
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Five months earlier, while ringing in the New Year, John had written down a fitness goal that would push him in 2017: complete the IRONMAN 70.3 St. George. While he’d competed in other races in the past, this triathlon—involving a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run through the mountainous terrain of St. George, Utah—would be demanding.

But as significant as this new challenge seemed, John felt compelled to expand his vision. He could use all that he was investing in training for and competing in the event—his time, energy, and abilities—to go even further. Continue Reading…

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On May 23, Islamic State militants took control of Marawi, a Filipino city on the island of Mindanao. Over 500 people have been killed, and 300,000 civilians have been forced to flee their homes to escape the occupation.

Now months later, as violence continues in Mindanao, we ask that you join us in prayer for the Philippines, specifically lifting up the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE’s local partner in the Philippines.

While CCT does have several branches on the island of Mindanao, all of them are several hours away from Marawi, where the majority of the violence has occurred thus far. We praise God that no CCT clients have been injured or killed—though many have family members or friends who are missing, dead, or fleeing the violence.

As we grieve over the unrest in Mindanao, we invite you to join us in praying Scripture over the Philippines:

  • The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit (Psalm 34:18). Father, be near to those whose loved ones are missing, injured, or killed. We know that You are no stranger to grief—surround each grieving person with Your comfort and peace.
  • Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you (Psalm 5:11). Lord, protect the 21 million people living in Mindanao. Let the terrorists gain no more ground in the country, and protect those who are still trapped inside Marawi.
  • Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths (Psalm 25:4). As CCT’s leaders make important decisions about CCT’s operations in Mindanao, grant them wisdom and discernment. As clients’ businesses are affected by the unrest, give CCT’s staff in Mindanao sound judgement in supporting local clients.
  • In the day of trouble, he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock (Psalm 27:5). For the many families who have lost their homes, provide shelter, Lord. As so many families have lost all they have in the world, we pray that You would restore their hope for the future and provide for their physical needs.
  • The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:11). Father, we know that your heart breaks at violence and injustice in the world. Bring Your peace to Mindanao. Bring the violence to an end quickly, so that no more lives might be lost.

Join us in prayer for the HOPE network by signing up to receive HOPE’s monthly prayer update.

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In When Helping Hurts, Brian Fikkert writes, “Christian development work must include a clear presentation of the Gospel. Failure to do so denies individuals access to the only real solution to the fundamental causes of poverty.” Similarly, at HOPE, we believe the roots (and solutions) of poverty, brokenness, and hopelessness go deeper than a lack—or excess—of material things.

Addressing physical needs is just one aspect in true human flourishing. During His earthly ministry, Jesus was a perfect example of meeting physical and spiritual needs. In Matthew 9:35, we read that “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Continue Reading…

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Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of this year’s honorable mention from Eastern Europe: Vadim Dashko.

Born into a tumultuous family in Russia, Vadim Dashko’s early days involved poverty and abuse. To escape her husband, Vadim’s mother relocated with her children to Ukraine. Facing poverty and the memories of her marriage, she turned to drinking, creating even more turbulence for Vadim and his sister. For many years after, Vadim struggled with loneliness, depression, and poverty. Still, as he became a husband and a father, he grew more and more determined to overcome his challenges and become a businessman.

Continue Reading…

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Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of this year’s honorable mention from Asia: Gemma Vasquez.

When digital photography began growing in the Philippines, the small photography studio where Gemma Vasquez’s husband worked quickly went out of business. Scrambling to find other work, Gemma and her husband soon landed on a new business venture: selling popcorn.

Continue Reading…

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Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of this year’s honorable mention from Latin America: Clari Santana.

After a serious car accident claimed one of Clari Santana’s legs and one of her hands, she didn’t know what to do next. A single mother of two boys, she now couldn’t continue in her business of delivering food to factory workers. “I thought the world had ended,” she shared. That’s when she heard about Esperanza International, HOPE’s local partner in the Dominican Republic.

Continue Reading…