IMG_4833-small

In November, summer may seem like a long way away. If you’re a college student, classes and exams are in full swing, campus is bustling with excitement, and summer plans might be the last thing on your mind. While there are tons of ways to spend your summer—traveling, working, seeing friends—summer internships present great opportunities to grow, gain experience, and try new things. We know this process can be daunting, so we asked our recent summer interns and fellows to share their insight and advice on how to go about finding your next summer internship.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a meaningful internship?

IMG_7291-webSarah Moon: During the interview process, the organization is evaluating you, but you should also be evaluating the organization. Don’t take an internship simply because it is offered; discern whether it will be a helpful and worthwhile experience before immediately accepting.

 

IMG_7317-webArna McArtney: Be open to a variety of internships and departments—the majority of the intern crew at HOPE this year ended up working in a different position than their original application, and I’ve been grateful to engage with something that I never anticipated working with.

 

IMG_7109-webBailey Holway: I stressed out too much about where I was going to be this summer. I had to learn to trust that God was going to use me wherever He sent me—whether that was in my hometown, Lancaster, PA, or somewhere completely different. God is good, He is sovereign, and He knows what He’s doing, even if I don’t like waiting to see how things will end up. Continue Reading…

Gisele

As a young girl, Gisele spent countless hours in her mother’s tailor shop. Eager to imitate her mother’s skill, Gisele would cut up fabrics and design models of her own. With help from her father, Gisele later enrolled in sewing school and eventually opened a tailoring business in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. Despite her beautifully elaborate designs, Gisele’s profits weren’t enough to support her family, and she often had to use her business capital for their expenses, jeopardizing her business and stymying progress.

Seeking to diversify her business, Gisele received and repaid seven loans from HOPE Congo over the course of five years to expand her tailoring business by purchasing fabrics, sewing materials, and an electric sewing machine. Ever the entrepreneur, Gisele also used loans to expand into a new business selling smoked fish; small cakes; and foufou, a cassava-based Congolese dish.

Now, she is able to provide for her family using only the profits of her businesses. Reflecting on the impact of her relationship with HOPE Congo, Gisele says:

HOPE is the one who came to give me wings so that I can fly.

Continue Reading…

IMG_5662-web

In the seven years since Peter Greer and Phil Smith released The Poor Will Be Glad, HOPE has learned a lot about working with families in underserved communities to help them flourish. Peter and Phil have updated their book, retitled Created to Flourish, and we’d like to share these valuable learnings with you. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 4 about the power of jobs in fighting poverty.


When we engage in employment-based solutions, the benefits of employment extend to future generations. Outside a small office in Trou-du-Nord, Haiti, I saw several boys with homemade kites. Using a plastic bag, some string, and a few sticks, these three boys constructed kites capable of expertly navigating tangled power lines and two-story buildings. I could see other kids watching and learning from their example. Other children saw what was possible, and there grew a prestige factor in who could get his kite the highest.

In the same way, I’ve seen community members improve their lives, motivating other community members to action through their hard work. If my neighbors can pull their families out of poverty, why can’t I? Essentially, they are pushing the limits of what is possible, and from very little they are making kites that can fly higher and higher.

Employment decreases the need for never-ending support. Continue Reading…

IMG_8093

“I train lots of people, freely, without asking any money,” Moise said, proudly smiling. “What I have, I give.”

Sitting on white plastic chairs at Moise’s home in the Republic of Congo, I looked out at the fields of newly sprouted cabbages as I mulled over Moise’s words. The grey sky overhead mirrored the heaviness of the conversation as Moise described his considerable challenges—his wife’s deteriorating health, the immense cost of her treatment, losing his loan repayment when a fellow group member left it behind in a taxi. And after this string of hardships, he was still willing to give of his time to train farmers in his community?

Continue Reading…

hurricane-matthew

On Tuesday, October 4, Hurricane Matthew slammed into the southwestern region of the country. According to the United Nations and CNN, the disaster has killed over 300 people and displaced some 350,000 people, leaving many Haitians to face the worst humanitarian crisis since the earthquake six years ago.

We praise God that our local staff are safe, but we know hundreds of thousands of Haitians will once again face the complete loss of their homes and livelihoods to a natural disaster. As Christ-followers, we want to be known for running to those who are hurting, vulnerable, and in need of help.

HOPE Haiti works with local church partners to serve over 6,000 active savings group members who benefit from training, fellowship, and discipleship that empowers them to provide for their families and communities. In this way, Haitian entrepreneurs not only access financial services like a safe place to save, they also build solidarity with one another and learn about God’s love.

We invite you to pray in the following ways:

  • Pray for southwest Haiti, including Miragoane, one of the areas where HOPE works. Pray for the relief efforts, particularly as the hurricane destroyed a bridge on the main road that goes West, cutting off access to aid for that area.
  • Pray for protection against outbreaks of diseases like cholera, which severely impacted the population after the 2010 earthquake.
  • Pray for the 200 savings group members who have been significantly affected. Pray for their safety and resilience in the face of any loss they may have experienced. Pray that the long-term development efforts of HOPE and other organizations would not be hampered.
  • Pray for the long-term recovery of the area. A major long-term concern is the complete loss of gardens in these areas, as food is already scarce.

We also invite you to consider how you can help bring immediate and much-needed assistance to Haitian families suffering in the wake of this hurricane. Two organizations with immediate disaster relief experience and a commitment to working with local churches are World Relief and Samaritan’s Purse.

Thank you for your prayers and support for the people of Haiti.

 

Life.church 2

Jeff Galley serves as central group leader for LifeGroups and missions at Life.Church in Oklahoma City, OK. He and a team from Life.Church recently traveled to India to visit HOPE’s local partner, who is helping to equip churches and underserved communities through savings groups, and to visit Tearfund. In this blog excerpt, he shares about the people he met and what he learned from them about human trafficking. Read the full post on his blog.

Observers estimate there are more than 20 million slaves in India and that one new person is trafficked into slavery every 10 minutes. Some slaves are forced to do manual labor as a house servant or doing hard, backbreaking labor. Some are forced into prostitution. Trafficking isn’t just a problem in India. It’s a global issue, even in my own city.

Continue Reading…