by David Fuller, Spiritual Integration Fellow
An important theological concept that undergirds our work at HOPE International is Missio Dei, a Latin term meaning, “Mission of God.” It is the basic idea that God has a purpose and goal for His whole creation.
We read about God’s mission in the first three chapters of Genesis. God said, “No!” to nothingness and “Yes!” to relationship with His creation. After our Fall from His created intent, God’s mission took a redemptive turn. In Genesis 3:9, God’s mission is articulated when He calls out, “Adam, where are you?” Despite Adam and Eve’s sin then and our own sin today, God is pursuing us, calling out, “Where are you?”
The drama of God’s mission culminated in the sending of Jesus. God Himself entered our own brokenness to find us and bring us back into relationship with Him and heal our relationships with ourselves, with others, and with the rest of creation. Jesus marked the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. The unexpected plot twist of the ages was when God sent us, His Church, into the rest of the world, bearing Christ’s name, to testify to a King who is establishing His Kingdom.
At HOPE International, and indeed for all of us Christ followers, this is what we’re all about. We bear witness to the Kingdom of God in who we are, how we work, and how we serve the Church.
We are saved sinners. The grace we seek to extend is the same grace that we so desperately cling to. At HOPE, we foster our relationship with God through regular staff prayer, staff devotions, dedicated all-staff prayer days, and spiritual retreats.
How we work
Our work demonstrates the Kingdom of God. Through sharing the Good News in relationship with those we serve and through biblically based training and financial services, HOPE demonstrates and declares that God’s Kingdom is here and all are invited to enter. A savings group meeting follows a meeting structure that acknowledges God and His presence in our lives through the study of the Word. And as HOPE clients receive small loans and training, not only do they access much-needed capital to invest in a business, they are also reminded of the God-given skills and capacity they have to provide for their families and communities.
Developing partnerships with local churches, HOPE serves the Church and equips them to reach their local community with tangible solutions to poverty and the hope of the Gospel. We share what we’re learning in our work with open hands because we’re serving alongside like-minded organizations around the world, bearing witness to God’s Kingdom. Together, with generous supporters and devoted field partners, we’re working to see the Church—testifiers to the Kingdom of God—equipped to restore broken relationships in their communities as they share God’s love.
God is on a mission to find each of us, calling out, “Where are you?” Knowing God’s heart for every person to be reconciled to Him, our answer is, “We’re here, Lord. Send us!”
To learn more about HOPE’s Christ-centered approach to poverty alleviation, watch this short video.
While a fellow on HOPE’s spiritual integration team, David is currently a student at Eastern University, and he will soon finish his MBA in economic development. David has also received Masters of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in religious and philosophical studies from Sterling College. He lives with his family in Philadelphia, PA.
Feature image: A community bank group of HOPE’s partner in the Dominican Republic, Esperanza International.