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2017-Best_7

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.

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clari

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.

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Each year, HOPE celebrates clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award. 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 Savera, this year’s winner!

For years, Savera Mutemariya and her husband struggled to support their family. Like many people in the community of Kigabiro, Rwanda, they supported their family mostly through what they grew in their fields, making it difficult to consistently provide for their family’s needs.

“My life was very bad,” Savera remembers. “Getting food was very hard. I didn’t have a house. I had three kids, but I wasn’t able to pay for primary school fees.”

When Savera heard about Urwego Bank, HOPE’s microfinance bank in Rwanda, it sounded too good to be true. Surprised to hear that Urwego would work with women—something that many banks refused to do—Savera eagerly signed up. With her first loans, Savera began selling peanuts at market. “I started to realize I was capable,” she says. “I used to believe I couldn’t do much, but I came to realize I was quite capable.”

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HOPE Intl

HOPE Intl

Apr 26 2017

HOPE Intl

News
2017-7E1A6853

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?” Continue Reading…

Jeff meeting with farmers in Ukraine

by Jeff Rutt, Founder & Board Chair of HOPE International, Founder & CEO of Keystone Custom Homes, excerpted from the foreword to Created to Flourish

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine faced a debilitating economic crisis, leaving many without enough food to eat or clothes to wear. Along with others in my church, I felt compelled to respond. There were people who were hungry, who needed shelter, who didn’t have the hope of Jesus Christ. As we read in Isaiah 58:7, God has a specific idea about how we should translate our faith into action:

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

We couldn’t turn away, so my church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, established a partnership with Pastor Leonid Petrenko and his church in Zaporozhye, a city located along the Dnieper River in southeastern Ukraine. We wanted to respond not just with money or donations but through building relationships. We greatly desired to join together as communities of faith seeking mutual encouragement.

Eager to respond to pressing needs, we began transporting containers of flour, rice, canned meat, clothing, and medical supplies. It seemed like a way we could care for the physical needs of our global neighbors, following Jesus’ command that if you have two tunics, you should give one away.

Before long, distributing the donated food and supplies to the people of his church and community had become a regular part of Pastor Petrenko’s job. Continue Reading…

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by Luke Harbaugh, HOPE Church Representative

In March, the Church has the opportunity to celebrate the season of Lent—a solemn and wonderful time of preparation for Easter. In the early church, Lent was a season when new converts were instructed in the basics of the Christian faith in preparation for baptism on Easter Sunday. Even today, it is a time set aside for self-examination and repentance as we ponder what it means to live as both a crucified and resurrected people.

I grew up in a church tradition that didn’t observe Lent. In fact, I attended my first Ash Wednesday service during my first year of seminary. I still remember the first time one of our chaplains imparted the ashes on my forehead and said to me those traditional Ash Wednesday words: “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return.” Since then, Ash Wednesday has served as a yearly summons for me to take serious inventory of my life in light of my own mortality.

In a pastoral care class in seminary, we had to write our own eulogies. And the content—especially our causes of death—were diverse. Some chose to die as martyrs, others from natural causes, while one student met his end by way of a flock of angry ducks! This exercise challenged us with a weighty question: What will be said of your life once it’s over? Continue Reading…