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 […]Continue Reading...
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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 […]Continue Reading...
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…
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…
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…