Archives For Spiritual Integration

Header image: slum neighborhood of Asunción, Paraguay

In the 1990s, the World Bank interviewed more than 60,000 individuals living in low-income countries, asking one primary question: What is poverty?

When asked this question, Western audiences often respond with what those in poverty lack: food, money, clean water, etc. But the families interviewed by the World Bank described poverty in much more multidimensional terms, naming the lack of options, strained relationships, low self-esteem, and feelings of helplessness.

A HOPE staff member once asked a savings group in Rwanda the same question—how do you define poverty? Most of their descriptions framed their experience of poverty as emotional and relational: Continue Reading…

By Dan Williams, Director of Spiritual Integration

A weekly series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration

Over the past six weeks, we’ve wrestled with the idea of integrating discipleship—intentionally creating opportunities where hearts can be transformed and developing the means for that transformation to be expressed. As we conclude this series, what I want to suggest is that discipleship is essential for true flourishing.

When we talk about flourishing, it’s important to think holistically—spiritually, materially, personally, and socially. If we only think about flourishing in the silos of our life, we will experience progress in these areas but miss the whole-person transformation we were created for.

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Pat Mahin, Dean Solyntjes, Tom Radermacher and Craig Gustafson

After 25 years in healthcare administration, while in the U.S. Navy and civilian institutions, Pat Mahin retired—and then went to seminary. Near the end of his courses, in 2003, he took an independent study class, focusing on microfinance and traveling to Honduras to visit the work of Opportunity International. He remembers, “I just got very interested in the microenterprise model, how the money recirculates, how it creates support groups for entrepreneurs.” Continue Reading…

By Dan Williams, Director of Spiritual Integration

A weekly series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration

Last week,­ we looked at steps organizations can take to more effectively integrate discipleship into their work. This week, we’ll focus on individual practices for integrating discipleship into our personal lives.

As we’ve discussed, integrating discipleship means intentionally creating opportunities where hearts can be transformed and developing the means for that transformation to be expressed. So how do we apply this in our lives and work? In this post, I will offer three examples of how I have pursued these things in my own life.

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By Dan Williams, Director of Spiritual Integration

A weekly series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration

Over the past three weeks, we’ve looked at examples of integrating discipleship through the lens of Micah 6:8, asking what it means to love mercy, walk humbly, and act justly. Over the next two weeks, we’ll look at the practical steps organizations and individuals can take to more effectively integrate discipleship into their work.

As we’ve discussed, integrating discipleship means intentionally creating opportunities where hearts can be transformed and developing the means for that transformation to be expressed. So how can this be applied within organizations? Continue Reading…

By Dan Williams, Director of Spiritual Integration

A weekly series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

As we continue to dive into God’s requirements of us in Micah 6:8, let’s look at what it means to walk humbly. This may be the hardest one, but stick with me.

In all of my travels, one of the most fascinating historical sights I have visited is La Citadelle in northern Haiti. After Haiti won its independence from France in a slave rebellion in 1804, the first Haitian king of the North built an enormous fortress on the mountains overlooking the sea to protect the island from a French return. It may be one of the most impressive structures I’ve ever visited. The tragic irony of this fortress is that the Haitian king built the fortress using slave labor—enslaving 20,000 of his kinsman for its construction, with thousands perishing during the project due to overwork.

Why would a king, who was granted his kingdom through a rebellion of slaves, turn around and enslave his own people for a huge construction project? At a certain point, that king became so concerned with protecting his kingdom that he didn’t care what it cost the people he was supposed to be protecting. Continue Reading…