Archives For Staff / Travels

2014-DSC_0871

by Haley Smith, Regional Representative

When I was young giving didn’t necessarily come naturally—but finding ways to make money did.

At the age of six, my first business was the classic lemonade stand. I made the lemonade, painted a traffic-stopping sign, and set up a table. As the minutes ticked by without a single cup sold, I started to get impatient. Unready to surrender my losses, I determinedly went door to door, and, to my surprise, I sold every last cup.

For me, this was a turning point. I had earned something on my own, and now it was up to me to decide what to do with it. Recognizing this new passion, my parents began to talk with me about managing my own money.

They wanted to know how I would use my newfound income. Did I want to save any of it? Did I want to give any of it away? I wanted to give—but I also really wanted the new Boyz II Men cassette tape. It was going to be a tough call.

Over time, my desire to keep what was mine slowly shifted as I watched how freely my parents shared what they had. They gave out of a love for God and gratitude for what He had given them. We had many conversations about why they chose to tithe to our church but to also invest in the needs of others. These conversations helped form my understanding of stewardship and my responsibility to give.

Honest and transparent conversations are necessary if we want our kids to grow up with healthy, wise, and generous perspectives on what we have each been given.

So where do you start? Here are some simple steps parents can take to instill a passion for generosity in your children:

  • Show children and teenagers how you give. Too often, giving is a family secret. But by showing your kids how you give, children can catch the vision for generosity and the causes you are passionate about.
  • Read Watching Seeds Grow by Peter Greer and Keith Greer. On a trip to Rwanda, 8-year-old Keith had his eyes opened to the stories of entrepreneurs, starting a family journey to learn financial literacy at a young age.
  • Match your kids’ giving. When parents match their children’s giving, parents begin to understand what touches their children’s hearts, and children discover that parents also value those causes.
  • Give from HOPE’s gift catalog this Christmas. Transform gift-giving into a teachable moment by purchasing items that represent tools used by families living in poverty in honor of your loved ones.

Smith-Haley Born and raised in East Texas, Haley Smith is a graduate of Baylor University and Fuller Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in theology and ministry. Now fully converted to the beauty of the West Coast, Haley serves as the regional representative for HOPE International in Los Angeles, Arizona, and Nevada. Her role is to gather people around the mission of HOPE who desire to see entire communities flourish through the blessing of good work.

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…

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…

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…

P8030025

by Willard Freedom Kaula

Every time people ask me what I do in life, I hesitate to respond. Not because I lack an answer—I have answered this question many times—but rather, I’m figuring out which response would best describe what I do. You see, I’m a field scientist by profession, an activist by passion, an artist by hobby, a Gospel worker by calling, and, most recently, a HOPE Malawi fellow by day. Of all the things I do with my time, it never occurred to me, not even once, that I would work with savings and credit associations (SCAs).

When I enrolled at the University of Malawi, I thought I would end up building a career in field sciences as an environmental expert. While in college, I served as chairperson for the Environmental Club and delighted in doing a good job there. However, it wasn’t until I joined the HOPE Malawi family as an SCA programs fellow that I began to realize the full potential I have in my God-given talents.

At first, I had a mixture of fear for the tasks ahead and also excitement for a new career opportunity. My fear was that my skills—accumulated in the domain of science—would not blend in with the work that HOPE and its partners do. But through prayer and mentorship, I’ve learned in my role that I can use all my talents to achieve the mission of investing in the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities!

Through my involvement with HOPE, I have come to know that there are four relationships that must be maintained—with God, with myself, with others, and with God’s creation. Learning from Romans 1:20, we see the invisible qualities of God—His divine nature and eternal power—through things created by Him. I’m grateful that my studies in environmental sciences have improved my knowledge of God in this way. However, I would not appreciate the full ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21) entrusted to me if God did not give me a chance to serve others around me. I was made for stewardship of valuable things, to care for nature, people, and the spiritual needs of myself and others around me.

 

File_004

by Luke Harbaugh, Church and Community Liaison

In just a few weeks, American schools will prepare to return from summer vacation. As a former public school teacher, I remember the anticipation of preparing to return to school.

In my two years of teaching in American public schools, I had many frustrations. There were the regular fights with the copier, the occasional disciplinary measures that needed to be handed out, the fear I experienced before my first parent-teacher conferences, and, of course, the hobgoblin of all new teachers: keeping law and order in a classroom full of middle schoolers. But even as I fought through the trials that all new teachers endure, one thought never crossed my mind: “What if I don’t get paid this week?”

Continue Reading…