Archives For Working with the poor

The battle rages on. Across the globe, forces for good assault a great evil–human traffickers. Ruthless, shifty and complex, our formidable opponent lurks in red-light districts and shantytowns.

“More children, women and men are held in slavery right now than over the course of the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade…generating profits in excess of 32 billion dollars a year [GDP of Costa Rica] for those who, by force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage. Nearly 2 million children [population of Houston] are exploited in the commercial sex industry.”  International Justice Mission  (IJM)

Leaders rally coalitions to combat villains who perpetrate these crimes on innocent children. Pioneers like IJM and Not For Sale convene activists and churches to fight this injustice. Together, they bring freedom to the darkest corners of our world. I pray these organizations grow. I pray justice is served. I rejoice with each girl whose chains of bondage break. And, I mourn to think of the many who are not yet free.

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I’m a gamer. Not the World of Warcraft sort of gamer, but a real gamer. Zelda never did it for me, but I’m always up for a ride on B & O Railroad or an excursion to the distant lands of Catan.

Yahtzee is one of my favorite games. In short, gamers throw five dice in series of three rolls to make certain combinations, highlighted by the elusive Yahtzee: a five-of-a-kind. A few weeks ago, I played with a friend who was new to the game. And one overzealous comment reminded me how dangerous prescribing can be. Continue Reading…


On Sunday, an inferno overtook Bujumbura’s Central Market—the economic heart of Burundi.

In talking to staff and friends in Burundi, we know that although this fire will cause a major economic disruption, it is personally devastating for families who lost everything and had no safety net or insurance to soften their fall.

Over 100 clients of our partner Turame lost their businesses and their livelihoods as market vendors. 85 percent of our clients are women who rely on this business to provide for their families.

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While interviewing Ka-Tiwala (“trust-fellows,” or savings group members) clients and spending time with savings staff in the Philippines, these are some of the most encouraging things I’ve heard.

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We spent the morning at the Cabrera branch in Manila, seeing CCT’s many ministries in action. CCT’s strategic emphasis is to build a broad set of programs and services on the foundation of their microfinance branch network. CCT has 145 branches across the Philippines, providing a great backbone for broadening their ministry. The Cabrera community center is a great example of this transformation:

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Hello there, everyone. My name is Dave Wasik, and it’s my pleasure to serve as the vice president of operations for HOPE International. I am writing this post from a Chipotle restaurant at Washington Dulles airport, about to begin my journey to Manila, Philippines, to visit the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), our partner in the Philippines. CCT is a cherished partner for HOPE, and we have learned a tremendous amount from them over the years.

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