Belyse Kamugisha shares an encouraging message inspired by what she’s witnessed as she travels to serve savings group members in Burundi in her role as quality assurance officer.

 

 

As you celebrate Christmas and look forward to the coming new year, may you be filled with joy for God’s gift of salvation and for the way He is working in our lives. He is worthy of our praise!

 

When I think about some of the most meaningful moments from Christmases past, it occurs to me that most of them involve music. Whether it be putting up garlands to the rich tones of the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, whispering the melody of “Silent Night” at the end of a Christmas Eve candlelight service, or cajoling my sister into playing duets from our old Christmas piano recitals, there’s something about music that can make even the simplest moment sacred, that can tell a story more powerfully than speech, that can bring splendor and wonder and awe and joy.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that when the Lord wanted people to know about the birth of His son, He sent a choir.

This year, as Christmas nears, I’m expanding my holiday playlist. Friends from across the HOPE network took a moment to share the songs—both reverent and lighthearted—that they most enjoy, and their recommendations helped create this special HOPE Christmas playlist.

Please join me—and HOPE’s partners, clients, and staff around the world—in celebrating the coming of the Newborn King!

Continue Reading…

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 would I 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. Continue Reading…

by Lori Oberholtzer, Field Communications Manager

Advent is for people like me—those who have lost, mourned, and grieved.

For the last several years, I’ve looked forward to Advent, but this year I crave it. In a new way, I’m more deeply longing to feel the resurrection power that Advent points us toward. Advent acknowledges the oh-so-real tension that we’re living in a fallen world, yet God sent His Son to redeem this world and will one day make everything right again.

Not just some aspects of the world, but everything.

This year’s events, close to me and around the world, weigh heavy on my heart. Continue Reading…

by Peter Greer, President & CEO

’Tis the season for planning Christmas compassion projects. From filling shoeboxes to setting up angel trees, churches and organizations around the world are thinking about how to launch these elegantly simple ways of caring for others during the most wonderful time of the year.

There is so much that is right and beautiful about these annual giving traditions.

I love that they offer a way for whole families to practice generosity together. I love that they’re an invitation to think beyond our me-centered, consumeristic desires and recognize that there are significant material needs in the world. I love that they invite us to share some of what we’ve received. And most of all, I love how they provide a glimpse into sacrificial love and service, reminding us of the story of Jesus.

At the same time, there are shadow sides to many of these projects, particularly if they don’t extend beyond one-time charity distributions. 

For those of you who might be exploring what you should participate in this year, here are three questions to ask as your church and family seek to love and care for others well by getting involved this Christmas: Continue Reading…

Kathy Dodd was always at a loss when her four adult daughters asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Knowing she had more than enough stuff, she would joke, “Just peace and harmony in our family!”

But after learning about HOPE seven years ago, she soon began requesting items from HOPE’s gift catalog. Now each year, her daughters honor her with a gift while also investing in families around the world.

And Kathy doesn’t just turn to the HOPE gift catalog to build her own Christmas wish list. It’s also become a tradition for her to use it to choose gifts for her four grandchildren, ages two to nine.

Here are three reasons Kathy chooses HOPE’s gift catalog each December: Continue Reading…