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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.

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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…

Gisele

As a young girl, Gisele spent countless hours in her mother’s tailor shop. Eager to imitate her mother’s skill, Gisele would cut up fabrics and design models of her own. With help from her father, Gisele later enrolled in sewing school and eventually opened a tailoring business in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. Despite her beautifully elaborate designs, Gisele’s profits weren’t enough to support her family, and she often had to use her business capital for their expenses, jeopardizing her business and stymying progress.

Seeking to diversify her business, Gisele received and repaid seven loans from HOPE Congo over the course of five years to expand her tailoring business by purchasing fabrics, sewing materials, and an electric sewing machine. Ever the entrepreneur, Gisele also used loans to expand into a new business selling smoked fish; small cakes; and foufou, a cassava-based Congolese dish.

Now, she is able to provide for her family using only the profits of her businesses. Reflecting on the impact of her relationship with HOPE Congo, Gisele says:

HOPE is the one who came to give me wings so that I can fly.

Continue Reading…

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In the seven years since Peter Greer and Phil Smith released The Poor Will Be Glad, HOPE has learned a lot about working with families in underserved communities to help them flourish. Peter and Phil have updated their book, retitled Created to Flourish, and we’d like to share these valuable learnings with you. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 4 about the power of jobs in fighting poverty.


When we engage in employment-based solutions, the benefits of employment extend to future generations. Outside a small office in Trou-du-Nord, Haiti, I saw several boys with homemade kites. Using a plastic bag, some string, and a few sticks, these three boys constructed kites capable of expertly navigating tangled power lines and two-story buildings. I could see other kids watching and learning from their example. Other children saw what was possible, and there grew a prestige factor in who could get his kite the highest.

In the same way, I’ve seen community members improve their lives, motivating other community members to action through their hard work. If my neighbors can pull their families out of poverty, why can’t I? Essentially, they are pushing the limits of what is possible, and from very little they are making kites that can fly higher and higher.

Employment decreases the need for never-ending support. Continue Reading…

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“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…

hurricane-matthew

On Tuesday, October 4, Hurricane Matthew slammed into the southwestern region of the country. According to the United Nations and CNN, the disaster has killed over 300 people and displaced some 350,000 people, leaving many Haitians to face the worst humanitarian crisis since the earthquake six years ago.

We praise God that our local staff are safe, but we know hundreds of thousands of Haitians will once again face the complete loss of their homes and livelihoods to a natural disaster. As Christ-followers, we want to be known for running to those who are hurting, vulnerable, and in need of help.

HOPE Haiti works with local church partners to serve over 6,000 active savings group members who benefit from training, fellowship, and discipleship that empowers them to provide for their families and communities. In this way, Haitian entrepreneurs not only access financial services like a safe place to save, they also build solidarity with one another and learn about God’s love.

We invite you to pray in the following ways:

  • Pray for southwest Haiti, including Miragoane, one of the areas where HOPE works. Pray for the relief efforts, particularly as the hurricane destroyed a bridge on the main road that goes West, cutting off access to aid for that area.
  • Pray for protection against outbreaks of diseases like cholera, which severely impacted the population after the 2010 earthquake.
  • Pray for the 200 savings group members who have been significantly affected. Pray for their safety and resilience in the face of any loss they may have experienced. Pray that the long-term development efforts of HOPE and other organizations would not be hampered.
  • Pray for the long-term recovery of the area. A major long-term concern is the complete loss of gardens in these areas, as food is already scarce.

We also invite you to consider how you can help bring immediate and much-needed assistance to Haitian families suffering in the wake of this hurricane. Two organizations with immediate disaster relief experience and a commitment to working with local churches are World Relief and Samaritan’s Purse.

Thank you for your prayers and support for the people of Haiti.