Archives For family

by Elena Cret, Field Communications Fellow in Eastern Europe

When you think about what you are thankful for, one of the first things that comes to mind may be your family. Family is such a blessing from God that sometimes we take it for granted. As I have traveled and interviewed various clients in Eastern Europe for HOPE International, I have heard from many that the biggest motivation for opening their business was their family. Because jobs are so scarce, many people have to leave home to find work, so it’s been encouraging to see how HOPE’s services have made it possible for families to live under the same roof.

Vasea, a client who grows strawberries in the Vinogradov region of western Ukraine, told me: “I worked for three years in Slovakia in open fields to be a provider for my family, but, at the same time, I was away from my family. I wanted to be close to them. I wanted to see how my three kids were growing.” Vasea decided to return home, purchase some land, and start investing in it. Continue Reading…

Evaristi and his wife are raising three children together, sharing faith in Christ and mutual respect for each other. But it wasn’t always this way. “I used to have conflicts with my wife,” remembers Evaristi. “Then with the help of the [savings] group, I became humble and reconciled with my wife. Now we live in peace as a happy family.”

To provide for their family, Evaristi has always performed many small jobs around his home in rural Rwanda, digging for other people and lifting heavy loads. But often, with this unpredictable income, Evaristi would ask neighbors to help his family make ends meet. This led him to often feel helpless, and he gained a reputation in the community as an angry man with a bent toward violence. Continue Reading…

Clients

by Annie Ansley, Field Communications Fellow in the Dominican Republic

I am blessed to get the chance to interview clients almost every week, and what they share never fails to surprise or inspire me. They’ve already taught me more than I could ever learn from simply being in the office. One thing I like to find out is their favorite part of being a client of Esperanza, HOPE’s partner in the Dominican Republic. Incredibly, they hardly ever mention the money. Check out what clients told me they value most…

“The devotional”

Many say that learning about God is by far the most important feature of Esperanza: The group Bible studies, prayer, and praise songs have brought them closer to God or taught them a specific lesson.

Hearing about Abraham and Isaac, Miguelina was inspired to sacrifice her profits for her church. Hearing the story of the widow and the oil, Angela learned the importance of working diligently at her bakery. When Carolina went to her very first bank meeting, she was going through an economic crisis in her family. Her loan officer spoke on Psalm 37, which sparked Carolina’s desire to return to God and renew her trust in Him.

Continue Reading…

Celestin, his wife, Gaudance, and their eight children (three pictured above) live in the hills surrounding Gasharu, Rwanda. They beam with joy as they welcome guests to their home, proudly presenting produce from their farm and the squealing piglets and livestock they raise. A few years ago, such a welcome would have been impossible.

“We were poor on the outside, but also on the inside, because poverty starts in the heart,” says Celestin. For many years he struggled with alcoholism, using the little money his family had in bars and brothels. Feeling abandoned and angry because of her husband’s unfaithfulness, Gaudance also turned to alcohol. She remembers, “My heart was full of sorrow. I couldn’t help my children. … Sometimes I would go into the bars to fight with those prostitutes. But all those things brought only more conflict and poverty.” Continue Reading…

“A family reunion—that’s what this is,” I found myself thinking as I looked around the room filled with HOPE staff from around the world.

Having had the privilege of experiencing HOPE a month longer than the other interns, I knew that the culture was one defined by warmth, relationships, and a staunch consistency in practicing the biblical principles it preaches. But looking around me on the final day of the 2013 Leadership Summit, the week-long conference for international and domestic HOPE staff, I was blown away, yet again, by the heart of HOPE. Continue Reading…

As we walk through the bustling marketplace, the spiritual integration officer at HOPE Congo, Precy Ndongui, calls out “Hello!” in English to anyone who has been part of the HOPE Congo family, and without fail the clients respond with the expected “Hi.” As an excellent former loan officer, Precy knows this call and response well and energetically greets the clients as friends. As we navigated through the market from one busy client to another, clients’ words of friendship and community through times of joy and difficulty stood out. I invite you to meet a few beautiful women from the HOPE family:

Euridice

“Now I have another family,” says Euridice, a member of a HOPE community bank in Brazzaville. As she smiles and confidently sells us a bag of peanuts, Euridice explains how she has not only benefitted from the business trainings on investing wisely, managing cash flow, and developing savings, but has also grown closer to other women who sell in the same market as they learn together and visit one another.

Continue Reading…