Archives For Gospel

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by Ben Lewis, HOPE Supporter

One of the things that I love about HOPE International is how they give people the opportunity to work.

For many of us, the difficulty or monotony of work can sometimes make us feel more like Job in the Bible rather than blessed with vocation. But all it takes is a story like this one in The Wall Street Journal to be reminded of the blessing of work. In it, the journalist describes how people with autism, who once were deemed unemployable, are finding meaningful work at corporations like SAP and Freddie Mac. Patrick Brophy, a 29-year-old man with Asperger’s (a milder form of autism spectrum disorder), said, “Four weeks before joining, I was steadily more and more nervous. Within a month, [the work] was second nature. I had found myself.” This is indeed a beautiful and noble thing—Mr. Brophy is experiencing the blessing and dignity of work. Continue Reading…

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by Alisa Hoober, Recruitment and Retention Manager

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic to visit HOPE’s local partner, Esperanza International, and hear clients tell their stories. Early one morning, we drove down a dirt path along the Rio Chavon, which separates plush villas on one side of the river and the poorest of the poor on the other side, to the village of Boca de Chavon within the region of La Romana. We were there to visit a group of 10 women who have named their group “The Power of Israel.”

We quietly observed the group’s loan meeting, watching the 5W’s (welcome, worship, Word, work, wrap-up) in action, and admired the leadership of the Esperanza staff member, Vladimir. When the meeting was over, we had an opportunity to meet the women and hear about their businesses. Our group was eager to learn about why they joined the group and what made their businesses successful.

We asked our translator to please ask the group of women what has been the biggest difference in their lives since joining this group. The question was translated, and there were a variety of different answers from the group, including increased inventory for their business, improvements to their homes, and increased ability to feed their families. Then, Isabelle, one of the founding members of the group, stood up. She was a quiet women but received the attention of the group. They silenced as she spoke with conviction. She said:

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by Sylvie Somerville, Program Manager, HOPE Malawi

Last Friday, the 14-year-old daughter of my gardener, Levi, went missing. The family searched all weekend for her. No friends or relatives knew where she had gone. The police wouldn’t listen to Levi’s pleas because there is a 14-day wait policy for missing persons, and Levi was too poor to attract their interest.

Levi and I finally went together in my car to the police station six days after Maines went missing. With the sight of a seemingly wealthy white person, they were willing to help, but only after an hour of negotiating with everyone in the management chain.

We were worried that Maines had been trafficked. Her best friend testified that she was planning to “go to China and make 50,000 Kwacha a month [double the salary of a gardener].” What better ploy to attract a young and uneducated girl with no marketable skills. The police officers weren’t fazed:

Many 14-year-old girls run off to get married. Don’t worry. This is normal.

I can’t wrap my mind around this prognosis.

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