Archives For hope

This April marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, which claimed the lives of approximately 800,000 Rwandan men, women, and children. We join our brothers and sisters in mourning the traumatic events of those weeks, and as we witness reconciliation through our partner programs there, we thank God that brokenness is not the end of the story.

Please join us in praying for Rwanda in these six specific ways.

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Join us in praying that God heals their wounds, guards them from bitterness, and causes them to flourish even in the midst of deep pain. Pray that, instead of reliving the terror of those violent months, they would remember God’s deliverance and “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Pray that those who lost loved ones would be comforted in fresh ways this year.

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As they are once again reminded of the atrocities they committed, ask God to restore each one and soften their hearts. Pray that they would choose to embrace God’s forgiveness and move forward in obedience to God with full assurance of His love and acceptance.

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Lift up the women and children who lost husbands and parents in the violence. Pray also for women who contracted HIV/AIDS through sexual violence in that period and for children who have been orphaned by the disease. Pray that they will experience God’s provision and the healing power of Christ’s love.

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Pray that in each of Rwanda’s communities, the Church would be known as an instrument of peace, a champion of truth, and a protector of the defenseless. Pastor Joseph, one of HOPE’s partners in Gasharu, shares, “Even though we went through that traumatic experience, our people strongly believe that there is hope. There is hope that God is healing people’s hearts. And I’ve seen that our people have a sense of unity among themselves.”

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Praise God for the ministry of savings groups in Rwanda, and ask Him to continue using them to bring about profound change. As savings facilitator Christine Vuguziga explains, many people joined savings groups to improve their difficult financial situations, “but they also deeply needed community, forgiveness, and reconciliation. The Church believed that God would work through these small savings groups. And He has.” Watch “A Hope That Saves” to hear testimonies of this change.


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Thank God for rebuilding the nation in so many ways, and pray that the country’s leaders would promote equality, harmony, and justice for all people. Pray that the next generation of Rwandans would no longer see themselves in terms of ethnic differences, and ask God to renew each community in powerful ways.

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If you’d like to join with us in prayer more regularly, sign up for our monthly prayer update at www.hopeinternational.org/pray.

by Tracy Clark, HOPE Rising advocate

In August of 2012, one HOPE supporter began his exciting journey to use his gifts, talents, and passions to invest in the dreams of families living in poverty. A talented swimmer who’d served as a swimming coach, Zach McArdle put on an IronSeahorse swim and run at his local country club in Buffalo, NY, with registration fees going toward HOPE International. Not only did the event raise $1,050, it also created an opportunity for Zach to share with individuals in the Buffalo area about Christ-centered microenterprise. “I got to talk about a faith-based organization at a private swim club!” says Zach.

Through his travels to Africa, work as a full-time accountant, and interest in Christ-centered microenterprise development, Zach has developed a passion for the work of HOPE International. He decided to put this passion into action by becoming a HOPE Rising advocate.

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In her eyes was deep pain and loss. There was a strength about her, a certain inexcusable confidence, and yet behind it lay an undeniable burden. She smiled a smile that exuded love and sincere delight in welcoming me and my friends into her home. I knew she was going to tell us the story of her experience during the genocide in April of 1994, but I had no comprehension of the drastic impact it would have on me, nor the strength it would require her to simply share.

Her story was graphic. The details feel almost too horrific to recount or to write down, and yet she declared to us as she closed: “Please tell my story because I know it will help someone else in their life; we have to learn from each other.” And so, I will share a bit of her journey in the hopes that retelling it will move my heart and the hearts of those that read it towards deeper compassion.

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The following is part two of a series written by Jill McCuistion, Karla Colonnieves, and Hope Forti at Live58 on the topic of photography and its powerful role in portraying clients. This blog features interviews with HOPE staff as well as staff at Plant With Purpose, a Christian environmental nonprofit. Continue Reading…