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A senior at Messiah College, Mahelet has a passion for ministry and sharing the Gospel. Born and raised in Ethiopia until age 16, Mahelet says, “Helping others has always been a part of my life.” She credits her grandparents, who were involved in business, and her mom, who served as a missionary in rural areas of Ethiopia, for their positive influence in her life. Despite her Christian upbringing, Mahelet fell away from her faith in Christ until two years ago, when she recommitted her life to serving Him.

Mahelet heard about HOPE International when President and CEO Peter Greer taught a course at her college. She spoke to him after class and was encouraged to apply for an internship at HOPE. That summer, Mahelet served as the church and community outreach intern.

How does working at HOPE compare with other places you have worked in the past?

“The place I worked before, [my colleagues and I] had a professional relationship. Here at HOPE, I have spiritual relationships and personal relationships too. People are very genuine, sincere, and love their jobs.” Continue Reading…

After the exercise was over, I began rubbing my thumb into my palm, methodical circles, intently focused on the one thing left in my control: cleaning the evidence from my hands. 

“The King loves to love the poor!”

His dynamism shook us from our mid-morning stupor. “The King loves to love the poor!” he bellowed again, a grin spreading across his face, desperate for us to get it.

120 people, six shopkeepers, one development agency, a bridge, security guards, loan sharks: the conference room had transformed from an air-conditioned, comfortable space in Lancaster, PA, to the “slums.”

The facilitator transformed too:

“Down on your knees!” he barked.

The poverty simulation was about to begin.

Continue Reading…

At the same time HOPE’s president and CEO, Peter Greer, celebrated 10 years of leadership at HOPE, Becky Torre, our wonderful writing intern for the summer, marked 10 weeks with us. Read both their reflections for insight into our work from across the organization.

I’ve been at HOPE for 10 short, full weeks, and though I don’t know much, I did learn at least 10 things (more like 100, but no one likes long posts) from my time. Buckle up and hear it from the perspective of a HOPE writing intern:

1. Christian nonprofit excellence exists

I’ve encountered a lot of poorly run nonprofits, and, unfortunately, flying the banner of Christianity isn’t always an antidote.

HOPE ripped my generalizations away from me and stomped on them until I’d be hard pressed to identify even one. And I couldn’t be more thankful.

HOPE does excellent work because it’s intended to glorify an excellent King. Their hearts are really in this, their love is real, their souls are truly intertwined with their neighbors. And so they work, diligently.

2. Mission Drift isn’t a cliché book title

HOPE does a lot of things well, but they do one thing exceptionally—Christ-centered microfinance and savings.

Calibrating ourselves for success, framed pictures of the clients we serve hang on nearly every wall. Their faces, their stories are the reason we work. And it’s this focus, captured in the manifesto displayed in the marketing studio, which fuels such solid service.

HOPE is Mission True—honestly.

Manifesto

3. HOPE’s is a culture committed to washing feet

How often do you get a humorous email reminder from your manager that she’s about to clean out the fridge—claim your Tupperware before it disappears!

I’ve been absolutely blown away by the humility of HOPE staff. These people are intelligent, well credentialed, and willing to wash feet, literally.

4. Meetings don’t need to be torturous

Homemade guacamole and ridiculous party hats aren’t as unusual at HOPE meetings as might be expected. With lightning round answers to an entertaining question, punctuated by bursts of laughter throughout, meetings were always enjoyable—while still being productive.

5. You don’t need a spaceship to fly to the moon

At a Christian nonprofit, the budget is not limitless. But that’s okay.

When your team is committed to stewardship and innovation, you don’t need a budget that covers absolutely every new business technology to do the work God has called us to and reach those orbital heights.

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…