In the last few years, more and more information has been shared about the harm that can come from short-term mission trips, or, as they have been dubbed, “voluntourism.” We’ve heard the negatives: $2 billion spent annually, paternalistic attitudes reinforced, cycles of dependency created, construction work “invented” for visitors, and dignity stripped. Continue Reading…
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It’s hard to believe that summer is practically over–at least for students. For the last three months, HOPE International has had 16 summer interns at our office in Lancaster, PA, and around the U.S. Working in departments like marketing, development, the president’s office, and operations, our interns and fellows have been busy! Before their time at HOPE finished, we asked them a few questions.
What is your favorite part about being at HOPE?
Julie Heisey: The responsibility is real. None of us make copies or get coffee all day, though HOPE does a great job of emphasizing that acts of service are important too. We work on real projects and are encouraged to manage our time, ask questions, and create goals that enable us to stay on track.
Kristiana Plumb: The way HOPE integrates Christ into every facet of work life is incredible. Being in a workplace where people encourage and pray for one another is so beautiful and unique. This culture challenges me in ways I didn’t know I could be challenged.
At HOPE International, we appreciate everything that each member of our team does to invest in the dreams of families living in poverty. This summer, we’re excited to have 17 interns and fellows—from the crew in Lancaster, PA, to individuals around the country—joining us through our GROW program, and we want to introduce them to you! To learn more about them, we asked them a few questions:
Why did you choose to intern at HOPE?
Jess Bauer, California Development Intern: “Reading When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett strengthened my convictions about how, in our attempts to help those living in poverty, we must be careful not to inadvertently harm them. I researched HOPE and saw that it seemed to be an organization that honored both God and the dignity of families living in poverty.”
Bill Smith, Information Technology Fellow: “I was looking for an opportunity to learn about microfinance firsthand by going to the field and meeting with the institutions and their clients. I was also looking for a position where I could provide some value to the organization with my background.”
What does a typical week at HOPE look like for you?
Libby Tewalt, Executive Writing Intern: “Most of my work is self-directed. My mornings involve finishing up projects from the day before. After that, I make my to-do list and work on those items for the rest of the day. A couple days a week, I’ll have a meeting in between lunch and staff devotions. I reside in Intern Row, where there’s always something fun going on.”
Emily Barry, Writing and Research Intern: “I attend writing team meetings, join the entire staff for prayer or devotions, and work on projects. Projects might include working on a proposal for a grant, writing client stories, or collecting prayer requests for an e-update. There have been lots of opportunities to try different things and develop new skills.”
Arna McArtney, Listening, Monitoring, and Evaluation Fellow: “It’s been a combination of meetings at the organizational, departmental, and team level, and a crash course in data scrubbing and analysis.”
Carly Weaver, North Carolina Development Intern: “Working remotely in Durham, NC, I spend the day working on projects at our co-working space or one of my favorite coffee shops. Recently, I’ve been compiling a booklet full of information and stories about the 16 countries where we serve.”
by Annie Rose Ansley, HOPE Trips Liaison
In the last few years, more and more information has been shared about the harm that can come from short-term mission trips, or, as they have been dubbed, “voluntourism.” We’ve heard the negatives: $2 billion spent annually, paternalistic attitudes reinforced, cycles of dependency created, construction work “invented” for visitors, and dignity stripped.
But I believe short-term trips can be done well. Here in the Dominican Republic, I work with groups who come from the U.S. to witness what God is doing through the microfinance work of HOPE International’s local partner, Esperanza International. We visit loan repayment meetings, spend time in clients’ businesses and communities, study the Word together, and share meals with local staff members. Distinct from what many of us think of as the typical mission trip, the focus isn’t what the visitors do but what they learn.
I’ve seen these trips be positive, powerful experiences—both for the visitors and for those we visit. And so, based on my limited experience, I’d like to humbly make a few recommendations: Continue Reading…