In Ukraine, over 2,200 people have tested positive for COVID-19, with 98 deaths as a result of the virus. Like many countries around the world, the Ukrainian government has taken measures to limit the spread of COVID-19—closing schools, urging companies to have employees work from home, and ordering nonessential businesses to close. Continue Reading…
Archives For Ukraine
By Dan Williams, Director of Spiritual Integration
A seven-week series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
As we dive into God’s requirements of us in Micah 6:8, let’s start by looking at what it means to act justly.
My first job with HOPE was split living in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. As I regularly traveled across the island of Hispaniola, I got quite familiar with the border crossing between the two neighboring countries.
On one trip, I got stopped at the Dominican border because I had overstayed my tourist visa. I was pulled into a small room that had a single desk staffed by a lone Dominican officer, and a line of people, entirely Haitian, who had also overstayed their visas. I watched as each person negotiated the fine they would have to pay to exit the country, noting that each person paid different fines. Without any definitive scale, the reasons behind our varying fines were based on arbitrary reasons. One person paid more simply because the officer deemed his passport was too dirty. When I received my own fine, I realized that I paid less than every Haitian before me.
When I think about some of the most meaningful moments from Christmases past, it occurs to me that most of them involve music. Whether it be putting up garlands to the rich tones of the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, whispering the melody of “Silent Night” at the end of a Christmas Eve candlelight service, or cajoling my sister into playing duets from our old Christmas piano recitals, there’s something about music that can make even the simplest moment sacred, that can tell a story more powerfully than speech, that can bring splendor and wonder and awe and joy.
So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that when the Lord wanted people to know about the birth of His son, He sent a choir.
This year, as Christmas nears, I’m expanding my holiday playlist. Friends from across the HOPE network took a moment to share the songs—both reverent and lighthearted—that they most enjoy, and their recommendations helped create this special HOPE Christmas playlist.
Please join me—and HOPE’s partners, clients, and staff around the world—in celebrating the coming of the Newborn King!
by Elena Cret, Field Communications Fellow in Eastern Europe
In Eastern Europe, the Roma community is often ignored by the government and society. The Roma people are seen as a burden, as having very little value. But two years ago, HOPE Ukraine started reaching out to this underserved community. As HOPE Ukraine’s manager for western Ukraine, Pavel, said:
We wanted to serve our community, we wanted to make an impact, and we realized how much the Roma community is overlooked. We wanted to see financial, social, and, most importantly, spiritual changes among the Roma people.
Here are three ways HOPE Ukraine is impacting the Roma:
- Savings and credit associations: These are groups of people who save money together, partnering with the local church. Continue Reading…
Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their […]Continue Reading...
by Jeff Rutt, Founder & Board Chair of HOPE International, Founder & CEO of Keystone Custom Homes, excerpted from the foreword to Created to Flourish
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine faced a debilitating economic crisis, leaving many without enough food to eat or clothes to wear. Along with others in my church, I felt compelled to respond. There were people who were hungry, who needed shelter, who didn’t have the hope of Jesus Christ. As we read in Isaiah 58:7, God has a specific idea about how we should translate our faith into action:
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
We couldn’t turn away, so my church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, established a partnership with Pastor Leonid Petrenko and his church in Zaporozhye, a city located along the Dnieper River in southeastern Ukraine. We wanted to respond not just with money or donations but through building relationships. We greatly desired to join together as communities of faith seeking mutual encouragement.
Eager to respond to pressing needs, we began transporting containers of flour, rice, canned meat, clothing, and medical supplies. It seemed like a way we could care for the physical needs of our global neighbors, following Jesus’ command that if you have two tunics, you should give one away.
Before long, distributing the donated food and supplies to the people of his church and community had become a regular part of Pastor Petrenko’s job. Continue Reading…