We’ll Come to You

I love online banking and e-commerce. I love the convenience of checking account balances, making transfers, and purchasing products in sweatpants from my living room. I’ve quickly become accustomed to the ease of doing business from home, although this luxury is unique to the past decade. It’s easy to forget that just ten years ago online banking was nothing but a dream.

Last month I visited HOPE’s work in the Dominican Republic. There, I had the privilege of meeting our clients, seeing their businesses and soaking in the culture of a country I have come to love. One of the questions I asked to a few of the community banks (groups of 15-30 clients) was “Why HOPE? Why did you choose to become a HOPE client?” Time and time again, in different communities throughout the country, our clients responded, “Because HOPE came to us.”

It’s hard to think back to what life was like ten years ago, when we had to drive to the bank or the store for just about everything. It’s even more challenging to imagine how extremely inconvenient it would be if we lived a few hours from the center of town, where a trip to the bank or to the store meant a day’s worth of travel. Yet, this is the reality for many of our clients. In Congo, our clients often live two or more hours away from the closest commercial banks, large stores, and even HOPE branch offices. To service these remote communities, our loan officers must travel two hours by bus on shoddy dirt roads or, during the rainy season, traipse hours by foot through the mud to reach these communities.

In that context, you understand why they list it as a primary reason for choosing HOPE. Our hardworking and diligent loan officers go into the communities where our clients live. This is about even more than convenience. That message—No, don’t come to us. We’ll come to you—speaks dignity, loud and clear, into the lives of our clients and into their communities. They matter. Their neighborhoods are not forgotten. When everyone tells them they aren’t, we tell them they are worth our time.

One client’s comments are still ringing in my ears. I asked him, “Why HOPE?” …and he responded, “When everybody else makes us come to them, you come to us.”

Chris Horst

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Chris Horst is the chief advancement officer at HOPE International, where he employs his passion for advancing initiatives at the intersection of faith and work. Chris and his wife, Alli, have four children—Desmond, Abe, June, and Mack. Chris serves on the board of the Mile High WorkShop. He loves to write, having been published in The Denver Post and Christianity Today and co-authored Mission Drift, Rooting for Rivals, and The Gift of Disillusionment with Peter Greer. Christianity Today, WORLD Magazine, and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association named Mission Drift a book of the year in 2015. Chris graduated with both a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and an MBA from Bakke Graduate University.

4 responses to We’ll Come to You

  1. Speaking to the long term needs of people in poverty is Biblical. And doing it by seeking them out goes far and beyond what most people are willing to do. It’s clear that Hope International takes “The Call” very seriously.

  2. Im really impressed by your well done job of empowering the grassroot communities.
    Being involved also in this field and working with extremely excluded people in the society i concure with the sentiment-you come to us.The community members feel valued and so they are able to own up the initiative.
    Here in Central Kenya there are so many grassroot community who also undergo the same.
    My prayer would be for the HOPE to extend its operation in Kenya due to fact that even the MFIs that are here are not for community/common man but for the elite and niddle class.
    The Squatters,youth,People living with Hiv and Aids,women from the grassroots have been neglected they are only valued during election period where they are promised Heaven yet the clicks cant even produce earth.
    My desire is to see an empowered society that is able to undertake their initiative collectively.
    Keep up the Good work Hope and look forward to working closely with you soon here in Kenya.

  3. satyachoppara Dec 15 2009 at 8:16 pm

    This is really wonder ful,you are going to help the poor in many countries.I am very much eager to invite you to our country India,because we had a huge people of poor those who can’t get their daily bread.so,I am happy to invite you to our country,so that you can develop your ministry and at the same time you will be a helped person to the poor.

  4. It is cool that people are able to get the business loans and that opens new opportunities.

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