“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Greetings from Eastern Europe! In my first post, I explained the purpose of the individual lending Spiritual Integration Summit. I also realized how hard it is to write anything in only 250 words (sorry Marketing). Today, I’d like to talk about how we started the individual lending SI Summit.
To begin, I’ll share a bit of personal confession: My personality is naturally oriented toward noticing the things in life that are incomplete or need to be fixed. This mindset can be helpful and has its place, but I’ve been learning that an overemphasis on problem-solving has a sneaky downside. Sometimes it leads me (and maybe a few others) to forget to praise God for the amazing things He does in our midst. Sometimes it leads us to become discouraged by the brokenness of the world rather than inspired by the goodness and power of our God.
So with the SI Summit, we chose to begin by intentionally focusing on the amazing things that God has done in each individual lending program over the years. We celebrated a part-time micro-entrepreneur who grew to become the fourth largest pasta maker in Romania. We thanked God that the love of Christ has been shared with tens of thousands of children through the Tomorrow Clubs ministry in Ukraine and Russia. We shared many ideas and best practices that we will leverage throughout the network. And lastly, we looked outside of the HOPE network to identify other ministries and potential partners that God is using powerfully in each nation.
Focusing on the “commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy” things that God has done filled us with joy and gratefulness, which was a great foundation for the sessions that followed.