Archives For Spiritual Integration

Lina Feria never imagined that her small business selling homemade snacks could grow into a flourishing general store. Yet her story testifies that God can use small loans and persistence to transform a business and a whole family. 

Building a business brick by brick 

When Lina first decided to become a member of The Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE International’s partner in the Philippines, she was selling traditional rice cake snacks (called kakanin) that she made at home. 

Although she was not a Christian then, Lina joined CCT because she was curious about their Bible studies. As she got to know staff members and read the Word, she slowly began to learn more about God and eventually gave her life to Him.  

It wasn’t long before Lina found herself looking into CCT’s financial services, too. In 1998, Lina took her first loan to support her small business. With a second loan, she expanded her inventory to include frozen products—which proved very popular with her customers. As her confidence grew, Lina continued to take out loans to expand her business into a general store with many offerings for her neighborhood.  

Freedom to be flexible 

When her community’s needs shifted, Lina switched up her business strategy and diversify her inventory.  

Subsequent loans and training from CCT equipped her to build a physical store; add fishing supplies; and begin selling motor parts, generators, gallons of purified drinking water, and chickens to sell eggs.  

“Materially, the Lord has given us so much,” Lina shares. “I am no longer peddling.”  

Today, Lina has bold dreams for the future. She and her husband are renting their current store building, but one day they hope to buy land and build a store of their own.  

Whether those HOPE serves are diversifying inventory, raising livestock, tailoring clothes, or growing crops, we’ve seen the kind of transformation that is possible when men and women use their gifts and talents to provide for their families. 

In this year’s Gifts of HOPE catalog, we’ve highlighted some of the poverty-fighting tools used most commonly by entrepreneurs and farmers that HOPE serves. You can purchase these items symbolically in honor of friends and loved ones as a Christmas gift! 

We invite you to join hands with remarkable men and women like Lina through a Gift of HOPE this Christmas season.

Five moments that shaped how HOPE serves families

This year marks HOPE International’s 25th anniversary, and we’re taking the opportunity to look back, reflect, and celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness. As we consider the story of HOPE, there are certain times that stand out as being pivotal turning points—moments that made a difference in how HOPE serves men and women around the world. Here are five of those break-out moments: Continue Reading…

“I can connect with HOPE on multiple levels,” says Marcia Malzahn (pictured above), laughing.

Born in Nicaragua, Marcia was a teenager when she and her family had to move to the Dominican Republic (D.R.) as refugees. Her time there helps her feel a special connection to HOPE’s work with Esperanza International, HOPE’s partner in the D.R. Continue Reading…

HOPE interns brainstorm on the whiteboard.

by Ruthie Claydon, Experience Team Assistant (summer 2021 intern) During my internship with HOPE International, I experienced spiritual growth in completely new and unexpected ways. Throughout the summer, I felt fully welcomed and integrated into the vibrant staff culture. Overall, here are four of the biggest ways I was impacted by HOPE’s employee-directed spiritual practices. […]

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Going to prison marked the beginning of Emmanuel Chamango’s openness to God’s transforming power.

Emmanual describes his former self as someone who avoided hard work, choosing to steal or rely on others to provide for his family. Emmanuel’s imprisonment humbled him. “What led me to come here?” he pondered. “Is it the person who reported me to the police [for illegally farming land he didn’t own], or was it God?” A visiting pastor preached on forgiveness, and Emmanuel took the message to heart. He remembers praying as he never had before. “Slowly I started changing, and that’s when I started loving God.”

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by Isaie Ndayizeye, HOPE Rwanda Co-Director

The COVID-19 pandemic is a time of much fear: fear of hunger, loneliness, lockdowns, poverty, even death.

It’s also a time of loss. Weddings are canceled. Graduations are missed. Church buildings are empty on Sunday mornings, and many businesses are closed.

At HOPE International, we’ve been asking the question: Amid this fear and uncertainty, how do we bear witness to Christ and His Kingdom? Continue Reading…