Before joining her savings group in Peru, Rina Navarro de la Cruz had to borrow a large loan with a high-interest rate just to pay the bills. Now, week by week, she’s escaping that cycle—and teaching her daughters about God. Continue Reading…
Archives For charity
by Peter Greer, President & CEO
’Tis the season for planning Christmas compassion projects. From filling shoeboxes to setting up angel trees, churches and organizations around the world are thinking about how to launch these elegantly simple ways of caring for others during the most wonderful time of the year.
There is so much that is right and beautiful about these annual giving traditions.
I love that they offer a way for whole families to practice generosity together. I love that they’re an invitation to think beyond our me-centered, consumeristic desires and recognize that there are significant material needs in the world. I love that they invite us to share some of what we’ve received. And most of all, I love how they provide a glimpse into sacrificial love and service, reminding us of the story of Jesus.
At the same time, there are shadow sides to many of these projects, particularly if they don’t extend beyond one-time charity distributions.
For those of you who might be exploring what you should participate in this year, here are three questions to ask as your church and family seek to love and care for others well by getting involved this Christmas: 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…
In the seven years since Peter Greer and Phil Smith released The Poor Will Be Glad, HOPE has learned a lot about working with families in underserved communities to help them flourish. Peter and Phil have updated their book, retitled Created to Flourish, and we’d like to share these valuable learnings with you. To celebrate, here’s a preview from the new edition.
Do you remember how you felt when you received your first paycheck? In middle school, I mowed elderly Mrs. Johnson’s lawn. She would inspect my work and acknowledge that I had cut close enough to her barn and not missed any sections under her apple trees. Then she would invite me into her house, offer me a cold Tang mixed with her special spices, and pay me for my work. I enjoyed a strong sense of satisfaction as she thanked me for a job well done.
Relying on charity might provide enough for a bare existence, but it will never be enough to help someone off their knees.
Charity will never allow an individual to flourish in the way God created humankind to be—productive in caring for the earth and using the strength and skills He gave. And besides, charity isn’t what those living in poverty want. Continue Reading…