Archives For leadership

Originally posted on Peter Greer’s blog.

It’s been more than a month since Russia laid siege to Ukraine. Their brutal and unrelenting attacks have crumbled historic buildings, laid waste to fertile ground, and devastated families, particularly in Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions. Seventy percent of the entrepreneurs HOPE Ukraine serves live and work in these regions. We’ve spent the last weeks checking in daily with staff members—doing all we can to ensure their safety—and connecting with the entrepreneurs we serve to learn how we can pray for and support them. These men and women have many reasons to despair, but once again, I am surprised and inspired by signs of resolute hope. Continue Reading…

Featured image: A church partner’s building damaged in the earthquake

Our hearts continue to break as we hear about the ongoing challenges in Haiti: the culmination of a global health crisis, heightened political tensions following the assassination of the country’s president in July, escalating gang violence that’s affected 1.5 million people, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the southern portion of the country in August, and the tropical storm that followed it.

We grieve with our neighbors in Haiti—and we know that out of our ache, we’re called to respond in love, prayer, immediate action, and ongoing support to help shoulder the burden they are carrying. Continue Reading…

This blog was originally posted on Peter Greer’s website in July. Since posting, southwestern Haiti has experienced a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on August 14 that killed over 1,200 and injured more than 5,700. Our staff members are safe, and we’re still assessing the impact on our church partners and savings groups. In the face of yet another natural disaster and ensuing humanitarian crisis, the main tenet of this post is as poignant as ever: Courageous Haitian leaders who have decided to stay in their country are bringing hope to communities where many might not see much cause for optimism.      

Haiti catapulted onto the international stage last month when its president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in his home by a group of gunmen wielding assault rifles. His wife, Haitian First Lady Martine Marie Étienne Moïse, was wounded in the attack. This latest tragedy plunges Haiti further into chaos with shootouts in the streets, widespread fear, escalating tensions, rising gang violence, and political turmoil.

Haiti doesn’t often make international headlines, and when it does, it’s rarely good news: a devastating earthquake … a deadly cholera outbreak … another violent coup. But underneath the chaos, there is another story that needs to make the headlines: the faithful men and women who choose to stay and serve. Continue Reading…

Just two hundred years ago, almost the entire world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Today, less than 10 percent do. In the past 40 years alone, the percent of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by over 30 percentage points.

In my years of work in Christ-centered economic development, I have had the privilege of visiting places ranging from the small towns in Haiti to remote villages in northern Afghanistan. And I have come to realize that while poverty runs rampant in our world, the situation in so many communities is unquestionably getting better. The depth and complexities of poverty are not hopeless. The Church is on the move. Continue Reading…

By Dan Williams, Director of Spiritual Integration

A weekly 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 continue to dive into God’s requirements of us in Micah 6:8, let’s look at what it means to walk humbly. This may be the hardest one, but stick with me.

In all of my travels, one of the most fascinating historical sights I have visited is La Citadelle in northern Haiti. After Haiti won its independence from France in a slave rebellion in 1804, the first Haitian king of the North built an enormous fortress on the mountains overlooking the sea to protect the island from a French return. It may be one of the most impressive structures I’ve ever visited. The tragic irony of this fortress is that the Haitian king built the fortress using slave labor—enslaving 20,000 of his kinsman for its construction, with thousands perishing during the project due to overwork.

Why would a king, who was granted his kingdom through a rebellion of slaves, turn around and enslave his own people for a huge construction project? At a certain point, that king became so concerned with protecting his kingdom that he didn’t care what it cost the people he was supposed to be protecting. Continue Reading…

by Christine Baingana, CEO of Urwego Bank

As the CEO of Urwego Bank, the largest microfinance institution in the HOPE network—and in the country of Rwanda—Christine Baingana shares what she’s learning about leadership while leading a team of over 300 staff.

I first learned of HOPE International after reconnecting with Peter Greer, HOPE’s president and CEO, while I was in graduate school. I had met Peter in the early 2000s while I was working for a large commercial bank in my home country of Rwanda and he was serving as the managing director of Urwego Bank. As we reconnected, Peter shared about the work he was doing through HOPE International—and asked if I wanted to join him.

In 2010, I joined the HOPE International team as the savings and credit association (SCA) specialist, later going on to serve as the Africa SCA regional director. When HOPE became a majority stakeholder in Urwego Bank in 2016, I was asked to step into the role of CEO. Having been on the board for several years, I knew that this would be a challenging time to lead the organization. I felt unqualified to lead such a large team through such a major transition.

But as I sought counsel from others, they reminded me to think of those Urwego could serve, men and women who have not had many of the privileges and advantages that I have. As I took my eyes off of myself and focused on them, I chose to say yes to this opportunity. It’s exciting to know we are changing lives for the Kingdom, that men and women who come to Urwego for a small loan, or to find a safe place to save, will have the opportunity to overcome poverty and experience a closer relationship with the Lord and their community members.

Here are five of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned on this leadership journey:

Continue Reading…