"At HOPE International, we invest in the dreams of the poor as we proclaim and live the Gospel in the world’s underserved communities."
It was 2010 at the Passion Conference where I was first exposed to the work of Hope International, I was volunteering with 'Do Something Now', an area which existed to bring together worship and justice where 22,000 college students came together to over-fund 12 global causes. There are those organizations who help, lend a hand and give...then there are those organizations who enter in, empower, equip and change the story for the poor. I wasn't volunteering with HOPE at this event, but this organizations booth happened to be right beside ours. This booth was like a magnet, each day I was pulled closer and closer towards the work they were doing. As I overheard conversation after conversation about the work of this organization, I could not stop the pull of my heart to go learn more. It was this booth where students were rallying to fund a micro-finance loan to lift a family in Afghanistan out of poverty. At the time, I had no idea what a micro-finance loan was. I began talking with the HOPE representative and he shared with me the mission and vision of this organization. Immediately a spark lit in my heart as he spoke words like capable, empowerment, and holistic, it all suddenly became clear to me. It quickly began to click for the very first time...to simply give the poor a hand-out might be a temporary fix, but this kind of charity will not sustain and alleviate poverty long-term. By stepping into the lives of the poor and providing assistance given to strategically empower them to make change in their own lives is lasting and making major impact. We must be a part of breaking the cycle, we must end poverty for an individual, which ultimately has the power to end poverty for an entire family, community and carry over from generation to generation.
HOPE International exists to do just this, operating in 17 countries around the world, HOPE is a network of micro-finance institutions and savings and credit associations literally providing hope to the hopeless by way of empowering them through the simple act of a small business loan. Individuals are afforded the opportunity to start a business of their own through a loan as little as $100. Let that sink in...$100 dollars can make ALL the difference in the world for an entire family. Offering someone a chance to dream again, to engage their God-given gifts and abilities, to feel alive, this offer removes the blinders which have been placed over the eyes of the poor. This offer brings life, breath and hope to the soul! The difference is that HOPE is looking into the face of the poor and saying 'you can', telling them that they have what it takes to achieve their dreams, with a little help, and a lot of hard work, everyone is capable. Read more about the work they are doing here. Poverty is a cycle which entraps families and communities. HOPE International exists to break the cycle of poverty both spiritually and physically and give dignity back to those whom it has been stripped from.
I believe the world needs the dreams and creativity of the poor. I believe some of the worlds most creativity lies within the hearts and minds of the poor. Within their hearts lie hopes, dreams and gifts, these hearts and minds need to hear these simple words, 'you can'. HOPE International is not only speaking these words, but making a way by providing jobs for individuals living in the midst of the tangled web of poverty...providing a way out, paving the road to freedom. Not doing the work for them, but empowering them to work hard and through this hard work, accomplish the beauty of their dreams.
To invest in HOPE International is to invest in the dreams of the poor. I am so thankful for that day when that spark was lit in my heart and through a simple conversation, I realized that the poor truly don't need our hand-outs, they need a hand-up. Get involved with HOPE International, invest in the dreams of tomorrow for those who are weak and in need of a helping hand to pull them up and out of the pit of poverty. Offer someone a chance to gain strength, dignity and the ability to dream again.