Pierre*–once an abandoned and abused child in Haiti –is the bright and thriving young man he is now because someone like you embraced the opportunity to change his life.
I read a devotional this morning about a woman who sponsored a little family in Africa for many years. She didn’t have much, but she had known the very hard reality of raising children on her own as a young adult. She felt she could relate with a young single mother in Ethiopia – and so month after month, she scraped together the money to send.
Years passed, but this American woman didn’t just send in her check. She prayed for this little family, wrote letters and tried as best she could to give of herself for this family halfway around the world.
As I’ve been sorting through pictures from VBS this year, I can’t help but smile as I see photo after photo of happy kids, basking in their carefree summer days and having so much fun together. I also can’t help but see great hope written on their faces – made all the more powerful when you know how much it has taken for this smile to grow.
18 Home of Hope families have gathered at the Cancer Redemption Campus for Vacation Bible School! As the kids arrived on Saturday morning, you could see the excitement in their eyes. This long anticipated week is full of renewing friendships with kids from other families, playing new games, singing, variety shows and even bible contests.
Gathering supplies and adjusting to new schedules can make a new school year rather daunting. But as you’re preparing for classes to start, take a moment and think about how incredibly blessed your family is to have the chance for your children to receive a quality education!
Consider this from Haiti, a country not so far away from here… Hundreds of thousands of children have no access to school, or have seemingly innumerable obstacles in their way, such as: What would you do if you didn’t have any money to go to school? What if there was no school near you, and you had to walk miles each day without any food in your belly? What if, when you got to the one-room school house, you found that there were no books, and you sat on a bench all day in the heat to memorize from a chalkboard?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Did you watch your dad in the shop, or discover a love of teaching from your 4th grade teacher? Did you job shadow someone or plan ahead to see what career you wanted to pursue in college?
Imagine what it would look like if the majority of the people you knew didn’t have a formal job. Imagine what you would dream about becoming when you only knew of three main professions in your community. What would you say then?
With a curious smirk, sporting a vest and tie, you smile and think, “What a cute boy.” What isn’t captured is how powerful this moment really is. You see, Obie*, the little guy pictured, had just joined his new Home of Hope family when this photo was taken. It was his first day in a new home. His first day eating three full meals. His first night sleeping in a bed all his own. It was the first of so many new things he never had before.
This weekend, we will celebrate our country’s independence and freedom. We will gather with friends and family and thank God for the freedoms we have been blessed with in this land – mostly things we have never lived without.
But we don’t begin to understand the magnitude of what we celebrate if we don’t know the power of what freedom really is. Today, there are people around the world who have never known this kind of freedom. They are men, women and children who do not know what it means to dream of a better future. They do not know what it is to celebrate freedom, either individually or as a nation. They are the world’s most vulnerable.
I sat in a dimmed auditorium listening to powerful words from a host of speakers at the Justice Conference 2015. Those two days were full of passionate leaders who are tackling extreme poverty, promoting peace in Israel and rescuing trafficked victims. Each has there own area with their own challenges. But each came back to the same place, reminding us that: