Friday, February 19, 2010
show us your life
i've never participated in this before but i thought today would be a good day to start! seeing as how i'm in full-time ministry i thought i'd share a little bit about it for anyone who might not already know.
almost 2 years ago exactly i was deep into the grieving process over the unexpected murder of 2 friends of mine at a missionary training school in colorado. you can read more about that here. i was in a time of transition and had no idea what i should be doing. it was at that time that i started to talk with a friend of mine who was in the process of starting a local non-profit that would focus on urban & international development. he and his wife were in a place of transition as well and were looking for someone to come on board and help them start something new.
i knew right away that it was where i was supposed to be and soon after that hope beyond borders was born. our heart is to see communities transformed through the empowerment of leaders and individuals within those communities. we believe that there is so much untapped potential in communities around the world and if given the proper tools then change is possible. we've seen this so clearly in a small village in northern zambia, africa.
over 2 years ago we helped establish a self-help arts & education center (called the mango tree) in the village of kaombe... a place once known for it's hopelessness. it was a forgotten and looked down upon village that no one wanted to go to. but since the birth of the mango tree center things have changed. there is now a library full of books where everyone can come and read and study. there are 7 sewing machines training vulnerable women and widows a trade that they will hopefully be able to use to one day support their families. there are leaders who used to be street kids, now empowering the younger generation and showing them that anything is possible. there is a mini-van operating as a taxi service providing much needed transportation for the community. and as of last thanksgiving there is now a water piping system transporting water to over a dozen locations in the village. what was once a tedious task of walking 1 or 2km to fetch water is now a short walk. what's even more amazing is that the outsiders view of kaombe is changing. no longer is it known as a place that people want to avoid, but instead it's become a refuge... a place full of hope and possibility!!!
this project has a special place in my heart because i've traveled there 3 times... it's also a project that i help to oversee. i coordinate teams to travel there every year and co-lead in what is certainly a life-changing experience. going there means having your eyes opened but you realize when leaving that your heart has opened as well.
as you can tell i could talk a lot about my love for zambia! but hope beyond borders (hbb as we call it) isn't just about zambia. we're also committed to our local community and have partnered with local churches and organizations to pioneer what we call "coatesville community night." every wednesday night we open our doors and feed whoever will come (averaging around 80-100). we then provide various classes for kids through adults. classes have ranged from finance, to parenting, to art, etc. it's been an awesome time of bringing people together and i've loved getting to know the people who come through our doors.
there's a lot that i do behind the scenes, too like all the financial record-keeping, website administration, email updates, mailings, etc. i wear many hats around this office, but i really enjoy it. i know God has so much in store for us and if we keep Him at the center of all we do that He'll continue to provide and expand the areas that we are able to reach.
if you want to learn more about what we do you can visit our website at www.hopebeyondborders.org.