Have you ever watered a drooping plant and then seen it perk up? When we give people hope through our actions or a word of an encouragement, we can have the same effect. Hope gives people the resilience to make them stronger. Here are a few ways some have done that.
Mary Carver is a regular blogger on the (in)courage website. This morning she wrote about traveling to Kenya with Mercy Corp. International. As she toured the schools, Mary was moved to tears by the empty bookshelves. When she returned to the US her first impulse was to gather books to ship overseas. Then she realized books would be wonderful, but what the people needed even more was hope.
My church has a large food ministry. Along with nutrition, they give hundreds of people hope that they can make it through tough times.
One Christmas, my mom’s quilt guild made pajamas for children in domestic violent shelters. I think the mothers might have felt a glimmer of hope when they saw kids in new, warm pjs.
One of Joni and Friends’ ministries is Wheels for the World. They refurbish wheelchairs and walkers for other countries. I got excited when I spotted a cane at a rummage sale. I bought it, knowing that, coupled with the Good News of the Gospel, it would change someone’s life!
August is a busy month for me because I go the Oregon Christian Writers conference and also Joni and Friends. Both of them inspire me to reflect the love and power of Jesus. Sometimes it’s difficult to hold onto the hope that God gives. That’s why I need to be in fellowship with people who inspire me. Both conferences give me a lot of hope. By attending the Oregon Christian Writers conference, I hone my craft and am encouraged to keep writing. All my friends from OCW celebrated with me when my book, It Takes More Than Legs to Stand, was published this April. At the Joni and Friends Family Retreats, people affected by disabilities receive hope as they hear and experience God’s love. Giving hope away can be as simple as acknowledging someone when you’re out and about and smiling at them. It’s as easy as watering a plant.
Won’t you share some of the ways you like to give and receive hope?