Welcome to the sixth blog in our series, “The 12 Areas of Community Transformation.” Over the course of this year we are answering the question, “How is HopeChest different from other leading child sponsorship organizations?” Today’s blog is about the sixth of these 12 areas of primary community transformation.
As we look at the concept of “family”, it is import to recall how, from the beginning of time, God has established a healthy family unit as the core of all relationships, and describes resultant blessings.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, our relationships became damaged and broken. God made us as perfect vessels that could contain all of the wonderful things that He wants to pour into our lives. However, once this vessel was cracked and broken, it could no longer hold these blessings. We have transitioned ourselves to a state that is vastly less than what God had intended for us.
Now, we face poverty on so many levels – that of body, soul, mind and spirit. There is a sense of barrenness and a struggle to build healthy relationships and to support and sustain ourselves.
However, the entire Redemption story is the revelation of a God who wants to restore what was broken.
Where Does HopeChest Fit In?
There is an evident link between broken family relationships and an increase in criminality, violence, drug abuse, suicide, divorce and other aberrant behavior amongst children who have grown up in those family circumstances. Similarly, it is often true that amongst widows from broken families there is an increased rate of trafficking, prostitution, alcoholism, and suicide.
In many of the communities we partner with, families must navigate unique challenges, such as one or both parents who pass away from HIV/AIDS, families whose fathers have abandoned them, children who are raised by their grandparents or aunts and uncles, and even 10-year-olds who are now heads of households.
A primary focus of Children’s HopeChest’s work is to help bring restoration and healing to many of these broken relationships. In fact, we only go to communities within countries where there have been significant brokenness in the area of “Family.” HopeChest’s mission is to build Kingdom-based relationships with local communities that will result in life transformation of their members as they reach out to empower and equip their orphaned and vulnerable children.
James 1:27 is at the core of our mission: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
How This Creates Sustainability
The family is the core of every community. So, we need healthy families at the core of society. Our relationships with the people in our nuclear family are arguably the most impactful relationships of our lives. HopeChest programs aim to speak life and healing into the pain that some of the children we serve experience.
The healing process helps to hold more resources (ex. Of cracked vessel). Whether it’s marriage counseling or grief counseling, children renewed in their self-image, we begin to see communities healed and restored. These family-centric programs help to slow and stop generational cycles of abuse, insecurity, and pain.
Whenever families can begin to earn money to support themselves, we see a stark return of a sense of dignity and a lessening sense of dependence on others. This helps to relieve stress and can build health in the family unit. By providing resources that equip parents to care for their children and empower individuals to navigate their own pain instead of projecting it onto others, HopeChest is helping to create more sustainable communities.
Programs Around the World
HopeChest programs work toward keeping families together by equipping mothers and fathers to be healthy and conscientious parents; providing resources for parents to gain income and take care of their families; walking through marital and family conflict during home visits; discipling children to respect and communicate with their parents; and offering grief counseling for children who have experienced pain and loss. In certain cases where a child does not have any family, CarePoint staff advocate for and encourage the child by providing mentorship, compassion, and resources for them to succeed.
Children’s HopeChest aims to be the hands and feet of God’s love by empowering the orphaned, the vulnerable, and the widowed around the world. “God is a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows…” (Psalm 68:5).
This blog is part of our new, educational series that answers the question, “How are you different from other leading child sponsorship organizations?” Over the course of the year we are going in depth about how your support impacts entire communities in 12 unique areas of transformation. If you don’t want to miss one of the blogs in our “The 12 Areas of Community Transformation” series, subscribe to our blog, HopeChest Insights, here!