Our journey of partnership with Children’s HopeChest started nearly two years ago when my husband shared with me about an organization that works amongst the vulnerable in various nations. After my husband, Jayde, and one of our executive pastors went on a Vision Trip, it was done. We were officially on board and ready to jump into the deep end with the mission and vision of HopeChest. A few months later, we were launching our first ever Community-to-Community sponsorship campaign. What a beautiful response we had right out of the gate. One year later, I was on a plane with our very first team to visit our sister village, Nsagweni 2, in the mountains of Swaziland. Just last week, our second team has arrived to visit those who have now become our extended family in Africa, our beloved CarePoint ladies and kiddos.
Last month, we attended our very first Global Partnership Conference (GPC). I had not been to a GPC before, so I had no idea what to expect. What a wonderful experience. Being a part of this special weekend connected Jayde and me to the greater Children’s HopeChest family. Prior to the conference, we felt like an invested partner of HopeChest. But after GPC, we now feel like a piece woven into a beautiful tapestry. We are a part of a global team.
“In the ‘Carwash’ breakout I learned about all the resources available at HopeChest to help me as a HPL. The HopeChest team has so much to offer us. I didn’t even know to ask about it previously. The handout folder had current brochures and annual report, all helpful info for getting the HopeChest message out to others…In the ‘Mission Trip’ breakout the handouts were excellent. Again, I didn’t know HopeChest had so many resources available.” – GPC Attendee
What a joy it was to sit and talk with those who serve in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Uganda, Russia and other places. The greatest gift was having the opportunity to meet others who were invested in the same people as us. We gleaned so much wisdom from the experience of those who have been working with a Swazi CarePoint for many years. We also loved hearing the vision for the future of HopeChest in Swaziland and other nations. There was such a spirit of unity and hope for the future.
“It’s a great opportunity to personally connect with HopeChest HQ and country staff. The larger vision is helpful for me in framing my church’s and personal efforts within the larger whole. Said another way, understanding HopeChest’s forest empowers me to be a healthier tree. I also enjoy opportunities to be a formative voice for other HPLs and sponsors.” – GPC Attendee
I also received so much from the breakout sessions. They were packed with so many practical lessons for preparing our teams, as well as greater depth on subject matters that I am just beginning to dive into concerning poverty and asset-based-development.
This was not only our first GPC to attend, but we also had the honor of being the evening’s keynote speaker. This was an incredibly humbling experience for so many reasons. First, we were in a room full of people who have been giving their life to this cause for a really long time. Second, we were surrounded by people who knew the ins and outs of what we are just now discovering. So who were we to speak to such treasures and gold mines in one room? God’s faithfulness is brilliant and profound. The way he links us together is nothing less than a masterpiece. For the faithful supporters of the ministry, it was good to be refreshed with a new wind of excitement, perspective, and awe at what God is doing through Children’s HopeChest. For those of us who are brand new, it was helpful to hear and learn from those who have been there and can help us avoid pitfalls and mistakes.
“I have been waiting for this conference for three years. I was not able to attend the last one. As a newer HPL, I learned so much that I can put into practice right away. It was so inspiring to worship and socialize with others. The HopeChest staff is AWESOME! It was helpful to meet everyone face to face.”- GPC Attendee
How beautiful is the Body of Christ when she is united together, in all her differences and uniquenesses, around a cause so close to the Father’s heart. And how sovereign he is to allow our gifts and strengths to be a blessing to our family in other lands, while also using the perspectives, gifts, and stories of our brothers and sisters globally to impact his Church in the U.S. Only God could create such a symphony out of so many different sounds and notes. How brilliant he is and how thankful I am to be a part of what he is doing in and through the HopeChest Family.
Interested in learning more about how Community-to-Community partnerships are breaking the cycle of poverty? You can read about why the HopeChest model works and how you can get involved, here!