HopeChest’s “CommunityäóñtoäóñCommunity” model sets the foundation for our Survive, Thrive, and Succeed approach to transformation. Community transformation does not happen overnight; it takes time. That’s why we partner with churches and individuals in the US and Canada who commit to a long-term relationship with overseas communities.
These long-term relationships allow communities to really know each other, to be accountable to each other, and to plan and implement change on a level that would be impossible in a short-term interaction. HopeChest partners with over 100 churches and communities in the US to bring transformation to their church and to a community across the globe. Today, we want to introduce you to Justin Bowers. Lead Pastor and Teacher of New Community in West Virginia. Find out why his church formed a partnership with HopeChest and a CarePoint in Ethiopia in today’s HopeChest Insights Interview.
Why did your church choose to start an orphan care ministry?
My wife and I, and some great friends, planted a church almost 5 years ago in the North Central part of West Virginia. From day one, we knew we wanted to do something to connect our community to global issues of caring for vulnerable children. When we connected with HopeChest and learned of the great work they were doing, it seemed like a natural fit for our congregation to engage.
Why did you choose to partner with HopeChest?
HopeChest fit as a great model for the heart of ministry we wanted to carry out. The long-term, relational nature of selecting a CarePoint and investing deeply through ongoing relationships is incredibly appealing. We love the model of development and partnership.
Where have you seen transformation in your community because of its partnership with your CarePoint?
First of all, we have seen an increase in awareness and compassion for global issues. As people are engaging in the sponsorship of children, they are desiring to learn about not only those children but their communities as well. This is exciting, because it impacts our congregation in how they live day to day. Also, families are being strengthened. We hear stories of parents who are talking to their children about their sponsored CarePoint kids and the children in our families are becoming deeply connected to the work of HopeChest. This is incredible, as a generation of kiddos in our church will be raised having a deep connection to the work at our CarePoint in Ethiopia.
Where do you see God working at your CarePoint?
Clearly, it seems like the challenges in Ethiopia are great right now. Given the climate politically, the need for ministry with orphaned and vulnerable children is great. Though we have only taken one trip thus far, we were amazed at the ministry taking place and the work yet to be done.
What are your hopes and dreams for your community? For your CarePoint?
For our community, we are dreaming of a connection that continues to strengthen with Abenezer CarePoint in Ethiopia. I hope to see not only our church family, but our broader town deeply affected by a commitment to sponsoring kids in Ethiopia. For our CarePoint, we simply want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Our prayer is that God will do powerful things and we will be wise enough to enter those things as He would have us to.
Justin Bowers is a leader and thinker committed to helping others willingly engage the tensions surrounding leadership. He defines his full-time job(s) as a: Creative Idealist Specializing in Community Redevelopment and Spiritual Discovery. Practically speaking, that means he is found most Sunday mornings serving as the Lead Pastor and Teacher of New Community. However, he also works as the Director and Lead Facilitator of Intensional Coaching & Consulting and the Director of Appalachian Impact. As much as he can, he sneaks away from work to run the mountains of West Virginia or enjoy life with his wife Carrie and three daughters. Currently, Justin is in the final stages of finishing his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University.