HOPE International Client, 2016

God at Work
The Christian walk is often charted on an evolving landscape.  Yet God works in every turn, peak and valley to mold us into His image.  Though change is a polarizing concept that makes most people uncomfortable, the Bible instructs us to walk into each new chapter of life with a Biblical lens.  Our focus must continually reset to His path, as it leads down the narrow gateway to His divine appointments.  The following is an amazing report from Barnabas Group ("TBG") member, Holly Wylie, explaining how God used TBG to find her specific divine path:

"Paul and I have always been very involved in outreach at every church that we have attended over our 32 years together.  However, we still felt that there were ministries beyond the walls of our church that we wanted to explore.  Jim West calls it the "itch."  For us, it was a longing to be fully engaged where God wanted to use our talents, time and treasure in addition to our local church programs.
 
A member of TBG invited us to a quarterly meeting, and we were in awe with the variety of ministries and passion expressed by each presenter that we heard.  That was four years ago now, and we have been TBG members for the last three years. 

Last year I faced a transition in my life.  God knew where He was taking me, but I did not!  At that time, I was attending a quarterly TBG meeting, and I learned about HOPE International ("HOPE").  It was my first exposure to HOPE, which is a Christ-centered microfinance organization.  Since 2004, HOPE has provided small business loans and savings services to entrepreneurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC"), who use the loans to make improvements like increasing inventory, investing in assets that will make their business more efficient, and marketing.  

I was intrigued by their sustainability component.  I wanted to support missions work that allowed people the dignity of working themselves out of poverty, not just providing handouts.  I heard that HOPE was having its annual fundraiser in November, and that they needed volunteers.  That sounded interesting to me, so I introduced myself to HOPE's representative, Jenn Tarbell. 
 
Fast forward to January of this year.  I reconnected with Lance Wood, the local Board Chair for HOPE, whom I had known for 20 years.  He had just learned of an open position at HOPE, and thought that I would be a perfect fit.  That started a process that culminated on March 7th, when I joined HOPE's team on the West Coast.  I am so grateful for the journey that God has me on, and it would never have happened without our involvement with TBG! 
 
We are both excited to now participate in our first TBG SWOT at the end of August. Paul just completed a project helping to build a school in Kenya, as he comes from a background of supply chain and operations management.  The question we will be contemplating is how Justice Rising can create a program model for rapid and sustainable growth to impact students, teachers, and other educational stakeholders in the DRC, and other active and post conflict war zones around the world?
 
So you see, God is elevating our talents, time and treasure to a much larger platform through TBG, just exactly how we prayed He would!"
  
For more information about Hope, please visit www.HOPEInternational.org

TBG Members, Paul
and Holly Wylie