At HOPE International, we believe the women and men we serve are resilient. While the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our world and spread throughout the HOPE network, this belief has not changed. We know that when equipped with financial tools and the hope of Christ, a family’s capacity to outlast severe disruptions vastly improves. That’s why, for more than 20 years, we’ve come alongside underserved families, offering discipleship, training, a safe place to save, and loans in 16 countries.
Before the pandemic, global poverty was declining, and we were seeing this firsthand as entrepreneurs across the HOPE network used their God-given vision and talents to identify needs in their communities and respond. This year, as the pandemic forced businesses to close and made it difficult for many to access food, this progress slowed—and in some cases, was reversed. These obstacles are significant, but we can’t let global poverty resurge now. That’s why HOPE is responding to the pandemic in three core ways: emergency relief, grace periods, and recovery lending. We’re committed to showing up to stand with those we serve—to share the joy of the Gospel, celebrate their God-given dignity and potential, and help them rebuild their dreams.
Weathering the storm
Though we’ve never directly supported relief efforts before, this moment presented uniquely dire challenges for those we serve. The families we serve face loss of income, insufficient health care, and limited emergency funds.
We worked with local churches, partners, and local leaders to distribute food, face masks, and soap to families affected by sudden unemployment, market shutdowns, and travel restrictions. When Peru implemented a lockdown to reduce the spread of the virus, Comas CMA Church, HOPE’s local partner distributed food to 50 families with the help of our Rebuilding Dreams Fund. Lisset Rojas de Avellaneda, savings group program manager for Comas CMA Church shared that through these relief efforts, “People see that they’re not forgotten by God, even if they’re forgotten by everyone else.”
As followers of Jesus, we believe we are called to a radically loving response. Especially while economies are hampered by full or partial lockdowns, we’re offering a “stimulus package” to the business owners we serve through microfinance institutions—including loan rescheduling, grace periods, and flexibility. Ghena Russu, executive director of Invest Credit, HOPE’s partner in Moldova, reflects, “What we do during this period [of pandemic] is what people will remember the most and what will count for the Kingdom of God.”
Rebuilding dreams together
We believe that God has gifted the women and men we serve with the skills and talents to transform their families and communities. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen essential businessowners across the HOPE network provide their communities with food and other necessary goods and services. Others, like Savera Mutemariya in Rwanda, continue to care for their employees even when their businesses are shut down: “I have over 30 workers who I feed and pay for the work they do. With the COVID-19 impact on my businesses, it is hard for me to sustain these workers. ...Pray for my businesses to grow and serve my community.”
As global communities open back up, business owners like Savera will need more capital to rebuild what has been lost. Rather than close their doors, as so many will around the world, the business owners we serve will have tools to stabilize their finances and move forward.
We’re also working to understand the needs of the church-centered savings groups in our network. We want to support them in working and saving together to both meet immediate needs and rebuild toward their dreams.
We’re grateful for Community Fellowship Church’s ongoing commitment to standing with the women and men we serve through prayer and financial support. In the face of these new challenges, we invite you to join us in equipping women and men around the HOPE network to rebuild their dreams:
Join us in prayer as we lament the pain that the pandemic has caused around the world and ask God to provide for the needs of families around the world. Pray with us that the Church would be a source of hope to those who are suffering.
Learn more about the Rebuilding Dreams Fund and how you can invest in entrepreneurs as they meet the most pressing needs in their communities.
Bring hope to crisis as a Dream Investor. Opting into an ongoing, monthly gift to HOPE is an act of tenacious generosity and demonstrates your commitment to standing with HOPE-network entrepreneurs as they rebuild their dreams.