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New Horizon

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There comes a time to walk away. Like, perhaps . . . now. When I was in graduate school, one of my fellow students was (as are most graduate students), let’s just say a bit full of himself. In one of our seminars, he leaned back in his seat, looked at the professor, and said, “Dr. Christian, how does one become a well-established author?” Dr. C started just a bit and then grinned. Well, first you need to have something to say. I think I took Dr. C’s words to heart many years ago and have tried not to write …

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Cures, not Band-aids.

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I want to ask you to do something with me in the coming months. I’d like us to think deeply, critically, prayerfully, about this whole “caring for the least of these” thing. If you didn’t already care for orphans, for mortal-risk children, for peripheral people, you almost certainly would not be reading this, so we start with that assumption. However, I am convinced that much of what we do for people in need amounts to little more than conscience-salving, and has little or no impact on those we are “serving”. Let’s spend some time over the next few months talking …

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Resolution

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I’m back. Again. After sitting out most of 2013 (more on the “why” in a moment), I am re-engaged to start this new year–and planning to be here every Monday for the next twelve months. I have spent significant time these last few weeks listening to the experts explain (pontificate?) what a blog ought to look like and accomplish. It is really surprising how self-focused these experts assume we all are. It is too often about building your brand, your platform, and your tribe, with, seemingly, very little concern, if any, of us actually having anything to say. Even so, …

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Day 30: Where Next, Lord?

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Read:Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Every day, young lives are transformed in Brazil, but we know children are suffering in many other ways and locations around the world. In Mozambique, 1.6 million children were orphaned by the AIDS pandemic. In Thailand, hundreds of thousands of children are enslaved in the sex trade. In Moldova, thousands upon thousands of orphans live in subhuman conditions enslaved by poverty. Every one of these …

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Day 29: Eternal Investments

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Read:Deuteronomy 15:10-11 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. “When I realized how bad the problem is, God would not let me sit on the sidelines,” said one Hope Unlimited supporter. Friends of Hope Unlimited come from all walks of life and from all over …

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Day 28: Another Chance

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Read:Psalms 142:5-7 I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me. As Hope Unlimited begins work to develop new juvenile justice programs in Brazil, read Board member Dr. Burt McDowell’s account of his visit to the prison in Cariacica. I tried …

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Day 27: Transforming Future Generations

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Read:Joshua 24:15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Our mission: Transforming the lives of children at mortal risk, providing them and their future generations a productive future and eternal hope. It’s thrilling to sit in our graduate church and look around the room at our Hope Unlimited “grandchildren”—the children whose parents are a part …

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Day 26: Help Wanted

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Read:Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward. When young people graduate from Hope Unlimited, they have received some of the best vocational training available, served an internship, and are well-prepared to start a career. Hope Unlimited graduates are guaranteed job placement in their fields, thanks to our long-standing connections in the community. Finding jobs for every student means developing good relationships with local businesses and, most important, providing them an employee worthy of hire. With God’s help, Hope Unlimited is successfully equipping children so …

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Day 25: The Smith Family

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Read:Psalms 121:1-6 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. Caring for God’s children begins at home. Philip Smith, co-founder and CEO of Hope Unlimited for Children, and his wife, Corenne, sometimes …

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Day 24: Ripples

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Read:John 17:15-18 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. It is Saturday night at Net Fellowship, a church comprised of young Hope Unlimited graduates and their families. A mother and father listen intently; a 4-year-old balanced on her lap and an open Bible on his. A few minutes later, three …

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