Author: | David Z. Nowell

More revolting numbers…

Share This:

This isn’t about our capability to change the world; it’s about our will to do so.   I’ve written on a number of these blogs about the plight of at-mortal-risk children. They do not choose to live as they do; all choices have been taken from them by poverty, by culture, by environment.   The challenge of changing the world is not about our capability: according to the Borgen Project, spending just $19 billion between now and 2015 could essentially eliminate global starvation and malnutrition; $12 billion per year over that same time period could provide education for every child …

Read Post

A Case for Revolt

Share This:

2.5%.  That’s how much American evangelicals give to Christian causes.  Not 15%, not even the biblically-mandated 10%.  Just 2.5%. But here’s the really disappointing number: 98% of that tiny 2.5% primarily benefits other Christians. This basically means that of every $100 of income earned by American evangelicals, about 5 cents goes to touch the lives of those that Jesus called “the least of these.” A nickel. This is not about hard economic times preventing us from giving. In fact, the opposite is true: since the Great Depression, income has risen on a fairly consistent curve, with only a few blips along the …

Read Post

What is Trafficking?

Share This:

In January you may have read Ileana’s story, a story told far too often not only in Brazil, but in so many places where young girls are seen as commodities rather than as creations in the image of God. In many countries, what happened to Ileana is not called prostitution. Because Ileana was sold in her own home by her own mother, the law identifies this as abuse, but not prostitution; a ridiculous distinction that does not recognize the extent of the devastation Ileana suffered.   Not only is what happened to Ileana prostitution, it’s sex trafficking. As defined in The United States’ …

Read Post

Feliz Aniversário!

Share This:

The post this week comes from Karen Rodriguez, a member of Princeton Alliance Church in Plainsboro, NJ. A group from Princeton has been in Brazil this month ministering to our kids and refurbishing the sanctuary. How do you get to spend your birthday? Do you get to go out with your family to a nice restaurant? Do they shower you with love, affection, and gifts in many forms?  Do you get to pick any cake you want and have people sing to you?  Does your dad sing the birthday song to you a week before your birthday and continue to …

Read Post

Oh Lord, hear my prayer

Share This:

At the City of Youth, our flagship campus in Brazil, we have a mid-week chapel service for the kids.  During the service we have an offertory.  Our kids, of course, have no money to give, but come forward and place written prayers and prayer requests in a large bowl at the front of the auditorium.  Many of the prayers are simple, a line or two composed at the last minute, but nonetheless heartfelt, “Lord, thank you for giving me this place to live.”  Others are longer, maybe running a page or two as a child pours out her heart to …

Read Post

A New Beginning

Share This:

It is an appalling truth that many of the girls at Hope have been sexually abused and exploited. Thanks to the grace of God, that is forever in the past as soon as they reach our campus. Unfortunately, it’s a more difficult and much slower process to change their self-perception. These children have been taught since birth that they have value only as a sexual object. But Hope Unlimited is about transformation. Our story is of a tragic beginning absolutely overwhelmed by a triumphant end. Each February, churches and individuals across the U.S. add a little something to their Valentine’s …

Read Post

It’s up to you

Share This:

Sarah is in the back of the car sobbing. “Just give me a minute, and then I can talk.” This was her first face-to-face encounter with child poverty. A few minutes before, she had been sitting on a ragged bed as a little girl and a little boy climbed over her. The little girl was beautiful by any standards, even in her filth, but the three-year-old little boy, naked except for a tattered tee shirt, already had the vacant stare so common in the favela. We had walked from the girl’s sagging scrap-sheet metal home to the boy’s shack a …

Read Post

The Ripple Effect

Share This:

Jack and Evangel Smith are two people who changed the world. In 1962, they were Presbyterian missionaries teaching at a mission school in Ethiopia when they started a school for homeless kids in their back yard. This was a mission on top of their mission, but they were so overwhelmed by the poverty they saw, they felt they could do no less. Seeing the desperation around them, they told one little orphan boy, “Tomorrow we will start a school for street children. We want you to come, and bring your friends. But,” they warned him, “don’t bring any thieves.” The …

Read Post

lleana’s Story

Share This:

The kids at Hope Unlimited come from different backgrounds. Before they are sent to us, they might endure neglect, abandonment, abuse, exploitation, or even torture. Our staff and social workers labor tirelessly to help our students leave the darkness of their pasts behind them, but each child will forever bear emotional and often physical scars. We are their safe haven, and in order to protect their privacy, I will always change the names of the students whose stories I tell, and I will never tell anyone’s story without permission. Last year a visitor from the U.S. asked one of our …

Read Post

Are we serious?

Share This:

Do we take Jesus’ words seriously? The numbers don’t look like it: 200 million children worldwide are either biological or social orphans; 24,000 children die of hunger or hunger-related disease every day, two million girls and boys are forced into the sex trade every year.  In Brazil, the country where I work with mortal-risk children, up to three million children have been abandoned to the streets; once on the streets they’re lucky to live five years. What is our answer to their cries for help? In this blog, I’ll introduce you to the struggle of some of the world’s most …

Read Post