But God had something else in mind…

Share This:

A few months ago, the Board of Directors of Hope Unlimited for Children reluctantly voted to close our Hope Mountain campus. It was not without pain to make the decision; the need is desperate there, and hearts, efforts, and money had been poured into the transformation of this former prison facility into a place where the lives of boys could be transformed. But, a decade into the project, only marginal local support had joined the U.S. investment, and the cost of running the project was threatening to strangle the Hope organization.
The Board made the decision provisionally: if Hope leadership could secure a partner—perhaps a U.S. church or state funding in Brazil—who would totally carry the cost of the program, we would continue our work in Vitoria. A deadline of Friday, April 15, was set as the absolute last moment before we would have to terminate staff, end the program, and begin trying to place the 53 boys who called Hope Mountain home.
For three months we search diligently for a partner, but find no one willing to take on the project. We know the only chance we have is to acquire state funding, and there is precious little hope of that. Board, staff, and friends pray and fast, pleading our case before God, but it looks like the facility is going to close. The Brazilian team meets with staff, talks to the boys, and begins to prepare for a shutdown. The boys greet the news with gallows humor, joking about going to live with Aunt Sidewalk and Uncle Overpass.
Then a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. As word of our plans get out in Vitoria, public outcry leads to meetings with state officials, and their promises to do “something.” Philip and the Brazilian team respond that we do not have time to wait for “something,” and that only guaranteed funding by April 15 will keep us open. A meeting is set with the Vice Governor for April 15 at 4:00 pm.
Then the light goes out. On Thursday, the Vice Governor’s office calls while we are at dinner at the Girls’ Ranch in Campinas. The meeting is canceled.
Prayer, then light again. Four American visitors join Philip and me in impassioned prayer as we drive from the Girls’ Ranch back to our hotel. Immediately after the final “Amen,” Philip’s cell phone rings. The Vice Governor has reconsidered and will meet with us as originally scheduled the following afternoon.
Friday, 4:00 rolls around. Philip, our American visitors, two Brazilian friends and I arrive for the meeting with the Vice Governor. We wait an hour. The Vice Governor and his staff enter the room. It is obvious to us that the Vice Governor is a man of good will, and wants a solution. He makes a few preliminary statements, and Philip responds with an impassioned plea that the children be protected even if we are no longer at Hope Mountain. The Vice Governor makes a proposal. The state, through a private company, will provide the full operating costs of Hope Mountain for the next four months. During those months, Hope and the state will work out an agreement where the state and businesses will provide 2/3 of the operating costs and Hope will provide 1/3.
It is about ten minutes after 5:00 on Friday, April 15th.
Hope Mountain is not closing. We celebrate.
But God had even more in mind . . .
That part of the story will come next week.

One Response to But God had something else in mind…

  1. sharilyn April 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    hooray, God!! You are good…all the time… 🙂

Leave a Reply