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Day 23: Building a Future

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Read:Isaiah 28:16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” Two years ago, Estephania stood in the doorway of her new apartment with tears streaming down her face. What should have been tears of joy were tears of fear. She completed her year in our girls’ graduate transition home and was moving out on her own—for the first time in over a decade. For many Hope Unlimited kids, being launched into …

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Day 22: Training Wheels

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Read:1 Corinthians 2:6-10 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God …

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Day 21: Responding in Love

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Read:Luke 6:32-36 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be …

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Day 20: Family For Life

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Read:Psalms 68:5-6 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. Hours after the children who call Hope Unlimited home scuttle off to bed, the houseparents gather for a late night cookout. Soon, conversation turns from local politics and soccer to the real passion of every person there: the hearts of the children in their care. As dinner winds down, the randomly-placed folding chairs are pushed to one side, the houseparents form a …

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Day 19: Providing What Really Matters

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Read:Psalms 119:9-11 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Food, clothing, and a safe place to sleep are not enough. If that is all we can offer, children will leave our care and eventually return to old destructive patterns. Even more troublesome, generational cycles of poverty and despair will not be broken, and the same situations that trap our kids …

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Day 18: Working Behind the Scenes

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Read:1 Thessalonians 1:3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. When we speak of the Hope Unlimited staff, our thoughts usually go to those on the front lines with the kids or the visible spokesmen for the program. But there are a lot of behind-the-scenes folks who make a difference in the lives of our children: accounting staff, the ladies who wash the kids’ clothes, the thrift store team, and the maintenance crew. While they do not have day-to-day …

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Day 17: Transformation From the Inside Out

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Read:Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. When children come to Hope Unlimited, they bring short lifetimes of destructive behaviors with them. Sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, violent acting-out, theft, and dishonesty are all part of a street kid’s life. Hope Unlimited’s staff and, importantly, children whose lives have already been transformed, work diligently to help newcomers put harmful life choices behind them. Fortunately, through God’s power, we know new …

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Day 16: A Heart’s Confirmation

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Read:Psalms 118:26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. “Pastor! Pastor!” Young voices ring out as he walks across campus. One child shows him a high academic mark. A teenage boy hurdles a fence and claims a handshake. A younger girl reaches for an affirming hug. Over a decade ago, Derli Barbosa became Senior Pastor to the children at Hope Unlimited. “God confirmed in my heart I should be here,” says Pastor Derli. “I have a calling from God. Seeing transformation in their lives and watching them …

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Day 15: Purity Recovered

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Read:Psalms 10:11-18 He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be …

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Day 14: Earning Their Trust

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Read:Hebrews 12:7-13 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems …

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