Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Finding Hope

If you do not hope,
you will not find what is beyond your hopes.
St. Clement of Alexandra
          What is hope? I suppose people can describe hope in a myriad of different ways. Hope carries a special tone for each ear in need. To some, hope is the assurance of a future. To others, hope is dream of change. Some people place their hope in things, money and fame. Others, place their hope in a higher power. To me, hope is a vision of change. It is a calling of a better future. Hope is the whisper of things that have not yet come to be, but that I have the choice to become. There are those in this life whose hope lies in the seemingly insignificant. The young mother who hopes her infant will sleep through one night so she can rest. The small family who hopes for enough money to least once this week. The sexual abuse victim who has hopes of rest and simple, dreamless sleep. The father who hopes what he does is enough. The people of one country who hope beyond all hope that change will one day come.
          To hope for change is an arduous task, but it is the hope of those called to something higher. Hoping for change is reserved for those who are willing to look uncomfortable in the eye and not blink. This kind of hope requires a special heart and very special people. My friends at Beginning of Life ( are just such people. The staff and volunteers at BOL work towards a hope every single day. They see some fruit of their labor in the face of a young girl who has found her smile once again, but the majority of their work is prevention. Prevention can often seem like a fool's hope. The fruit of prevention is sometimes not seen for many years, sometimes longer. While I was in Chisinau, I was privileged to work with the staff of BOL. The HOPE they have is strong....and it is changing things.

The only way of finding the limits of the possible
is by going beyond them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clark
          As we spent time in a couple of Russian schools in Chisinau, I experienced the prevention that Beginning of Life works daily to accomplish. I was extremely privileged to work with Petre, a staff member of BOL and Peter, our translator. Yes, the names kept it easy :). BOL has a wonderful rapport with the school system and they go into the schools several times a month to speak to the highschoolers on subjects ranging from ESL to domestic violence... and everything in between.
          Petre was speaking on domestic violence that day, a very common occurrence on Moldovan households. He would ask the same question at every class: "Is it OK for a man to beat his wife if she provokes him?" The most common answer was in the realm of , "Well, it's excusable if she provokes him, but he really shouldn't because women are so weak." These kids were 16-19 years old. There were some young men who quickly stated that it was totally acceptable if the wife provoked the man. It is in these homes that it is a reality. Our last class of the day was a group of 15-16 year olds. Petre asked the same question, "Is it OK for a man to beat his wife if she provokes him?" This class met the question with a resounding "NO!" There were then answers about why that would be wrong and discussions about how men can show their love to their wives. This was a totally different mindset...and there wasn't even a generation gap.
          Prevention is working. Beginning of Life is making a change. People are hearing, some are listening and they are being helped daily. This is hope in it's fruition. This is finding hope within the miry circumstances. This is what living is all about....
          Wherever you find yourself today, what is your hope? Do you hope against hope for a better future? Do you hope to be involved in change? How can you change what is seemingly hopeless? Take the first step by finding out more about the prevention that is being done in Chisinau. This will spread throughout the rest of the world....but the world must first know about it. Can you help? Are you willing to spread the word about hope? Would you be willing to embrace the possibility of a little discomfort to afford someone else hope in hopeless place? Are you ready to find hope today? All it takes is a willing heart....
Do you want to be a part of change? Consider donating to the wellness and fitness center to bring hope and a future to victims of sex trafficking and human exploitation. Be the change you wish to see.

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