As I look forward to the Thanksgiving holiday and the beginning of the Christmas season, my heart is overflowing. It’s been another year full of celebrations and loss, of tragic passings and exhilarating new beginnings. All of us at Asia’s Hope have been inspired by your generosity, your courageous leadership and your prayers of support.
I wanted to take a moment to share some of the things that I’m especially thankful as I reflect upon this day set aside for gratitude.
God’s extravagant favor
Growing up, I believed that God was a harsh gatekeeper, looking for flaws and shortcomings to disqualify imperfect people from service in his Kingdom. But the last 16 years of ministry have shown me that God is actively pursuing flawed, under-qualified people like me to use for his glory and for the good of those he loves. I’m so thankful that God chose people like me — and like you — to act on his behalf to rescue and restore these kids.
Our leaders in Asia
When people introduce me saying, “John runs this amazing ministry called Asia’s Hope,” I have to laugh a little bit. I’ll own up to “stewarding” it, or maybe even “steering” it, but I can’t claim to run it. Nothing — and I mean nothing — would run at Asia’s Hope without the wise leadership and hard work of our country directors: Savorn Ou in Cambodia, Tutu Abourmad in Thailand, Amber Gurung and Sunil Tamang in India. It is an honor to serve with them.
Our home parents and caregivers
Asia’s Hope could not exist without the home parents and caregivers at our 34 children’s homes. Their job is so much harder than mine — they’re on the clock 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They have opened their hearts and homes to the 800 kids in our care, and have become real moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers to these children, revoking the curse of orphanhood and repealing the sentence of poverty and despair that would have otherwise doomed these precious kids. May God fill each of these dear servants with his wisdom and strength.
Our board and executive staff
Led by our board members — Glenn Kelly, Ron Biddle, Sam Cobb, Adam Heath, Sherrod Fields, Keith Wong and John Campbell — our tiny executive staff punches far above its weight. With just four people in the home office — me, Administrator Carol Wardell, Project Manager Addison Smith and Administrative Assistant Satian Preamjaisanchat — we manage a project portfolio as complex as that of organizations with five to ten times our administrative resources. I’m thankful for and inspired by the tireless efforts of our board and executive staff.
Our partners and supporters
Some organizations employ a staff of fundraisers and even hire professional consulting firms to generate the significant resources required to do this difficult and often expensive work. At Asia’s Hope, we don’t have a “development staff.” We have you. We have partners — churches, businesses and family foundations who commit to the hard work of funding significant, long-term projects. And we have individual donors who have dug deep and given generously so we can sustain and grow our ministry to some of the world’s most vulnerable kids. I’m humbled by the opportunity to help you invest your hard-earned money in God’s Kingdom, and I’m thankful to you and to God that we’ve seen such a bountiful return on that investment.
So as I look back over the past few months with gratitude and toward the next with anticipation, I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with some of the kindest, most generous people in the world.
May God bless you and your family during this season of thanksgiving.