Jun 29 2009

Holding Hope

holding hope I will never forget something a dear friend said to me years ago. I was struggling in my Christian walk. I had hit what I presumed to be rock bottom. I told him that I had lost all hope for happiness.

“Then I will hope for you,” he said, matter-of-factly.

What? Is it possible to carry someone else’s hope? What a beautiful, selfless sentiment.

I eventually pulled through my situation. Peace came. And I wonder how much of it was because of my friend’s odd but wonderful offer.

Over the years, this concept of holding on to hope for someone else has stuck with me. To be honest, it still sounds impossible. But I hope not. Because I recently heard a heartbreaking story from Bangladesh. A story about lost hope.

There was a young family living in extreme poverty in a small village in Bangladesh. They were surviving — not much more.

Hope was the most priceless commodity to be found in their tiny thatch-and-mud hut. Hope for a future. Hope for a better life. Hope for education for their two daughters. Hope for jobs that would put food on the table.

Last summer, a terrible storm raged through the village. A cyclone. Massive. Powerful enough to blow hope right out of their lives.

The storm killed the father, leaving the mother to raise the two little girls on her own. She spent the last year struggling to rebuild her home of scraps and mud bricks. She struggled to feed her children. She struggled with loneliness and depression.

And then, it got worse.

Earlier this month — one year later — another cyclone tore through the same village. And it proved just as merciless.

The makeshift home was destroyed yet again, leaving this woman and her children homeless. What little hope survived the first storm was washed away with the debris.

In her depression, the mother took her own life. Now, her children are orphans in a dirty, ravaged, poverty-stricken village. How terrified they must be. What must they think about every dark cloud that rolls in?

I wonder if those little girls have any hope left in them?

I wonder if I can carry their hope for them. I wonder if we can.

I think it’s a beautiful sentiment that just might be beyond our full comprehension. But holding hope for someone else is — well, pure. And I am hoping that God will take those two precious girls from this horrible tragedy and bring them peace. Happiness.

I will hold on to hope for them when their hope is gone. I will cling to hope that the God who brings hope will protect them. I will hope that these girls may have a future. And I pray that you will do the same.

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    Tim is the Compassion USA Communications Director. His job is to promote Compassion's brand, messaging and cause through media awareness and public relations opportunities.

16 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Amanda
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 6:52 am

    Tim,

    What happened to these two precious girls? Are they in the compassion program? Who are they living with? Please provide an update on how they are doing now – Thanks!

  2. Cheryl J
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 9:14 am

    Yes, are they registered children? Are they sponsored? I read about this before and it is so heartbreaking. Do you know how old these girls are? We will pray for them.

  3. Mike Stephens
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 9:21 am

    Tim I also had a friend that told me something similar once. His name is Doug Nelson. We were talking one night and he said that he was praying that God would give him faith. But now that I think about it, in order to even pray to God you already have faith ;)

    God I am AMAZED by your POWER, CREATION, and UNSEARCHABLE purposes!!!!!!! I ask that you daily show these two girls, who lost both their parents, how much you love them and they find how great it feels to trust and obey YOU!!!!!!! Thank you Jesus for healing us by your wounds!!!!!!!

  4. Amy Wallace
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 9:26 am

    I will hold onto hope for them.

  5. Dana
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 1:33 pm

    I read about the two little girls somewhere else before, too. Is there an update on where they are and what’s happened to them? I’ll be praying for them = praying that they somehow find hope in a hopeless situation.

  6. Jo
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 1:55 pm

    I will also hold onto hope for them and will be praying for them too

  7. Jun 29, 2009
    at 9:53 pm

    Can we help rebuild their home for them? I know they are probably one family of many, but I would love to give a bit to offer hope from them. What encouragement it might be to know that strangers reading their story would help.

  8. Beth O.
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 10:27 pm

    Beautiful, Tim, both the writing and the sentiment.

  9. Caitlin
    Jun 30, 2009
    at 12:53 am

    I agree on the holding someone elses hope for them. During a tough time in my life, I was directed towards Exodus 17:11-13 (this the NIV version):

    “11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” and my very close friend was among the group of people who were reading the passage in the group turned to me and said, “I want to be your Aaron.” and she truly was…just knowing that I had someone who would hold me up to get through “it” when I thought I might collapse was her carrying hope for me. We all need Hurs and Aarons sometimes, and sometimes we need to be a Hur or Aaron.

    I hope these little girls have plenty of Hurs and Aarons, as well as the other unnamed sufferers of this storm.

  10. Jun 30, 2009
    at 10:41 am

    @Amanda – Come to find out, it wasn’t two girls. It’s a girl and her brother.

    They are both sponsored. The brother just received a new sponsor today. Yay!

    The boy turns five next month, and his sister turns six at the end of the year.

    The children are currently staying at their aunt’s house (mother’s sister).

  11. Jun 30, 2009
    at 11:05 am

    Thanks Chris for the update.
    Sorry everyone, but the initial information we got from the country was that it was two girls. Turns out, it is a brother and sister.

    Doesn’t make the story any less tragic–just want to make sure we convey the correct information to you.

    The good news is that both children are now sponsored. Praise God! They’re staying with their aunt right now. Please pray that God would give her enough to provide for these children. She lives far away from the Compassion project, so I don’t know what that means for the children. Please pray that God would continue to watch over these precious children.

  12. Jun 30, 2009
    at 11:13 am

    @Amy Brooke – Our general disaster relief fund is set up to step in and provide relief in situations like this; situations where there is a need that goes beyond what the sponsorship program can provide for.

    And with this particular disaster you can make a contribution to help the children and families affected specifically by this cyclone, as opposed to disasters in general.

    https://www.compassion.com/contribution/giving/bangladeshcyclone

    But you can’t contribute directly to support these specific children.

  13. Jul 1, 2009
    at 3:25 pm

    Thank you for this story. I have been touched both by the story and by the comments — as well as by Compassion’s quick and sensitive help in situations such as this. I also know that if this happens to your own child, you will be notified so you can make a direct contribution to the family. Let’s hold one another up both in prayer and in financial support…

  14. Dana
    Jul 2, 2009
    at 4:07 pm

    Thank you so much for the update, Cris and Tim! So glad that the children have a home and have both found sponsors! Are you able to share their names with us, though I guess it won’t matter, as God knows who they are.

  15. Jul 10, 2009
    at 2:34 pm

    @Dana – Sathi and Shuvo are their names, and they are still staying with their aunt.

    Since their aunt lives a fair distance from their original child development center, Compassion Bangladesh and the church partner have agreed to transfer both children to a development center that is closer to their aunt so they can still participate in the sponsorship program.

  16. Michelle
    Dec 2, 2009
    at 5:54 pm

    I’m going to write this in my daily journal, I loved it so much! Thank you…

    ***********************
    “11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”

    and my very close friend was among the group of people who were reading the passage in the group turned to me and said, “I want to be your Aaron.” and she truly was…just knowing that I had someone who would hold me up to get through “it” when I thought I might collapse was her carrying hope for me. We all need Hurs and Aarons sometimes, and sometimes we need to be a Hur or Aaron.
    ******************

    I’m going to look for opportunities to carry hope.

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