My role at New Hope Initiative (NHI) is a strategic role. NHI desires that the projects we support around the world set goals and vision for the future and work toward accomplishing those goals. By setting goals and vision, NHI projects can grow and impact more and more individuals living in poverty and for many years into the future. NHI strives to have sustainable programs that are led by well trained, competent leaders. My role with NHI is to support and encourage these strategic initiatives of setting goals and vision and training leaders. The role fits me well. I am a business, strategic thinker. I like to think hard about problems and figure out ways to solve them. I like to see people and projects grow and improve and be a part of that growth. And, I like to think how we can leverage our projects and our influence for the advancement of the gospel.
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit NHI’s special needs orphanage in Hyderabad, India. God showed me how all the strategy in the world could never justify what we are doing there. Only what we read in Scripture and when we understand God’s heart for orphans can we justify why NHI supports this orphanage. These kids will never be leaders. These kids will never be pastors, teachers, influencers. They will be lucky to make it to their next birthday. Several years ago, a major donor of the orphanage pulled out and it would have been the perfect opportunity for NHI to drop the entire project. I asked Sandy Baird, Founder of NHI, why he stayed. His response was “because it’s the right thing to do.”
Sometimes as Christians, we have to make hard decisions especially when it comes to limited resources like money. Many US churches want to see the money they give make maximum impact for the gospel. And, I understand that. But sometimes, we must only look to Scripture and the heart of God and do things because they are the right thing to do. They are the things God cares about. They are the things Scripture commands of us. Even if they have absolutely no strategic value.
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27
The best strategic ideas will not make these kids different. But caring for them the way Jesus instructs us will make them feel loved. It will help them see there is a God that loves them just as they are and that He sent His Son to die for them so that one day they might have perfect bodies without sickness and have joy that will last forever. They can know today that though their parents have abandoned them, that their country and community have rejected them, they have a Father in heaven who accepts them and who has adopted them into His eternal family.