A whole new future of possibility
Back when we were allowed to travel overseas, I had the privilege of visiting a number of countries I had never been to before. One mid-winter day I felt quite anxious because of a few unknowns. Crossing a country border by road, we needed to find fuel for our rental car and had been told there were not many service stations on our route, and we were travelling almost entirely through wilderness–with the sun rising at 10 am and setting around 4 pm.
We decided to try the town appearing closest to the border crossing on our map. From the distance, white buildings stood in stark contrast against the tall grey of a mountain. Entering town at last, it seemed deserted except for the few Rangers we saw on the doorstep of their station at the outskirts–we didn’t see anyone else and everything seemed shut. Not only that, but there were no service stations or fuel depots.
Rangers soon pulled up behind us and, fortunately, we were able to have a conversation with them using the Google Translate Ap. There was no fuel in this town, they said, but there might be fuel at a tiny stop off point 54kms way across the border; they just could not be certain. As it was mid-morning and we were freezing and needing a hot beverage, we asked them where the nearest café was. They pointed back to the boarded-up looking building at the entrance to town which, even after pulling up to it, had no other vehicles in sight.
Anxious, cold, and weary, I went to the door and tentatively pushed. It opened! This seemingly deserted building hid a whole room filled with people and noise and food and tourist souvenirs and warmth and laughter and a welcome from the owner to come in! We ordered tea and food and enjoyed the atmosphere and even found someone who could speak English– who confidently told us that there would indeed be fuel at the very small stop the Rangers had mentioned, relieving our anxieties and sending us on our way warm, fed, prepared, and refreshed.
This whole experience demonstrates how others can UNLOCK opportunity and hope for each of us. The Rangers pointed us in the direction of a building we thought was closed up, which housed the opportunity for warmth, food and information. Then the people in that café provided us with hot beverages to warm our bodies and information so we could reach our final destination that day in safety.
I am reminded of how, together, we can unlock the possibilities and bring opportunity, dignity, and hope in a time of need for young women like M’balu and her friends in Sierra Leone. Living in a community with limited education and livelihood options, Mbalu and her friends did not appear to have many opportunities. But she and her friends were able to participate in the training and can now make their own soap and sell it at the market and in their communities. With the money she earns, she can now pay for her school fees and also help her family.
Mbalu dreams of working in a bank and helping others with their business opportunities also–and now she can; the door has been found and opened. At World Hope, we are able to facilitate opportunities like this, to unlock the possibilities for those like M’balu, through donations and gifts to The Hope Fund. Donors who give to The Hope Fund are part of providing warmth, comfort, opportunity, dignity, and hope–of unlocking possibilities for education, safety and protection, health and clean water, an income and livelihood, and so much more. Sometimes in life, strangers unlocking opportunities and hope for someone else is as simple as giving directions or opening a door. Sometimes, though, it can mean unlocking a whole new future of possibility–and that is a powerfully beautiful thing.