Creating Hope {Guest post}

June 22, 2014

Happy Monday! Thanks for being here for Make A Difference Mondays, a place to get intentional about starting our weeks focused on the positive and put our heads together to dream up ways we can make a difference in this world!

Today, on Make a Difference Monday, we're so thrilled to feature a guest post from Danielle Brower:

Five years ago, my husband Mike and I were well on our way to the beautiful, glamorous “City of American Dreams," where comforts and flashy lights abound. Though thankful, we were unsettled, feeling stirred to make some drastic changes in our pursuits. Neither of us could quite understand how we could have these so-called blessings and not be at peace. Wasn’t there more to life than obtaining and maintaining our comfy corner? 

Not long after that, Mike was handed a book called Red Letters that opened our eyes to a tiny country in southern Africa called Swaziland. Though beautiful and full of natural resources, this country of about a million people had an estimated 200,000 orphaned and vulnerable children left to fend for themselves, due in part to the nearly unbelievable 26.1 percent adult HIV+ rate, the highest in the world. A 15-year-old’s chances of reaching age 32? Six percent. SIX percent. Without orphanages, outside adoptions, and love, where were all these children supposed to go? Who was supposed to take care of them?  

Children’s HopeChest, along with the native Swazis, set up carepoints that serve as feeding centers and safe havens for the children. HopeChest’s vision is to connect these children in their local communities with supporting communities here in the States, partnering together to ensure that the children are fed nutritious daily meals, have access to clean water, and are given opportunities not only to survive, but to thrive and succeed. 

We now volunteer as coordinators for one of those carepoints, known as Bheveni Carepoint, not through a church, but through a like-minded social networking group. 

Geographically speaking, our community is all over the map. Spiritually speaking, our community is united in one heart, one purpose and that is to create hope in the lives of each other and the children growing up in the Bheveni community! 

We’ve had to seek God for creative ways to partner with each other and the Swazi community. I recently read something that summed it up: “Good ideas are good, but only God ideas change the course of history.” 

Beyond all else, we believe the children need to know they are not alone, not forgotten, that Jesus has not left them, and that there is HOPE for a brighter future, in spite of the disease and death that continually surrounds them. 

Taking a #hopeselfie
One creative God-idea has been the use of T-shirts to bring hope. Yes, T-shirts! At first I resisted this, because I didn’t want to bring more hype to missions than there already was. God made it clear: This isn’t hype, this is tangible hope! This is the third year we’ve offered our online community the opportunity to purchase T-shirts as a BOGO: Buy One/Give One. For $20 they receive a sweet tee, and we will hand-deliver the second shirt to a child at Bheveni Carepoint this July. The Bheveni kids look forward to getting their new shirt, as they quickly wear out and outgrow their old one. This year’s shirt depicts God’s hands of love surrounding the nation of Swaziland, signifying that he indeed has not forsaken them. 

There are about 200 kids who come and go through the carepoint at any given time, so we needed a minimum order of 400 shirts. I know it was a God-inspired idea, because it exceeded my expectations in sales and community excitement – in total, we’ve sold 754 shirts, hats and onesies! Praise the Lord! The surplus funding will be invested in fun activities and more meals, and will also extend into long-term educational projects. (If you'd like to order a shirt, there's still time! Get the details here.)

The online community of partners, friends, and family have been so excited to wear their shirts and post a #hopeselfie, which we then print and plan to give the photo to the Bheveni child who receives the second shirt. These children need to see that through God’s love, people across the world are rooting for them, cheering them on to a brighter future… giving them hope that can only be found in Jesus. 
Children who received shirts

My prayer for you is that you seek God fervently through the roads that twist, turn, climb and dip. May he become your First Love. And from the overflow, may you passionately pursue creating hope in the lives of others, from the end of the street to the ends of the earth. 

Shine on! 


As a daughter of the King, wife and mother, Danielle believes we are all missionaries; we're here to love Jesus and share his love through active compassion, which brings tangible and eternal change in the lives of those we touch. She believes that no one should live more proactive, more giving, more sacrificial lives than those who claim to know Christ. Danielle resides in Kimball, Minn., with her husband, two sons and two doggies. You can find her via the Bheveni Carepoint Online Community Facebook page or blogging at

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  1. awesome! Praying for the ministry and God's continued blessing!!

  2. Absolutely love this! Thanks to all of you for sharing! xo