My journey to become the Executive Director of The Hope Effect started twenty-one years ago when God dramatically kicked open the door into the world of orphan care.
Out of the blue, my wife Christie and I sensed we should pursue adopting a child from overseas. Although we felt called to adopt, how it would become a reality was a mystery to us. It would require us to overcome many challenges, not the least of which were the adoption and travel fees…which would exceed $30,000.
But within one year, through the power of prayer and the crazy generosity of an 18-year-old girl (who actually funded the adoption!), I was holding my precious daughter Sydney in my arms.
Like many people, I was unaware of the orphan crisis. Sydney opened my eyes to the millions of children who live without families in the world – many of them over the age of five.
Fast forward to seven years ago. My wife and I responded to a simple Facebook post about a little girl in need of a family overseas. We started the process to adopt again – this time with an older child who spent the early part of her life in an institution.
My daughter Mia joined our family when she was 12 years old. Every day I wake up and experience what statistics tell us – that children develop best when they are in a family environment, that institutional care of children before the age of four is devastating, and that good-hearted people are the key to change.
The Hope Effect
A few years ago, my wife and I joined Joshua and Kim Becker in dreaming about The Hope Effect, a nonprofit organization that would change the way the world cares for orphans. We are passionate about seeing orphans cared for – not in institutions, but in families.
For the last few years, I’ve served as the Executive Director on a part-time basis while I pastored a growing church. However, as The Hope Effect prepares to enter our fifth city, with exploration already underway in our sixth location, the demands of The Hope Effect are outpacing the time I can give to it while also leading the church.
I had to make a choice – a choice to either hire a new leader for the The Hope Effect or step away from my roll as pastor. The demands of leading both are just too great for my limited capacity, and I love both too much to continue to provide limited leadership to either.
The Big Decision
As you might imagine, the decision was agonizing. After many conversations with leaders from both organizations, I have made the decision to pursue The Hope Effect full time. Our last day at our church will be Sunday, September 29, and I will transition to a full time role with The Hope Effect in October.
This is obviously a big change for our family. I have been in church ministry for the last 25+ years. Simply put, Christie and I have never gone to a church without having a key to the building. But while we are saddened because we will not be experiencing the deep and meaningful relationships unique to pastoral work, we are confident in the new chapter God is writing for both of us.
I’m also excited to have more opportunities to share our passion for changing the way the world cares for orphans. Check out our website if you’re interested in having The Hope Effect speak at your event, whether it’s a church service, community event, podcast, or any other forum!
We look forward to seeing the ways God will use The Hope Effect to change the way the world cares for orphans. Thank you for being part of the journey…we can’t wait to see what happens next!