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World-in-Gods-Hands 
Please click on the image of the world to see the countries New Hope International partners with through Education and Community Development.

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New Hope on Monday 19

Hope in the Fire

Malachi 3:3 says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This is the story of the Jews who were not worshipping God as they were called to do. The extended version from the NCV reads: Like someone who heats and purifies silver, he will purify the Levites and make them pure like gold and silver. Then they will bring offerings to the LORD in the right way.
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God…….To read more CLICK HERE

New Hope on Monday 18

Hope in a Bilum

One of the joys I have as CEO of New Hope International is the opportunity to travel to developing countries to help train teachers and leaders in the Effective teaching and Learning Series and to look encourage Asset Based Community Development.

I have been to the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, and next Year I will go to Uganda and the Solomon Islands (God and the finances willing).

I remember when I returned from PNG some…………………to read more use THIS LINK

New Hope on Monday 17

A Community of Hope

What is a Christian learning community?

  • It is a community where shared values and the common good are just as important as individual achievement. A Christian learning community must be an environment of trust in which each person is valued as an individual with special gifts and talents. 1 Corinthians 12:12
  • A Christian learning community is based on the core values of love, mercy and justice because what God requires of His people is “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [their] God” (Micah 6:8). The community is thus governed by freedom and not oppression; demonstrated in unity and in lifestyle commitment, and not in legalism, conformity or uniformity. Loving discipline is foundational to this shared life.
  • A community demands that there is a real commitment of members of the community to each other, genuine communication, and a high degree of voluntary involvement. Leadership is recognised rather than imposed, and the structure is co-operative rather than hierarchical and must be of “servant leadership style”, marked neither by legalism nor authoritarianism.

Mark 10:43-45

  • The quality of relationships in the school will be marked by love, unity, patience, forgiveness, joy, peace, and listening with a willingness to understand.  This will ideally apply in all relationships, including teacher to teacher, teacher (and other staff) to students, students to students, school staff to home, administration to support staff and to teaching staff and, finally, school board to school staff.
  • Students will be valued and not seen as “commodities”.  There will be an attitude of encouragement towards all in the school, especially students.    Discipline will be administered in love, fairly and consistently, and for the good of the individual, and the school community.  Where there are breaches in discipline there will also be efforts to renew the relationship, and forgiveness displayed.
  • Staff will be supported with proper remuneration (where possible) and reasonable working conditions.  Where there are disputes the governing body will support staff by providing Christian mediation with clear guidelines as to their expectations.  Staff will be supported in prayer by the governing body and school leadership. Staff will be encouraged to develop professionally with a strong emphasis on the need for professional development from a Christian perspective.

These are some aspects of a Christian learning community which New Hope International teaches in its Effective Teaching and Learning Series. If you would like more information please go to our webpage.

We are not perfect, and we do not expect perfection, but we desire to set ourselves high standards which are worthy of the God we serve, so that together we can build that community of hope to which we all aspire.

With Love – Sue

New Hope on Monday 16

Sculptures of Hope.

Occasionally we hear or read something that paints a picture so vivid that we never forget it.  Often that picture gives us insight into life and our understanding of it.  As an English teacher and avid reader I love to see the images and metaphors that fill our lives.

One impressive metaphor I have come across depicts a Christian as a sculpture and God as the sculptor. The sculptor chooses a piece of stone (Like Michelangelo who chose exquisite marble) or even a huge block of ice (we are all different).  The sculptor sees within his or her chosen medium a picture of the shape that he (or she) wants to create and then goes about his (or her) work.

The secret is that the artist takes away every piece of stone or ice that doesn’t conform to the shape in his mind.  The sculpture is his vision.  He can see it. He is very careful to only chip away at the marble or ice which doesn’t belong to that final creation.

God is very much like that with us.  He sees us as perfect.  He has created us from conception.  He knew us even before we were born. (Psalm 139)  Every day that we were to live God knew in advance.  He created us to love and serve Him.  The picture is in His mind of what we should and could become.  We don’t have to do that ourselves.  What we have to do is to help remove all the unnecessary bits so that the true nature of God is revealed in us. It’s a bit like the verses from Ephesians where it tells us to “put off” the old stuff that clouds God’s image in us like disagreeableness, confusion, rudeness, pessimism, harshness and ignorance.  Instead, we should reveal (put on) the Christ-like qualities of agreeableness, order, love, courtesy, optimism, kindness and knowledge.

I suppose it’s the same with our children or our students.  We need to see in them a picture of what they will become in a perfect world.  We cannot in our own strength push them into that mould.  Like God does with us, we should help them to remove those qualities that are not helpful to them growing up to be the best they can be.  Instead we should, by our own example, and covering them with prayer, show them how to adopt those values which will bring them safely into hope-filled maturity and into the image of Christ.

My English teacher self could extend this metaphor on and on but I won’t.  I’ll just ask, “What vision do you have for your children or your students?  You have the tools of prayer and wise advice with loving discipline.

Happy sculpting!”

Sue

New Hope on Monday 15

 A Story of Hope

Did you ever wonder why happy endings are so satisfying?  Something deep inside us is touched by a story in which the princess is rescued (Shrek); the evil-doers are punished (Lord of the Rings); or the ugly duckling becomes a swan (Pretty Woman).  And as the movies above suggest, it’s not only children who want these endings. Hollywood knows that adult audiences also want to leave theatres with happy hearts.

Why do we love happy endings?

It is the gleam of hope which reaches into our hearts and gives us joy, touching us so deeply we can often be moved to tears.

Our lives are a bit like that at times.  Some of the old maxims tell us ‘it is darkest before the dawn’; ‘every cloud has a silver lining’.  It is the contrasts in our lives that are reflected so strongly in art.  There cannot be a final exultancy unless we have been in despair.  There cannot be height unless there is depth.  Only against black does light really shine.  And no matter how dark a situation becomes in a story, we hope for the dawn.

Why is this so?  Because God has wired us this way.  Our hearts still have the imprint of heaven in them; we long to see good prevail.  To have evil win in the end just seems wrong!  Despair, death and defeat should not have the last word.

I am here to tell you that they don’t!  Although it often seems that the baddies are winning, they are not.  Unfortunately they are having some victory (just peruse the media) but not the final victory. One of the most important things we desire for our children is that they be filled with hope; and we believe that this hope is found in God.  At Easter we remember that God had the final victory over death and despair through the death of his son Jesus on the cross at Calvary.  This is the light, this is the height, this is what we exult in.

In your times of unhappiness and despair I pray that you will remember that God, through Christ, has already written the final chapter of the world’s story, and that that chapter promises a happy ending, an ending filled with hope.

Maranatha: Come Lord Jesus!

Sue

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