Good day everyone,

If anyone had indicated to me 20 years ago, that today, we’d be sitting in our own Mission of Hope office and warehouse facility here in the US, while managing a clinic and warehouse and living facility in Nicaragua, I’d have had my serious doubts!  But…it’s true and frankly, it is because of so many of you who have generously given of your time, your talents and your treasure.  And you’ve consistently wrapped those gifts in a widening effort to serve others with compassion and HOPE!  So, allow me to share the following reflection with you as my Anniversary message.

Thought for the week, for the month, and actually, perhaps for the past 20 years:  

There can be Miracles…..

As we approach our 20th Anniversary weekend, please allow me to share a few personal thoughts.

Many of us may be quite familiar with the song, “When you Believe” from The Prince of Egypt or sung by Celtic Woman.  For your listening pleasure, here’s the link:

So many times, I recall how the Mission of Hope was confronted with incredible obstacles over the past 20 years.  Those obstacles included corruption and greed in our efforts to establish our NGO in Nicaragua, red tape meant to “make one give up”, bad weather, flights being canceled at the last minute and trying to reschedule groups of 40 or more travelers, losing our loaned warehouses here in the US, drought and hurricanes in Nicaragua, skyrocketing prices of medicines, misguided intentions and negativity of a few,  the need to find and build our own living facility and clinic in Nicaragua, the challenge of establishing a 501 c 3 Non Profit Corporation and registering it here in the USA, being a small “non profit” competing for the charitable dollars, obtaining meaningful grants, and so much more than I can recount in this small space!

Yet, each night and each morning, when things appeared bleak and hopeless, I’d say the words to myself, “there can be miracles when you believe”.

Each time, we needed funds to save lives or feed children, you helped to unfold the miracle.

Each time weather or humanity interfered with the good intentions of volunteers, you helped to unfold the miracle.

Each time, I was afraid to step on to “one more plane”, you helped to unfold the miracle.

Each time, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to ever find a facility and get it renovated here in the USA, you helped to unfold the miracle.

Each time, I wondered if we could sustain our projects and programs for the poor and marginalized, you helped to unfold the miracle.

And of course, it goes without saying, our loving God had quite a bit to do with it as well!

In fact, there would be no 20th Anniversary celebration or anything else within the Mission if it were not for our amazing Creator God…and all of you…and your trust, your faith, your compassion, your prayers, your willingness to risk, your HOPE!  So many of you have helped lay the foundation of a small “non profit” who does what it says it’s going to do, i.e., “fostering hope and empowering relationships with the people of Nicaragua through sustainable programs in education, healthcare, community development and ecological sustainability”. (Mission Statement).  In laying that foundation, we have not only improved lives in Nicaragua, but we’ve also changed thousands of lives right here in the US as well. 

And when people encouraged, even urged me to “give it all up”, I’d think about HOPE.  I trusted that hope was near and alive, and living and breathing through all of you!  Time and time again, signs and affirmation indicated that hope isn’t always easy and sometimes it can be frail…but “there can be miracles when you believe”!  It isn’t always easy…in fact, it rarely is, but if you and I believe in the transforming power of hope, hearts can be changed.  I look into the eyes of the young, who need our guidance and compassion…the young of Nicaragua and the youth we take on Mission.  I also look into the eyes of the aging in Nica as well as the eyes of the aging in my/our daily living and I realize that they, the young and the aging, are the very reason why I do what I do each and every day!  It’s about restoring wholeness in humanity, it’s about being called to “act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly” (Micah) with our God and one another.

And so, I humbly thank you for all you’ve done to help us “climb the mountains” and to restore hope for the sake of the children, for the sake of humanity, for the sake of all Creation.

Together, we can make a difference.  We can break down barriers caused by poverty, illiteracy, disease, injustice and greed.  We can assist in rebuilding a world of justice, peace, compassion and HOPE.  In fact, we already are!  So, here’s to more decades of living and sharing HOPE, how we can, when we can, where we can.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for walking the path of HOPE with me.  Continue to live and be HOPE this day and every day!

Sr. Debbie Blow, OP