Back in 1983, Anne Murray released a song entitled, “A Little Good News”.   For some reason, this song came to mind as I was praying about what I’d like to see in our world today.  While the names of the countries and reporters from the song may have changed, our lived reality continues to hear about the violence in our world, the children whose lives are in danger, the need for attention to climate change, etc.  In fact, it’s a bit disturbing and frightening that some 36 years later, we, as human beings, haven’t figured out how to live in peace and harmony with creation and one another.

So, let’s do a little retro today in terms of a little good news as it is being lived each day within the Mission of Hope.  And let’s incorporate that with a unique list that the author Melanie Svoboda recently shared.

Melanie suggested we focus on ten pieces of good news today, so let’s do just that:

1.  Melanie states:  “If you are reading this, you are among the 86% of the world’s population who are literate.  In 1820, the world literacy rate was 12%.”  Within the Mission of Hope, we educate almost 800 children through education sponsorships annually, as well as adults via our adult programs on the weekends.  Our OHP (orphan program) and our HIV sponsorships also assist in these areas as well.

2.  Melanie states:  “If you are reading this, you have access to the internet.  In 1995, internet users totaled 16 million or 0.4% of the world population.  In June 2018, that number was 4,208,000,000 or 55.1% of the world population.”  Within the Mission of Hope, we have provided 10 Lab in a Box programs to 10 different poor schools, thus providing opportunity for internet education on multiple levels in a vast array of subjects.  We also operate internet and lab in a box education programs every weekend for youth and adults on our site in Nica.  We also conduct weekly zoom meetings via internet with our administrative personnel in Nica.

3.  Melanie states:  “Even some of the world’s bad news like global warming has a good side.  This news has caused millions of people to become more concerned for the future of planet earth.  Within the Mission of Hope, we have implemented numerous Ecological Sustainable programs such as rocket stoves, water filtration systems, moringa trees, and now, sponsorship of 10 agricultural families to sustain production of much needed food sources in Nica.

4.  Melanie states:  “When it comes to charitable giving, millions of people are very generous.  A study in 2016 listed the top 10 countries/sites as United States, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea, Singapore, India, Russia, Italy and Netherlands.”  Within the Mission of Hope, YOU ARE THE EXAMPLES of generosity and charitable giving.  We are now in our 21st year and because of you, we not only sustain our programs in Nica, but we’ve responded financially to numerous areas of disaster over the years, including US sites of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, Mexico City earthquake, Puerto Rico disaster, Venezuela orphanage, Phillipine Typhoon, Guatamalan volcanic eruption, and within the last year:  El Paso and Suarez, North and South Carolina, Panama City, and prepping for Ghana!

5.  Melanie states:  “Ever since Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase ‘global village’ in the 1960’s, people all over the world have become increasingly aware of our interconnectedness with each other.  What happens on the other side of the world impacts us on this side.”  Within the Mission of Hope, we provided more than 1950 mission travelers with an opportunity to be impacted and to impact the human community via our formative Mission trips.  Our lives are enriched by our global brothers and sisters in Nica and elsewhere.

6.  Melanie states:  “Diseases that once killed millions of people (bubonic plaque, small pox, polio, TB) have been eradicated or have become increasingly rare in many parts of our world.”  Within the Mission of Hope, our healthcare and health outreach programs provide vitamins, parasite meds, screenings and much more in our Mission of Hope clinics.  We also provide much needed used medical equipment to multiple locations in our world to assist in the care of others.

7.  Melanie states:  “Child labor, once a common practice in the industrialized world, is now outlawed in most developed countries.”  Within the Mission of Hope, we have worked tirelessly to provide options so children and their families are safe from being street children, being trafficked or required to work the alleys, markets and streets.  Just this past month, we got 6 more children off the streets and into school!

8.  Melanie states:  “According to the Pew Research Center, 55% of adults say they pray daily and another 25% say they pray weekly.”  Within the Mission of Hope, all are welcome.  The richness of different spiritualities, religions and prayers, and approaches to life lessons, remain welcome and because of our openness and inclusive effort to honor all of the human community, we often represent a microcosm of what the world community could be!

9.  Melanie states:  “A recent study showed that more than 75% of adults in developed countries say they are happy.  The happiest countries are Sweden, Canada and Australia.  US was 6th.  A majority of these happy people also said they wish their life was simpler.”  Within the Mission of Hope, most travelers who have experienced a Mission trip, have often expressed “how happy the people we serve are”.  And from their multiple blessings, they’ve shared their blessings with the Mission, and the Mission in turn, shares HOPE with those in need of the basic necessities of life.  Together, we share hope and in sharing our blessings, we become a more complete reflection of who we are called to be as humans.

10.  Melanie states:  “If you are reading this, you are still alive on earth.  That means you still have time to love others and to do more good things. And that certainly is good news.”  Within the Mission of Hope, we value your time, your talent and your treasures.  We’ve experienced your love and compassion and kindness.  Together, you, me, us….We strive to live and be the HOPE we are called to share with others…..and THAT IS GOOD NEWS FOR THE NORTH COUNTRY MISSION OF HOPE AND FOR THE WORLD!

And for those who want to retro back to a great song from 1983, here’s the link:

Keep living, loving and being HOPE for our world!

Sr. Debbie Blow, OP