Eight years ago this month, founder Karen Bruton named Just Hope International

March 23, 2015

In March of 2007, Karen Bruton sat at her breakfast table, thinking through what God was calling her to do. She had left her career behind a month earlier, and knew her call involved continuing to use her business and administration skills. Part of her task that March morning was to name the organization that was emerging from her decision to step out in faith and serve the poor.

“To me, poverty had always meant a lack of material goods and food. But the world traveling I had done through missionary and relief efforts taught me that true poverty is the lack of hope,” Karen said.

She focused on that lack of hope during the naming process, and landed on the concept that what chronically impoverished people need to get started is ‘just hope.’ “If they could ‘just’ have ‘hope,’ I reasoned, I could work with them to find the opportunities and ways out of poverty,” she said.

“The word ‘just’ also stands for ‘justice’ – the injustice of the world, when some people live like I do, with opportunities all around me, while others barely scrape by, based chiefly on where and to whom they were born,” she said.

Karen also knew that her call was to the international front. “Traveling abroad is what truly ignited my flame for service. I know that where God wants me is in foreign countries.”

That morning eight years ago, all of these beliefs and callings came together to form the name Just Hope International.