No fine print: Achieving lasting change is hard

May 20, 2015

When I say, “fine print,” you know what I’m talking about. Underneath bold headlines and colorful pictures regarding a new drug, investment or product, all convincing you of how amazing and wonderful your life could be, in very, very small lettering, is the “also what could happen” scenario. That scenario is never very good, is it?

Just Hope International doesn’t do fine print. We are committed to keeping our supporters updated on the return on their investment, even when the news is not good. There is a fine print side to our story; but we don’t hide it at the bottom in teeny, tiny letters, crossing our fingers that no one will read it.

The fine print side to our story is this. A meaningful impact that lasts for generations is not cheap or easy. Chronic poverty is the result of years of misfortune, and helping someone out of chronic poverty is not accomplished with generous handouts, even though at times that approach certainly is tempting. What we strive to deliver is not pulled off by mobilizing people just like ourselves and depositing a gift into the hands of the needy. Achieving lasting change requires the involvement, investment and interest of those being served, a process that takes trust, time and tenacity.

It also seems to require a fair amount of hurdles, setbacks and trials. With every project we launch, there are problems to overcome – some small, some large. We will hit a stride when everything is going right, and then slam up against a barrier that stuns us, stalls us and requires us to think deeply, reach out to others and ask hard questions. We may not always have the answers, but we always have the perseverance. When the people we serve show up with the irrational hope of God, we answer that hope with resolve. If they aren’t giving up, neither are we.

So if you are expecting fine print regarding our mission to make an impact that lasts, you won’t find it. Not because “there’s no catch!” – but because we will never make the claim that what we are doing is easy. We know it’s hard, and we also know that the people we serve will get out of this endeavor what, together, we put into it.