Backpacks of Hope

Dec 11, 2013Find joy today, Work Uncaged

Help One Now is launching a very, very cool initiative: Backpacks of Hope! They would like to raise $100,000 to empower & resource their six leaders in Haiti, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia by selling 1,000 “backpacks” for $100 each. These aren’t  actual backpacks containing pencils or notebooks. They are a metaphor for giving country-specific resources.

Last year, as you may recall, I spent a week in Haiti. While there, the team of bloggers decided to do something wild and audacious. We called it the Legacy Project, and dared to believe we could (by the power of Jesus moving hearts) build a school. The school is alive, folks. It stands. Children learn there. And I’m humbled and joyful to the core.

Legacy Project 2013 // The Backpack from Help One Now on Vimeo.

The money that these “backpacks” raise will be used to fund multiple educational opportunities and projects for each of Help One Now’s six leaders.


One is for Pastor Gaétan in Haiti, who I met last year. He is DEAR, folks. He loves Jesus. Suffers well. Sacrifices for the children in his care. And that man PRAYS. He trusts God for big things. This year he hopes to furnish a library and start a computer lab for the students of Williamson Adrien Academy (the school!) so they can gain the knowledge and skills to compete in a rapidly changing world.

Pastor Gaétan is an example of Jesus to me. I feel small in his presence, not because he asserts his authority or demands my respect. He has no big name, but he serves a big God, all for the sake of honoring Jesus’ great, great name. He understands that the greatest in God’s kingdom are the least. And he embraces his place last in line for the sake of serving others.

I have such affection welling up inside me as I write this. For him. For the children who laugh and scream and play and pray. For that beautiful school.

When I came home from Haiti last year, full of hope and watching such beautiful examples of Jesus-centered living, my world fell completely apart. Our daughter Julia faced two hospitalizations. She lost the first semester of her freshman year due to an unknown, yet-to-be diagnosed illness.

By God’s grace, she improved. And she has a heart as big as this crazy world for those who suffer. She gets it that we live richly in America, and that as Christ followers, we must help our brothers and sisters in need. I’m grateful for what God is doing in her life.

In her honor, I donated money for one backpack.

If this stirs you, hop on over to Pure Charity and donate to this sweet project (click to tweet). I’ve had the privilege of giving, and I look forward to see how these resources (backpacks) bless the kingdom of God in poverty-stricken places.

Oh how Jesus loves the least and marginalized! And what a privilege it is to involve ourselves in this small way!