Refusing Despair with Tangible Hope

Imagine. Your salary drops to half its value while you sleep.

Reality. On November 3, 2016, the Egyptian pound lost half its value overnight against the US dollar, doubling the annual inflation rate to over 20 percent.

Imagine. Your eight year old must work in order to eat.

Reality. Over half of Egypt’s young people under age 15 work to eat, hand to mouth.

Imagine. You are losing your hearing, but you can’t get to the nearest clinic.

Reality. Over 800,000 Egyptians in remote villages of one governorate have to travel hours and stand in line to get care from five distant public hospitals.

Imagine. Your ninth-grade babysitter, an abuse runaway, is sleeping on city streets pregnant.

Reality. Of an estimated one million street children in Egypt, nearly a third are girls, a quarter of whom experience rape as their first sexual encounter.

Life in hard places means barely imaginable, mind boggling suffering. Every imagine story above is about real people. We know them – and their pain.

Yet the outcomes of those scenarios are not what you’d expect

When I met that eight-year-old (and his friends), they were giggling and goofing around for me to take their photo.

And that old man? I watched the joy spread across his face after a doctor cleaned his ears, restoring his hearing.

And that pregnant teenager gave birth to a healthy baby, and now is recovering from trauma in a secure home with other young gals.

How did their lives change? Ordinary people, just like you, took action to make a way where there is no way. They are determined to create tangible hope in the face of unimaginable sorrow.

Values aligned networks are needed to fulfill our shared vision of “a light in every hard place in our generation.”

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