HopeConnect™ hides the Word of God in the Hearts of Children

Kevin Enders, 4KIDS President & CEO

You never know when God is going to bring a word or promise back to you – after all He is always writing the most amazing stories. It was back in 2018 when we were on our 4KIDS staff retreat when God began the story of HopeConnect™.


A flicker of hope

At the time we had just finished the Christmas season and our church did some incredible work with Operation Christmas Child where we sent gifts to kids in crisis all over the world as we shared the hope of the gospel. 

During our annual staff retreat, we always take an hour and encourage staff to spend quiet, alone time with the Lord as they ask Him to illuminate something to them. That year I couldn’t help but think of those kids we served with Operation Christmas Child and how they weren’t that different from the thousands of kids in foster care who also need the Church to reach out to them with hope. 

A fellow 4KIDS team member Joel Ceballos felt that same urging and together we felt God lead us to Colossians 4:3, “Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains.”

At the time we had no idea what kind of door could possibly open, but we knew God was stirring something within us to bring the hope of His Word to more kids in need. 


A new story of hope

Just a few short months later, Rob Hoskins, president of OneHope, shared his desire to collaborate to create unique and powerful resources for hope, together. 

That soon launched years of research with several additional key strategic partners like Buckner International, based in Texas; Olive Crest, in California; Faith Bridge, in Georgia; and the Christian Alliance for Orphans. 

Foster, adoptive, single, blended and married parents from Maui, Hawaii, to Bangor, Maine, shared their pain points and insights. We also leveraged the expertise of our clinical team and foster care team. Together we worked with foster families to create and test a brand new platform that could place God’s hope at the fingertips of any parent in need – HopeConnect™. 

Joel Ceballos, who went on to serve as our Director of Strategic Partnerships, including HopeConnect™, shared, “Adverse Childhood Experiences are traumatic events in the life of children, affecting nearly half of kids in the US and even more throughout Latin America. HopeConnect™ equips parents with ways to help their kids welcome healing connection with the Hope of God’s Word.”

HopeConnect™ helps parents and caregivers instill a biblical sense of hope and identity in the life of a child exposed to trauma. Through Everyday Moments™ activities, children experience trauma-informed activities in the context of safe relationships. These Everyday Moments™ are designed by our trauma-informed experts and are easy to use for all parents and caregivers. Parents get step-by-step activities to strengthen connection and lay a foundation for God’s Word in your child’s life – plus HopeConnect™ is accessible at no cost to families!

In September 2022, we launched HopeConnect™ at the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) Conference, and since then thousands have already been impacted. Last year over 5,600 social workers and ministry staff members were trained on how to utilize HopeConnect™ and how to share this resource with families they serve – with over 1,350 families across 8 organizations impacted.


Hope that goes beyond

hopeconnectAnd it’s not only impacting families in our immediate community, but beyond. Joel went on to share, “Last year we launched HopeConnect™ in Spanish. One Everyday Moment™ on HopeConnect™ is a Bedtime activity called One, Two, See. Based on Philippians 4:8, this activity helps a parent dispel the petrifying fear most kids with trauma have towards bedtime.

Carmen, a mom from Bogota, Colombia, reached out to share how much nighttime horrors paralyzed her 9-year-old son with fear. ‘My son was sexually molested and trauma from the experience did not allow him to sleep well through the night. He would often wake up with the horror of seeing images of the face of the criminal who hurt him. This would cause him to have trigger events where he would also shut down. After using One, Two, See with my son, his fears are dispelled. His mind and emotions are freed from the grip of fear and captured by God’s grip of grace. While tucked in bed, he vividly explains to me the one thing he loved about today and the two things he is looking forward to experiencing the next day. And he knows that God helps him to ‘think on things that are true’ as Philippians 4:8 tells us. Now he doesn’t have nightmares nor wet the bed. And thank God, I am speaking hope into his hurting heart.’” Parents in California, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado and across several other states are reporting similar experiences. 

HopeConnect for all

Focus on the Family, Lifesong for Orphans, Both Hands have also joined us in sharing HopeConnect™ with the tens of thousands of families they serve. Albert Reyes, Buckner International President & CEO said, “HopeConnect™ is an excellent tool that hides the Word of God in the hearts of children who need healing and hope.”

Our mission at 4KIDS has always been “Hope for Kids in Crisis.” This tool bridges the gap from Hope to Healing in our 4KIDS Paradigm of Hope, Homes and Healing. Hope to Healing is possible, rescue to restoration is happening, not only for children but for parents as well. 

HopeConnect™ is available in English, Spanish and soon in Brazilian Portuguese at no cost and in fun-filled ways equips you to instill the Hope of God’s Word and the power of healing connection right at your fingertips. 

Read more articles by Kevin Enders at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/author/kevin-enders/

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