Ignite Hope in the Lives of Others

Kevin Enders, 4KIDS President & CEO

This past Christmas Season and into the New Year, I kept hearing messages of “light” and “hope.” As I sat in church for our Christmas service I was struck by the message that the light of the Holy Spirit illuminates hope all around us. 


Hope that is promised 

It got me thinking about hope and the differences between the hope of this world and the hope God guarantees for us. Pastor Dan Hickling recently broke this down in a poignant way when reflecting on 1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” To put our hope in something or someone means we are seeking refuge in that person or thing. But in many cases the people or the things we are seeking refuge with are just not strong enough to deliver the protection or the outcome we desire. 

When we have living hope though, what we seek refuge in is powerful and capable – the living hope of Jesus is unfailing, everlasting and perfect in every way. We can enter every day knowing we have living hope through Jesus, which empowers us to share that hope with others who are still waiting in the darkness.


A history of hope 

4KIDS has a long history of sharing this hope. In fact from the very beginning in 1997, our mission statement was created and it still stands today to Provide Hope for Kids in Crisis. Sometimes after 27 years, mission statements get lost; we can walk into an organization and their mission statement on the wall can feel so disconnected, but this hope is still driving us every day. It’s in our DNA to want to share this hope and bring this hope to the hopeless. In 2020, at the start of the pandemic, people were starved for hope. 

As the world shut down, 4KIDS and the local church started running into the darkness to let hope in. Since our partnership with CarePortal in South Florida launched in December 2020, 4KIDS and the body of Christ in South Florida have come together to serve over 5,000 children with preventative-based care. In fact, our great state of Florida has a major initiative and partnership with CarePortal, and I am proud to report that 4KIDS and our local community partner churches and system of care has accounted for 30 percent of the statewide impact to date. Thank you to our amazing network partners who make this possible! Families have been strengthened, resources have been multiplied, thousands of kids are staying at home and out of the foster care system, and most importantly, hope-filled relationships have changed lives in ways beyond our wildest dreams.


Hope in action 

hopeIt’s hard to really take in a number like 5,000, so I want to tell you a story about what happened when just one CarePortal request was met by one church. Destiny Church in Southwest Florida responded to a need from a young family with a new baby. They needed baby necessities so a group from Destiny Church went to meet the family and provide the items they needed. The family shared with them that they were undocumented and finding consistent work was challenging so finances were often stretched. The Destiny Church team listened to this family’s needs, exchanged numbers and started a new friendship. The next month Destiny Church was given hundreds of turkey dinner kits for Thanksgiving and dedicated 100 of them to the community this young family lived in. This young family and their neighbors were astounded by the generosity, and Destiny Church began planning a Christmas outreach to benefit their community. Destiny Church organized gifts for families and hosted a party for everyone in that area. Hundreds of families came out, Destiny Church had prayer teams, as well as cookies, hot chocolate and Santa for the kids! This entire community – filled with families who are struggling and forgotten, were instead given the gift of hope through a local church. This one church obediently answered one call and because of it, hundreds, even thousands more lives have been impacted. 

Hope has a way of doing that, even a small flicker of hope can bring incredible light into darkness. We all carry that light within us; what a beautiful gift we have to share. Hope is so often the first step to transformation, connection, change and so much more. Hope is also the first step in our 4KIDS paradigm of Hope, Homes and Healing. Hope is experienced through preventative care extended through CarePortal and HopeConnect. Homes are open to children who need a place to belong in foster care. And Healing is made possible through training, therapy and resources provided by 4KIDS’ EPIC Therapeutic Approach. 

Hope is a powerful start to make an incredible impact. I pray you would consider how you can ignite hope in the lives of others. 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Learn More About CarePortal at 4KIDS.us/CarePortal

Learn More about 4KIDS Hope, Homes, & Healing at 4KIDS.us/about/4KIDSModel

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


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