Monday, 22 July 2013

The Hope Effect

A few weeks ago I was reading Christianity Today and came across an article about sponsoring children in some of the poorest places in the world. The article looked at whether sponsoring a child made a difference or if it was just a money making scheme for the companies who arranged the sponsorship. The article, wonderfully, found that children who are sponsored on average achieve more than similar children who aren't sponsored.

The article explored the reasons behind this and found that sponsored children not only achieved more than those children not fortunate to go to school but they also achieved more than other pupils who weren't sponsored. The article put this down to the increased feeling of Hope that the child experienced by knowing that someone out there loves them, the child suddenly felt like they could achieve anything, as their hope increased so did they dreams and the belief that they could achieve these dreams and ambitions.

The feeling of hope is something that I have been feeling myself lately. Ever since I became a Christian and accepted God as my Lord I have felt an increased feeling of hope. Knowing that God has a plan for me has made me feel like I can achieve anything; that the dreams and ambitions that I had kept hidden (because I thought they were unrealistic) can now be brought out into the light because with God’s help I can achieve anything.

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I also believe that hope can solve a lot of the problems we have in our own communities. When I walk through the vandalised parks and past groups of teenagers stood outside shops I have to ask myself, what hope do they have for the future? Do they dream of being successful and do they believe that they can achieve they dreams? More and more I am coming up with the answer, no.

If you spoke to a lot of the children hanging around street corners and in parks and asked them what they wanted to be when they leave school what type of answers do you think you would get?

If you asked the same question to children from better off families, would the answers given be different?

 The article on Christianity Today

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