We are Footprints with Hope.
As was shared in the previous blog the journey leading to the creation of the foundation has transpired over many years. In 2019 it finally came to be a reality. In the process, so many thoughts and ideas and desires ran through my mind. When it came time to name the foundation, we wanted something that has meaning to our cause and our personal experiences. We wanted it to reflect what we have seen and what we hope to accomplish. Here is the story of how our name “Footprints with Hope” came to be.
The 10 day trip in March of 2019, seeing 16 different Colombian villages was long and, at times, emotionally overwhelming. I saw so much heartache. The stories that were shared by my Colombian hosts touched my life in a way that reshaped who I am. The depth of poverty and evidence of violence gave me a new perspective that I can not erase from my mind. And yet what I also repeatedly saw was hope. I simply showed up and listened to the people, desiring to hear their stories. I wanted to understand their culture, to know what their hurts were and what their dreams were. And through all the despair they have faced, they still carry a remarkable sense of hope.
Hope for a better way of life.
Desires for their children to have a future brighter than theirs.
Determination to keep moving forward in spite of every obstacle in their way.
While my physical presence there brought them no financial gift nor promise, they found hope in the conversation because I showed up and listened. That emotion will never leave me. For so many of us in the United States, we have almost any item we want or need immediately. In those Colombian villages, however, they have no sustainable income, and they live day by day in ways we cannot understand. Here, we have hot showers and clean water without even thinking about it. There, they walk miles to get water, which isn’t even clean! Sometimes they even bathe without soap. Here, we have food and health care. There, some go without eating or have very minimal portions of food. Many have to walk miles to get health care, which is often inadequate.
Yet in spite of all that, they have a burning hope within them. Their hope has given me the drive and purpose to reach more of those communities. It pushes me to share the love of Christ, and to find ways that their hope can become their reality. Hope was the word that continually resonated with me. After so much heartache and with nothing of their own, they still carry hope.
Through the structure of our foundation, we actively go into a community, and carry hope to their people through a project which creates sustainability, but then we leave. We return to our homes. Thus, we have left a footprint. We don’t do it for us, but it does leave our mark. Once we are able to complete a project in one area, we intend to carry the project to a new area. Therefore we are leaving our footprints all over the country of Colombia in time. All of you who are involved leave a footprint of hope behind for the community we touch. Whether you donate financially, pray for team members going, participate in a team, or organize a drive to gather supplies, you are actively leaving your footprint on their lives.
Footprints with Hope is an active motion. It is a movement which leaves an impression, but not just one of shiny objects or temporary assistance. Our goal is that each project completed will leave a lasting impact of hope inside a community which has seen devastation.
At the end of that survey trip in March of 2019, my friend Luis Andrés and I discussed all we had seen. We’d visited: Cartagena, Barranquilla, Malambo, Ponedera, Santa Rita, Sampués, Sincelejo, Palmito, Brisas del Mar, La Isla, Caucasia, Medellin, Cali, Neiva, and Bogotá. I’d seen so many situations through the 10 days. I witnessed Poor villages with nothing. We traversed poverty stricken areas inside a city and saw traces of violence and drugs. I experienced those who live with dirty drinking water, lack of food, and women with heartbreaking stories. As we discussed the trip and the concept of what we wanted to accomplish moving forward, that word Hope kept circling through our conversation.
In that moment, with two friends from two different worlds, coming together to see out the love of Christ and help the displaced persons find a sustainable way for their future, Footprints with Hope was born.
So, what’s in a name? A name is full of stories and dreams. We are Footprints with Hope.