God at Work through The Barnabas Group
Today’s God at Work article shines light on a transformative moment of connection within our TBG family that brought together two amazing ministries. The first ministry in our story is HOPE International (“HOPE”). Their organization is focused on restoring individual dignity and empowerment through discipleship, business training, and microfinance. The second ministry, Diaconia, is also a microfinance organization ministering primarily to women in Paraguay, the third poorest country in South America.
HOPE’s regional representative, Holly Wylie, takes us through this heartwarming story of connection:
My husband, Paul, and I have been TBG members for four years. We truly enjoy learning about different ministries during the Orange County TBG chapter meetings.
One of the presenting organizations that has become particularly significant to me is Diaconia. In 2016 we heard Diaconia’s founder, Judah Mooney, speak about their work during a TBG quarterly meeting. I had just started working at HOPE, which has a posture of collaboration. Our organization freely shares all that God has given us in the form of policies, procedures, curriculum, and learning. Thinking there would be opportunities for collaboration between Diaconia and HOPE, I filled out the interest form after the presentation.
Judah called me that week. He had already set up a call with Peter Greer, HOPE’s president and CEO, to discuss how HOPE could provide resources or support to Diaconia. I joined their call the following week.
Each May, HOPE holds a Leadership Summit with our global partners and staff. Judah and Diaconia’s operations director, Roberto, attended as guests at the 2017 Summit. Dialogue and sharing continued through 2017, and Judah and Roberto were invited to attend the 2018 Leadership Summit. It was clear that there were serious conversations taking place about a potential partnership.
Just prior to the final session of the 2018 Summit, I sat down with Judah and Roberto to discuss if they knew whether or not there would be a partnership announcement about Diaconia. They had no idea. As the final session of the Leadership Summit began, the room went dark, and music began to play. A slide appeared on the screen reading, “the HOPE network includes programs in 15 countries.” As the music struck a dramatic chord, a red X struck through the number 15, and replaced it with 16! The room erupted with cheers and shouts as the team gathered around Judah and Roberto to welcome Diaconia into the HOPE family.
I looked at Judah with tears in my eyes — what an answer to prayer!
Judah also described the amazing impact that our TBG network has had on Diaconia:
“We have been very blessed through our TBG relationships in both San Diego and Orange County. Diaconia has grown from 500 associates just a few years back, to 3,400 today. Thanks to TBG, we are also now partners with HOPE, which we pray will enable us to grow our programs to impact the lives of thousands of families across Paraguay.”