Today we have the awesome privilege of hearing from Asher, one of the founders of Sole Hope.
Sole Hope is a non-profit organization working in Uganda to prevent and combat jiggers (diseases that enter through the feet) and to create a positive physical and spiritual difference in the lives of individuals in impoverished communities.Sole Hope came into existence a few years ago, after Asher and Drü saw a video on the devastating effects that jiggers have on lives of children. Soon, God place a burden on their hearts to become part of the solution. Watch this video of Asher to hear the details about how it unfolded: http://youtu.be/gl4vNXc4wjs
Make.it.personal.Wow! Pretty moving, right? I absolutely love Asher's words about making the problem "personal". I spent the entire weekend with this thought echoing in my mind
I couldn't stop thinking about how these words can be applied in my life, and how they would change my response to "hard things". Thinking about issues like poverty, human trafficking, child labor, forced prostitution, etc.; when I look into the eyes of someone who has been in one of those situations (whether this happens in heaven or on the street) I want to be able to say, "I cared, and, more importantly, I acted". There are so many ways to act. I am thankful that one of them doesn't require me to move to a foreign country or even leave my comfort zone. I can take action simply by using my purchasing power to shop beautifully and support organizations, like Sole Hope, that are doing good work. (You can find Sole Hopes products here and here). Asher isn't done inspiring us yet! She also answered a few questions for us about the history and future of Sole Hope:
Can you describe a few of your biggest trials and triumphs in making Sole Hope what it is today?Some of the biggest trials that I have faced since starting Sole Hope have usually been with people. When you have a dream that seems crazy or insurmountable, there will be many people who are critical or not supportive. At times, for a split second this has challenged the dreams in my heart that I feel so strongly about. At the same time these people have also opened my eyes to my strength and ability to continue ahead when I know something is right.
We have been blessed to have many triumphs since 2010. As Sole Hope grows, the triumphs that stand out the most to me are those that involve 180° life changes for the thousands of people we get to treat at Sole Hope. Some of these changes are more drastic than others. For some, washing their feet and teaching them that there is no shame in having jiggers is enough to brighten anyone's day. And then there are other life changing stories that we get to witness where children who literally had no future because of a pesky little parasite are given a new hope, the ability to take back their childhood, become free from a horrible stigma and learn about their true identity that was given to them by their maker. These people feel pride in the new start they have in life. I've seen it reflected in a 1-year-old's eyes and I've heard it spoken from an 83-year-old man's mouth.
How has Sole Hope seen God provide/move/blow your mind?To see how far Sole Hope has come in just a few short years is a sign of his goodness! Being able to say that in 2014 Sole Hope gave out over 9,000 pair of shoes and removed over 60,000 jiggers, that to me, is mind-blowing!
As an organization, What are you most excited about right now?
Stateside there are a couple new projects we are getting ready to launch that will give people other outlets to help out Sole Hope along side shoe cutting parties! Sorry, no details. You'll have to stay tuned for updates!
Follow Sole Hope on Facebook to be the first to know about these exciting happenings!
We all can't wait to see what the future holds for Sole Hope. What are some of your hopes and goals for 2015?We are hoping to expand in 2015 by purchasing land. This will help by being able to build a larger outreach house so that we are able to treat more children and have more workroom for the tailors and shoemakers so they can produce more shoes.