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Recently I had the privilege of being at the World Hope Senior School, in
Nairobi, Kenya to participate in the ceremony of our third graduating
class. Thirty-nine World Changers who have fought, through opposition on
almost every level conceivable, stood tall as graduates. Four of the
students have been students at Hope since they were four years old. And
now with their heads held high and their vision razor sharp for the days
ahead, we sent them on to their next step in life. As I sat there teary
eyed watching and listening to them; I thought back to 2001 when we found
the land, then known as Hell’s Hole, where the Hope Center is located with
all of its ministries. Immediately I had a battle in my mind. In one ear
the Deceiver said, ‘Look at all the money, the energy, the heartache and
headaches, the time you have given to this place. Look what you would
have if you had kept it all.” Guess what? It has been hard, it has been
expensive, it has worn me down at times, more so than I ever imagined. But
then the voice of The Voice, the one who I yearn for, live for and listen
to, spoke to me. He said, “David, money provides wealth, but it never
buys happiness, it never satisfies your desires, and it was never intended
to stop with you. Your time, your energies and your monies are for giving,
for loving for blessing others. And there is where you become rich.”

As I looked at our kids and celebrated with them on this beautiful day
with a clear blue sky, I realized I, along with so many other friends, had
helped them to this day, to this platform where they could take off and
soar into their future. We had become Hope in the midst of hopelessness.
We had given so much, and yet the investment made us so rich. Anne Frank
said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” She was right. Having
money never makes you rich, and the lack of it doesn’t make you bankrupt
or poor. When I walked away late in the afternoon, all the excitement of
the day was over, I realized, I am rich! I could not be happier or more
fulfilled, or at greater peace than knowing, I made a difference for some
kids from Kawangware Slum who needed me.

This weekend we walk away from 2016 and into a new year. I am so thankful
for what 2016 taught me, but I have never been more grateful to leave a
year behind and walk into this new year. I hope for you and me that we
will live a new year of commitment to loving God and loving others and
knowing the great happiness it brings to others and us and ultimately to
Him.

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