finding hope and sharing it

Hope is on the Way this Mother’s Day April 25, 2017

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 5:40 pm
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I am sitting on a train, headed from my job in the city to my home, where my daughter has a fever and needs her mom. But I am not worried. Help is on the way.
After an all-morning meeting, I checked my phone: 3 missed calls from daycare. My daughter had a fever of 102, and needed to be picked up, preferably within an hour. Unfortunately, it had already been an hour since they called. I checked the train schedule. A train had just left; the next one wouldn’t leave for an hour, and with the commute, I wouldn’t be able to get her for another two hours. I briefly panicked-what do I do? How do I get there in time? Then I took a deep breath and called for help. My mother-in-law works closer to my home, and I took a chance she’d be able to leave sooner than I would. She answered immediately, and in no time, she was on her way to pick up my daughter. She loves her granddaughter, and as much as it was a gift to my daughter to be taken home, this act of love was a gesture of love to me: “I will help you.”
Meanwhile, I had an hour to kill in the train station. I ate lunch. I bought some books for my daughter, a special treat to give her on her sick day home. And while I wished that I had been able to get there in time, I also felt deep gratitude that someone else who dearly loves my daughter was able and willing to step in and help. The message to my daughter was, “Help is on the way.”
And this is what God asks of us.
When our sisters are bleeding dangerous amounts during childbirth, suffering excruciating labors, delivering stillborn babies, and sitting alone in their huts, outcast and abandoned because of their leaking and stench, God turns to us. He says, My daughter needs help. I want to help her, but you can get there faster. Will you help?
When our sisters need emergency C-sections but can’t afford one at the only hospital trained to perform the surgery, God turns to us: My daughter needs help. Will you help?
When our sisters need education and skills to continue their lives after healing, God turns to us: My daughter needs help. Will you help?
Like my desire to be immediately by my daughter’s side in her time of need, God would love nothing more than to immediately pick up each and every one of our sisters at risk of, suffering from, or healing from fistula. So He has designed a way to do so: by calling us when His daughters are in need, the same way I called my mother-in-law. My daughter needs help. Can I send you?
Thankfully, my mother-in-law answered the phone, was able to leave work, and joyfully responded to my need-which, in turn, led to my daughter being taken care of more quickly. Had she not answered, or been too busy, or not been interested, I would have felt panicked. Had she said, “Not today, maybe another day,” I would have been crestfallen. I know that eventually I would have made it home, but it would have taken longer, delaying my daughter’s ability to get home, put on pajamas, and snuggle up to rest. And it would have meant that the next time I needed to rely on someone, my mother-in-law might not have been the first person I called. She might have lost my trust.
Clearly, a fever is not as serious as fistula. But as a parent, anything that ails your child can break your heart. And while I’m not God, we share this in common: we are both parents, and we both call on others to help us take care of our dearly beloved, spectacularly adored daughters. None of us can fill the role that God fills in our sisters’ lives, no more so than my mother-in-law can take my place in my daughter’s life. But in a moment of need, she was there. That tells my daughter two things: first, that someone loves her enough to be right by her side. And second, that her mother can be trusted-even though I couldn’t physically be there, I didn’t abandon her. I made sure she was taken care of.
So when our sisters need help, and God calls us to step in, what will we say?
For every daughter of God whose pain has become hope, and whose hope has become joy, I pray the answer is yes. By saying yes, we teach them that they are loved dearly by women around the world, sisters they’ve never met. And we teach them that God can be trusted-that He hears their prayers, knows their names, and will send help, if only we will answer the call. This Mother’s Day, let us honor God’s love for His daughters by letting them know that help-and hope-is on the way.
Written by Dianna Sawyer, Hope for Our Sisters Partner in Hope.

Cup of Hope January 20, 2014

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 2:33 am
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cup of hope

A cup of hope.  Sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Don’t you wish you had a cup of hope to sip throughout your day?  Maybe a cup ofhope to guzzle down when you really need it? 

I recently met a woman named Kathy who runs an organization called Alima’s Purse (www.alimaspurse.com).  They sell fair trade and handmade goods enabling local and international artisans to sustain themselves and their families with their trade.

Kathy was selling these precious handmade cups with “A Cup of Hope” etched on them.  Got me to thinking…what would a cup of hope taste like?  What could a cup of hope do in the life of someone else?  What would it be like to share a cup of hope with someone who really needs it?

It hit me that any time we do anything for someone else, we are essentially offering him or her a cup of hope.  Whether it’s our neighbor up the street, a family member in another state, or another person in need around the world, when we give of ourselves to help others, it is a cup of hope we offer.

Picture it…an elderly man sitting alone in his home, a child returning to an empty home each day, a woman trapped in an abusive relationship, a young man “lost” due to illiteracy, a girl trapped in a brothel, a child breaking stones in a rock quarry, a young girl suffering from fistula…couldn’t they each use a cool, crisp, refreshing cup of hope?  With this hope they might be able to look forward to what the day holds, enjoy the presence of others in their lives, find the courage to seek shelter and safety, have the energy to seek out avenues to learn, find the motivation to pray and/or fight for freedom, have the hope take one more step toward healing and restoration…on and on.

As you go about your day, whether you are helping one person or many, no matter if the situation is big or small, imagine that you are offering a cup of hope.  Hope that God will use to help others survive and maybe even thrive until their next cup.

We all have a cup to offer.  To whom can you offer a cup of hope today?

© 2014 by Brooke F Sulahian


SO MUCH…WITHOUT March 15, 2013

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 2:04 am
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As I awoke from the anesthesia, I found myself weeping.  The nurse asked if I was Ok and I said, “We have SO MUCH and so many live WITHOUT.”

Last week I went to the hospital for SURGERY on my foot to heal a problem that caused pain and limited my movement.  A foot problem that I CHOSE to have addressed after much PLANNING for my children’s care and help for my husband to run our home on his own for an entire month post surgery.

As painful as my foot ailment was, it did not result in my being OSTRACIZED or cut off from my community like FISTULA does.  It did not leave me HOPELESS like FISTULA can.  I also only drove 15 MINUTES to the hospital…many women, men and children around the world must WALK FOR DAYS to reach care and that is only if they KNOW care and healing exist.

I was cared for in a CLEAN hospital with TRAINED and CONCERNED staff.  From what I have read, this is not always the case in the developing world.  Many hospitals LACK any semblance of CLEANLINESS, many women who go for care are treated with DISDAIN and RUDENESS, and many people who provide care are NOT TRAINED as well as they should be.

I am not pronouncing judgment on those who GIVE ALL THEY CAN to provide care to women, men and children around the world.  Many use ALL THEY HAVE at their disposal to give the BEST CARE possible.  However, I am trying to open the eyes of those who have SO MUCH.  I want to help all of us SEE all we have around us and then DO SOMETHING to make a LASTING CHANGE for those WITHOUT.

GOD OPENED MY EYES almost three years ago to the PLIGHT of so many around the world. Yet, HE CONTINUES to open my eyes.  Like He did in the recovery room of the hospital where I was again treated with GREAT CARE and given new crutches to HELP me walk.  What CARE and HELP are people in the developing world GIVEN?  What CHANCE do they have to TRULY HEAL?

May our EYES be OPENED again and again.

May we all be open and receptive to OUR CALLING.

May we all say YES.

May we USE our SO MUCH to HELP those WITHOUT.


© 2013 by Brooke F Sulahian