Memory, Imagination, Promise

The Hope Blog

What’s Your Adventure?

Are you fighting cancer, hiking the Appalachian trail, operating a food pantry, breaking an addiction, or building a start-up company? Share your story with us. Join the Hope Campaign. Please leave comments to encourage others too!

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What Inspires You?

Have an inkling or a sudden urge to do something extraordinary? Inspired by a famous quote, a story, a song, a defining moment in life? Share your ideas with us. Join the Hope Campaign. Please leave comments to encourage others too!

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What Are You Working On?

Got a theory? Are you writing music, lyrics, poems, or stories? Making videos, models, or art? Taking photos or performing experiments? Share your creations with us. Join the Hope Campaign. Please leave comments to encourage others too!

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A New Frontier

I have an announcement:  I’m headed into “a new frontier”.  I’m taking my blogging elsewhere.  That sounds mean but that’s not what I mean.  I’ve narrowed my audience to blog only for people in education.  So, I am sad to move on from a2zhope but this decision comes from signs of growth in a particular […]

Hope for a Home

This Sunday I went to church for the first time in my new hometown, Washington DC. I am seeking a church that is small, bible-based, socially progressive, strong community outreach, and close to home. While in the past I have retaliated against the idea of “shopping” for a church, I had to start somewhere. So […]

  • Rob Mattox
    In the book of Esther there was no menti

For Such a Time as This

When I consider the title of this post, I think of some pivotal moment in time that changes the very future of events.  The “chance meeting”, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, etc.  And I think, in a small way, I experienced a “For Such a Time as This” event in Thailand recently.  The story goes something like […]

  • Lily
    I totally get you, Joel. I think it's g
  • Rob Mattox
    Joel- "fight of flight" the sociologists

The Strong One and Our Burdens

We finally opened up Pilgrim House in July 2014. Hurray! At times I’ve felt overwhelmed thinking that now that we’re open we’ll be actually caring for the pilgrims that come to Pilgrim House. This has been the goal all along, of course, but these days the burden of caring for other people – hearing their […]

  • Rob Mattox
    Faith- it seems like you just opened the

10 Things I Hope For My New Son?

What do you hope for your kid? My wife Elizabeth and I are adopting a 16 year old boy on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.  His name is Calvin Giles-Stewart.  I want to write out his story sometime soon but this blog post is about a father’s hopes for his son. (in no particular order) I […]

  • Joel
    Having two sons myself, I thought a lot

A Day in the Life…

Sometimes I get questions about “a day in the life of a missionary”.  What do you do all day?  I figure the forum of A2Z Hope is a great place to write a little about that. The short answer is… everything.  At least for this stage of the game (and probably for much of the […]


Individually Sourced Beauty – this idea that God made me beautiful and all I need is an attitude of contentment in God’s gift to capitalize on it – it finally CLICKED for me. After months and months and months of trying to peel back layers of the broken self-esteem machine of the fashion and beauty […]

India.Arie gets it.

“My momma said a lady ain’t what she wears but what she knows…” – India.Arie, Video “Individually Sourced Beauty” has become my mantra.  When I walk through Target to get duct tape and I pass the beauty aisles, I chant, “ISB, ISB,” to myself.  If I have friends who are talking about getting pedicures this […]

  • Joel
    Lily - I second what Rob said. It is he
  • Rob Mattox
    Lily- This post actually invaded my mind