Sometimes they’re exciting. Like the promise of spring. Or a new relationship we’ve hoped for.
Other times they’re scary. Like starting a new job or moving to a different city.
Exciting or scary, new beginnings all contain a certain energy.
One of the things I like about working for Food for the Hungry (FH) is that we’re in the business of creating energy through new beginnings. People who live in communities we’ve adopted or new organizations with which we’ve partnered look to us expectantly for new beginnings, for progress, for hope.
That even applies when we’re exiting communities, after having worked there for years. Yes, those too are new beginnings.
I watched this “new beginning” thinking displayed for me when I attended a “closing ceremony” at one of our communities in Ethiopia. I had thought that this would be a sad occasion for them—the end of our financial support and residential staff help.
Our regional director for Africa understood it differently. Understood it better.
His speech to the audience likened it to someone’s graduation from school. He pointed out that the end of school is scary for the new graduate, who asks himself: “Am I ready?” “Do I know enough?”
But graduation is also scary for a graduate’s parent, who wonders if he can succeed on his own.
Our regional director presented this prospect to the crowd as a new beginning. “We have watched you. You know how to raise community resources on your own. We’re proud of you. We’re confident of your skill.”
He asked the audience to share the joy of offering a new beginning to another village. Because this community could launch off on its own, FH was free to switch those resources to other more needy groups.
One of FH’s great strengths is capturing the energy of new beginnings. We’re consciously avoiding “dependency”—the crippling relationship where the local community becomes dependent on the nonprofit agency.
So, this spring, as you revel in the fragrance of blossoms or new vegetables coming to market or of longer days and warmer temperatures, think about the new beginnings being offered by FH around the world. And they occur not just when we begin in a community, but also at the end, when they graduate.
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