Hope: A Message from Ralph Bromley
I was recently introduced to a picture of despair, depression, and hopelessness.
Painted in the late 1800’s, ‘HOPE’ is a portrait of a lady in deep depression. The painting is void of color and the woman’s posture reflects hopelessness. Sitting on a tarnished globe, hunched over, blindfolded, and leaning against the broken strings of her harp . . . surely the artist has missed the point. The colors, the posture, and the absence of any help on the horizon completely signal a life that is doomed and beyond help.
Yet, look again!
Upon close observation of the harp, we see there is one string still intact. Our subject is plucking the only string left and is intently listening to its welcoming sound. The sound of one string strummed with the strength of a dying breath ushers ‘hope’ into the gloom.
No, look again. Let your eyes move to a pinpoint of light located straight above her shoulder and up to the very edge of the canvas. Lo and behold, a ‘star’. A glimmer of hope breaks into the darkness only waiting for its illumination and warmth to break forth. The star shows that ‘hope’ will attract the help that is on the way.
I have just returned from Liberia where, twenty years ago, HOPE FOR THE NATIONS entered a post-war nation of despair, depression, and hopelessness. A few of us crossed a small river from Ivory Coast into Liberia in a dugout canoe and planted the flag of HOPE in Ganta, Nimby County. After 8 years of rebel insurgency, the nation was left in ruins and poverty. Children had not been in classrooms for 8 years, the economy was in shreds and yet, there remained one string left on the harp!
We bought some acreage, planted a flag and called it HOPE VILLAGE. In short time, UN trucks loaded with refugees from Guinea and Ivory Coast, told their drivers to stop as they were going to disembark. In the next few years, thousands of refugees settled around our ‘flag pole’. When asked why they alighted in a region far from their own communities, they said: “We believed in ‘hope’. We knew that wherever there is ‘hope’, there follows education, development, and a bright future”.
Today HOPE VILLAGE runs HOPE ACADEMY, HOPE FARM, HOPE MALNUTRITION CENTER and 33 HOPE Homes. Around us has grown a community of thousands of individuals whose lives have been transformed from despair to relative prosperity through ‘HOPE’.