published in Farming / AgricultureHope Spots 2024 on April 15, 2024

Hope Spot 13 – Hope when it hurts

This is a hard HOPE Spot for me to write.


I do it because you are part of my ALWS family.


Last Monday night, my brother died. Suddenly and completely unexpectedly.


That’s Tim, on the left, with me at his daughter’s wedding.



Like you, Tim chose to help people through ALWS.


In fact, he played a key role in setting up our Farmers for Farmers program, where farmers donate grain to ALWS as they take their harvest to the silo.


I don’t have any words for the sadness I feel as I write this. The lifetime of loss …



Over these last few days of such deep hurt, I’ve seen again the power of love to protect us from despair.


Tim’s family have received flowers, pastries, pasta, phone-calls, photos, cards, prayers, a half-pack of sleeping tablets, pizza. Simple practical things that speak love when words are just too hard.


It makes me think about the people you help through ALWS.


People like James, who fled to South Sudan because of the war in Sudan, and who now is receiving help thanks to the kindness of people like you through ALWS.


James is 43. He told ‘Mr John’, part of the LWF (Lutheran World Federation) team you support:


“Mr John, I must tell you that life was difficult for me and my three children after my wife divorced me because of my disability.


We ran to South Sudan due to the war in Sudan.


I have no relatives or work to support me. Coping was difficult for me.


When LWF registered me, I was not expecting that they will come back, because many organisations spoke to me and never came back.


I was shocked to receive 100,000 SSP. ($1,176 AUD). I said to myself this amount must last for long despite the numerous challenges I am facing.


I opened up a small business using this money. As you can see, I sell assorted food items so that I can use the profit I get to support my children. I buy food, soap, sandals and salts from the profits for my family.


This is why I say LWF is a blessing to me and my children.”



Do you see those last words?


“… a blessing to me and my children.”


That is exactly what you are. (It’s why I always sign off your HOPE Spots by reminding you that you are a blessing ALWayS.)


My worry is that sometimes I focus too much on the numbers of people you help. And maybe I talk too much about the power of matching grants to multiply your impact …


… so that it becomes a numbers thing, rather than a people thing.


That’s why I wanted to share James’ story with you.


You can hear the pain in his voice. Feel the hurt of his children.  


My prayer is you also see how your love speaks life, and your kindness kindles hope.


Grieving my brother, I know how precious this is.


Thank you for the hope you bring to people when their hurt is worst.


This is why you are a blessing. ALWayS.


Skip to content