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Connecting across the Continents: Teen Moms and the People Who Love Them

The minute I met Miriam I knew I had found a sister.

The Executive Director of Suubi House, a home for teen moms in Uganda, Miriam was smart, focused and future thinking. With her perfect English and a beautiful Ugandan lilt, she shared her passion for “her girls” and her commitment to giving them both a place to belong and an opportunity to become self-sustaining.

God had placed the same love and passion for teen moms in Miriam’s heart, half a world away, that He had placed in mine. I could see how high and wide and deep is God’s love for these young, vulnerable mothers. I could see He was working all over the world on their behalf. This brief glimpse of God’s plan was both humbling and enormously exciting.

That first meeting with Miriam in 2007 led to a decision between our two organizations to become sister homes. Our teen moms became pen pals, and every year the Hope House teen moms collect blankets and baby clothes to send to their “sisters.”

Miriam travels to Denver annually for training and fund raising, and each year she visits with our girls, sharing stories, and sparking a love of Africa in more than one young heart (several graduates of Hope House are planning future mission trips to Uganda). In 2009, three of our staff members had the opportunity to travel to Uganda for cross training with Suubi House staff.

As Hope House continued to grow and to serve more teen moms through new community programs, God brought people from all over the world who

love teen moms to Hope House. First I began to receive calls for advice from people across the U.S. hoping to start homes or programs of their own. A foundation in Holyoke, Mass., invited us to visit The Care Center, a GED Program and resource center for teen moms.

At The Care Center, I again felt a deep connection with an organization that was just like us, a place for teen moms to belong. The Care Center would become the model for our own Resource Center in Arvada, to be built on land next door to our Residential Program.

There have been other humbling opportunities – an invitation from Children’s Hope Chest to travel to Russia, at their expense, to train the staff of their new Resource Center for teen moms. A chance to share curriculum with a teen mom mentoring program in Seattle, Wash., a random call out of the blue from a production company in France asking if they could highlight Hope House in an international documentary comparing best practices for those working with teen moms. God even gave me a chance to meet a third “sister” in Diane Ooi, who traveled from Singapore to share her progress in opening a home and resource center for teen moms. Our network of global connections is expanding, paving the way for our proposed international network.

Until then, Miriam, Diane and I connect through email from our separate continents, offering prayer and encouragement to one another, waiting to meet more sisters, convinced that the verse we know is true for our girls applies to teen moms all across the world…

He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6.


By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado



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Blog Archives

January 2018

Organizational Growth Cycles: Stages that Lead to a Mature Nonprofit - 01/23/2018

November 2017

Knowledge Share #19: Creating Unity: The Power of Mealtime - 11/20/2017

October 2017

Knowledge Share #18: The Power of Networking - 10/12/2017

September 2017

Knowledge Share #18: Engaging the Millennial Generation - 09/19/2017

August 2017

Knowledge Share #17: When the Dream Seems Too Big - 08/17/2017

July 2017

Knowledge Share #16: Personalized Learning - The Cornerstone of our GED Program - 07/18/2017

June 2017

Knowledge Share #15: Special Needs and Special Moms - 06/08/2017

April 2017

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children - 04/18/2017

March 2017

Knowledge Share #13: Managing Volunteers: Benjamin Franklin had it right! - 03/13/2017

February 2017

Knowledge Share #12: Advocacy and Self-Sufficiency: Finding the Balance - 02/14/2017

January 2017

Knowledge Share #11: Effective PR and Spot On Communications - 01/18/2017

November 2016

Knowledge Share #10: I Walk the Line: Creating Deep Connections While Maintaining Professional Boundaries - 11/15/2016

September 2016

Knowledge Share #9: "Fundraising for Non-Profits: An Insider's Perspective" - 09/22/2016

August 2016

Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016

July 2016

Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016

June 2016

Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016

May 2016

Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016

April 2016

Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016

March 2016

Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016

February 2016

Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016

January 2016

Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016

December 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015

October 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015

July 2015


June 2015

Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015

May 2015

Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015

April 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #3: The Unexpected Bill: Car Repair, Doctor's Visit, Broken Pipe - 04/03/2015

February 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015

January 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015

December 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #7: Teen Moms Are Completely Self-Absorbed - 12/29/2014

October 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #6: Teen moms drop out of school because they want to - 10/31/2014

September 2014

Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014

July 2014

Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach - 07/22/2014

June 2014

Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014

May 2014

Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014

April 2014

Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014

March 2014

Connecting across the Continents: Teen Moms and the People Who Love Them - 03/18/2014

February 2014

Can you break out of poverty with a vocabulary of just 900 words? - 02/17/2014

January 2014

Community - 01/20/2014

December 2013

8 Pennies - 12/18/2013

November 2013

"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013

September 2013

Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013

August 2013

The Cliff Effect and Other Perils on the Journey to Self-Sufficiency - 08/30/2013

July 2013

Breaking the Cycle: Do Poor Teens Have to Become Poor Adults? - 07/30/2013

June 2013

Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013

May 2013

Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013


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