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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

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

TEEN MOM BARRIER #6: GENERATIONAL POVERTY - 07/16/2015


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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Kristina Shade said: Laura, you are such a blessing in our daughter and grandson's life. I remember Kyra coming home ea ...   [more]

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Kristina Shade said: Laura, you are such a blessing in our daughter and grandson's life. I remember Kyra coming home each ...   [more]

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