Today's Guests are Leslie and Lauren Reavely. After an intense and exciting week at a kids' missions camp, teenage sisters, Leslie and Lauren Reavely (r-l) co-founded the ministry Hope 2 Others. Along with their passion to help the poor, they enjoy playing music, speaking, and spending time with friends and family.
And now without further delay, on to the questions:
Hi Lauren and Leslie,
Question 1: Hope 2 Others is a ministry reaching out to the homeless. What was the catalyst for this?
In summer of 2005, we attended a Missions Camp put on at Camp Jonah in Trout Lake, WA, which focused on ministry to refugees. The first morning, smoke bombs exploded as the alarms rang and firemen ran up and down the halls shouting at us to grab our shoes and sleeping bag and run! So here we were, at 5:00 in the morning, e midst of around 50 campers, shivering out in the field located beside the camp. We were terrified, homesick, tired, and freezing. But God was at work. The fake fire and evacuation were just the start to a long day-and-a-half that we spent living like refugees. We scavenged for food, waited in the heat, and built and slept in shelters we made out of tarps and cardboard. At the end of that day, the camp staff handed out replicas of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, containing a water bottle, toothbrush, and bar of soap. We had never been so thankful to brush our teeth!
At the end of the week, we headed back to our warm bed, refrigerator full of food, and cozy house. But we couldn't forget how meaningful a box full of little everyday supplies, like a toothbrush, had been. God was stirring in our hearts, and it was a movement we couldn't ignore.
Another experience that motivated us to take action towards homelessness happened when we were grocery shopping with our mom one afternoon. We pulled out of the parking lot and saw a man and his dog on the side of the road, asking for help. Since the groceries were in the trunk, all we had to give him was a cantaloupe rolling around in the front of the car. We gave it to him, not even knowing how he'd open it. But it opened our eyes to see the need for something constructive and convenient to give panhandlers.
Question 2: What are H2O bags? What goes into a typical H2O bag?
H2O bags are white paper lunch sacks filled with socks, a Gospel tract, and non-perishable food items, such as tuna and crackers, granola bars, applesauce, water bottle, and so on. e make bags every couple months and then give them to people at our church, who keep them in their car for when they see a homeless person with their sign on the street corner. They're designed to meet two needs. They provide panhandlers with some physical and spiritual hope as well as give us drivers something constructive to give them.
Question 3: How did this ministry spread throughout the US?
That's a good question. We can't really take any credit for this. God's provided so many people who have spread the word about H2O. The biggest way has been through Alex and Brett Harris' book "Do Hard Things: a teenage rebellion against low expectations." Towards the end of the book, they tell the story of how H2O got started and how others can get involved. Many teens have caught on to the vision of Hope2Others and have started it where they live.
Other than that, it's just been passed around by word of mouth. For example, one girl from Florida, who heard about H2O through "Do Hard Things", started it in her community and told other people about it who told other people about it. As a result we now have seven H2O sites in Florida.
Question 4: How can people start an H2O Ministry in their area?
Well, we've designed an H2O starter kit, which can be downloaded off our website. The starter kit includes our logo, a list of the supplies we put in the bags, steps to getting started, fliers, etc. This should be all you need to get started, but we'rys happy to answer any questions that come up along the way.
Question 5: How can people support your work?
When people ask us how they can help out, our first answer is always "Start it!" But realistically, this isn't for everyone. So, find an H2O site near you by visiting our map and contact the starters of it to get involved with the work they're doing. Other ways to support H2O include handing out bags that others make, donating financially, and praying for the ministry.
Thanks you Lauren and Leslie for taking the time to answer these questions!
God bless, Lauren Reavely
So there you go. Two teens changing the world one bag of food at a time. I want to encourage you to check out the H2O website, join the team and pray for these girls and this ministry.
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