Today We're Hands of Hope

When we published the original Hollywood Free Paper from 1969 to roughly 1975, we were called Jesus People International, and we were grateful to be a small part of a true movement of God, the likes of which we may or may not ever see again.

When that era drew to a close, some of you may have thought we disappeared. In fact, as the movement faded our work expanded, just out-of-sight of the mainstream in order to give our energy to those Jesus so often sought out, those who live in the shadows of society.

We decided to rename our group Hands of Hope Ministries, because we extend hands of hope to those in need, the poor and unloved ones that Jesus himself cared about and taught us to help the homeless, orphans, young people at risk, prisoners and street people. With one hand we invite those we touch to begin their own relationship with Jesus, and with the other we reach out in compassion to show the same kindness to others that we have received from him.

Day by day, God gives us the means to help others. He does that by prompting his followers to generously support our work financially. We have no debt, and we don't ask for anything in return from those we help. One by one, we touch the lives of those in crisis in practical ways a listening ear, a hearty hot meal, clean dry clothing, a pair of warm socks, a blanket, a bar of soap or toothbrush, a Bible. These small comforts are always given with a prayer of blessing and a word of encouragement, because that's the way Jesus himself went about his work. Everything we have belongs to him, and we give it out of his hand.

Over the years we've been given the opportunity to reach out in larger ways, partnering with a homeless center and meals program in Lancaster, California, a ranch in Tijuana, Mexico for school-age boys from the streets, and a prison ministry that touches prisoners in many maximum security and "Supermax" facilities across the United States. But in each of those programs, the emphasis is on touching one life, helping one person, at a time.

If you'd like to know more about Hands of Hope Ministries, we invite you to write and ask for our Family Letter in which we share the ways gifts given to this outreach have been used to help those in need. Write to Duane Pederson, Hands of Hope Ministries, PO Box 1949, Hollywood CA 90078. That's Duane pictured above, talking with a young friend at the homeless center.

We at Hands of Hope believe in and share the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, to people on the street and those in prison. We do this because we have already tried every possible means to reach God and, at the end of this search turned to Jesus, the One who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Jesus also said, "I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it fully."

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