Article by Carol Washburn, SowHope Board Member

Anyone familiar with the work of International Justice Mission ( or with its founder and president Gary Haugen may have heard of Haugen’s most recently published book, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence. In The Locus Effect, Gary Haugen, along with Victor Boutros, a federal prosecutor with the […]

Africa Team Report: “Waiting in the bush…”

By Melissa Miller, SowHope Board Member I was expecting Tuesday to be a fully exhausting day of emotional ups and downs. Our team of eight was conducting field visits today…meeting and engaging with the women participating in our women’s groups through microloans, literacy, and wellness projects. [My thoughts in the jeep] Wow, I feel spent […]

Africa Team Reports – Literacy Brought to Life

Thursday Nov 15 By Wes Miller – SowHope Board Member Before writing this blog, I looked up the literacy rate in Uganda.  It turns out that as of 2002, less than 60% of women could read and write. I find statistics to be helpful because they give me a sense of the state of a situation.  Without accompanying stories, […]

Africa Team Reports

SowHope recently hosted its first overseas vision and service trip. A team of eight people, led by me, went to Africa for 10 days.  Two SowHope Team leaders, Anne Kendra (PR) and Doreen Mangrum (Program) along with three board members, Beth Leeson, Wes and Melissa Miller, who also serve on our Program Team and film-makers […]

Life Transformed In Bangladesh

SowHope continues to see success in its economic endeavors in Bangladesh. Microloans given to women, who are trained in business practices, are a great source of encouragement and true life change. For more information on Shefali (pictured right) read our October 2012 newsletter. Source: Sow Hope

Vote for ArtPrize #52267 “Sowing Hope” by Kim Gill

Once again, artist Kimberly Grace Gill has skillfully painted the beautiful women of SowHope.  This time you can see her art on display until Oct 7 at the Women’s City Club at 254 Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. The large oil painting is part of a 1517 piece competition for the largest art prize in […]


We had a coupon for a Mocha Frappe, my daughter’s favorite early morning jolt.   Her tummy was full of bagels and cream cheese and she was on a mission for the Mocha Frappe.  We pulled into the drive-through, her excitement building as we waited our turn to order a drink for her and an extra […]


We were in a white, sterile exam room when the doctor told me I had cancer.  Later, when I was talking on the phone with a friend I reasoned that I didn’t have time for death, I had a teenage daughter to raise.   As I contemplated the fine mess I’d gotten into, I realized […]

Part 3 – Ideas on Mothering – Cont.

So why do we treat third-world mothers as though they are any different than us?  Do they love their children less than we do?  Are they less motivated to see their children’s lives flourish?  Are they less capable of self-sacrifice, affection, empathy, or compassion than we are?  We apparently take our parenting very seriously here […]

Part 2 – Ideas on Mothering – Cont.

So if your mothering is not based on Western Society, consider the options for alleviating Third World poverty that are presented to most of us here in the privileged West:  we are shown pictures of darling babies, innocent toddlers, toothless grins of elementary-aged school children, and asked to support them monetarily.  There is no question […]