STORIES OF HOPE

Nothing Common About It!  Common Threads Thrift Now Open

Nothing Common About It! Common Threads Thrift Now Open

  Years in the Making, Social Enterprise Dream Becomes a Reality Rethinking thrift.  That’s what Building Hope in the City (BHITC), its partners, volunteers and the Cleveland area are doing now, thanks to the opening of Common Threads in Fairview Park in late June. The store – which has been a long-time dream of BHITC’s – opened its doors for business on Friday,[Read more...]
God Brings Local Refugees Together Through Common Language for Spiritual Growth

God Brings Local Refugees Together Through Common Language for Spiritual Growth

                        The Hope Center becomes ‘the land of opportunity’ What do you do when you’re a new Christian in a new country where no one speaks your language, but you want to grow in your walk with God?  Thankfully for Mohammed, God intervened and brought exactly the right person into his life. For the last six months, Mohammed, an Afghani man, has[Read more...]
Congratulations, BHITC Staff on Becoming American Citizens!

Congratulations, BHITC Staff on Becoming American Citizens!

                          Since April, Francois Banyeretse and Kamila Burgess both celebrated US Citizenship after years of working toward their goals Proud to be Americans!  This couldn’t be more true for the refugees and immigrants BHITC supports each year on their journeys to become American citizens.  This year is a bit different, however, in that two BHITC staff members have now also completed their[Read more...]
Cleveland Native Returns Home for Church Planting

Cleveland Native Returns Home for Church Planting

                          Meet Nate Friedrichsen, church planter Three years ago, BHITC and a collaboration of urban pastors and ministry leaders launched the Transform216 (T216) initiative to provide training and mentoring for future pastors and ministry catalysts.  Dynamic, Jesus-loving leaders, such as Nate Friedrichsen, a church planter shown here with his family, are the men BHITC’s partners are supporting through this effort.  He spent[Read more...]
BIG Year - Literally - for CitySERVE 2016!

BIG Year - Literally - for CitySERVE 2016!

                          Building, mulching, cleaning, planting and painting…it’s all for God’s glory at CitySERVE When BHITC began planning this year’s CitySERVE day – the tenth consecutive year for the service event in partnership with Lutheran West High School – the organization encouraged everyone to “Think Big!”  Service sites were encouraged to think of “bigger” projects for volunteers, churches were challenged to bring the[Read more...]
BHITC Helps New Refugee-Owned Business Get Started

BHITC Helps New Refugee-Owned Business Get Started

When God connects people, he always has a purpose; when God blesses, he always does more than we can ask or imagine. Within BHITC, God is doing exactly that at The Hope Center – its satellite office for refugees and immigrants in West Park – which opened in February of 2015. At The Hope Center, which sees nearly 100 refugees in[Read more...]
Crossroads Comes Home!

Crossroads Comes Home!

In December, Crossroads Lutheran Church, which BHITC supports financially and through its Transform216 initiative, moved into its new facility on Brookpark Road. This blessing from God is already yielding fruit for Crossroads. Church planter, Dave Walters, who is also a skilled general contractor, says the move followed nearly two years of renovations to what was previously a series of restaurants.[Read more...]
Christmas Dreams Come True for Urban Families

Christmas Dreams Come True for Urban Families

Families shop till they drop at third annual Christmas Store of Hope The new toy on a list for Santa. Gazing at Christmas lights strung throughout the neighborhood. Houses filled with loved ones sharing a meal and remembering the birth of Jesus. These are what Christmas dreams are made of, but the Christmas season can also be a time of unmet[Read more...]
Forging Sharper Ideas and Insights for Mission

Forging Sharper Ideas and Insights for Mission

New for 2016, BHITC launches MissionSmith - A series of free, half-day gatherings designed to forge the thinking and practice of metropolitan church and ministry leaders for greater effectiveness and innovation in mission, church planting and Kingdom advancement.  The sessions will bring you and your team dynamic presentations from local, regional and national ministry leaders addressing a wide range of mission and[Read more...]
Hope Gets Thrifty!

Hope Gets Thrifty!

BHITC's first HopeWorks business, a retail thrift and vintage store, will be unveiled early next year. Partners, supporters - not to mention those who love a good bargain - can expect the store to open spring of 2016. A thrift retail business was selected as a first venture for several reasons, says Jeff Stredney, director of HopeWorks.  “Thrifting is exploding as a[Read more...]
BHITC Thrift Store Donations Needed

BHITC Thrift Store Donations Needed

Time to Clean Out Those Closets! BHITC seeks the following donations to support the launch of its first social enterprise, a thrift and vintage retail store, opening in the spring of 2016: Clothing and Shoes -- men, women and children Housewares, Home Decor and Collectibles Bedding, Linens and Towels Small Appliances and Kitchen Items Small Furniture Items Purses and Jewelry Books, Videos, DVD, Blue Ray and Vinyl[Read more...]
Welcome to BHITC, Jeff Stredney!

Welcome to BHITC, Jeff Stredney!

Starting October 1, BHITC welcomed Jeff Stredney as director of HopeWorks, its social enterprise arm. Jeff joins BHITC following more than a decade in engineering and new market development for ControlSoft, a Weatherhead 100 software and services company located in Highland Heights that focuses on advanced process controls for various industries. Jeff’s creativity and business acumen helped to lead the firm into[Read more...]
A Family Reunited

A Family Reunited

Congolese refugee reunited with his four children thanks to BHITC volunteer and church partner When refugees flee their home countries and become resettled in the United States, for example, they leave a huge part of their lives behind – their careers, their homes, most of their belongings – and sometimes, their circumstances force them to even leave family members behind. More than[Read more...]
Summer Ministries Let the Son Shine in at Hope Alliance and MetroAlliance Churches 

Summer Ministries Let the Son Shine in at Hope Alliance and MetroAlliance Churches 

Did you know 71 percent of Christians in the U.S. are introduced to the faith before age 14?  As a result, the phrase ‘4/14 Window’ has gained popularity, referring to four to 14 year olds, which is the time when many people are most open and receptive to spiritual and developmental input. BHITC and its partner churches leverage this opportunity during[Read more...]
BHITC Lays Out the ‘Welcome Mat’ in West Park

BHITC Lays Out the ‘Welcome Mat’ in West Park

New Refugee Hope Center Offers Much in the Way of Welcoming In February 2015, BHITC opened The Hope Center, its first official satellite hub to serve refugees, in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood.  The reason for doing so was simple, says BHITC’s Eileen Wilson, Director of Refugee Resettlement Services.  “We want to provide an ‘open door’ – a welcoming place where refugees[Read more...]
Grace Church – Grace in the City

Grace Church – Grace in the City

Transforming the SERVING as well as the SERVED Sending mission teams out to unfamiliar locations to provide relief or share God’s Word can be an inspiring experience for churches.  Those who participate often return with a renewed sense of purpose for their lives that’s contagious. Grace CMA Church, located in Middleburg Heights, knows this to be true.  The congregation has long been[Read more...]
Connie’s Story

Connie’s Story

God’s Hand-Picked Messengers of Hope and Encouragement: How local church members are transforming one woman’s life, one week at a time through Open Table “I feel as though God hand-picked my table members for me,” says Connie Doss, one of Cleveland’s first Sisters to benefit from Open Table.  “In every situation, they show me that God is bigger,” she adds. Before Open Table,[Read more...]
Refugees Purchase Homes in Cleveland

Refugees Purchase Homes in Cleveland

Home, Sweet Homes! For brothers Tom and Tanka Acharya, their families and their aging parents, all refugees from Nepal in South Asia, Cleveland has become home in many ways. The Acharyas, who are part of the nearly 1,000 refugees who resettle in Northern Ohio each year, arrived in Cleveland three years ago after waiting for 17+ years in a refugee camp.  No[Read more...]
Abraham Diyali/Christian Platform MicroEnterprise

Abraham Diyali/Christian Platform MicroEnterprise

BHITC Partners with Donor and Entrepreneurial Refugee to Help Launch New Christian Newspaper In a time when many media outlets seem deaf to the things of God, one Nepali man heard His call to get involved and use media to bless his community – both locally and across the globe.  Rev. Abraham Diyali, a refugee from Nepal and a pastor at Samdan[Read more...]
Church Planting in the Heart of Brokenness

Church Planting in the Heart of Brokenness

Where brokenness and healing collide is where we find Jesus and His Church. That viewpoint explains a lot about Crossroads Lutheran Church, an emerging new congregation being piloted by church planter Dave Walters. Starting in 2015, BHITC is fueling Crossroads with five years of financial support, in addition to equipping Walters through its Transform216 initiative. We asked Walters to tell[Read more...]