I Am Hope

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Write the words you need to hear.

Tell the story you need to be true.

This past week was one worth celebrating. Plant With Purpose hosted its annual gala to raise funds and celebrate the healing of lives and land around the world.

I also got to screen a video. Even though I had to put it together sort of last minute, it turned out to be my favorite thing I’ve gotten to make for Plant With Purpose.

I’m not saying so much because of the quality of the video– I did the best I could with reassembled found footage, basic editing software, and a few days of working time. I’m saying that because of all the things I’ve made so far, this one felt by far the most personal.

This summer was a fun one in many ways, but also a challenging one. I was surprised by how much I struggled with feeling stuck, anxious, or even bitter.

Then I went to Haiti.

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I met several Haitians who told me about how their lives changed after they joined Plant With Purpose’s program. What struck me the most were their stories of what their lives were like before. One gentleman lost his brother in an accident and developed a drinking problem. Another lady lost numerous neighbors during the earthquake. One farmer had to work 12 hour days just to earn 33 cents.

I was struck by the role that hope played in their stories. Of how it allowed them to hold on for another day. How it led them to taking small steps forward, even if the road seemed long. We often associate Hope with images of triumph, but really, its early stages can very closely resemble despair.

Their hope helped restore my own. I still think back to Haiti when I get discouraged. I remember that God was looking out for my Haitian friends in their darkest hours, and he’s got my back too.

I was actually in Haiti to help film the video we were originally going to show at Gala. When I learned production was delayed, I had to spring into writing a new script. We might not have used any footage from that trip yet, but my visit still had its fingerprints all over the video we put together.

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It featured the words I needed to hear this summer. The message that my new friends in Haiti had for me, through language barriers and all.

Hope is there in your darkest hour, when you’re scared the worst is going to happen. Hope is there when you feel stuck, doing the same thing over and over without seeing much change.

Hope allows you to see things that don’t yet exist so you can bring them to life. If you cannot envision trees before they are planted, then they will never be planted.

Hope is the reason you can keep going. The reason you will keep going.

Doing creative work for a nonprofit is my dream gig, and I’m grateful I get to do it. I think it’s important to keep shaping lives by igniting people’s imagination and calling their attention towards things that matter. I hope to make things that move people and I’m learning that only way to do that is to do work that comes from the heart.

All of us have important messages to share with the world- through our words, through our lives, or through our art. We share our messages well when we pay attention to the ones we first need to hear.

Philippe Lazaroblog, blog18