Encounters of Hope was birthed back in 2010 as a dream that God gave me to show our world that hope is alive and God is very real. Basically, my initial vision for it revolved around giving customized VISA gift cards that lead people to our website where we tell them a little about God through an interactive experience. It was such a crazy concept that it really only could of come from God. Who in their right mind would say to themselves, "why don't I go around and start giving complete strangers $100 gift cards?" I didn't have an extra $100 to spare and I am not so wealthy that I can just start handing out that kind of money.
What I have learned is that God just wants obedient servants and that is what I did, obeyed God and stepped out in faith. The vision God gave me is that He would lead me to those who "needed" these gift cards and use them to show people that He is real and truly cares about them. So I built encountersofhope.com and have begun handing out these gift cards to people that the Holy Spirit leads me to. They actually might need the money or may choose to "pay it forward" and give it to someone they know or cross paths with that might need it more. Encounters of Hope is part giving, sharing, and showing love, all of which God uses to provide hope. What is so awesome is how God has already used this tool to impact the lives of so many. Check out some of the stories here.
Recently, God has also shown me that Christians have a difficult time sharing their faith with others, especially in our culture here in America. That's where our gift cards come in and can become a modern day evangelism tool that can be used for random people God leads you too as well as a co-worker, friend, family member and others in your sphere of influence. There are no awkward conversations and theology degrees required to give someone a gift card that has an eternal purpose behind it and can share the Gospel with them in a relevant way.