Hal Donaldson is president of Convoy of Hope, a faith-based, nonprofit organization that leads humanitarian initiatives across the United States and around the world. The author of 30 books, including Disruptive Compassion, Hal inspires us to work through a sense of overwhelm or apathy to give others dignity. In this unforgettable interview, Hal shares moments that changed his life: a haunting word from Mother Teresa, a miracle in one of his lowest seasons and an encounter that opened heaven over Convoy of Hope.
At 12 years old, his parents were hit by a drunk driver, instantly killing his father and seriously injuring his mother. He and his siblings were taken in by a young couple, where 10 people lived in a trailer for a year.
He shared on this recent episode of Make Life Matter on the Charisma Podcast Network, "Our family experienced the pain, the shame of poverty, but we also experienced the power of kindness. When you are raised poor, you begin a quest not to be poor anymore. I was going to do everything in my power to claw my way out of poverty. I went to college and got two degrees. I began writing books, and God opened some doors.
"In an interview with Mother Teresa, she stopped and said, 'Young man, what are you doing to help the poor?' I told her the truth, that I really wasn't doing much of anything. She said, 'Everyone can do something.' Those words were haunting.
"When I came back to the United States, I loaded up a pickup truck with $300 worth of groceries and handed them out to migrant workers in California. That began the ministry of Convoy of Hope," Hal said.
"Compassion is one thing, but if you want to go beyond compassion, you have to be selfless," he continued. "God asked me to go to eight major cities and live on the streets for three days and three nights. I walked the streets with a hidden tape recorder interviewing drug addicts, gang members, prostitutes, runaways, homeless people, and riding with the police on midnight shifts. God used that experience to change me. He broke me and made me a different person. God had to do a work in my heart before He could do a work through my hands. The heart is the foundation upon which God builds something beautiful. If the heart is flawed, you can only build so high. The more stable the foundation is, the firmer it is."
Through Convoy of Hope, families receive supplies and resources through community outreaches, international feeding programs for nearly 400,000 children a day, job training for mothers, agriculture initiatives and disaster relief. Discover more at convoyofhope.org.
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