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Make Your Talents Count – Hoops of Hope

GenerosityKey Bible Verse: Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress.  – James 1:27

Dig Deeper: Matthew 25:34-40

There is a young man in Arizona by the name of Austin Gutwein who, at the ripe old age of 10, saw a video about a girl in Africa who lost her parents to HIV/AIDS, and it gripped his heart. He learned that 5,700 children are orphaned each day because of HIV/AIDS, and that 15 million children have already lost one or both parents to the disease.

“That hit me hard,” recalls Austin, now 16. “I felt God calling me to go do something about it.”

A friend suggested Austin use his favorite sport, basketball, to make a difference. He got some friends involved in shooting free-throws to raise money for those children in Africa. God used the faith of that little kid from Arizona and he birthed Hoops of Hope (, which has since become the world’s largest free-throw marathon.

Some 40,000 children have participated in Hoops of Hope, raising more than $2.5 million and allowing the organization to build a school in Zambia where there was no school for 70 miles. Not only that, Hoops of Hope has partnered with World Vision to build four dormitories for students of the school, two medical clinics, a computer lab, and more.

—Bob Westfall in The Fulfillment Principle

My Response: What gets me excited? How can I use that passion to serve others?

Thought to Apply: Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.—Erich Fromm (psychologist)

Adapted from The Fulfillment Principle (Leafwood, 2012)

Prayer for the Week: Giver of all good gifts, help me to be aware of the talents with which you have equipped me; give me a vision for ways to use them for your kingdom.


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