Hope transcends mere Optimism . . . . .

Greetings in this time of Advent waiting in hope – that warm green space where we are to pitch our tents.

Greetings in this time of Advent waiting in hope – that warm green space where we are to pitch our tents.

After one of our recent presentations on itineration in the US, a new friend asked: "Do you feel optimistic about the future for Roma people – the Gypsies in Europe?"

We were reminded that optimism and hope are not the same.

Optimism is a feeling that things will improve based on some earthly knowledge or proof.  Hope however, is about a yearning expectation. We hope for "things unseen.”  Hope yearns in faithful expectation that something miraculous will heal what is broken.

Advent hope is fulfilled in the miraculous birth of Christ in the hearts of a yearning universe.  Sometimes when we are feeling the least optimistic, hearts dead and cold, we tenaciously cling to hope.

Our hope is that the Prince of Peace will transform hearts and minds and turn them away from loathing and exclusion, and turn them towards Advent love, peace and justice.

No matter how dark and cold and blustery your days, even (and perhaps especially) when optimism seems impossible, keep pitching your tent in that warm flat sunny green space that is the land of hope.

The time of miracles is not only in the past!
Liz and Doug Searles

Doug and Elizabeth Searles serve with the Evangelical Reformed Church in Poland.  They serve as mission workers for church growth and outreach.