Ray of Hope — Amazon is a charity based in Manaus, Brazil that serves the unreached villages and tribes alone the Amazon and Rio Negro. With a focus on children and families, Ray of Hope provides medical, food, educational and spiritual assistance to the neediest people in the area.

I said "Yes" to Ray of Hope Amazon, and it's changed my life forever. It's not up to the government or religious leaders to solve the world's problem. It's ours.
Brent Kassing
I never realized the impact I could have on others or the impact they could have on me until I went to Brazil in 2014 to explore partnering with Ray of Hope Amazon. Although a regular church goer my entire life, I generally reserved my Christian faith to Sunday mornings and not outside the walls during the week. However, this trip to Brazil inspired me to share not only my story, but also the story of the people of whom I've encountered in the Amazon.

Since that first trip I became more involved with this organization and went from being the shy introvert in the back of the room to leading worship, prayer and devotionals on a regular basis. In 2017 several of us who had been to Brazil decided to use our professional capabilities to establish Ray of Hope Amazon USA as an official US charity. It's with this organization that I serve as board President and with official charity status, we can now receive funds from individual in the US that are audit-able and secure.

Our charity in Manaus is a labor of love for 50-60 volunteer Brazilians who regularly assist our mission. With my sales and marketing experience, I cleaned up the website and created a new logo. I developed a mailing list using the contacts of those who have gone to Brazil over the past decade and established a regular communication to each of them. This past year we had our first major fundraising effort to bring in money to purchase a new motor for our boat. And lastly, in order to expand the work of Ray of Hope beyond my local Kansas City community, I took a team of 18 from four states with me on my July mission trip.

I do all this work not to receive accolades and recognition, although I will freely admit I do enjoy some of that. I also don't do it as a way to "work" my way into heaven. As Christians, we are saved by faith (Ephesians 2). The Holy Spirit working in me inspires me to gladly serve Him and others. And the professional gifts I have been afforded by God and enhanced throughout my career, are easily transferable to help others.

Life is hard. Careers are hard. We all have our ups and downs. However, each success or failure comes with great lessons from which we can learn. It's critical that we use those lessons to improve upon our own career or life, and also to focus on how we can help those who live within our community, at our employers and clients and for those around the world.

Gloria a Deus.

Read Brent’s article on the Five Lessons Businesses Can Learn from a Team of Missionaries or LISTEN to his podcast on these lessons.