In honor of Bright Hope’s 50th anniversary, get to know founder Kevin Dyer as he shares about the early years, what he has learned and God’s unwavering faithfulness.
What prompted you to found Missionary Enterprises (now Bright Hope)?
In 1968 God put a heavy burden on my heart and gave me a clear signal to help believers behind the Iron Curtain. In those days there was heavy opposition and persecution against Christians. I wrote to a friend in Switzerland and he connected me with three friends who were looking for someone to take over their ministry. They gave me a list of contacts they had developed over the years and so I took a trip to visit these people. It was very dangerous…you were followed by the secret police, I had to be careful, but the Lord gave me wonderful contacts in many countries so we started another organization to help poor and persecuted Christians. That’s how it all started.
What has God taught you through Bright Hope’s ministry?
Serving God is not always easy but God is faithful even when it’s difficult. The Lord is in control – you can trust Him in the storms of life and He is with us wherever we go.
How has Bright Hope changed over the years?
When the Iron Curtain came down in 1990, there was a dramatic change. All of these countries opened up so you weren’t trying to secretly move supplies in to help Christians. We had built an enormous network of 30 people making 150 trips a year delivering items such as Bibles, food and medicines through secret compartments in vehicles to get past Communist guards. The Lord helped us to get tons of materials in every year.[Now] Bright Hope exclusively works through the local church [to change the lives of those living in extreme poverty]. The local church gets the credit – they are the ones making the impact in communities. It’s one child, one family, one church at a time and that’s what we’re all about.
What answered prayers have you witnessed through Bright Hope?
The main [answered prayer] that comes to mind is God’s faithfulness in providing funds. It wasn’t always what we wanted, God took us through both flourishing and hard times, but when I think about Bright Hope, I think about the faithfulness of God.
What have you learned about God through your ministry work at Bright Hope?
God is able – He was able to deliver me and my colleagues when we were arrested in the Soviet Union. You can trust Him– He is faithful to guide, provide and give wisdom.
What top prayer requests has God put on your heart for Bright Hope?
As we minister to the poor, I pray that it won’t just be a process we’re going through but that it will be an effective ministry led by the Holy Spirit to impact people’s lives. Whether the number of people impacted is small or great, the important thing is that He allows us the privilege of helping people in the name of Jesus and we want to lift up the Lord Jesus in the process.
Reflecting back, are there things that you would tell a younger version of yourself in your early years of ministry with Missionary Enterprises and Bright Hope?
Firstly, always trust God for big things. And secondly, prayer cannot be underestimated. It’s easy to focus on what we’re doing but the praying part, trusting God part and faith part of the process is crucially important. Faith and trust must be in Him.
What excites you when you think about the next 50 years for Bright Hope?
Bright Hope has a unique little corner of the vineyard. We want to go deep, building into the lives of impoverished people rather than cover all the world. I love how in these small towns we build a well, provide food for the kids and help the school. The little local church gets involved in sharing Christ with people and they come to know the Lord – it’s powerful. I want us to keep going down that road and not lose the depth. We need to touch the lives of the extreme poor so these families not only come to Christ but mature and grow in their walk with Him.