Regina Hopewell is Compassion International’s Senior CIV Ministry Advisor and a clear voice for the organization’s intervention tactics when a child’s health and security are threatened.
“We are not a relief organization,” says Regina. “But we do respond when a critical situation affects our children.”
Regina continues, “Releasing children from poverty is at the heart of the Gospel. In my 19 years of involvement with Compassion, I am convinced that our model of connecting a sponsor to a child and working through the local church is the most holistic, strategic way to eliminate extreme poverty one child at a time. Through this program, we are changing our lives and the lives of children around the world.”
Yet, Regina says that even sponsored children are still living in vulnerable conditions and may fall prey to acute illness or be a victim of natural disaster. “In 2002 I went to visit my sponsored child in Ethiopia,” Regina says. “Two weeks after my visit, my sponsored child got typhoid fever. He was in the hospital for two weeks, thanks to Compassion’s Complementary Interventions medical response. Without the additional assistance from this program, he could have died. This experience opened my eyes to the importance of these extra, life-saving interventions.”
Regina has been a key member of Compassion’s Haiti Rebuild Team. In this role, she oversees Compassion’s response to the earthquake, which has entailed three phases:
This phase focused on locating Compassion children who were displaced by the earthquake, assessing the state of church partners, and meeting immediate needs of food, shelter, trauma care, counseling and medical attention.
During this stage, transitional shelter and meeting places were established for Compassion’s church partners; temporary and transitional shelters were also provided for Compassion beneficiaries who lost homes in the earthquake.
Restoration: This phase has been focused on child protection, repairing church partner facilities and family stability. Some children have ongoing health needs because they suffered physical injuries that require long-term therapy and medical assistance. Many parents have needed income-generating activities due to lost livelihoods. Compassion provides assistance in all these areas, and encourages pastors to support their people through messages of hope and integrity in Jesus.
Compassion is in the process of helping 30 church partners rebuild by employing Haitian laborers. Disaster preparedness and training for pastors to take the lead in rebuilding Haiti has been a key part of Compassion’s long-term earthquake recovery strategy.
Regina earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition at Penn State. She has a Master of Science degree and an EdD in Exercise Physiology from West Virginia University. She also has a Master of Theological Studies in Christian Ministry from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
Prior to joining Compassion, Regina served as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Live 58 and Word for All Nations.
In her spare time, Regina enjoys cycling, running, reading and gardening. She and her husband are dedicated to teaching others how lifestyle choices can make a global impact, such as buying fair trade products. They recently finished building their own home by themselves. Regina also serves her local church, International Anglican Church, as part of the worship service team.