The “Hope Does” Story. Because Love Does.

The “Hope Does” story is an example of students experiencing their faithful leadership potential, an example of the type of activity we want to support via CFL and Hope College (and can because of our readers’ support — Thank you!).

Some students want to create a business or non-profit organization to make a difference.  We support those students through our Entrepreneurial Development program, including the Great Commission Grant initiative.

Some students want to help an organization solve a complex problem to make a difference.  We support those students through our Student Consulting program.

Some students want to do something through our Integrated Learning program, through one of our leadership courses.  We are happy to oblige.

Here is the story of some of those students, as told through the speeches given by Chloe Heckaman and Payton Carty at the Bob Goff “Hope Does” event they organized at Hope College on January 9, 2013.

Welcome to Hope Does with guest speaker Bob Goff. I am so excited and overwhelmed by the number of people here tonight and pray that God will use this night to inspire and impact the lives here for Him.


My name is Chloe Heckaman and I am a junior here at Hope. This past fall semester, the four of us, Payton, Matt, Tara and myself, were required to do a group service project in our Leadership class. While it’s common for group projects to be dreaded and often times we tend to just try to blow through them and get them over with as quickly as possible, our professor [Tim Schoonveld] challenged our class [LDRS 201: Introduction to Leadership] to dream big with our groups and put together a project that could help change the world even if only in a small way.


After reflecting on this challenge, I really felt God putting it on my heart to do something big in honor of Riley Gortsema who passed away this past May. I loved how Riley had so much love and joy for everyone she encountered and how she was always willing to go the extra mile to bless the lives of others. I admired her proud Godly spirit and she made me realize that we can’t be afraid to do big things that demonstrate God’s love to everyone we meet. She made me realize that we may not have that much time here on earth so we have to wake up and live each moment to the fullest. She made me want to step outside of my comfort zone and put together something huge that would impact students and bring all the glory to God.

bob8 (2)

The start of this project was also around the time of sophomore Andrew Holbrook’s car accident. And while none of us know him personally, just seeing how he has made an amazing recovery and how strongly his whole family has depended on and trusted in God and how the Hope community has loved on them all was yet another huge inspiration for us to create this event for Hope.

As the four of us came together, initially not knowing what exactly this event would look like, we knew from the start that we wanted to inspire students to live a life of joy and celebration like Riley and Andrew have demonstrated.

Tonight is the product of an incredible journey for the four of us and it has truly been amazing to see how God has blessed this event and brought so many groups on campus together. God has truly been behind this event and guiding us all along the way as the four of us have never done anything like this before. We are so thankful and grateful for the help and support of so many faculty and students who have shared our excitement and who have come together to make what started as a small pull on the heart turn into this exciting night and movement.

As Chloe said, we really had no idea what this night would look like. At the time this all began, I [Payton Carty] had just finished reading Love Does. A friend of mine had told me I should read it, she simply said “Pay, it will change your life” so of course I picked it up as soon as I could.

Love Does

After the first chapter of reading, I was hooked and began to realize how POWERFUL and SIMPLE Bob’s message was. For me personally, Bob message made me realize you can dream big, pray big, and take action in your life. I found myself seeing the world in a new perspective. It began to challenge me to think, “How can we put love into action?”

As we brainstormed ideas for a project, I was driving to Meijer’s and saw my book in passenger seat and remembered how Bob left his number in the back of the book, (CAUSE HE SO COOL LIKE THAT) I grabbed my cell and dialed him up, by some miracle he answered. We chatted a bit and I began to tell him our inspiration by stories like Riley’s and Andrews. Then — BAM — our phone call dropped. Boy, was I upset. Yet in that moment, I knew I couldn’t just let this go. Love doesn’t just give up or sit around. Love Does. So I called back more times, leaving voice mail after voice mail message. I don’t think I even went into Meijer’s I was too fired up about this possibly happening, and then finally he answered!  He said, “Payton I am so sorry my phone died!”  After that, He simply said yes to coming out here to Hope if it fit his schedule. A simple yes. Because he said yes we are here tonight. Because he said yes Love was able to multiply.

Bob is the founder of Restore International, a non-profit fighting injustices committed against children in Uganda and India. He’s a lawyer, and a professor at two universities, and he is lives in San Diego with his wife, Sweet Maria.


It is my pleasure to introduce the man that has changed lives around the world, and that has a message that will change yours. We want to challenge you to open your hearts, minds, and souls to the possibility that your life might be changed (open to suggestions on that line). Now, please give a warm Hope College welcome to, BOB GOFF.


The result?  Three students were in my office the next day, wanting to do something.  Because Love Does.  And I changed the way I think and talk about CFL (see the “About” link on this blog).

Jan 9 Bob Goff


One thought on “The “Hope Does” Story. Because Love Does.”

  1. What an awesome story to share! A huge thank you to these 4 students for organizing this and for the blessing it was to the Hope community.

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