Our Founder’s Story
Larry and Elizabeth Bergeron are the founders of A Child’s Hope International. Their individual faith stories are different yet equally valid. Larry’s story was more turbulent as he was an agnostic for many years of his adult life. He earned three degrees in electronic engineering, twelve patents, spoke at international conferences, wrote numerous journal articles and published one book on digital communications.
Jokingly (although probably very serious), several have cursed his pioneer work in the development of voice mail systems which are so prevalent today. As he climbed the corporate ladder, becoming a vice president for a large, well known American company, his agnostic views and attack on the veracity of the Bible were frequent. He was driven by power, prominence and prestige – and money. As many know first hand, the drive for success can be a destructive force and it was for him as well.
Although wealthy and successful (by the standards of many), there was a growing sense of emptiness in his life. As he strove for even more power, he was becoming more of an angry person at the same time. He viewed Christianity as a crutch for weak people and argued with those who would try and reason with him. At the end of the 1980s, through a strange and fortunate set of “circumstances”, he eventually stopped running from the Hound of Heaven and gave his life to Jesus Christ. For the next several years, as he learned what the Bible said about life and the pursuit of happiness, success became less and less important.
A few years later, Larry, Elizabeth and two of their daughters traveled on their first mission’s trip to a former communist training camp in Russia which was being used for orphan children. Little did they know then, that the heartache of the orphan would eventually become their life’s work. In the years following, he resigned from his corporate position as Chief Technology Officer, received a master’s degree from seminary and served as a pastor at churches in Connecticut and Ohio.
All throughout these changes, the cry of 143,000,000 orphans became louder. The hopelessness of 500,000 kids in U.S. foster care became more pervasive. And the pain of 30,000 children starving to death every day, became more of a nightmare. From those life experiences, A Child’s Hope International was born in May 2008 – to bring hope to the helpless children in desperate need here, there and everywhere.
Today, Larry still dreams with others – not about success but about significance. He is not afraid to ask the tough questions, especially with those who, like he was, are running from God. This inventor, engineer, corporate VP and pastor has experienced the amazing forgiveness of God and wants others to know that they can as well. For that reason, he will share his story with volunteers at The Hope Factory, at business meetings or anywhere in the world for that matter. His message is always the same.
With gentleness and respect, he encourages people to ask him to give the reason for the hope that he has. He readily admits that he is far from perfect – just forgiven.
Please know that Larry will share his story with guests that come to the “Factory” and many times will pray that the Lord would bless the guests, the food that has been prepared and especially the children they serve.