In January 2018, Susan and I met with several key members of our board high in the mountains of Colorado. Our agenda was to discuss long-term strategy for Hope Haven Rwanda. During the discussion, it became clear we needed to think about establishing a boarding school for high schoolers in Rwanda. I distinctly remember feeling a flood of exhilaration accompanied by an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. Is this really what God was calling us to do?
We left that meeting with an outsized dream and tons of questions. God answered them.
By God’s grace, and following the investment of thousands of investors, staff members, laborers, and parents, I am thrilled to announce that Hope Haven’s boarding school officially opened this week!
That’s right! 615 secondary students from all 30 districts of Rwanda have descended on our new campus to launch the 2022-2023 academic year! These students have the unique opportunity to move into rooms that have never been occupied before and to become history- makers as Hope Haven’s first-ever boarding students.
They are part of a new community of 1,500 students, more than 120 staff and faculty, and a huge family of investors and Hope Angels in the United States.
We have swung the doors wide open on your new campus! I say “your new campus” because so many of our readers have played a role during this journey. Whether you whispered a prayer, made a financial investment, or invited a friend to learn about Hope Haven, we could not have done it without you—and a truckload of God’s grace and direction.
Inaugurating the next chapter for Hope Haven, this new campus offers 42 classrooms and labs, a massive dining room, a modern kitchen and bakery (Thanks Skip1.org!), a 700-seat auditorium, and a dormitory which will eventually accommodate 960 students.
Approximately 160 of these students have been attending Hope Haven and hail from our community. They will shift over from the primary campus, move into the dormitories, and live on campus as they continue their secondary education.
An additional 455 new students will come from all regions of Rwanda to board and attend Hope Haven Christian School. These students performed well on their recent exams and were recommended by their former school leaders. Most are from families living in desperate poverty.
In addition, we’ve hired cooks, cleaners and staff to support 24/7 dorm life. Many of these positions are filled by parents who live in the nearby communities.
As we continue to grow in our core mission, enrollment is up 80% from last year!
Wow! Let’s just take a minute to celebrate all that God has done. As Susan shared recently, Psalm 55:22 has been an incredible encouragement to her: “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”
We have been “sustained” in miraculous ways. I’ll never forget encountering the JB Phillips’ book entitled, “Your God is Too Small.” After watching dreams like this come true, I can assure you that our God is not limited by anything. To Him be the glory for the great things He has done in this special place!
What “God-sized” dream is on your heart this week? Is there something only God could do in your life?