The room was bright, with sunshine streaming through open doors and windows, as the large room reverberated with sounds of joyous singing. It was hard to believe that this worship service was happening in a country where only 61% of the neighbors completed elementary school, and 63% of the population still live in extreme poverty, defined by the World Bank as less than $1.25 a day. In spite of the challenges, many Rwandans are full of hope—they are HOPE-full!
After personally meeting face-to-face with Christians in 48 nations around the world, I can confidently say that many Christians are full of hope! Many of them live in incredibly difficult situations. Some Christians are persecuted, others struggle each day as a tiny minority in their culture and even more Christians around the world are incredibly impoverished. As strange as it may seem, they still have hope!
Every believer around the world reads the same Bible, we pray to the same God, and we know that our only true hope is found in Jesus. As Eliphaz correctly reported, in Job 5:15-16, when we call upon our God in the midst of trouble, he faithfully responds. “He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.” The poor have hope!
I am wrapping up nearly three weeks at Hope Haven Rwanda, and I have witnessed a lot of hope. I have seen hope in the smiles of children as they learn English, while some of their parents are unable to read and write, even in Kinyarwanda, their heart language. I have seen hope in the steps of local laborers who are busy constructing a new building on campus while earning for their families. I have seen hope in the quick movements of field workers who dig each day to help pay school fees for their children, earning and learning at the same time. Hope is alive and well when Jesus shows up and we risk joining Him as His hands and feet in a difficult place.
May God grant each one of us His enlivening hope, pushing us to greater depths of connection with Him and the people whom He has called us to serve. May we ever be suppliers of hope to those who are suffering!