THE HAVEN OF HOPE STORY
The Big House Children's Ministry at State College Christian Church (SCCC) in State College, Pennsylvania, collected $800 during a day camp in June 2006. At that time, this was enough money to sponsor three orphans at the Chimwemwe School for the Orphans in Ndola, Zambia. The generosity of these 40 children and the heart of John Banda, founder of Pregnancy Decision Health Centers in Zambia, gave rise to the idea of a new school in Ndola.
John sent the profiles of 15 orphans and vulnerable children to Vince Smith, the pastor at SCCC, late in 2006. SCCC fell in love with the children, and soon all 15 were being sponsored by individuals and families. John took this opportunity to open a school for these children in the Nkwazi compound, the poorest compound in Ndola. In February 2007, Vince received news of the school, which John had named State College Christian Church School for Orphans. God was at work, and the people at SCCC knew it. They began to ask, "How can we join God in this work?"
The church requested profiles of more children, and with very little effort the school was filled to capacity, with 59 children by August 2009. God made it clear to the people of SCCC that they had been given a great responsibility to care for the orphans and vulnerable children of Ndola. An SCCC Zambia team was formed and sought God's direction in this project.
While SCCC was humbled by John's decision to name the school after it, the people there realized that this name did not reflect the work that God wanted them to accomplish in Ndola. With the help of John and the students at the school, the church enthusiastically agreed on a more appropriate name: Haven of Hope. This truly represents what is happening in Ndola: God's love is being administered in tangible ways by His people, providing hope to many.
In 2006, there was no Haven of Hope School. Soon thereafter, 59 children were receiving food, clothing, medical care, an education, and a hope that only comes from Jesus Christ. A team from SCCC visited the Haven of Hope School in June 2007, when just 20 children were being taught in a building without electricity, running water, or windows. Teams had the privilege of visiting again in January and July 2008, after a more functional school building was secured for 45 children. The children were visibly healthier. A year earlier, they could speak no English and read nothing at all, but now they were communicating in English and reading books. They had grown, gained weight, and seemed so much happier.
Changes like these have only increased our passion and desire to serve more orphans and vulnerable children. Today, there are two Haven of Hope schools, in Ndola and Luanshya, Zambia, and the ministry has expanded to serve the local church and community as well. More than 200 children are being sponsored by generous individuals and families from many different cities and churches in the United States. Along with our supporters, we strive to live out the charge given in James 1:27: "Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." As we obey God, he continues to use Haven of Hope to transform lives!