Haven of Hope began as a partnership between State College Christian Church (SCCC) in State College, Pennsylvania, and John Banda, the founder of Pregnancy Decision Health Centers of Zambia. In 2006, the children’s ministry at SCCC raised funds to sponsor 3 orphans at a school in Ndola, Zambia. The generosity of these kids and John’s heart for the orphaned gave rise to the idea for a new Christian school in Nkwazi, the poorest compound (slum) in Ndola. John began sharing the profiles of orphans and vulnerable children from Nkwazi with the congregation of SCCC and opened the school, which he named the State College Christian Church School for Orphans. It filled to capacity, with individuals and families sponsoring 59 children in 2009, and a team was formed at SCCC to seek God’s direction in caring for the orphans and vulnerable children of Ndola. While honored by the name that John had chosen for the school, the church agreed that it did not reflect the work that God was doing there. With the help of John and the school’s students, a new name was chosen: Haven of Hope.
This truly represented what was happening in Ndola, as God's love was administered in tangible ways by His people. The first school building was humble: it had no electricity, running water, or windows. And yet it became a joyful place where children received food, clothing, medical care, and education, as well as a safe haven from abuse and neglect. Most importantly, it was a place where they learned about and experienced the love and HOPE of Jesus Christ.
As a nonprofit organization, Haven of Hope Zambia has continued this work of educating orphans and vulnerable children. In 2009, a second school was opened in Luanshya, Zambia. Today, the Ndola and Luanshya schools serve more than 200 children, who are sponsored by generous individuals and families from many different cities and churches in the United States. The construction of a new school building in Ndola is nearly complete; it will serve as a permanent facility for our current students and provide space for another 120 children in the future. And in December 2016, we will celebrate Haven of Hope's first graduating class, as 5 students finish high school and prepare for the future.
Haven of Hope additionally serves the local church and community in Ndola and Luanshya through partnerships with Zambian pastors. Since 2007, we have facilitated training for hundreds of church leaders and worked with them to meet urgent needs in their communities. You can read more about that work here.
In all things, we give utmost glory to the Lord and strive to live out the charge issued 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 Him, He continues to use Haven of Hope to transform lives!