04 Mar The Hope Center

– By Molly Stillman

Three years ago it was basically just patch of grass surrounded by a couple of buildings and a lot of trash. Across the way from the patch of grass was an orphanage, one that had become part of our church family. There were a couple of buildings and a large tree in the middle of the orphanage grounds that the children would sit under. There was a lot of work to do… and there were definitely feelings of uncertainty and being overwhelmed, but more than that, there was hope. There was a vision. And there was a lot of prayers.

For a long while, probably a couple of hours, as a team, we walked around the entire area and prayed and dreamed and vision-cast. We knew that God had big plans for this plot of land, we just had no idea what really was in store.

Fast forward three years and I stood on that same plot of land. Only this time it wasn’t a patch of grass, it was a beautiful building that was now the home of newhope Kenya. It was no longer surrounded by trash, but it was filled with laughing children, smiling men and women serving and worshipping the Lord, and signage saying “KARIBU!”

Across the way, the orphanage was gone, but the buildings and big tree remained and dozens upon dozens of hopetown children were sitting under that tree and inside the building learning about Jesus and singing to their heart’s content.

Again, there’s vision, there’s prayer, and there is so much hope.

This is the site of the future newhope Kenya HOPE Center.

The HOPE Center is going to be a community hub for the surrounding Kiganjo community in Kenya. It will serve as an outreach facility where kids can come and receive basic needs like food, clothing, and love. It will be a place where women and men who are in vulnerable situations can come and receive vocational skills training, life skills training, discipleship, community, love, and support. This will equip them with the skills needed to find sustainable economic opportunities in their communities, to support their families, and to be all that God created them to be. This is about a hand-up, not a handout. All in the name of our Lord Jesus.

This is a place where HOPE is found.

There’s an amazing quote by a woman named Leila Janah that reads, “Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.”

As I’ve had dozens of conversations with my friends in Kenya, this is the exact running theme I hear over and over again. “There are so many talented, smart, incredibly hard workers here in Kenya… but we just don’t have the opportunities available to us to be able to thrive like we should.”

The HOPE center’s entire goal is to be that place that provides opportunities to those talented, smart, incredibly hard-working people – in the name of Jesus. It is to be a safe haven for children and teens who need guidance as they face life’s challenges – in the name of Jesus. It is to be a beacon of HOPE in a community in Kenya – all in the name of Jesus.

All of this will have a lasting ripple effect on the community and surrounding areas. When lives are impacted, families are impacted. And when families are impacted, communities are impacted. And when communities are impacted, countries are impacted. This is life change. This is REACH, TEACH, RELEASE in action. This is HOPE in action.

There’s a lot of work left to be done, but we have a vision, we have prayer, and we have hope. Your tithes and offerings at newhope church are what help to bring this vision to life. You are a part of being the change in the world.

I can’t wait to return to Kenya on my next trip to see the HOPE center in action.

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