By Christina Finocchi
Fifth Grade Teacher, HOPAC
January 15 was a huge day for Haven of Peace Academy’s (HOPAC) orphanage ministry team because the first discipleship group began at Kurasini Children’s Home. HOPAC is TeachBeyond’s partner in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
That sounds fairly straight forward, but it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, it was just over one year since our core team started committing some very big asks to God regarding the only government-run orphanage. January was a big month for many answered prayers, including the new discipleship class at Kurasini Children’s Home.
A year ago, we had a few missionaries and our faithful Tanzanian brother visiting Kurasini on a weekly basis each Sunday. As we saw the growing need for many forms of nourishment, including spiritual nourishment, we knew that we were going to need God to bring other local Swahili speakers to Kurasini. Our love and time with the children was great, but it wasn’t enough to meet the need. Our prayers were specifically for other people with a heart for God to invest time into these children; for people to love them as Christ does, to passionately serve each of them, and to be able to reach them in their language. After several months of prayer, God did exactly that!
It began slowly with one or two people joining us weekly, but before we knew it we had a team of faithful east Africans serving in a variety of ways. We now have over a half of dozen locals that are coming to Kurasini on a regular basis.
Three of the members of our team, after a few months, shared their hearts for these children to know more about the Lord. God placed it on their hearts to take on that mentor discipleship role. There was one drawback for them. They felt ill equipped for such a big task. As we continued to pray for those doors to open up, the Lord brought in two others who had done discipleship with another group. They had heard of the mighty things God was doing in Kurasini and they wanted to help train people on how to lead a discipleship class.
On January 15, the new chapter began as the first of many discipleship classes finally started. We stand and praise God because our children are being fed spiritually with sound Biblical teaching. They are asking questions and learning about who our God is. As these children learn about God, we know that it will reach far beyond the gates of Kurasini Children’s Home.