Hope of the Nations (HofN) has its headquarters in Kigoma, Tanzania, on the longest lake in the world – Lake Tanganyika. It is also the second deepest lake in the world, at close to a mile deep. Over 2 million people live around its shores. Four different countries – Congo, Zambia, Burundi, and Tanzania – have their borders in the lake. Kigoma is a strategic port city. Goods are sent by train from Tanzania’s eastern seaport, on the Indian Ocean, to Kigoma’s port and loaded on ships to reach the land-locked countries surrounding the lake.
Harold and Coni Knepper founded Hope of the Nations in 2007, but the non-profit has grown much more substantial than just the two of them. Today HofN has six nationals on the missionary staff and employs 45 other locals who help carry on the ministry. Our objective is to raise up nationals who see Jesus as the primary need in this and every nation. Our goal is to make disciples — that’s what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 28:19-20. Ultimately that is the only hope any nation has. Our mission is: “To bring hope to the nations through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.” (Matt. 12:21)
How do you bring hope to a nation? There are so many things that can and need to be done in Kigoma, one of the poorest regions in Tanzania. However, we believe it starts with education — and not just a secular education, though that is necessary. The only way to bring hope and affect change in the whole nation is to teach people about Jesus. We approach that goal in many different ways. One is to raise up a new generation that will become godly influencers. There is also a need to educate pastors. Those who are responsible for equipping the Church for the work of the ministry. Starting at each end of the spectrum became our heart’s desire.
Through our Primary School, children are growing up with an excellent education and a strong relationship with Jesus. They are already becoming godly influencers in their families and communities – and soon, the nation! Through our Bible College, pastors are trained on how to study and teach the Word of God. Many of our grads have gone on to plant churches and start other ministries that serve their communities.
Through HofN, the hope that is found in Jesus Christ is starting to infiltrate this nation and its neighbors.