How We Came to Be
Village of Hope was originally the idea of Jerry Reynolds, an American missionary of the Church of Christ, who contacted Emmanuel Asante and Christian Nsoah, both Ghanaian ministers of the church, about starting a children’s home in Ghana. In August 1989, a 17-acre parcel of land was bought at Ayawaso, in the Greater Accra Region, to begin the construction of the children’s home. Two months later, there was litigation in court over the land and this discouraged the ministers from the original plan. Jerry Reynolds returned to the United States and his responsibilities at his local church prevented him from raising funds for the project.
By 1994, things had come to a standstill. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Asante and Albert Adu Larbi had gone for ten orphaned children that they were taking care of, hoping that the construction of a home at Ayawaso would be completed so that the children would be taken care of there. That could not happen because of the court case and a lack of funds. Asante and Larbi sent out requests to churches of Christ in Ghana to ask for support and funding to help them care for the children. A copy of the appeal letter happened to reach Josiah Tilton who was a missionary in Ghana at the time, heading the Church of Christ Rural Water Development Project. This moved him to contact his sponsoring church, Traverse City Church of Christ in Michigan, USA to come to the aid of the orphans. The Traverse City church, realizing the need was bigger than a one-time help, wanted to raise money for the sustenance of the project. In order to do so, they contacted Jerry Reynolds, who handed over the US-side of oversight of the project to Traverse City Church of Christ.
The Traverse City church elders also realized that they could not supervise the project from the United States and therefore wanted a local church eldership to oversee the work in Ghana. They therefore contacted the elders of Vertical Centre Church of Christ to ask if they could oversee the local side. Meanwhile, over the period that the work was under Asante and Larbi, an interim management committee to oversee the work in Ghana, had been formed by Taifa Church of Christ in Accra, where Asante was the preacher. After discussions, the Taifa church agreed for the interim management committee to hand over local oversight of the project to the elders of Vertical Centre Church of Christ. That was in early 1994.
From that point, Traverse City Church of Christ raised funds in the US for Village of Hope and did the US-side oversight while the elders of Vertical Centre Church of Christ handled local oversight. To further the work, the elders appointed a Board of Directors in June 1994. One of the first things the Board did was to pay all outstanding salaries and benefits to Emmanuel Asante and Albert Adu Larbi, and refunded all expenses made on the upkeep, education and care of the children during the time that the project was dormant. Then, in November 1994, the Board, in consultation with the elders, appointed the Managing Director of Village of Hope. The Managing Director immediately registered Village of Hope officially with the Registrar General’s Department as a company limited by guarantee. Then, in 1995, he saw to the completion and furnishing of the building that had begun at Ayawaso. After a nationwide search, a married couple was also employed in 1995 to begin work in January 1996.
While all this was going on, eight of the first ten children had been returned to their extended families owing to financial difficulties. Therefore, in January 1996 the remaining two children and six other children were brought into the home at Ayawaso to begin the project all over again. On February 24, 1996, Village of Hope was officially commissioned. By August 1998, the house accommodating the growing family was bursting at its seams and yet, a court injunction prevented further construction from happening. After several efforts to settle the court case on the land at Ayawaso, God provided an answer in 1998 with 25 acres of land at Fetteh, in the Central Region, for the advancement of the project.
First Eight Children at Village of Hope Inauguration - February 1996
Halfway through 2001, with four houses (one at Ayawaso and three at Fetteh) filled with children, the focus of the second half of that year up until the end of 2003 was on improving the quality of care that these children received. For this reason, a school project and a clinic project were both vigorously pursued. On October 1, 2002, Hope Christian Academy was started with eight preschoolers and one teacher in a wooden structure on the Fetteh campus.
A year later, Andrea Browning Clinic was commissioned to provide healthcare to the children and to the public. Over the years, the clinic has grown and is now a hospital with a full-time doctor, nurses and other support staff.
In November 1999, a new initiative began in an effort to help the growing number of children on the streets of Accra. These boys and girls met at different locations to receive food and to be counseled. Those who responded positively were enrolled with various artisans to receive vocational training according to their choices and abilities. Eventually, in March 2005, the Village of Hope started its own Vocational Training Center at the Ayawaso campus.
Right from the beginning, agricultural activities featured prominently in the activities of the Village of Hope - crop & animal farming were undertaken on both campuses. In 2006, the Village of Hope acquired a 50-acre plot of land at Panfokrom in the Central Region for farming to feed the children.
Village of Hope took over management of Hope Ridge School (Church of Christ School) at Nkwatia-Kwahu in the Eastern Region of Ghana in September 2008. The founding partners, after considering the in-depth moral and spiritual training, and the academic excellence that Hope Christian Academy of Village of Hope offers, handed over the management of the school to Village of Hope, to bring to life the objectives and purpose for which the school was set up.
With growth of Village of Hope came a major change in its structure in 2010, when the Board, with the approval of the Oversight Elders, reorganized departments/units of Village of Hope into separate companies, each with its Board of Directors. Then, in 2012, the youngest offspring of Village of Hope was born. This is Hope College, a high school built on the tenets of character, scholarship, service and leadership. The school opened on October 1, 2012, on the tenth birthday of Hope Christian Academy.
Today the group of ministries comprises:
Village of Hope (Parent Organization)
Hope Children’s Village (Children’s Home, Fetteh)
Hope Training Institute (Vocational Training Institute, Ayawaso)
Hope Christian Academy (Basic School, Fetteh)
Hope Christian Hospital (Fetteh)
Hope Ridge School (Basic School, Nkwatia)
Hope College (Senior High School, Fetteh)
The spiritual development of the staff and children is an important component of all the programs that are run by Village of Hope. Village of Hope has planted several churches and worked in partnership with other congregations to establish and/or strengthen other churches in the area. The Pokuase Church of Christ met for several years at the Ayawaso campus and today, the Ayawaso church meets on our Ayawaso campus. In 2002, a church was established on the Fetteh campus.
All this “good fortune” can only be divine and all the praise, thanks and glory go to God for his provision.