Monthly Archives

May 2022


By Project Stories

A scooter and a helping hand.

Beep beep! Watch out, Vaikunthan is coming through on his brand new scooter! He sits in splendor atop his two-wheeler, the sun reflecting off the shiny black steel, his hands gripping the handlebars that give him control of his journey. He weaves in and out of traffic as he rolls along the road in the Jawadhu Hills region in southern India. Vaikunthan is on his way to the wholesale market to buy some goods in bulk that he can turn around and sell in his small provision store that he runs in front of his home.

It’s a blessing that Vaikunthan can visit the market on his own, able to make his own business decisions about what to purchase, and then get it back to his own store on his own time. Vaikunthan hasn’t always been able to do this by himself.

A few years ago, Vaikunthan was collecting jackfruit to sell in his store. He climbed a tree to cut the fruit from the branches. While he was up in the tree, he lost his balance and fell. He endured fractures in both legs and severe nerve damage in both feet, losing all sensitivity in the lower portion of his legs. This accident resulted in a permanent handicap, leaving Vaikunthan unable to walk.

Because of this accident, Vaikunthan had to rely on others to go to the market for him so he could keep his provision store open. It was far too great of a distance for him to walk. While it was wonderful that people were helping him out, they saw it as an opportunity for their own gain as well. Vaikunthan would repeatedly get cheated during these business exchanges, with people taking advantage of his inability to watch what they may do with the product after purchasing it at the wholesale market and before delivering it (or just some of it) back to Vaikunthan for his store.

One day, Vaikunthan had a customer visit and shop at his store. Throughout his time shopping, Vaikunthan and Mr. Velu, the customer, got to talking. Mr. Velu heard about Vaikunthan’s accident, disability, and difficulties with getting goods for his store. Mr. Velu, a coordinator with The Hope Venture in Jawadhu Hills, was moved and wanted to help Vaikunthan find a solution. The Hope Venture has a project establishing community development centers in Jawadhu Hills, aiming to support the community, helping with needs that arise, and Mr. Velu takes part in aiding the community through that. Mr. Velu researched and figured out the process for getting a free vehicle through the government in their community. Mr. Velu helped Vaikunthan apply for the vehicle, and after a year, they were able to go get a two-wheeler together.

Now Vaikunthan has a way to get around efficiently on his own. He can purchase goods for his store, allowing him to stay in control of his business and maximize his income. Every time he scoots around town, he can remember the provision he received that now gives him independence in his mobility.

To impact more people like Vaikunthan, donate to our Jawadhu Hills Project today!



By Project Stories

Mac-n-cheese, a computer, and so much more…

I met Jacqueline on my first trip to Rwanda. The Hope Venture was exploring the idea of starting some Pilot Projects in the capital city of Kigali. We were outside the offices of Acts4Rwanda, where dozens of school children were gathering for a daily meal provided by the organization. Jacqueline was serving the younger children and I hopped in next to her to scoop up some food… I think maybe she was passing out some cookies and I was scooping mac-n-cheese?😊

Anyway, Jacqueline and I got to talk. She was friendly and had dreams of going to college. She had been sponsored by Acts4Rwanda up through high school but now wasn’t sure what was going to happen since their sponsorship ends after high school. Her housing was going to be a big challenge. And she needed a computer if she was going to continue in science. And tuition was of course on her mind. It was all daunting. Meanwhile though, kids were coming up to us wanting food and, well, all this money and college-dreams stuff would have to wait.

Our team came back home and started praying more about what to do.

For the year previous, we had been revamping our project strategy. We had worked with the same partners overseas since The Hope Venture had started. If we ever started something new, it was because someone like our partner Charlie in India would get his heart wrecked by some need, share it with me (Cynci), we’d talk in the clouds and a little on paper, pray, and go for it. We tried to document things or explain our reasoning, but honestly we were growing so fast that we got behind on the paperwork. It got harder and harder to understand what we were doing. Meanwhile we wanted to replicate some of it, or stop some of it, but we couldn’t articulate why. So for a whole year the staff questioned me, wrote things down, questioned me again, wrote more down, questioned Charlie, and all our partners, and started to document clearly what we were doing, where we were going, and how we could grow.

One huge change from that year was a goal to vett 20 new partners over the next five years. Ahhh! Talk about daunting! We had trusted partners, longtime friends who we worked with. How would we grow that trust with new people?

Well we had to try.

Covid had led to extreme poverty rising around the world for the first time in twenty years. People were hurting, hungry, and hopeless. Yet God’s hand was on us and He was using us to bring hope and dignity to some of the most disadvantaged people in the world. We longed to press into that even more and watch God bring His overwhelming love rushing over more and more souls.

So we set out to explore some new partnerships. We made a new Pilot Project strategy where we would start out small, make sure reporting requirements were met, grow it bit by bit, and over time, we’d have some new trusted partners. That’s why we were in Rwanda. One of our board members had a friend of a friend, and there we were.

We told Acts4Rwanda we couldn’t do much to start. That we’d have to start small. How small? Well it turned out that one scholarship would have to do.


Yep, Jacqueline was The Hope Venture’s first ever Pilot Project recipient.

We prayed and collaborated with Acts4Rwanda. They liked how we were having success with our college scholarships in Kenya. They were sponsoring kids through high school, just like we were in Kenya, but then had no way to help them after that. We created a thorough Project Plan document and got back to signing memorandums of understanding. We articulated clear reporting requirements and reviewed the project 6 months in. Then in 2022 we were able to add four more students, and just recently, our Projects Team approved them for 15 students in 2023!

Jacqueline’s dad was in a bad accident five years ago. Her mom was in jail for a couple years. Life’s been hard. But Acts4Rwanda has come alongside her and her siblings to help and now The Hope Venture is here too. God does see and know our burdens. He can bring people together from across the globe… to bring hope, to provide a computer and housing, to feel His love, even to get some mac-n-cheese and a cookie. ❤️


By Project Stories

Deep love for others in her heart.

Feet pounding. Hearts racing. Breath gasping. Mary and her little brother are scrambling through the rugged terrain of Buloba, Uganda. This is no school playground or game of tag. They are being chased away from home by their abusive parents. Two children being cast out, yelled at, degraded, and forced to try and live life on their own.

If she and her brother aren’t wanted by their own parents, why would anyone else want to take them in? How could Mary take care of her brother without a job, without an education, and without a way to finish school? While these questions were heavy on Mary’s mind and heart, she wouldn’t let them overtake her.

From here, Mary got a job as a maid. This would provide some income to support herself and her brother. Mary worked hard, and was delighted by the kindness of her employer when Mary’s success was also important to them. Mary couldn’t afford an education on her own, so her employer began paying for her school fees.

However, one day on her way to school, Mary was raped. Again, in another circumstance that Mary could not control, she was degraded and abandoned. When she gave birth to her son, Daniel, her employer didn’t want to associate with her anymore. So her employer cut her off and stopped paying for her school fees.

Mary was back to square one. She was abandoned once again, had no access to education, was out of a job, and now, this time, she had another precious life – her son Daniel – to care for too.

Fortunately, however, right before cutting her off, Mary’s employer brought her to Wakisa Ministries. Mary was able to get connected to our partner, Vivian. The project she was able to get connected to through Wakisa aims to help young mothers get an education through sponsoring them, supporting them along the way as these young girls take care of their children. Now Mary is attending school as the recipient of a student sponsorship.

Physical harm, emotional harm, pain, hurt, confusion, sorrow. These are repeated themes in Mary’s life. Even the people who should have loved and cared for Mary the most in her life, harmed her. Mary was unfairly met with hurt, abuse, and neglect instead of the love and care that should have been present in these relationships.

Yet Mary still has a love and care for people that runs so deeply within her.

Mary wants to finish school and become a lawyer to help victims of abuse like her get justice. 

She cares so deeply for the individual who sponsors her to go to school. In a letter to her sponsor, she repeatedly wrote how badly she wants and prays for God to bless her sponsor. She has never met the person funding her financially, yet cares enough to want abundant blessings for them.

Mary even wants to share her joys and loves in life with her sponsor. Poetry is an avenue that Mary uses to do just that. Through the precise language that takes form in patterns of rhythm and sound, Mary can share her life. Her story comes to life on the page, flowing with emotion, saturated with vulnerability. Through the arrangement of words, Mary offers a connection to her sponsor. She offers an inside look into her world – a world of joy and sharing – despite her hurt, and excitedly invites her sponsor into it all by writing a poem for them. 

To sponsor more women like Mary, donate to our Uganda Sponsorship Project today!



By Project Stories

Dignity in the passionate pursuit of learning new skills.

It’s all too often that we hear stories of people who are burnt out by their work. It’s not always even a story really, but it happens in our daily conversations with others! Maybe this is how you feel in your own job. Going to work seems like an inconvenience. You aren’t finding fulfillment in your work. It leaves you feeling exhausted, stressed, and so, so bored.

Well, this may be how many of us in the United States feel about our daily office jobs. But for Anita in Kethohalli village in southern India, her feelings towards work are much different.

Anita has a daughter, Sanjana, who is in seventh grade, and a son, Sudeep, who is in second grade. They all live together in Anita’s brother’s home. The home is a single room with a small kitchen. Anita’s brother’s family lives on the ground level of the room, while Anita, Sanjana, and Sudeep stay in a short mezzanine level right above. They climb a ladder to get up to the heightened level. Everyone shuffles around each other to navigate through the small home.

Anita had married a man named Ravi, but he abandoned her and their kids after a few years. Suddenly she became a single mom who had to provide for her two kids with no source of income. This was tolling on Anita. She cared for her children, but couldn’t provide any physical care for them. She had only completed schooling through tenth grade, and she had no job skills.

Anita’s friend Swetha recognized her situation and wanted to help. Swetha excitedly told her about The Hope Venture’s Vocational Training Center in Sugganahalli. She could complete a free eight month tailoring course! She could learn how to sew, and to design clothes for people to wear.

This sounded great to Anita. What an opportunity to get useful skills for a job! Except there was one problem: the tailoring course was held in the village of Sugganahalli, which was easily over an hour commute each day. Anita was determined to get the skills training, though. She found a bus route that could get her there and faithfully commuted each way through the hectic transportation system in Bangalore.

Anita was excited and determined to complete the training. Her devotion to commuting to the training center each day – despite the long journey – shows her passion and desire for learning and providing for her family.

Now she has a job doing tailoring work. She feels dignified as a woman, and proud of her craft. She is able to provide for her and her kids as a single mom. Anita can be excited to go to work each day. She doesn’t dread putting in the hours, creating new garments and things for people to wear, because the opportunity she has to go to work provides hope for the future for her family.

To impact more women like Anita, donate to our India Tailoring & Computers Project today!