Part of the vision for Let’s Give Them Hope has always been to start a local church in the rural community of Musana. After Weston and Liz Muronzi joined us in 2013, they immediately began building relationships in the community and letting people know that a church would be starting up in early 2014. They had a vision for a church that would be less formal than the typical church in Zimbabwe, one in which everyone would feel welcome regardless of status or dress. The plan was to start with a very small group of people and "go deep" rather than "grow large”. The plan was to hold a meeting on Sunday mornings which included worship, teaching and fellowship in a casual setting. In addition, they planned to hold an even less formal small group Bible study and discussion group at their house in the middle of the week.
In early February, Hope Fellowship was launched with a series of events that included an information meeting and meal, an inaugural Sunday morning meeting, and the first small group mid-week meeting. Initially, both the Sunday and Thursday meetings were attended mostly by older children and youth from our program who did not have a church home. They were very eager to learn, as they had never had much teaching or training, and they asked a lot of questions. As time went on, more adults from the community began attending Hope Fellowship in addition to the children and adolescents. After about 2 months, there was a core group of about 25 to 30 people that attended regularly on a Sunday morning, with half being adults and half being kids and teens. Today, the Sunday service draws an average of 80 – 100 people.
Apart from the regular services and small group meetings, Hope Fellowship has a number of programs and events designed to reach out into the community. They have had a number of movie nights including fun family movies, as well as several showings of the Jesus film in the local language. They have held several baptisms in the local lake as a testimony to everyone in the community. They have also started an initiative in which church members go out and help several of the elderly and ill members of our community by working in their gardens, clearing their land of brush, digging pit toilets, and serving at a memorial service. This program has two purposes: to get members of Hope Fellowship involved in serving the people in their community, and to assist those individuals in the community who do not have any family or relatives to help them.