One Body One Hope's focus for the first several years after its inception was a congregation located in the Dumbar Farm suburb of Monrovia, headed by Rev. Emmanuel Bimba. Emmanuel and his wife, Fatu, felt compelled along with their congregation at the end of the civil war to minister to the many orphaned children they found walking the streets of the city. This Spirit-led compulsion led to the founding of Christ Our Hope orphanage.
In the beginning, the orphanage grounds were extremely rudimentary with no running water, utilities, or phone lines available. In addition, Emmanuel and Fatu had no way to provide for the orphaned children that they had taken in. Periodically, God brought individual donors along, and the local church helped out when and where it could. Unfortunately, their pressing needs were ever-present and they prayed long and hard for committed long-term partners.
In a meeting that only God could have orchestrated, Pastor Aaron Baart and his wife, Nicole, connected with one of the Abide in the Vine pastors in Ethiopia in December of 2006 while adopting their infant son. They felt an immediate calling to partner together. This began the birth of One Body One Hope.
Over the next 2 years, a multifaceted partnership developed that focused on the orphanage and its growth, but also spilled over into other shared dreams and endeavors. OBOH provides a sponsorship program for the children at Christ Our Hope, as well as a teacher sponsorship program for the educators at the Vine School System of Christ which operates on the grounds of the orphanage. In 2010 OBOH funded a capital campaign to add a second dormitory building and update many of the orphanage facilities. In 2013 a new high school was begun, and improvements are continually being made to the grounds and facilities.
In addition to providing support for the original orphanage and congregation, OBOH has recently stepped into partnership with Emmanuel as he continues to evangelize and plant churches across Liberia. An sixteen-acre farm project at the Harbel branch of Abide in the Vine Disciples Church is poised to create new opportunities and independence for our friends in Liberia. We are also working with churches in North America to partner with our sister congregations in Liberia. These relationships are intended to be reciprocal and intimate, focused on building each other up in Christ and redeveloping communities in both Liberia and the U.S. Each year, teams from our local communities travel to Liberia to build on these relationships.