Tales from Tanzania - O'Neil Family Blog

Though we have already been in Tanzania for one year, this is a journal of our time at Haven of Peace Academy in Dar es Salaam. Karibu sana.

December 04, 2007

A Double Blessing

International Day at HOPAC is an annual November tradition. It’s an opportunity to celebrate all of the nationalities (this year 30) represented in our student body. This year one-third of our students are Tanzanian. What attracted us to HOPAC three years ago and continues to motivate us is our deep desire for HOPAC to invest in the lives of Tanzanian students who come from highly influential families. We know that these students will play a role one day in shaping their nation. We pray that during these formative years, a HOPAC education will prepare them to impact Tanzania for Jesus Christ.

We often say that much of this impact will be seen 20 or 30 years from today when these students are in their prime adult years. But even though we may not be able to see the total fruit of our work at HOPAC, we firmly believe that Tanzania will be different because of the biblical worldview our students receive. Our mission states that we want our students to understand and live out a biblical worldview in all areas of life to the glory of God. So how does this relate to International Day?

We invited Imani Kaduma, a recent HOPAC graduate to give the keynote address. Imani’s faither, Ibrahim, also serves on our Board of Governors. Imani is a recent graduate of a Tanzanian university where he studied law. He’s now preparing for law school. Before the ceremony, I had the opportunity to talk with Imani. I asked him about HOPAC’s impact on him. Without hesitation, Imani gave me an answer that made my jaw drop and made the last 2 ½ years worth everything. Imani said something like this, “Mr. O’Neil, HOPAC prepared me to understand the world from a biblical perspective. While I studied at university, I was able to bring my Christian faith to bear on law. In fact, I now plan to teach law rather than practice law, as I want to integrate the Christian worldview to the legal profession to address the problems with the practice of law in Tanzania today.”

A few minutes later, Imani went on to give the opening speech. Although he never used his notes during his arousing speech, he let me see a copy of what he prepared. This is the opening:

“My name is Imani Kaduma, son of Ibrahim and Happiness Kaduma, a Christian, believer in Father, Son and Holy Ghost, son of HOPAC and son of Tanzania. By God’s grace I was among the first HOPAC students when Haven of Peace Academy opened its doors in 1994. I say God’s grace because ever since I left HOPAC in 2002, what I learned here at HOPAC has remained in my heart and I have never gone wrong. The strongest memory and mark that HOPAC has given me is the integration of faith and learning. Knowing and believing that God is with you in whatever you do or say, gives you strength, courage and hope…”

So International Day was a double blessing. It was a reminder of God’s creativity and diversity with nations, cultures, and languages. But most importantly, it was a reminder and an encouragement to see a product of HOPAC who is making a difference, even today, for Christ and His Kingdom.

Nations represented at HOPAC

New Zealand
South Africa
United Kingdom
United States of America