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The serving school

May 2011 | by Kyle McFarlane

The serving school

‘Haven of Peace Academy —  leadership, stewardship and service’ reads the logo of this international school in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, which educates 350 students from over 30 countries.
    The school provides Year 1-13 education which culminates in IGCSEs and A levels, allowing students to fit back into schools, colleges or universities in their home countries.
    All the teachers at HOPAC are committed Christians (from 10 nationalities), many sent by mission agencies such as AIM.
    There are waiting lists for every class, as parents from other faith backgrounds (and none) recognise the excellent quality of education on offer. The leadership potential of the diverse student body is immense; without a doubt, many of them will be in positions of leadership all over the world within the next decade and beyond.

Serving curriculum

Another unique aspect of HOPAC is the integration of ‘service’ into the curriculum and timetable. Each week every student serves the wider community in a practical way (such as teaching English, sports or swimming, developing sustainable fuel sources or working on water projects), and every March the whole secondary school leaves campus to participate in Service Emphasis Week in teams around Dar and further afield, in a practical expression of ‘loving your neighbour’.
    Each team has a task to complete, which could be painting a home for street boys, crafts and games for an orphanage or children at the local disability hospital or school, building a wall to slow down soil erosion, or clearing a rural airstrip.
    At ‘feedback day’ this year around 40 teenagers queued up to share what they had learned from their hosts, the communities they went to serve, and God, as they often found themselves outside of their comfort zones and reliant on his provision and care.

Prayerful beginning

HOPAC was started in 1995 by missionary parents who met to pray together and often shared heartaches and challenges about how to stay in their places of ministry while educating their children affordably and effectively.
    It has grown from 35 primary students in three classes, accommodated in an extended house to today’s impressive, well equipped and spacious 10 acre site that overlooks the Indian Ocean.
    God has faithfully provided teachers and administrators over the years as numbers and the range of subjects and activities offered has expanded. Prayer has been a foundational principle since the beginning and continues to be central to all that goes on — students, staff and parents pray together and for one another regularly, and we have seen some amazing answers to prayer over the years.
    Some recently returned MKs (missionary kids) described HOPAC as, ‘Welcoming, family, learning, Christian, safe, good mix and the best school ever’. See for yourself at www.hopac.net
Kyle McFarlane

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Africa