It had to be divine intervention. When Scott Thygeson, my father-in-law and retired school teacher, was meeting an old friend for breakfast at the Walla Walla University cafeteria, he came across a group of students talking and praying together. He was intrigued, so he began talking with them.

He found out they were student leaders for the Associated Student Body, and he ended up telling them about Impact Hope—about helping save young refugees from life in the camps by sending them to boarding school. The students planned to give this information to next year’s incoming student leaders.

As God leads, I went to Walla Walla and presented about Impact Hope to the new student leaders of the ASWWU Global Service Dept. They ended up choosing Impact Hope as their primary fundraising project for the next school year!

Those student leaders actually visited Rwanda in September of 2016 and became passionate about helping these refugees. They started with a goal to raise $45,000 for the refugees and named their campus project “Hope for the Hills,” as Rwanda is called “The Land of a Thousand Hills.”

Their early success in fundraising for Impact Hope led them to surpass their goal by Christmas! Then they raised the goal to $75,000, which they were able to raise by the end of the 2017 school year! Praise the Lord!

They are currently sponsoring 47 students from Gitwe Adventist College, and not just for one year, but until all 47 graduate!

This is an amazing gift to give refugees. But even with successes like this, it’s important to keep in mind that the need for sponsoring students will always be present. There will always be more students to sponsor each year.

The spring edition of the Westwind magazine published the story about Hope in the Hills and the early success. The full article can be found on the Walla Walla University website at

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