In August of 2015, Randall and Rachelle Garretson pioneered Haven of Hope in response to the atrocities and brutality of "Rape being used as a weapon of war" in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their hearts ablaze with a mission to ignite restoration and bring hope to a culture that has been troubled with a long dark history of terror, war and persistent conflict.
Randall and Rachelle Garretson live in Macomb, Michigan USA with the youngest of their four children.
Rachelle is an IBI (Impact Bible Institute) Bible school graduate, she holds a degree in criminal justice and she actively serves at Grace Christian Church in Sterling Heights, MI. Rachelle is the only full time employee at Haven of Hope and she devotes her time to coordinating the fundraising events, volunteers and running Haven of Hope's day to day needs.
Randall is the owner of RPG Networks LLC, an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) company, he too is an IBI Bible school graduate and serves in a leadership role at Grace Christian Church. He enjoys remodeling projects around the house and works closely with his wife as much as possible on a weekly basis at Haven of Hope
They both lead active lives, delight in the company of friends, and have a deep passion for exploring new destinations to unwind. Among their significant pursuits, they are enthusiastic about international travel, immersing themselves in diverse cultures, and guiding others in discovering their divine purpose. Additionally, they serve as mentors and ministers within their home church and local community. Their belief is that their triumph over previous life obstacles has endowed them with invaluable wisdom and experience, enabling them to assist individuals facing their present challenges and hardships.
The Garretson's are dedicated warriors, actively combatting despair in others caused by violence, brutality, and social rejection. With their extensive experience, they have successfully helped individuals overcome trauma, rediscover their true identity, and seize control of their destinies. They firmly believe that transforming a culture and rebuilding a nation begins with empowering the local community and infusing leaders and rulers with inspiration, encouragement and support.
The Garretson's have committed to returning to Bukavu, Sud-Kivu D.R.Congo each year to fight for love, hope, self-worth and identity. Randall and Rachelle equip and empower the Congolese people to make the cultural changes in which will prosper their nation.
Take your stand and unite with us in reclaiming nations for those who are caught in bondage of fighting for survival on a daily basis.
Who is Haven of Hope?
What is the issue we fight for?
What have we done so far?
What are our goals?
Haven of Hope is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to assisting survivors of rape, assault, and rejection in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our primary mission is to provide a safe haven for survivors, offering them the opportunity to recover from their traumatic experiences, receive essential counseling, physical healing, and acquire vocational training that equips them to reintegrate into society with the capacity to support themselves and their children.
The attack on women in the Congo originate from the 120 distinct militia factions vying for dominance in the area in their quest to control mines and natural resources, all with the intention of undermining, displacing, and sapping the determination of the local populace. Rape is being used as a weapon of war to dismantle communities and disrupt the family structure in the pursuit of power, control, and advantage.
Women who manage to survive such assaults are frequently abducted from their homes, subjected to enslavement by the militia factions, and trafficked as a source of sustenance and weaponry. Those who manage to flee or are abandoned often find themselves pregnant, only to face societal rejection rooted in cultural traditions that label the assaulted women as a curse upon their village. Families, friends, and communities frequently disown them, forcing them to leave the only life they have known, often leading to a life of aimless wandering, despair and even death.
In August 2022, after seven years of hard work, Haven of Hope secured a facility with 3,300 square feet of living space, providing a home for 18 of the most challenging cases among survivors and their children. Additionally, we initiated our vocational program, employing local instructors and establishing a practical transition residence. By August 2023, we successfully graduated the first 75 women from our skilled trades program, enabling many of them to secure employment opportunities based on the skills they have acquired.
Among our fresh objectives, we aim to transition from leasing to owning the compound, invest in land to provide training in agricultural skills for the girls and establish sustainable farming practices to produce their own food. Additionally, we plan to acquire a multi-passenger vehicle for efficient transportation between the farm and home, ultimately resulting in cost savings for our organization.