Interview with Rob Link, Pastor of The River

HopeChest’s Œ”Community-to-CommunityŒ” model sets the foundation for our Survive, Thrive, and Succeed approach to transformation. Community transformation does not happen overnight; it takes time. That’s why we partner with churches and individuals in the US and Canada who commit to a long-term relationship with overseas communities.Œ

These long-term relationships allow communities to really know each other, to be accountable to each other, and to plan and implement change on a level that would be impossible in a short-term interaction. HopeChest partners with over 100 churches and communities in the US to bring transformation to their church and to a community across the globe. Today, we want to introduce you to Rob Link, FoundingŒ Pastor of The RiverŒ in Kalamazoo, MI.Œ Find out why his church formed a partnership with two HopeChest CarePoints in today’s HopeChest Insights Interview.Œ

Why did your church choose to partner with HopeChest?

Several years ago I heard the former director of HopeChest speaking at a church while I was on spring break. My heart was moved to partner with a village in the developing world to help the orphaned and vulnerable children. I came home and talked to our executive pastor (Which was Wil Crooks at the time, now he is the VP of Strategic Partnerships at Children’s HopeChest) and said we gotta make this happen. It happened.

Where have you seen transformation in your community because of its partnership with your CarePoint?

We have two partnerships with HopeChest — Uganda and Guatemala. Both places have ignited our folks to live out their faith in ways they had not been prior to our work in those places. We, as a congregation, are more “others minded” now and have seen that transfer back into our city with increased mercy ministry involvement.

How have you seen transformation and growth at your CarePoint?

We’ve seen hundreds of kids clothed, fed, educated and discipled. We have seen 25 or so businesses begun through our micro loans. We have seen health rise. We have seen a village gain access to clean water. We have seen educators equipped and a school be enhanced.

What has your partnership taught you?

In a nutshell: global missions is powerful and HopeChest is a wonderful partner.

What are your hopes and dreams for your CarePoint?

To see both partnerships end after an appropriate amount of time with the CarePoint better equipped to carry on without us — for them to do the work we have begun no longer needing us to do that work.

Get a glimpse into The River’s partnership with Oditel CarePoint in GuatemalaŒ and Operation Rescue in Guatemala. Watch the videos below!Œ


Guatemala – One Year from The River Church on Vimeo.

Uganda – Next Three Years from The River Church on Vimeo.