Andrew Bauman spent four years at Montreat College studying “a bigger world,” and then he went out and started trying to make a part of it better. A Bible and Religion major with an emphasis in Worldviews, Andrew and his wife Christy were led by God to seek “a big narrative to live by and live for,” and subsequently felt God’s calling to aid and renew his people in the poverty-stricken country of Malawi, Africa. At the start of 2010, the Baumans started a non-profit called Collective Hope with their extra wedding money. Rather than use their funds for a down payment on a house, they purchased an 11-acre plot of land outside of Lilongwe, Malawi, in the district of Kaduwa.
After interviewing community members in Lilongwe about their most desperate needs, the Baumans proceeded to plant crops, buy farm animals for a farm co-op with the local villages, dig a well for farm irrigation and drinking water, and provide education for six orphaned children. Currently, the couple is working to launch medical clinics that will offer pediatric care and sustainable business projects such as beekeeping. Collective Hope’s goal is to empower local villages through sustainable farming, education, economic development, and medical care.
The couple currently lives in Seattle, WA, in an intentional community located in an economically depressed neighborhood. When asked how Montreat College prepared him for the world, Andrew answered, “My time at Montreat was an intricate part of my development of a global ministry and for deepening my heart towards the poor and broken of this world.” Not only is God renewing the lives of many Malawians through Collective Hope, he is changing Andrew and Christy as well. Andrew said, “When we come to the realization of our own depravity, true renewal and redemption sneak in.”