Rising Hope Foundation
Andrew Gardiner was Minister at Hope Baptist Church in Plymouth for nearly 15 years. Before that he had been Youth Minister at Mutley Baptist Church, also in Plymouth. In May 2016, at the age of 57, Andrew was diagnosed with cancer. This changed everything in, and around, his world overnight and he was dragged against his will into a place of darkness, fear, loss and confusion. He was deeply frustrated and in turmoil at being snatched from his place of ministry which he absolutely loved!
In the two years that followed, Andrew found something amazing, that in the gloom and troubled time of suffering and horrible painful treatments, new and surprising things were revealed. In the middle of the night on an oncology ward, God gave Andrew the words of a song True Identity. A good friend of Andrew’s wrote the music and the song was released on CD. God continued to inspire Andrew to write many other songs, several of these making the top three of the Christian music chart. In addition to the songs, Andrew wrote many poems, some of which he had printed onto bookmarks, to encourage and inspire other people. Andrew decided to call this ministry, Rising Hope. It gave him the platform to talk about his faith to thousands of people, through the Rising Hope Facebook page, church services, radio interviews and two appearances on Songs of Praise.
Money made from the sale of CDs and bookmarks were put into a fund called Rising Hope Foundation. In the 1990’s when Andrew worked as Youth Director for the local Baptist Association, he was frustrated at how little money was available to help young people be involved in mission and evangelism. Andrew therefore decided that Rising Hope Foundation funds should be available to young people from the South West who want to step out in faith and serve God in making His name known.
Sadly in 2018, Andrew died. He faced his two year battle with cancer with incredible courage and dignity. His faith in God never wavered. The songs and poems that he wrote and the testimonies and interviews that he gave, inspired many people. In the months of his illness he also wrote a book, about his discovery, that in the darkest of places, you are never alone. This book, entitled “The Tunnel” was completed by his family and has now been published with all profits going to the Rising Hope Foundation. Order a copy of the book here.
It is our hope that others will catch Andrew’s vision and through further sales of CDs and the book, young people will be enabled to make the gospel known throughout not only the South West, but throughout the world.
The Rising Hope Foundation now offers small grants to young people from the South West who are planning mission trips and to young people from further afield who are planning a mission trip in the South West of England. Find out more about the Foundation and download a grant application here.
Rising Hope Ministry have produced Andrew’s Advent Poem on a bookmark which is available for purchase for just 30p from their website – great to give out to guests at church carol services! All proceeds from sales support,
- Individual young people from the South West of England getting involved in mission and evangelism, in the SW, in the U.K., and to the “ends of the earth”.
- Christian mission ventures, involving 12 – 25 year olds, organised in the South West of England
- Church youth groups, from the South West of England, engaging in mission ventures in the UK and abroad.