Mzungu Memoirs

Small Ministry Projects

I have heard several say that eMi’s heartbeat is the design project trips, many of which I have been blessed to have experienced since 2002.  Although an average eMi project involves a donation to ministries of what would cost $80,000 in professional fees, hosting a design team also usually involves a cost to the ministry we are serving of simple meals and lodging, in-country transportation, one airfare for the team leader and project sponsorship of up to $8,000, if the ministry can afford it.  Many small national ministries cannot afford to host a full team.  The East Africa office has begun offering design services (feasibility studies, master planning, etc.) for these small growing ministries that could make use of fund raising documents or design assistance to help them as they grow and develop their often God-sized visions.

Now living in Kampala, I have been able to work on several of these small projects in between the larger projects.  A teacher called to transform an entire nation by developing a school that incorporates Biblical teaching, a Ugandan man that endured civil war as a boy now feeling called to provide healing for orphans left in the wake, a ministry serving Christian university students or a mzungu woman called to educate and house orphans.  I wanted to share some of the recent small projects I have been working on.

Growing up in a rural village in Northern Uganda, Dr. Toli Simon endured the tyranny of Idi Amin and many of the atrocities of the long civil war that ended only a few years ago.  Many abandoned their faith after years of hardships, yet Dr. Simon’s family held firm.  Witnessing the murder of an uncle, he now feels called to minister to the many orphans left in the wake of the civil war.  Some children lost parents from the war, others from AIDS prevalent and spread in refugee camps.  Dr. Simon has a God-sized vision for an orphanage, primary school, secondary school, vocational school, clinic and staff housing.

Visiting the site and surveying the property almost two months ago, I was amazed at what I witnessed the day we visited.  Initially a small site that would have only accommodated a small primary school and some of the intended orphans, the village elders sat down to discuss a land dispute that had erupted while we were beginning the survey.  Dr. Simon’s amazing ability to be a peacemaker and the intent to provide much needed education, orphan housing and a clinic resulted in the village elders granting more land, enlarging the property 2.5 times the original size!  You can read more about the site visit in a past blog 10 Apr, “First Mzungus in the Village.”

These images show the phasing and proposed complete development of the now larger ministry site for True Life Ministries International.  In an e-mail message, Dr. Simon wrote, “This is an amazing master plan for our project.  It is a great donation.  It has enlarged our vision, considering the miraculous expansion of the land during the surveying process.  It is an affirmation of the Bible truth that ‘we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Romans 8:28”

I have also been working on renderings and drawings for the Ukarimu House in Nairobi, Kenya.  Adjacent to Daystar University, the Ukarimu House seeks to serve students by providing a facility for outreach, mentoring, counseling, fellowship and discipleship.  Named for the Swahili word for hospitality, the Ukarimu House would include several residential rooms for students, several meeting rooms, a kitchen and dining room, study areas, a large veranda, a separate apartment and two-bedroom guest house.

Having been under construction for about ten years, this ministry is anxious to finish the project.  Currently, it is a concrete skeletal frame without a roof, windows, doors or finishes.  There have also been several revisions and errors through the construction.  eMi was asked to provide as-builts of the existing conditions, develop fund raising renderings and develop documents to complete construction of a roof.  A design team was sent from Colorado, with a representative from our East Africa office.  I have been working on developing presentation renderings and will continue developing architectural floor plans, elevations, roof plan, and drafting structural roof framing plans and truss details.

A third small project I would like to share with you is Mary’s Little Lambs, a ministry serving Ugandan orphans.  Started by a mzungu woman from New Jersey, Mary’s Little Lambs has purchased a site in Bulama, about 1.5 hours west of Kampala.  Mary has the vision of serving Ugandan orphans with housing, education and the love of Christ.

This fully developed master plan would house 80 orphans, educate 200 children, provide staff and teacher housing, a multipurpose building, offices, guest housing and a peaceful garden with water features and meditation spaces.

Living here in Kampala has made working on these small projects possible.  Heather & I continue to see more confirmation of our calling to serve here in Uganda…more stories later.  Thanks to all of our supporters who have partnered with our ministry to make all of this possible.

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” – Matthew 9:37-38

posted by Robert in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Small Ministry Projects”

  1. Dr Toli Simon says:

    Brother May Almighty God bless you abundantly for design plan EMI donated to our Project through you. and other team members. Due to lack of funds we have not yet started the work of construction.But we have 220 orphans who could not wait. They have already started staying and learning in the temporal structures with mud walls and polythene roof coverings at the site. We pray that the Lord touches some Good Samaritans to donate for this orphans project so that early next year (2013) we start constructing some few classrooms and dormitories for the orphans.We are planning the construction of the wave site as well.Dr Toli Simon