Jem supports the Church of Uganda’s ‘BUILD’ training initiative, which has now spread to the surrounding countries (South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and DR Congo). BUILD (Biblical Understanding for In-service Leadership Development) helps to equip the many local church leaders who have no access to traditional training.
BUILD uses a multiplication model to achieve this: the formal training-of-trainers equips them to train leaders at the grassroots in local, non-formal BUILD groups. The trainers are exposed to and taught to use an extensive curriculum that is biblical, theological and practical, and which has been developed in context.
Jem joined Crosslinks in 2000 and lived in Uganda until 2007 before moving to South Africa, where there is also some BUILD presence. He returned to the UK in 2013 and continues to serve BUILD through leading the work of BUILD Partners, which includes regular travel to East Africa. Jem also serves as an Associate Minister (NSM) at St Bartholomew’s Church, Bath.
‘There is simply lots to be grateful for.’
My relatively short but intense trips to East Africa are a good barometer of BUILD’s development and pick up threads from previous letters. Much of the work I do in between leads up to them and then flows from them in helpful ways.
There are always surprises, often stressful ones, but all the unexpected things seemed so encouraging. The Uganda Martyrs Seminary based diploma cohort returned in strength for a third block of their training, despite the distances and difficulties (see photo above). It was encouraging to see real progress in their assessments and the way they approach learning together. And there were real steps forward in their preaching, which is assessed as a course within the course. It was moving to listen to one student, Joram, preach in English for the very first time: his parish covers multiple churches in a remote area and his ministry is entirely in the vernacular. It was extraordinary to hear him explain and apply a passage so powerfully in what is his third or fourth language. And the local team of trainers is going from strength to strength so it was a joy to turn up and help out where I could. Pray for the students back in their home areas across Uganda, in South Sudan (and South Sudanese refugee settlements within Uganda), in Burundi, and in Congo as they implement their learning and work on assignments.
Receive future updates from Jem by email.
Crosslinks enables Christian mission opportunities
t: +44 (0) 20 8691 6111
t: +44 (0) 28 9079 6028
© Crosslinks 2019
Registered charity no: 1164474