Jem’s main responsibility is to help support and develop the Church of Uganda’s BUILD training initiative, which has now spread to the surrounding countries (South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and DRC). BUILD stands for Biblical Understanding for In-service Leadership Development and the course is designed to equip church leaders who have no access to traditional training.
BUILD uses a multiplication model: the formal training of trainers equips them to train leaders at the grassroots. The trainers are exposed to, and taught to use, a curriculum that is biblical, theological, practical and has been developed in context.
Jem joined Crosslinks in 2000 and lived in Uganda until 2007 before moving to South Africa. 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 (SSM) at St Bartholomew’s Church, Bath.
My last letter pointed to East Africa’s lower COVID-19 figures when compared to Europe and the US (while highlighting dire economic and educational impacts and therefore personal and community costs).
Some of the theories doing the rounds were mentioned: ‘governments have responded rapidly’, ‘there is real expertise in responding to infectious dis-eases’, ‘the demographics are startlingly different to ours.’ More apocalyptic assessments were also circulating, but there are now good reasons for cautious optimism. As one piece put it:
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