We met Pastor John Kayima three summers ago in Colorado at an international ministry event. He is a humble man and calls himself the "Accidental Pastor." According to Pastor John, there are many accidental pastors in Uganda. Little did we know at that time how many times our paths would cross in the coming months and how we would become involved in his ministry to Aids orphans in Uganda.
Pastor John is a veterinarian by trade. He became a Christian several years ago and was mentored by another pastor, the man John calls his "spiritual father." About that same time, John was hired to consult with a new poultry project. He was working with the laborers who were building the facility and sharing with all of them how Jesus had changed his life. He led about 25 to faith in Jesus and began taking them on Sunday to his spiritual father's church. One Sunday they arrived and his spiritual father barred the door and said, "No more. It is time for you to start your own church. " (Now that's tough love!)
So John, his wife Ruth and five children began having church in their home. Eventually the church grew and they built a building. Within a few months, this new church was looking around and asking "How can we make the biggest impact in Uganda?" They saw the many, many orphans created by the Aids epidemic so Pastor John began teaching on abstinence before marriage and faithfulness during marriage and the importance of strong families. But they saw that if they did not do something more, they would lose another generation to Aids. So Pastor John inspired his church to start a school where Aids orphans could attend in a safe environment, receive one meal a day, and receive love and affection as well as hear the gospel and learn about God's plan to protect themselves and their generation from another Aids epidemic.
The church built a school and now cares for 150+ orphans. The children live with foster parents in villages surrounding the school. They walk each day to school, typically around 3 miles one way. The foster parents may or may not provide a nurturing environment (many practice witchcraft) at home but at least there is a roof over their heads. But Pastor John and his congregation desire to be able to house the children during the school week so they can be well cared for, receive better nutrition, and be safe from whatever might be happening in the foster environment.
So they began building a dormitory where the children could stay during the week. They have made amazing progress in a very short time. But there is still work to be done to complete it. What I love about Pastor John is that his heart is for the orphanage to be self-sustaining. He has made several trips to the US to build relationships for support. But rather than the traditional model of child sponsorship, which relies on the reliability of the giver, his goal is to buy some land and plant a mango field which will pay the expenses for the buildings, teachers and needs of the students and allow them to dream bigger. Mangos can take a while to be ready to harvest, so in the short term, they would like to plant ginger (ready to harvest in a few months) on land they already own which will fund the purchase and planting of the mango field. What I would LOVE to see is the funds raised to do both. That way the funds from the ginger project can go toward the dormitory, school and orphans right now, and the mango field can be planted and in place and ready to fund expansion of the orphanage and school.
It truly is amazing what this "accidental pastor" and his church have accomplished in such a short time. God is using him mightily to change his world. How many of us, when faced with such an uphill battle and limited resources, would have the courage to charge forward and do what Pastor John and his church have done. So I am asking as many as possible to come along side them and finish this dormitory and buy and plant these fields. To meet the goal of $40,000 we only need 400 people giving $100 each. Or sell 8,000 cookbooks. This is so doable with the power of social media and your help!
To that end, for the month of November, 100% of the profits from the digital and paperbook versions of the cookbook will go to the goal of raising $40,000 for the Rural Child Initiatives Project Uganda (official name). Just in time for Christmas! Who do you know who would love to get their children involved in cooking? If everyone would share this post and encourage their friends to do the same, we can do this! Buy a cookbook, change the world! Choose one of the options here:
Read Cookbook Reviews
Purchase paperback on Amazon - $4.14 per book to the children
$18.99 on Amazon currently but Amazon changes prices regularly. I know, it's weird.
Purchase paperback directly from the publisher. $8.14 per book to the children
$19.99 - Twice the royalty will go to the children by choosing this option
Purchase downloadable full color PDF eBook Every dime to the children- you decide.
$5.00 minimum or name the amount you want to donate
If you live in the Hesston, Kansas area, books are available at:
Weaver Grocer, Hesston Faith and Life Bookstore, Newton The Bookshelf, McPherson
Cook's Nook, McPherson Water's Edge Restaurant, Hesston The Quick Gym, McPherson
Are you interested in hosting "Mango Sunday" at your church? Download the file below. This a a great project for a youth group and Pastor John would love to connect with them in a personal way.
Connect with Bishop John on Facebook.
If you don't know me, I'm sure you are wondering if you can trust me. To facilitate transparency to the donors, I will be providing screen shot updates of the money raised from my royalties pages and the deposits made to the church's account. So check back here for updates! Also, if you would like to read the business plan for the ginger and mango projects, download the file listed here.