Launch of GO Africa!Rich Stigall
We’re thrilled to announce a significant marker in our ministry’s life: our launch of GO Africa. By the grace of God and the collective movement of so many of you, The Global Orphan Project continues to expand its global reach…
More than 2 years ago, the Lord first opened the door for us to work in Uganda. Just a few miles from the first reported AIDS case in Africa and the epicenter of the African AIDS pandemic, we piloted the unique model of local church based orphan care. God blessed that first prelude.
Since then, we’ve been compelled to write much more in Eastern Africa.
We piloted 4 villages in Uganda, with 3 more now in process. Our Malawi pilot, a team effort among many wonderful partners, is ready for launch. We’ve started multiple sustainability works – from small agriculture investments to home construction – including 3 thriving Sewing Centers.
Two things have captured us along the way: the church and the children.
Our local church partners… Who have embraced the burden of caring for true end-of-the-line children as family. And who’ve done so with a heart to keep the children connected with their extended family and village roots, which is critically important.
And the children at the end-of-the-line… My God, their beauty. Their value. Their worth. They are so many, but not one a mistake. They bless our souls and compel us to action in a supernatural love that makes no earthly sense, and yet can move mountains.
We’ve heard it said: when you see the Lord at work, go there and join Him. That’s exactly what we’re doing with an “all in” commitment to Eastern Africa.
Here’s what that looks like:
• GO Africa: We’ve officially registered and launched operation of GO Project – Africa Ltd. (“GO Africa”) in Kampala, Uganda. GO Africa serves as our regional on-the-ground presence to incubate and expand local church based care in Eastern Africa. Meet our three key leaders:
• Dr. Alison Barfoot, one of the most gifted leaders I’ve ever encountered, is serving as GO Africa’s Field Director. Alison knows Uganda, Eastern Africa, the on-the-ground local church Network, and the unique challenges of end-of-the-line orphan care in the region. We could not design on paper a leader better molded to launch this drive.
• Scott Kice recently gave up his thriving career in the FBI to become our Global Development Manager. Before this chapter, Scott did an awful lot in life – from graphic design, to day trading, to construction, to project management in Afghanistan, to orphan care work in South Asia, to the FBI. Last week, Scott deployed to GO Africa for the next year to work with Alison to incubate our work and sustainability ventures in Eastern Africa.
• Rose Kanyunyuzi graduated Number 1 in her class at Uganda Christian University. She’s become a noted lecturer and counselor to vulnerable women and children in Uganda and Congo. And now she’s joined the GO Africa staff to lead our local church partners in their care of the children, and outreach to extended families and the community at large in the process.
• Expansion: We plan to further expand our reach in Uganda to new local church based care sites, God willing. We’re on the brink of launching pilot sites in Southern Sudan and Ethiopia, two new countries in the GO Project arena. Expect to see those opportunities before you very soon.
• Trips: We’re prepared to lead an increased volume of vision trips to various locations in Eastern Africa. Our next Uganda trip will be November 2 – 13, 2011. We have room for 11 of you to come with us! If interested, contact Adrien.
• Tour d’Uganda: From January 7-17, 2012, we will host GO Project’s second global bicycle trek, this time touching both of the earth’s hemispheres in a rigorous bicycle tour across Uganda. Once again, Garmin International Inc. will be our anchor corporate sponsor of this adventure.
Trace Thurlby, our President, arrives in Kampala today to join the GO Africa team in this launch. He’ll blog the journey to keep you all connected. Stay tuned for that!
Please know that this does not mean that we’re holding back on our work in Haiti and South Asia. Not at all. We’re full steam ahead with all the Lord’s given us thus far.
What we are saying is that God’s compelling us to a season of growth in Eastern Africa. He’s prepared us for this. Now we say “yes” with confidence He provides, and invite all of you to join in.
Come on this next adventure with us. And spread the word!