Jesse Van Gorkom

Remote Workshop Associate
EMI Uganda
Joined EMI: July 2016
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Professional Training & Experience

  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR, 2012
  • Field Engineer, Loduk Development Initiative, Nakaale, Uganda, 2013-2016
  • Metal Fabrication Manager, EMI Uganda, 2017-2018
  • Workshop Manager, EMI Uganda, 2018-Pesent

After graduation Jesse moved to Uganda and worked for 3 years as a Field Engineer for a ministry with a focus on discipleship combined with water and solar development, construction, and metal fabrication. Now he manages EMI Uganda's Workshop, developing and expanding the program while overseeing/training a team of welders and carpenters.

Ministry Experience

Jesse was born and raised in Ethiopia. He has been interested in discipleship based development work since he was a kid. After University he had the opportunity to move to Karamoja, a remote region in Uganda, and work with a Presbyterian ministry doing just that. During those 3 years Jesse developed a desire to train and disciple construction workers, which led him to EMI Uganda.


Jesse and Hannah have been happily married since 2015. Hannah is from Rochester Hills, MI, and has always loved Africa. She met Jesse in 2014 while working with a Christian, community based, development group in Jinja, Uganda. Their first baby, Addis Lee, was born in April 2019.

They are always looking for good adventures.