Important message about the COVID-19 Coronavirus

In an effort to care for all of our personnel, families, and mission around the world, EMI has been taking a number of steps in response to the progress of COVID-19.

Location-specific Crisis Management Teams are now in place to monitor COVID developments, inform, and care for EMI personnel. All official EMI travel (including project travel) has been cancelled or postponed and no new travel plans are being prepared until further notice. EMI’s worldwide offices are in varying states of closure with personnel working remotely or from home as they are able.

We continue to actively monitor the situation and will respond to new information affecting our worldwide ministry and teams. We view the COVID-19 Coronavirus an opportunity to live out the gospel and our faith in Jesus through the ministry of EMI.

Jesse Van Gorkom

Workshop Manager
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.