God is always at work - The idea in motion
In July 2001, we both went on a project trip to Kampala to work with MAF on the redesign of their office space in Kajjansi. Little did we know that years later this is where the EMI Uganda office would be located!
This trip confirmed to us and to EMI that the time was right to start a new EMI office in Uganda, so preparations were put in motion.
The first stop was Colorado Springs to spend a year in the EMI USA office and pray for others to join the launch team. Just before the end of our time at EMI USA God brought along John and Paula Sauder and Keith and Marianne Gum to complete the launch team.
We all moved to Kampala in July 2003 to launch EMI’s 5th office! We had precisely 4 contacts, no office space, no pre-field training, an incredibly small budget and 2 interns arriving in 2 months! Looking back, it is truly only by the grace of God that this office survived given our lack of planning.
Amazingly, God quickly provided an incredible house that contained two 3-bedroom 2-bathroom homes stacked on top of each other with an outside staircase and boys' quarters in the back. This one building would become EMI Uganda for the next 3 years!
This was the home for the Gambles, the Sauders, interns and office space! We remember one intern, upon seeing the house for the first time, exclaimed, “I thought I was going to be living in a small hut in a village! Instead, I’m living in a mansion!”
By September our interns joined us and jumped into action by setting up furniture, running network cables, trying to perform construction management and participating in the two volunteer trips planned shortly after their arrival.
God is always at work - The idea continues to grow
God also provided a lot of people to come alongside and help the office. We met Jonathan and Lisa Mayo through Heritage International School where Shanthi worked with Lisa. They introduced us to a lawyer, Edward Sakabanja, who continues to work with EMI.
We found a great night security guard, Stephen Kambasu who ended up working with the office for nearly 15 years. We also met Patrick Rubingoya, a Ugandan architect who worked closely with John Sauder to provide the office with local design practices and standards.
At the time we had 2 new staff members and a new group of interns added to the initial 3 families. Today, we have 42 staff, 6 trainees and 5 fellows at EMI Uganda!
Despite our ignorance, lack of planning and cultural mistakes, God established EMI Uganda. We know that God continues to use the office to accomplish His purposes throughout East Africa and we are honored to have played a small part!
Chad and Shanthi Gamble.