StartHub Africa

StartHub Africa

One of the projects that the Entrepreneurship Faculty at UCU has been facilitating for interested students in all courses of study is StartHub Africa (fb.com/starthubafricaa).

The StartHub course involved approximately 11 lecture sessions presenting material to help student entrepreneurs develop business plans and create businesses using tools like the “Business Model Canvas” shown below. The UCU students have been meeting Saturday nights from 7 pm – 10 pm. Now, that’s dedication!

The StartHub course ends with a final competition for $5,000,000 UGshillings (about $1,400 USD) called the StartHub Africa Pitch Event. It will be held this Friday May 18th at International University of East Africa (IUEA) in Kampala. Guests will include students from all universities around Kampala, entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and the general public, and will come to see groups presenting new businesses from seven universities including International University of East Africa, Kampala International University, Kyambogo University, Ugandan Christian University, Ugandan Martyr’s University, Ndejje University, and Bugema University.

The event will begin with a business fair where the public and the judges can visit the booths of each team to learn about their business and ask questions. After lunch, the judges will select 9 teams, plus 1 selected by the public as a favorite, to present on stage a 3-minute pitch on their business to compete for the award money.

Last Friday, the faculty members helping with StartHub gathered with the students for an “Internal Pitch” to help them prepare for the final Pitch Event this Friday. Teams brought prototypes of their products and powerpoint presentations to explain their business and entice investors or the Pitch Event judges. Our students have come up with a variety of products including mixed fruit trays, a bakery business, a backpack manufacturing company (which has already made sales to some schools!), a mobile app for small business owners in all industries, and affordable home décor. I look forward to seeing how the students refine their businesses and presentations as we help them to prepare for the event on Friday. We will hope for a great outcome!

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Welcome to the Neighborhood

On Saturday afternoon, Mary and I arrived home to UCU campus in Mukono after spending 2 nights near the airport in Entebbe. We were greeted by smiling faces and hugs from our neighbors and friends who came by to greet us.

I have enjoyed getting to familiarize myself with the campus and had the opportunity to meet several of the faculty and staff the last few days. Warm and welcoming are the trademark characteristics of the people here in Uganda.

We also have some four-legged neighbors who like to avail themselves of the fruits in our garden and also the fruit in the nearby trees (mangos are everywhere right now). While more exotic (to me), people talk about the monkeys like we do the squirrels in Texas, a little perturbed that they are eating our fruit or in the squirrels’ case, hiding nuts in our flower pots. At a barbeque with the Entrepreneurship faculty last night, my favorite quote of the evening was “We can’t sit outside because the monkeys may throw mangos at us.” These monkey friends like to pick mangos, take a bite, and if they are not yet ripe, throw them down to the ground below.

This is a picture borrowed from Wikipedia because I haven’t gotten a close-up photo of one of these guys yet! They’re always on the move!

Yesterday, I woke up to a rooster crowing on our neighbor’s patio. A few hours later, this neighbor kindly brought over some homemade chicken in a tasty broth and matoke (a traditional Ugandan dish of steamed bananas that tastes a little like mashed potatoes) to share.

Our back patio is one of my favorite places at this new home. It’s surrounded by a garden full of herbs and fruit (thyme, basil, parsley, strawberries, gooseberries, leeks, eggplant, cucumber, green onions, and more). It will be fun to cook with such a fresh assortment just outside the kitchen. It’s also a lovely location for quiet time with the Lord and for our group prayer and bible study each morning.

Love, Hope, Joy: Returning to Madagascar

Love, Hope, Joy: Returning to Madagascar

Come with me and I will make you fishers of men” and at once they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:17-18

At the Women’s Center in the Diocese of Toliara, Madagascar

Needlecraft, embroidery, crochet, and culinary arts are fulfilling hobbies for many of us. To women in Southwest Madagascar, skills gained in these crafts enable them to launch small businesses and lift their families out of poverty. God is using SAMS missionary Jacky Lowe to provide them the training that makes these transformations possible. Jacky first served in Madagascar as a Bridger. She was called to serve after hearing SAMS Missionary Rev. Patsy Mcgregor speak at the Diocesan conference in Flordia. Now, she will return there this March to serve long-term.

Jacky will train women in these crafts in the Diocese of Toliara.  When she was first there she says of her time, “For five weeks I lived in community with people who have nothing and are full of joy. I hope to carry that joy with me every day.” Now, carrying out that Joy, she prepares to return.

Teacher and students give what they have – knowledge and joy, willingness to work cross-culturally in community – and grow what they have established. Workshop students “go back to their parishes and teach the women there,” Jacky says.

Since last summer, new crafts are being taught. One, in particular, is bead and jewelry making. One young mother is able to take care of her child with the money she earns from making the beads.

Jacky (left) with Rev. Patsy McGregor

“A committee of women in Toliara, with SAMS Missionary Patsy McGregor’s help, sets standards and prices paid to women,” Jacky adds. “We hope, with time, that women throughout the diocese of Toliara will be able to develop work and leadership skills to provide for their families.” As she prepares to leave very soon, you can visit her SAMS page and consider praying and supporting her.

“Join us in a journey of hope, to empower the women and children of Madagascar to overcome poverty through education and the love of Jesus Christ.”

Support Jacky here. You can also support by check:

SAMS USA, PO Box 399, Ambridge, PA 15003
Checks should be payable to: SAMS USA; memo:  Jacky/women

by Howard McClellan, SAMS Staff

The Rest of the Story…

The Rest of the Story…

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

In 2009 your Society featured a story on the front page of The Messenger about the Rev. Patsy McGregor (center of the top picture and a SAMS Missionary serving in Madagascar with her husband Bishop Todd) mentoring young women. One of those women named Nolavy desired to be an evangelist, but her father, the local shaman at that time, forbade her to be one. Nolavy and the McGregors prayed persistently, and eventually, her father gave her the blessing to go to Kenya to prepare to be an evangelist. Another beautiful aspect of Nolavy’s testimony in her own family is that shortly before her father died he, too, gave his life to Christ.

Despite living in poverty and facing many obstacles, today Nolavy is the first Malagasy woman from the Diocese of Toliara to receive her Bachelors in Divinity. Upon completing her studies with the help and support of SAMS Senders, Nolavy said, “By the grace of God, I have finished my schooling and I have returned to Madagascar. I could not hold tears from falling down my eyes when I was writing my final college paper. It was beyond my imagination that I could one day get a chance to study for a Bachelor of Divinity!”  She currently serves as the Diocesan Children’s Ministry Coordinator and Diocesan Evangelist.

Nolavy knows firsthand that the Word of God is not merely confined to the mud and rice-straw thatch she usually inhabits when preaching the gospel.  She knows that the people will take it out in their hearts and souls to serve their community.  She serves people who, in turn, go on to serve others.  This, for Nolavy, defines the joy of Christian service.

Recently, in recognition of her faithful and tireless service, e the Anglican Communion selected Nolavy to represent rural women in the Province of the Indian Ocean at the United Nations.  She is coming soon to the USA in order to participate in the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  Rural women and girls face unique needs in every nation, often suffering from lack of attention compared to women in cities – resulting in fewer registrations at birth, minimized opportunities for education and work, more likelihood of forced early marriage, early childbirth, increased rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality, neglect of opportunities for learning, earning, and loans, and a greater chance of neglect in old age.  Please pray for Nolavy’s cultural adjustment, her husband and two children at home, and her testimony to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Next month there will be an opportunity to meet with Nolavy. If you are or will be in the vicinity of Southeast Florida, she will be at the following churches:

Thursday, March 1 – ECW – St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church Boca Raton – 6:00 PM Please call if you will be attending. (561) 395-8285

Saturday, March 2 – St. Mary’s Episcopal – Stuart – 5:00 PM Followed by PowerPoint with Q & A  (772) 287-3244

Sunday, March 4 – St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church Boca Raton – 8:00 AM (561) 395-8285

Sunday, March 4 – Chapel of St. Andrew Episcopal Church Boca Raton – 10:30 AM (561)-271-7151

Tuesday, March 6 – ECW at Chapel of Saint Andrew Boca Raton – 6:00 PM simple soup and salad dinner. Please call Cheryl Harman at 561-271-7151 if you are attending.

Wednesday, March 7 – St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Boynton Beach – 5:30 PM Supper followed by a Lenten service, Power Point and Q&A. Please call the church if you will be attending. (561) 732-3060

 

The Rev. Patsy McGregor and her husband, the Rt. Rev. Todd McGregor, minister in Toliara, Madagascar.  They live in sometimes difficult circumstances among the people they serve.  Through evangelism and discipleship, the Diocese of Toliara finds many coming to love and serve the Lord Jesus.

Day Zero: Cape Town’s Water Shortage

Day Zero: Cape Town’s Water Shortage

“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”

—Matthew 25:35 (NIV)

For more than three years Cape Town has not seen rain. A dam that supplies the large city with water is dry. Citizens have been rationed to 50 liters of water a day. Some of your SAMS Missionaries are living in the midst of this. The city will turn off water supplies in April and then will ration people to 25 liters per day.

What will the city do without water? How can you help? SAMS Missionaries Johann and Louise Vanderbijl and Wayne and Nicole Curtis urge you to pray:

May I ask you all to pray to our Sovereign Lord to have mercy on us all and to provide us with sufficient water. Pray for us each and every time you quench your thirst with any form of liquid or take a shower or wash your hands or use water to do many of the things we all too often take for granted.
From the Scriptures, we learn that there are many ways He can provide water other than rain (cf )…He can also miraculously cause the levels to remain constant as He did with the widow’s jar of flour and jug of oil in 1 Kings 17:14-16. 
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

-Johann Vanderbijl

As we pray for the rain to come, may we also pray for the citizens of Cape Town to be spiritually quenched? May many come to know that all their needs can be fulfilled by their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Mission in Zambia: Top 6 Things to be Thankful for This Year

Mission in Zambia: Top 6 Things to be Thankful for This Year

Thanksgiving may be over, but SAMS Missionaries are still giving thanks for all that has happened this year in the mission field. April Sylvester, serving in Zambia mentoring youth, shares her thanksgiving:

Here are just a few of the reasons I have to be thankful this year…and you are on the top of the list 🙂

1. YOU! My partners: It just blows me away that there are over 60 people that want to a see change in the world so much that they are willing to sacrifice by financially and prayerfully partnering with me! 21 US states and 6 countries are all coming together to bring up strong youth in Zambia! (Just look at that map!) Meeting with all of you has been beyond an honor.

2. My students: Needless to say, they bring me lots of joy and take awesome selfies. I can’t wait for next year.

3. Nanna Lukama, my boss’s wife. Some days are hard as a missionary and on those days I am so thankful I have people like Nanna, who is right next door and always understanding.
4. My family: our skype dates every week are just a hoot. I love laughing with you all.

5. Quiet mornings: Whether in the US or Zambia, I love a slow morning with a nice egg breakfast, a cup of coffee, and a good podcast.
6. Mexican food and taco Tuesdays: Random I know, but I am just so thankful for Mexican food. I don’t get much of it in Zambia so it makes me doubly appreciative while I am back. When I am Zambia, though, I lean on my homemade Taco Tuesdays for my Mexican fix.

April is involved in an outreach ministry to Zambian youth that involves discipleship and mission training. Thank you for your faithful support that allows April to serve others in Zambia. Please visit her SAMS page to prayerfully consider giving!