I am on a short term trip with a group of 10 other Americans in Uganda. We are being hosted by African Renewal Ministries. Over the course of our time we will get some opportunities to serve this wonderful mission with some encouragement, a little bit of teaching, and some leadership development content. But make no mistake, we are the ones who are being blessed and will be changed as a result of being here.
I have traveled many times to various parts of the world on similar trips. I love the personal learning and I love taking others with me to expose them to the unique and awesome work God is doing around the globe. Today was a day of thoroughly acquainting ourselves with the various efforts of ARM. Their vision of ARM is “Generations of Transformational Christian Leaders.” They are convinced that Uganda cannot address all of it’s systemic needs apart from a core of Ugandan leadership being raised up with godly character and quality leader skills.
Already I am deeply impressed by three clear aspects of their effort.
1. Indigenous Leadership.
Every leader and worker we met today was Ugandan. Yet ARM is only 25 years old. If you know anything about NGO’s like this you know how important this is and yet how challenging it can be. This speaks powerfully to the founder’s desire and approach. From day one indigenous leadership was obviously a high priority. Every leader we encountered today was sharp, eloquent, tied to the vision and mission, and saw their contribution as critical.
2. Holistic Approach.
ARM goes after their vision through a very connected and holistic approach. They have early childhood development programs, childhood development programs, transformational leadership training, next generation leadership program, and a impactful orphanage effort. These efforts include a elementary school, a secondary school, and a university. The orphanage includes vocational development in sustainable farming, animal husbandry, and hydroponics. While this ministry welcomes and needs resources from the U.S., Uganda, and other nations, it is also committed to doing as much as possible to be self-sustaining too. Leadership development is a strong emphasis throughout the process of every ARM initiative. You can become a child sponsor and take part in this worthy vision.
3. A Commitment to Change.
These Ugandans want to see their nation changed. They believe God will bring this change about one life at a time through the transforming power of Christ and concerted efforts. to produce transformational leaders. They are committed to it.
It strikes me that we can take few lessons from ARM. Whatever we are leading we need some of the same emphases. We need to always aim for indigenous leadership . . . giving power away and raising up those who can leader from the inside out. We need to think in holistic ways that can feed the mind, body, soul and spirit. We need to be committed to the change we say we are structuring for. Leaders create and sustain change.
Take a look at their web site and get to know ARM.