Executive Director, Uganda
Bless The Children Ministries
In 2007, Craig & Amy Bay and Drew Files went on a church planting mission trip from Tulsa, Oklahoma to western Uganda. As they visited the tropical, rural village of Mabaale, they quickly saw the needs of God’s vulnerable children and orphans and felt compelled to do something. Impressed with the work of a local congregation there, New Life Presbyterian Church, they realized that they had resources available to them that NLPC did not, so in 2008, Bless the Children Ministries was born. Its mission was and is to be the love of Christ to Uganda’s orphaned and vulnerable children, equipping them to become authentic, Godly leaders who transform generations, believing that “Whoever receives one such child in My Name receives me” (Matthew 18:5).
Over the past eight years, they have helped care for hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children through discipleship, Christian education, and health care. The organization connects the body of Christ in the United States with children in western Uganda in order to help meet their spiritual, physical and intellectual needs. Through their work, most of the children’s needs (food, clothing, regular medical care, education, bedding, hygiene, etc.) can be met for only US$40 a month. The ministry now owns 15 acres of land that house a children’s home and Christian school, serving nearly 300 sponsored children who are supported by a monthly child sponsorship program and by generous donations from individuals and churches in the USA.
Their new campus is still under development; however, they currently house about 100 children there ranging from birth to 12 years of age. They have a primary school in which nine primary teachers and staff seek to educate the younger children. There are also approximately 200 older children currently enrolled in secondary boarding schools across the region. The children living on campus are housed in small, family–style groups, each led by a housemom and monitored by their trained social workers. There is a church near the campus whose pastor also serves as the chaplain for BTCM.
The ministry’s US base remains in Tulsa and is governed by a six-person board of directors, with much of the work there being accomplished through dedicated volunteers. Its operating budget in Uganda was approximately $262,000 in 2015.
The workplace culture is a loving environment surrounded by believers seeking to care for the children. Some of the local staff are college graduates; many have a limited education, but all understand and support the mission of BTCM. The Ugandan culture is a tribal culture with some Western influences. Make no mistake though … the living conditions in Mabaale are remote and somewhat primitive. The campus has limited electricity, the water is not fit for American consumption, and daily life is a challenge. The village is six hours west of Kampala and about a 90-minute drive, both north and south, to cities of about 25,000.
Initially, the new Executive Director will live primarily in Uganda, on or near the campus of BTCM. They will interact with the staff and children, providing encouragement and spiritual leadership. They will build and disciple an indigenous team to excel in their work and to assist in the communication with their partners and the board. Based on their observations, they will guide the staff and board strategically towards accomplishing the mission. This position will also become the public “face” of BTCM. And ultimately, other locations in Uganda will need to be developed, staffed and led – using the model from Mabaale – in order to expand the reach of the ministry.
Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus leading through servanthood and grace, and yet being firm when needed. This will be the style necessary for success in this role. The ideal candidate is a committed Christian who has several years of leadership experience, is comfortable working in a cross-cultural setting, and has ‘field’ or mission experience, preferably in Africa. Furthermore, the ideal candidate is a personable coach/mentor who is familiar with the consultative/persuasive style of management that is required within a ministry setting, while at the same time being able to be decisive, as needed. Someone willing to become part of the culture and learn the “African way”. The five phrases that well describe the ideal candidate are:
- Coach/mentor (ability to assess opportunities and challenges, suggest solutions, influence);
- Spiritually mature/compassionate (ability to provide guidance, Godly wisdom and empathy);
- Change manager (ability to recommend and oversee necessary changes);
- Good strategic and analytic skills (ability to focus on the right things); and,
- Good communicator/team builder (ability to take staff along with him/her on the journey).
To download the full profile and job description, please click here.