Both Bob Hayes and Jim Sutherland have excellent material on preparing for a Short Term Mission Trip to Uganda with a ACTI team, and this page is not intended to replace either of those. Rather this page endeavors to assist you through the process of getting ready in a "step by step fashion", based on my own experiences. In doing so, I have many links to Bob's Africa Christian Training Institute and its Short Term Ministry Guide (Index)and Jim's Reconciliation Ministries Network: Uganda pages as well as some of my own Eldrbarry's Uganda pages as well.
ACTI was founded by Presbyterian Church in America men and continues to be overseen by a Board of primarily PCA people. It continues to have a significant impact in Uganda among Ugandan Episcopalians and Pentecostals as well as the Presbyterian Church there by facilitating teaching and ruling elders, students and lay people doing short term, but intensive ministry trips. One hundred sixty-two went to Uganda in ten teams in 2001, eleven more teams went in 2002 with one hundred and ten going. Six new churches were planted in 2001, five in 2002. Ten primarily pastor/pastorís wife conferences were conducted, together with seven general believers conferences in various denominational churches and nine conferences conducted for the benefit of women, youth and children. The team's main objective is to straighten and extend the national church in both urban and rural areas of Uganda in whatever venues open to us by the invitation of the Ugandan churches and missionaries. Efforts were made to revitalize seven local churches through local evangelism, and outreach extended to five jails. Two medical teams also operated.
Over the years, ACTI has found this type ministry to be effective and by God's grace has helped change the character of the church in Uganda. It is an enabling ministry that assists the church in its areas of need, but at the same time leaves the Christians of Uganda in control of their own ministry and outreach. The need is so great and the people are so responsive to the gospel. It is not uncommon for a Ugandan pastor to educated and fluent in English, yet lacking in formal theological training and with few resources. ACTI has helped struggling pastors and churches with conferences and seminars designed to train in ministry skills that we take for granted in our churches here at home. A team member may spend six to eight hours per day teaching pastors, elders and deacons, do personal work at night and then preach in areas churches on the Lord's Day.
Raising Funds for a Short Term Trip to Uganda with ACTI
Ministry costs money, and you will need it! The reward for the investment is great, but not always immediate. Check with your Team leader for the exact costs for your Team, items not covered by the Team fee, and schedule of payments. Some teams book their own flights and arrange for their own short-term trip insurance. Normally funds should arrive in Uganda one month before arrival in Uganda, so that timely arrangements can be made for your ministry. Please submit funds promptly, since your ministry can be hindered by lack of funds or by funds submitted late.
The following points should prove helpful:
In the event the funds designated for an individual team member exceeds the amount needed (generally about $3,500) the excess funds are used in the one of the following ways: a.Transferred to another member of that same team who is short of necessary funds, or b.Used to enhance the ministry opportunities of that team (e.g. grant more scholarships for Ugandanís to attend a conference or seminar), or c.Placed in a reserve account for a future trip by that team member.
Keeping in mind, these guidelines ---
Administrative Costs: Slightly less than 3% ($100 of $3,500 raised) is used for ACTI administrative costs and this is to support our office and coordinator in Uganda and to pay the required fees to wire money from the US to Uganda. All US ACTI functions are handled by volunteers.
Financial Report: Each year at our annual meeting (usually the first weekend in December) a complete financial report is received and reviewed by the board. The report is prepared by the ACTI treasurer, who is a practicing CPA. Copies of this report are available upon request. Additionally, each team member is to send a brief written ministry summary to all donors upon return from Uganda.
Otherwise you may expose your yourself, and/or your ministry/church to at least moral obligations for substantial medical evacuation, hospitalization and other costs. This cost is NOT included in the $100 fee for the Uganda staff. You may purchase this insurance (The Overseas Travelers Protection Plan) online at www.otpplan.com. ACTI recommends the high option. For greater coverage (and cost), check Adams and Associates's Volunteer Missionary Travel Insurance at www.aaintl.com (800-922-8438). Even if you think you have coverage through your own carrier, we want to make sure you're covered. Our Treasurer is quite willing to handle the enrollment for you and you can arrange for payment. He will need the names of those covered, the destination and the dates of travel. The important thing is that the insurance is in place one week prior to departure, so please take it upon yourself to inform the Treasurer if you've purchased the insurance yourself.
[On Letter Head]
June 5, 2000
As I am sure you are aware, God has given me an ongoing ministry in the East African nation of Uganda. I have made short-term missionary trips there every other year since 1992. It has been a wonderful time of ministry, especially since it is among believers within many denominational settings. These people have suffered greatly, first under the brutal hand of dictator Idi Amin throughout the 1970s and then in the legacy of poverty and destruction he left behind. The believers in Uganda are Christians above all else and it is very common to see a level of cooperation among them that we can only long for here in the United States. They know how to focus on those things that unite them while so many Christians in the United States focus on what divides us.
As you might also remember, I went to Uganda last summer so my next "regular" trip would be in the summer of 2001. However, I have been asked to make a special trip this summer and the Elders of the church I pastor have agreed to let me go. Lord willing, I will leave June 28 and return in the middle of July.
I would greatly appreciate any consideration you might give to help in funding this trip. Normally, the raising of funds for a summer trip begins in February. However, it wasn't until the end of April that it became clear this trip would actually come to pass so my efforts at raising support is way behind schedule, but I know God is faithful and I trust in His care.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this and I will greatly appreciate any support you might be able to give.
I plan to mail a trip itinerary and prayer guide just before I leave so you can remember me in your prayers.
Yours in Christ,
Robert S. Hayes
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