Jesse & Hannah Van Gorkom
How to reach us:
Jesse.VanGorkom@emiworld.org or 425.478.2367
Hannah and I both have a love for working in Africa. I was born and raised in Ethiopia and Hannah always wanted to be. She had to settle for marrying into the bloodline. But seriously, God has burdened both of our hearts for the people in Africa from a young age. I always wanted to work in East Africa because of how and where I was raised. Hannah was born and raised in Michigan, but never remembers a time when she did not want to live in Africa. I returned to the US for University, and then headed straight to Uganda. Hannah has been on several short term Mission trips all over the world. We first met each other while she was in Uganda for three months! After we got married, we got the chance to work together in a remote area of Uganda, the Karamoja region, for one year. You can’t beat that for a first year of marriage!
Hannah and I will be returning to Uganda to work with Engineering Ministries International (EMI), a non-profit Christian organization that provides affordable building designs for other Christ-centered missions using the skills of engineers, architects, surveyors, and construction managers. Founded in 1981, EMI has completed 1200 projects in over 100 countries around the world. In an effort to have more involvement and spiritual discipleship opportunities on the ground with the construction management side of the projects they design, there is a need to set up a metal shop to provide for EMI’s project needs. Hannah and I will be heading to Uganda to help EMI expand their ministry and outreach by discipling Ugandans through the launch of a metal working shop.
There is a huge opportunity to invest in construction/fabrication workers’ lives with the Gospel, as most people simply ignore them. Hannah and I have a desire to work with ‘unreached people’, and too often construction workers fall into that category.
I have attended ACC during school breaks from 2008 through 2012. Hannah and I always look forward to joining the Church Family in worship whenever we are in the Lynnwood area! It is a blessing and encouragement to know that this Church is behind us and the ministry God has placed on our hearts!
Thank you for your prayers and for partnering with us in our vision!
Greetings from Uganda, East Africa!
BIG news!!! We are expanding the EMI Workshop!
Let me give you a quick overview of the work that we do. I (Jesse) help manage the Workshop for EMI Uganda. We fabricate steel and timber products to support the construction management and design projects that EMI takes on for other ministries throughout the country. Right now our products include: windows, doors, cabinets, wardrobes, hand rails, and pre-fabricated steel wall sections. Last year around this time our workshop here in Kampala employed three Ugandan craftsmen. Now, barely one year later, our number has increased to 14!
Our main goal is to build into the lives of the men who work with us. However, God has also provided more fabrication work than we can handle through the various EMI Uganda design and construction management projects.
We have already outgrown our existing work space, so EMI is beginning the planning and fundraising process to construct a new workshop that will enable us to employ up to 40 guys, with increased capacity for projects, training, and discipleship! Want in on the adventure?? EMI is organizing a fund-raising climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, this January and you’re welcome to join! Check out emiworld.org/events/kilimanjaro or contact us at email@example.com for more info. Or you can join us in sponsoring one of our Ugandan staff in the climb!
Hannah and I are doing well and staying very busy. Hannah is handling payroll for the Workshop and is training one of the workshop guys to help. This means she comes into the office with me at least twice a week!
I have been helping to lead a discipleship group in our office, as well as organizing (and usually leading) a Bible study with the guys in the workshop once a week. On the job welding and fabrication training is always on-going. I enjoy being able to train and work with the guys in the shop, I am always learning from them as well! Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
There are a few big changes coming up for the workshop. Pray for wisdom and guidance as we head into the next several months. And please pray that our friendship with neighbors and our church family here in Uganda would both continue to grow.