Passion Partners is committed to the communities where projects are strategically designed to contribute
to the development of its people.
We could not be more excited & honored to announce that Brandon Heath & Michael Boggs will be the special guest performers for our Inaugural Celebration & Benefit Dinner on September 27, 2013!! The evening will begin at 6:30 pm at West End Community Church and will feature our programs in Africa as well as best-selling author & world changer, Bob Goff!! Tickets are now on sale at www.passionpartnersbenefit.eventbrite.com!!! Please join us at for what is sure to be an amazing night to celebrate our partners!!
Oli Mulungi means “you are beautiful” in Lugandan, the language spoken in Kampala, Uganda. 42 radiant faces make up the sisterhood at Restoration Home. Each face has a name, each name has a story, and each story plays a significant part in the ultimate STORY-GOD’S STORY. I said “oli mulungi” at least 100 times during my short visit to Restoration Home. It was one of 3 sentences I learned in Lugandan and each time it rolled up out of my heart, off my tongue and into the ears of a daughter of the King, I felt like I had stepped into my destiny. To sit beside the next generation on the other side of the world and joyfully share the truth of who God says that we are was Holy ground for me! It was like I could feel God smile as HE filled my mouth with yet another truth about who these precious girls are to HIM. HE kept whispering, “tell them they are radiant, My inheritance, My child, a temple of the Holy Spirit, light, salt, a city on a hill, My ambassadors, etc…” God was on a roll, bragging on His daughters and HE wanted me to tell them in every imaginable way that they are the apple of HIS eye! HE sees their past, present and future and HE is the Scarlet Thread weaving the tapestry of their purposeful lives together, all for HIS GLORY!
I am almost breathless after writing the previous paragraph! I am in awe of a GOD who allows me the honor of telling HIS babies how HE sees them! To say I am humbled and grateful is the understatement of the year! (I like exclamation marks!)
The girls at Restoration Home left their fingerprints in my life through language lessons, hair braiding, songs, walking to the well, sharing their prayer requests and future hopes and dreams, lots of laughs, hugs and worshipping! Each of our lives is a finger painting, a canvas touched by all the people with whom we intersect, a restored masterpiece created by and for the Master, Christ Jesus. Each canvas is a “one of kind original ” but they are all signed the same, HIS! “Oli Mulungi”-You are beautiful. HE is saying that to the girls of Restoration Home, HE is saying that to me and HE is saying that to you! Believe HIM! The Artist does not make mistakes and HE always tells the TRUTH!
Guest Contributor: Missioner: Katie Wilson, from Huntsville, Alabama. Traveled to Uganda in July of 2013 with Passion Partners. (Pictured above in the center photo on the steps of the new Restoration Home. Construction & operating costs funded by Passion Partners.)
This week, we will begin our journey to Uganda and Kenya. Our time will be divided between the Restoration Home in Kampala, the Clinic in western Kenya, the J-Project in both countries & a conference with more than 700 girls in Kibera, Nairobi…and visiting a brand new site & meeting partners in Masindi, Uganda!
As Executive Director, I’m committed to annual site visits to collaborate with our partners and cultivate future development. Passion Partners is committed to walking alongside our partners as they walk out their call and their passions. That is our mission. We provide funding. We provide leadership. But the primary motivation behind everything we do is extending the tangible, manifest, Hope of the Gospel.
Passion Partners BUILDS COMMUNITIES: Health Care. Clean water. Food. Education. Restoration. Sometimes it presents in relief. Many times it is in development. They are both conduits to the Gospel. Deed & Word. Neither mutually exclusive. Both good, but incomplete without the other.
So, this is a leadership trip. We are visiting project sites, meeting (and fellowshipping–having fun) with all of our extended staff, evaluating progress, planning future expansion, as well as serving while on the ground. We desire to serve our partners well!
But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9
Allow me to introduce Margaret Callahan, the newest addition to the Her Passion & Passion Partners team as the Strategic Development & Project Manager for Africa. After living in Africa, herself, I can see the depth of her experience transcends her hands and reaches the heart of others. Welcome Margaret!
Candice (widow, mother & Executive Director, Passion Partners)
When helping… HELPS!!
I joined the Passion Partners team just over 2 weeks ago and my mind is wrapping its way around the calling of this ministry… to BUILD COMMUNITIES on the foundation of CHRIST… all for the glory of God. I have previously been in ministry stateside and in Africa and have seen firsthand that it can be so easy for helping “to hurt” (and not “help”). But the more I learn about Passion Partners and our international staff and the mission that they live out each day, the beauty of actually helping overwhelms me.
I have not met them face-to-face (yet) . . . so I must imagine what their days look like. For some of our partners, they are ministering to teen girls – counseling them, encouraging them, providing a way for them to finish high school when there was no way before. For other partners, they are providing medical treatment for basic diseases that would have led to death without intervention. And then for some, they are providing daily meals and basic necessities . . . a home where 42 girls can rest their head, and a have safe place where God can restore not only their lives here on earth, but their hearts.
One of the sweetest parts to me about our African partners is that many of them were already serving in their respective ministries everyday daily as unpaid staff before God allowed our paths to intersect. God placed a passion in them to HELP their own people, their own communities, and their own country. And with the resources they had, they were doing it. But the need is greater and their resources. And so He called Passion Partners to partner with them to help fulfill God’s calling on their lives. And what a joy it is to HELP… to see that there is a way to help without hurting. It is possible to actually HELP without crippling, to help without enabling. And that is what Passion Partners does… we empower, we encourage, we equip. And through that we BUILD COMMUNITIES… all to the glory of God.
Having believed I was called into ministry, I read Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert’s book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself. Below is an excerpt that I believe Passion Partners exemplifies in the way we do ministry and in our partnerships… in such a way as to HELP and not to hurt.
“A helpful first step in thinking about working with the poor in any context is to discern whether the situation calls for relief, rehabilitation, or development. The failure to distinguish among these situations is one of the most common reasons that poverty-alleviation efforts often do harm. (p. 104-105)
“Relief: the urgent and temporary provision of emergency aid to reduce immediate suffering from a natural or man-made crisis; to stop the bleeding; ie the Good Samaritan.
“Rehabilitation: seeking to restore people and their communities to the positive elements of their pre-crisis conditions; beings when the bleeding stops; key element is to work with the victim as they participate in their own recovery.
“Development: the process of ongoing change that moves all the people involved—both the “helpers” and the “helped”—closer to being in right relationship with God, self, others and the rest of creation; not done to or for people but with people. (p. 104-105)
“Consider Assets-Based Community Development (ABCD)…which puts the emphasis on what the materially poor people already have and asks them to consider from the outset, ‘What is right with you? What gifts has God given you that you can use to improve your life and that of your neighbors? How can the individuals and organizations in your community work together to improve your community?’ VERSUS Needs-Based Community Development, which focuses on what is lacking in the life of a community or person, asking the questions ‘What is wrong with you? How can I fix you?’” (p. 125-126)
As I joyfully embrace PASSION PARTNERS and God’s calling on my life to partner with them, I want to leave you with their mission and vision. I believe it sums up why we do what we do… help.
OUR MISSION: To mobilize people to be the hands and feet of Jesus with the sole purpose of reconciling the GREAT COMMANDMENT & the GREAT COMMISSION – “ . . . love your neighbor as yourself . . .” (Mark 12:31) & “ . . . go and make disciples of all nations . . .” (Mark 28:19) . . . all for the glory of God.
OUR VISION: To provide leadership and funding to existing ministries, as well as emerging ministries around the world, with the express goal of walking alongside our partners in a collaborative effort, allowing them to be more productive in their call and fulfilling their passion.
Strategic Development & Project Manager Africa
In Wakiso, Uganda, a town of about 20,000 people that lies just outside the capital city of Kampala, a man named Fred Kaddu faithfully pastors his congregation at Central Baptist Church. Not only is he a senior pastor, he’s also the principal of Wakiso Secondary School, which he co-founded several years ago.
A man known for his integrity, his faith, and his heart to help the abandoned and neglected in his community, Fred’s life has been one of continual sacrifice in order to serve others.
In 2004, perhaps more so than any other time, Fred’s sacrifice became greater and his service even more personal.
He and his wife, Susan, along with other members of his congregation, began taking into their homes young girls – some who had been turned away from their families, others who due to death or extreme poverty, had no place to call home. Knowing the dangers that awaited these girls if they were left to the streets, Fred and his church family found that they could not simply turn them away.
Five girls were among the initial group who were provided housing and care. However, as the number of girls requesting help and shelter increased, it became clear that they would not be able to continue to accommodate the need in their own homes. Thus, out of the sacrificial giving of this small congregation, the church built a modest, one-room structure, no larger than 200 square feet (shown below), for the girls in 2006. While it was modest in every sense of the word – no running water, no toilets, bunk beds squeezed in from wall to wall – it has served as a place of authentic restoration for these treasured girls.
The girls and the ministry thrived in this “original” Restoration Home, despite having practically outgrown the space before they moved in. Their physical and material needs were provided for as best as possible and they experienced a healthy, loving social environment. They were given an opportunity to complete their education, and most importantly, they were introduced to the life-changing restoration and love of Jesus.
Five years later, in July 2011, Fred was introduced to Founder of Passion Partners, Candice Ashburn, (through Benny Proffitt of First Priority Global), who was compelled to fund the construction of Fred’s long-awaited vision of a larger home to take in more girls. Passion Partners committed to not only to fund the construction of the Home, but also its’ operation with a more extensive and strategic restoration program for the girls.
July 2011 – Candice met Fred who shared his vision for a larger home and a partnership was formed to proceed.
February 2012 – Ground was broken on the Restoration Home construction site, lying just behind Fred’s church, Wakiso Central Baptist.
July 2012 – Interviews for the staffing of the home take place.
Fall 2012 – Interviews and selections take place for the additional 25 girls who would join the “original” 17 Restoration Home girls.
November 2012 – Construction is complete and the new Restoration Home is officially opened, with our Passion Partners staff in attendance at the dedication ceremony. The “original” group of girls move into the Home.
January 2013 – The Home begins operating at full capacity, with the addition of 25 new girls (taking the total to 42) and an all-Ugandan staff of House Mother, Director, Counselor, Care Taker, and 24-hour watchmen.
We pray that each one of the girls are touched by the ministry of the Restoration Home find God to be just that – their Restoration and Redeemer, and the One who “makes all things new.”
And He who sits on the throne said,
“Behold, I am making all things new…for these words are faithful and true.”
Strategic Development and Project Manager – Africa
Peter Abungu, Passion Partners Kenya Director & Founder of Swahiba Youth Networks, was once a small boy in the poverty stricken village of Siaya. He attended school there. He lived with his Grandmother Joanne there. His roots run deep there. But one thing that had never been there was medical care. The closest fully functioning clinic was a 45-minute drive – nearly a ten-hour walk . . . and there is rarely an automobile in Siaya.
Those of us in the developed world are unable to identify with the lack of accessible medical care, a necessity in our eyes, but a luxury for millions of others around the world. Unfortunately, Peter could identify, personally, with the destructive implication of no medical care. In 2009, Peter’s uncle contracted malaria and because there was no first-line medical care within the community, he died on his way to the nearest hospital. He was one of thousands who lose their lives in Africa to a treatable illness, from a lack of basic health care.
“Could his death have been prevented?” someone asked.
And because the answer was “yes, if there had only been a medical clinic in the area,” God gave Peter the vision to bring His hope, plan, and future to the community of Siaya.
After discussing the likelihood of building a clinic in the village with his grandmother Joanne, a widow, Peter said, “She took me by the hand and directed me to a piece of land that she told me she would donate for the clinic site if the Lord would provide a donor for the construction.” Fully trusting the Lord to bring them the needed financial resources, Peter then met our founder, Candice Ashburn, also a widow, just several months later (through Benny Proffitt of First Priority Global). Candice, whose late husband was a cardiac surgeon, was compelled to fund the building of the clinic . . .
December 2010 – Candice met Peter who shared his vision for the clinic and a partnership was formed to proceed.
February 2011 – Ground was broken on the clinic construction site.
Spring 2012 – Construction is complete and interviews begin for staffing. Passion Partners commits not only to the funding of the Clinic, but to funding its’ long-term operation.
July 2012 – The Ashburn Ohuru Medical Clinic opened its doors. Within the first three months of opening, the clinic treated more than 2,000 patients.
Two widows. World’s apart. Kindred hearts. Different colors. Different continents. Different cultures. Divinely created … and connected to be used of God and for God to redeem death and destruction.
To learn more about the Ashburn Ohuru Medical Clinic, click here.
“I’m starving!” How many times do we say that throughout the course of a day? Skip breakfast on a busy morning, and we’re starving by 11:00. Only have a salad for lunch, so we’re starving by dinnertime.
We say it lightheartedly, although well aware that we are certainly not starving. In fact, most of us have no idea what starvation really feels like, but we can be sure that a growling stomach isn’t all it entails.
What would it really feel like to try and function all day, every day…hungry?
Had we been born in Africa, we’d have entered the world with an estimated 1 in 3 chance of facing that reality, of being chronically malnourished from birth. Hunger pangs and a growling stomach would be the least of our worries. Studies have found that malnourished children have reduced brain activity and impaired attention, as well as delayed verbal and motor development, impaired intersensory integration, and severely reduced academic performance.
When it comes down to it, in order for a child to develop properly and even have a shot at succeeding in school, they simply can’t go hungry during the day, much less everyday.
Our aim at Passion Partners is to build communities, and we believe that feeding children, giving them a chance to focus, engage, and succeed in school, is an essential element in a community development strategy. Current efforts at community building simply cannot be sustained in years to come if there is no future generation of leaders and thinkers.
Based on that principle, this February, Passion Partners launched a new program as part of the Siaya Community Development Initiative – a feeding program at Usingo Primary School, which will provide 400 students and teachers a hot meal each day. For some of them, it will be their only certain meal of the day. For all of them, it’ll be the one that will provide proper nutrition and energy to sustain them through long school hours.
We will be evaluating students throughout the course of this year to see what impact the feeding program has on their academic performance. Teachers, students, parents, and community members are optimistic that the impact will be immense. We pray it is, and will look toward replicating this program in other communities we are helping to develop throughout Africa.
Espy, Mike. “Nutrition, Brain Function, and Behavior.” Health Guidance. http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/6266/1/Nutrition-Brain-Function-and-Behavior.html
“A life free from hunger: Tackling child malnutrition.” Save the Children. http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/resources/online-library/life-free-hunger-tackling-child-malnutrition
Around the world, over 70 million children who should be in school are not. Half of those are girls. And half of those girls live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Why, you ask, are they not in school? Some are working in fields & on farms. Some are walking long distances to fetch clean water for their families. Others are sold into the sex trade. Some drop out from childhood pregnancy or arranged marriages. The list, though uncomfortable, is not uncontrollable…there are girls making strides everyday to change the face of their generation, their legacy, and their communities.
Passion Partners is privileged to walk alongside 32 of these girls at the Wakiso Restoration Home in Uganda, who just started a new school year in January. However, it was just months earlier, many of these girls, like the 35 million referenced above, had their education interrupted or halted all together.
While public education in Uganda is technically “free,” students’ families are required to purchase books, uniforms, pay examination fees, and other mandatory expenses. They are, otherwise, not allowed to attend school. For most of us school supplies and clothes are just part of the annual, “back to school” routine. You can imagine for many families with little to no money to spare, managing to fund their child’s primary education, let alone, secondary education (when the fees increase), is an often insurmountable obstacle with serious life-long consequences.
So, while it’s clear that there is a need to help fund education in developing countries, you may be unclear as to why Passion Partners is involved & committed to “education.” The short answer is that Passion Partners is an organization whose focus is community development.
What is the connection between providing for the education
of girls and aiding the long-term development of a community?
Besides the principle which we would all probably agree on, that “no child [should be] left behind,” here are some facts to support why we do what we do:
• Educated mothers are 50% more likely to immunize their children than mothers with no schooling.
• A woman with six or more years of education is more likely to seek prenatal care, assisted childbirth, and postnatal care, reducing the risk of maternal and child mortality and illness.
• Many low- and middle-income countries lose almost $100 billion per year by failing to educate girls to the same standards as boys.
• It’s estimated that a 12% reduction in world poverty could be achieved if all students in low-income countries obtain basic reading skills in school.
• A woman with at least 6 years of education is estimated to earn up to 25% than those that did not receive formal education, and on average invests 90% of those earnings back in her family.
• The majority of farmers in the developing world are women. Greater female education leads to more productive farming and accounts for almost half of the decline in malnutrition achieved since 1970.
The Wakiso Restoration Home is just one project of Passion Partners which supports education, and specifically girls’ education. To read more about our other education and community development initiatives, go to our website. www.passionpartners.org
Gallucci, Robert L. “The Power of Educating Girls.” Top News Today. http://technology.topnewstoday.org/green/article/2434573/
“Education and the Developing World.” The Center for Global Development. http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/2844
“Why is Basic Education So Important?” Basic Education Coalition. http://www.basiced.org/wp-content/uploads/Factsheets/Why_Basic_Education-2011.pdf
2. All the people living in a particular area or place.
1. The process of developing or being developed.
2. A specified state of growth or advancement.
“May God Almighty bless you & make you fruitful…until you become a community of peoples.” Genesis 28:3
The last 2 years at Passion Partners has been spent uncovering exactly where God wants us to work, with whom He would have us work, and exactly what that work would entail. And though some of the details are still being uncovered, the big picture is this: Passion Partners is building communities-literally.
The manifestation of the mission of Passion Partners is, at the core, Community Development. Practically speaking, we bring relief such as clean water & food, in the short-term, in order to equip those whom we are serving for the long-haul of community development which includes health care, child & maternal health and education (among other elements).
At Passion Partners, the practical development of a “community” is the means to a greater end. Our goal is not just to build communities whereby we measure outcomes and more individuals survive, but because they uncover their God given role and purpose, they thrive.
“I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you a hope & a future.” Jer 29:11
Sometimes, Hope begins with clean water when you have none.
Sometimes, It begins with a vaccine, where there is great risk of young mortality.
Other times, a Future begins with a uniform & (public) school fees instead of child labor, or it begins with feminine products instead of excessive absences from school.
From personal experience, I know that first hand. Where there is no help, there is no hope.
Helplessness is hopelessness.
At our broadest attempt, Passion Partners strives to model a wholistic approach to build communities by addressing practical opportunities for development, otherwise known as “great need.” At our most narrow focus, are the individuals whom we serve in order to bring them the only true and lasting source of transformation and growth and “development”: the Good News of the Gospel. It is part of our organizational DNA…being the hands & feet of Jesus.
“May God Almighty bless you & make you fruitful…until you become a community of peoples.” Genesis 28:3
For His Glory,