Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Giving Tuesday for Defeating AIDS in Uganda

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, its Giving Tuesday in the charity world of non-profits seeking donations for their community projects in this season of sharing. 
December 1 is also World AIDS Day
Since 2007, WorldHope Corps has cared for AIDS orphans in Malawi and sponsored HIV/AIDS care-giving and prevention training in churches for thousands of pastors, lay leaders, and youth leaders. For four years we have sponsored a Uganda Youth Empower Project known as 
Games for the Goal!
Defeating HIV/AIDS in Uganda through
 Soccer, Testing and Education for Youth 

Last year, over 4,000 youth attended our annual soccer camp where they heard inspirational speakers, played in a soccer tournament, and received AIDS testing, counseling and education, and competed for the prize: "Baamu's Goat." 
This year's event is set for  January 2-6, 2016, and we hope to attract over 5,000 youth to the Games. We will need your help again to make it all happen.
Actor Gaius Charles (in Los Angeles) and Pastor Baamu Moses (in Jinja, Uganda) envisioned, designed and implemented this ambitious youth program which has transformed thousands of young lives. They are gifted men of God with deep Christian faith, and have inspired me over the years to help them realize their goals. 
On this Giving Tuesday coinciding with World AIDS Day, I invite you, and urge you, to make a contribution toward our $10,000 goal for GAMES for the Goal.  You can make a huge difference in the life of a young person who shows up to play soccer in Uganda and also finds an opportunity to improve their health and step up to the next level of success through recreation, education, and motivation.  
Here's a link to give online:   http://www.worldhopecorps.com/
or send a check to our new San Diego office and address:

WorldHope Corps, Inc.
PO Box 7688
San Diego, CA 92167
Thank you!

Michael J. Christensen, Founder

Gaius Charles II, Games for the Goal! Co-Founder and Senior Coordinator, holds a Master of Divinity from Drew Theological School. As an actor, social justice activist and Minister, Charles has extensive experience organizing and advocating for underserved communities domestically and internationally. He also initiated the pilot launch of Games for the Goal! after his first visit to Uganda as an associate trainer for the Communities of Shalom Ministry in 2011.  He is a skilled teacher, communicator and fundraiser. Charles is also proficient administrator and experienced in conventional and social media marketing. 
Baamu Moses, Games for the Goal! Co-Founder and Senior Director, District Leader, Namabu Council Executive Counselor, and Communities of Shalom Ministry (Uganda) Senior Organizer, has served as the chief supervisor and coordinator of the program since 2011. Moses is also a Minister and passionate advocate for social justice, asset based community development and HIV/AIDS prevention in Uganda and greater East Africa.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shalom Training Track at CCDA in Memphis--Please share the word!

Shalom Training Track
at Christian Community Development Association
National Conference  Nov. 11-12th, 2015
Every year, over 4,000 faith-motivated, justice-driven, community ministry leaders gather for the Christian Community Development Association's national conference.  This year we're in Memphis for CCDA.  http://www.ccda.org/events/national-conferences

In behalf of Communities of Shalom, a member organization, I am pleased to invite you to four events at CCDA in Memphis on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 11-12th, 2015: 
·         Networking Lunch Session for trainers
·         Practical Workshop on repurposing church buildings
·         Go and See a Shalom Site in Memphis
·         Shalom Training Consultation for community developers

Here are the details:  
NETWORKING LUNCH FOR TRAINERS : Support and Resources for Trainers wanting to offer Asset Based Community Development Training.  Hosted by Dr. Michael J. Christensen, former International Director, Communities of Shalom, Drew University, current training consultant at NorthwindInstitute.  All Shalom, ABCD and CCDA, and other trainers welcome. Bring your own lunch and meet other trainers. Thursday, Noon-1pm at the Memphis Cook Convention Center
WORKSHOP FOR PRACTIONERS: How to re-purpose a traditional church building?  “Transforming Aging Church Properties and Shrinking Congregations into Neighborhood Assets”  Presenters: Shalom Church Redevelopment Team: Jim Bergdoll, Michael J. Christensen, and Amy Moritz. Thursday 1:30 and 3:15pm  at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Go & See:  Visit The Commons hosted by the Binghamton Community Development Team.  Meet Amy Moritz, Executive Director of the Center for Transforming Communities, and learn how a vital community center was built on the old foundations of a former church building. And how a new prophetic congregation emerged from asset based community development ministry in the neighborhood. Thursday & Friday, 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Onsite Shalom Training Consultation:  Meet with the Shalom Church Redevelopment Team at CCDA.  For our schedule,contact ShalomMaster@gmail.com

Also: Take the Shalom Online Course: “Stepping Up from Charity to Sustainable Community Development--Six Threads of S-H-A-L-O-M” which covers the distinctive, faith-based, “shalom zone approach” to economic community development in urban neighborhoods and rural areas. Offered by NorthwindInstitute.org    http://www.northwindinstitute.org/#!communities-of-shalom/tu4ga

To Register for CCDA at Communities of Shalom Group Rate, contact ShalomMaster@gmail.com

Communities of Shalom is an organizational member of CCDA, and you may register through CoS at the group member rate: $209 for the three-day event.  And here's a link for earning continuing education units for the Shalom Track at CCDA from Northwind Institute:  http://www.northwindinstitute.org/#!ceu/jn3rh

Nov 11-14, 2015
255 North Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103

SHERATON MEMPHIS DOWNTOWN HOTEL250 North Main Street, Memphis TN 38103 Phone:(1)(901) 527-7300
For information on the CCDA National Conference 2015 in Memphis, visit website:   http://www.ccda.org/events/national-conferences
I hope to see you there!

Still seeking the Shalom of the Community where I have been sent, 

Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D.
Shalom Church Redevelopment Team
Communities of Shalom


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

We're not in Kentucky anymore

Travel Day Two.  Dubai.  After spending 3 weeks researching and writing about Wesleyan history theology at Asbury Theological Seminary, we took off for another three weeks on the road--in Uganda.  First stop: Dubai.  After tearing across the world's most opulent airport, I found myself thinking: "We're not in Kentucky anymore." 

Kampala.  After a 14 hour flight from D.C., we arrived this morning in Dubai in transit to Kampala.  After only one hour to change planes, we were on our way  off to Entebbe airport in Uganda.  Pastor Baamu Moses, Director of Shalom Uganda, Dr. Caroline Njuki, representing the United Methodist Church,  and Grace (our driver) met us at the airport and welcomed two tired pilgrims to Uganda. 

An hour or so later, we checked into an Anglican Church spored Guest House to stay the night.  
Tomorrow we will pick up Dennis and make our way to Jinja to meet the rest of the team, visit some of the flood victims we helped from afar, meet the new tailors in the vocational training program we started, and tour the Shalom Coffee Collective supplying organic, fair trade, coffee to Thanksgiving Coffee Co. in Northern California.

WorldHope Corps and its partners (Communities of Shalom, Healing Waters International, and Thanksgiving Coffee Company) have committed over $50,000 this year to fulfill six major projects in Uganda:
  1. ·      Relief for Flood Victims in Jinja
  2. ·      Motivation and Empowerment Conference for several hundred youth in Sesse/Jinja
  3. ·      Support and Empowerment Conference for 100+ women in Sesee/Jinja
  4. ·      Shalom Graduation and Commissioning ceremony for 140 coffee farmers in Mbale
  5. ·      Shalom Graduation and Commissioning ceremony for 130 coffee farmers in Hoima
  6. ·      Sustainable Action/WHC Water Purification Project in Kitikara Trading Centre for the benefit of 3,000 people

While most of these projects have sufficient sponsors, we are still seeking financial support for Projects 2 and 6.  If you can help in time of need, please email me at worldhopecorps@gmail.com and consider donating to the Uganda Mission online:  http://www.worldhopecorps.org     

Uganda Mission Begins

Travel Day One.  Washington/Dulles International to Dubai Airport.   Rebecca and I leave today to join and lead a team of ten "shalomers" (five Ugandans, four Americans, and one Malawian) on a 21-day mission in Uganda to raise hope and deepen community development projects in Jinja, Mbale and Hoima areas.

Every year since 2005 I’ve organized and led a service trip and mission to Malawi or Uganda, either for CitiHope International or WorldHope Corps.  This year’s international Mission is focused on Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) as taught by Communities of Shalom, based at Drew University, as well as on several WorldHope Corps sponsored projects.  

Our team will conduct the seventh and final session of ShalomTraining for 300 organized coffee farmers ready to step up from subsistence to sustainable livelihoods, and lead and participate in two support and empowerment conferences: one for youth at-risk for HIV/AIDS; and the other for women desiring greater economic independence and education.  We’ll also implement a water purification and community health project in a community lacking clean, safe, potable, drinking water.

I’ll try to post a picture or two each day and provide an update on FB.  I also invite your continued prayers and support for our mission at hand.  Here’s the link to my Worldhope Corps travel blog:

Feel free to pass it along to those who may be interested in our ongoing work in Uganda.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Plea to Help Flood Victims, from Pastor Moses of Uganda

Hello friends and Shalomers: 

Two nights ago we had heavy rains which turned to floods for six hours.  The disaster caused many people to lose their houses and gardens and their lives. Two of the people who died are a 67 year old woman and her grand daughter of 12 years.   When the water entered her home, it brought down the house and swept everything out. Their bodies were found in Lake Victoria at the source of the Nile.

In the spirit of shalom we are raising funds to help the affected families. We call upon Shalomers wherever you are to join us in this situation.Though these people were affected directly, we all are affected

Pastor Baamu Moses
Director of Shalom Uganda ,Africa .

P.S.  Emergency funds for flood victims may be channeled through http://WorldHopeCorp.org  

Dear Baamu Moses,

We at Thanksgiving Coffee pray for the safety and health of those who are left to make the situation better.
I have informed Willington at Gumutindo Cooperative and Henry at the Coffee Board of Uganda of the troubles in your neighborhood.

We need a description of the situation as it is now after all the damage has been assessed. Our prayers go out to those who grieve their losses.

Paul Katzeff, Founder

Dear Baamu,  my seminary, Pacific School of Religion, will be taking a love offering in Chapel in early May for your community that has suffered from flooding. I will send whatever funds are collected through Michael and WorldHope Corp. I pray you are surrounded with support through this difficult time. 

Michele Robbins

Yes, Pastor Moses, I have also seen the photos. I am so sorry to hear about this situation. I will join in with Dr. Christensen's love offering.  May our great and mighty God comfort and console you and your community at this very difficult time. 


Gaius Charles 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Uganda Mission Trip 2015

WorldHope Corps Mission Team and Friends 2014
Dear Friends of WorldHope Corps:

I  invite you to join us this year on a mission with Uganda in June, or support our mission there.  

Every year since 2005, I've led a service trip to Africa.  We go to communities to which we have been invited, to share in mutual ministry and joint projects; and we find that we gain so much more than what we give.  Henri Nouwen calls this "reverse mission" (See Gracias by Henri Nouwen).

This year we're returning to Uganda on June 22.  

Our ministry partners, Pastor Baaumu Moses (leader of Shalom Coffee Collective in Jinja) and Br. Julius Kasaija (leader of SARS Shalom near Hoima) invited members of WorldHope Corps and Communities of Shalom to come and see, enjoy and celebrate, the good things God is doing in Uganda in the lives of Christians, Muslim and Jews. 

Imam follows two Shalom leaders who lead the Shalom graduates of 2014

Together, we will participate in Five Great Community Events:

Shalom Tree where ShalomZone Training takes place near Jinja
Shalom Graduation Ceremony in Jinja:  Since 2010, a total of 470 coffee farmers, teachers, tailors and community workers, have gone through Shalom Training in Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) sponsored by Communities of Shalom.  This year the next class of 200 "shalomers" expect to receive a Certificate of Completion (on how to move from subsistence level survival to sustainable economic development and shared prosperity in the community).   We also hope to participate in the shalom coffee harvest to sell to Thanksgiving Coffee Company (their direct-trade boutique coffee roasting partner in California). Pastor Baamu Moses is our dear friend, faithful partner and splendid host in Jinja at the Source of the Nile. 

"Games for the Goal" Soccer Tournament:  Four years ago, Pastor Moses and actor Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy) started a youth empowerment program connecting kids love for the game of soccer with their need to get tested for HIV/AIDS. Once or twice a year, a thousand kids play in the 2-day tournament for "Baamu's Goat" and learn how to stay healthy.  In the process, they get an HIV test, meet caring doctors, counselors and spiritual leaders, make friends for life, and hear motivational speakers and role models like Gaius Charles share how to "step up to the next level" of good success and spiritual growth.  This is the fourth annual Games for the Goal event sponsored by WorldHope Corps.  We are still seeking sponsors for this year's event. 

Shalom Graduation Ceremony and Cultural Exchange in Mbale:  We will visit the Delicious Peace Coffee Cooperative in the mountains of Mbale and meet Jewish, Muslim and Christian farmers who have found a way to work together.  Shalom Zone Training with 115 participants began in Mbale in January, and if they are ready to graduate, we will witness and celebrate this multicultural event.  As time allows, we plan to drive through beautiful Mt. Elgon National Park with its rugged slopes, spectacular waterfalls, hidden caves, hot springs, mountain vegetation, and an extinct volcano on the border with Kenya.    

Shalom Training in Hoima:   Since 2007, WorldHope Corps has supported St George Hope Health Centre and SARS Shalom Zone in Western Uganda. We celebrated with over 100 community leaders who completed Shalom Training in 2014. This year, we plan to celebrate with another 100+ "shalomers" who will have completed the training by the end of June.  Fr. Paul Bigirwa and Br. Julius Kasaija  are an impressive team of Catholic brothers who know how to fight the good fight against AIDS, lack of clean water, and extreme poverty; and develop a healthy and beloved community of Shalom.  

Installation of Water Filtration System:  Our big project this year is to organize the community to install a complete water sanitation system and community water store in the remote Katikara Trading Centre.  In partnership with Healing Waters International, we plan to deliver cutting-edge technology, purification equipment, and training for the SARS Shalom team.  The goal is for SARS to sustain its community health projects by running a community-based Water Store to provide clean, safe water at an affordable price for 3,000+ villagers.  The scope and scale of this project in Uganda goes beyond the 60+ individual village wells we've drilled in Malawi since 2006, and we need to raise another $15,000 to complete this project.   

I hope you will consider joining us on this mission of hope, and/or support our collaborative work with a generous donation.    WorldHope Corps 

We leave on June 22 for one, two or three weeks depending on individual schedules.   

For more information, please contact me at WorldHopeCorps@gmail.com 

Prayerfully count the cost and consider joining us.

It will change your life and make a difference in the world!

Here's a link to make a donation online:  WorldHope Corps

or send a gift to the address below.

Again, thank you for being a friend and supporter of this mission!

Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
PO Box 7688
San Diego, CA 92167