12 May 2009

Searching for Inspiration...

It’s time to jump back on the blog for some inspiration…


For the past 2 months I have been writing proposals for grants and various forms of funding from foundations, churches and individuals for Gaba Bible Institute… my apologies for being a lame and at times absent from the blog…


We are now 6 weeks away from our trip to the US… if this is news to you… “Surprise! We are coming to California and will be around for 6 weeks.”


A common response to this news is “Why are you coming?”


My reply “Thanks! I’m looking forward to seeing you too!”


Truth be told… IT’S TIME TO RAISE SOME MONEY…specifically, money for GBI…


For some of you this seems strange… “isn’t he the blogger that is always writing about being self-sustaining and breaking the chains of dependency?”


This is true… I am a big fan of ministries that do not need to look outside their home country for funding and I am not a big fan of ministries that can raise money within their own country but find looking outside for funds to be easier and more profitable…


Of all the funds GBI has raised I am most proud of the GBI choir tour and the handful of change we got from a church in the swamps of Kawuku… or the matoke that our students ate that grew behind my office… and the 150% hike in school fees that our students obliged to pay…


But truth be told I don’t believe that any school of higher learning can be self-sustaining… or to be more precise, sustained by tuition fees alone...


Take the US for example… the government supports state colleges and public universities… alumni give contributions to their alma maters… private colleges set up endowment funds… schools receive grants and special funding for research and new programs… and the list goes on and on…


It is rare in any country… that I know of from my limited googling… to find a school that is sustained completely from the collection of tuition fees alone… there needs to be a diverse supply of funds…


Thus my work begins… I’m on a quest to double the yearly budget for GBI…


This may seem ridiculous in today’s economy but here are a few numbers for my fellow math geeks to crunch on their calculators…


1)   1) Since GBI has grown from 35 to 105 students our yearly budget has not grown by 1%... some may say that our initial budget was too high, which leads me to fact #2


2)   At GBI we house, feed, pay and pay all medical expenses 32 weeks a year for 105 adults for $90,000 USD… stop for a moment and compare that to your own household income and yearly expense… but there is more… that amount also includes all of our staff salaries, rent and school supplies for the year… granted we are not living it up or paying competitive wages but we are growing a national reputation as a reputable bible college


3)   We mystify the National Council for Higher Education… despite our success we are operating without 4 key administrative staff positions being filled, as well as 3 full-time teachers and with staff salaries that the NCHE deemed in their report “unacceptable”… praise God for volunteers and workers with servant’s hearts!


So in light of these facts I have returned to the blog… I have 6 weeks to figure out how to communicate to my friends in the US that equipping Christian leaders in Africa is a worthy investment…


In some cases I will have a 2-minute video… others 5 minutes of stage time… or in some cases a sermon to plead the cause… but whatever the opportunity I want to get past the numbers, past cheesy fundraising gimmicks or manipulation of emotion…


I truly want people to see that equipping national leaders is the key to seeing community transformation…


I realize that some may argue that Jesus is the key to transformation… I won’t deny that… but as my friend Paul also noted… “How will they hear without a preacher?”


So here I am... back on the blog… writing in search of inspiration… stay tuned…

2 comments:

John said...

Thanks for the change in type font. Now, my bifocals are really paying off.
Seriously, from my own experience working on accrediting teams in Calif. this school is a testimony of God's blessing,grace and mercy. Without all of the students being of one mind and desiring to honor God, I think GBI could not succeed as it has. In terms of preparation for ministry, the school has a clear vision and mission. Praise God.
PS. don't overlook the sacrificial spirit of everyone involved;teachers, students and staff. GBI is alive and not just an institution. It is people and not merely a center for learning. It is the community of believers who are responding to the call to be equipped for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel in order to transform a nation. Can I get an Amen?
When you do satisfy the folks from the NCHE in all of their criteria, GBI will be able to show that it has sustainability and it has the means to continue. My prayers are for both the immediate needs as well as for the future. You need more partners and supporters from the USA to help ensure that the foundation laid will build up an on-going work for training the future leaders of Uganda.

Anonymous said...

AMEN to that John.
And good words Jeff. Keep up the good work. I will be praying that your time in the US is relaxing and hard working (well, I guess, I like Proverbs 26:4,5 too much!!!! Is it possible to answer the fool and not answer the fool and still be in good position; or relax and work hard?!), and most of all profitable for the cause!!!
P.S. I sign under anonymous, it is the easiest. Greetings, Marino