Strategic Ministry Partnerships International
Pastor Ross and Jennifer Gerber founded SMPI in 2009 for the purpose of providing a vehicle for businesses and friends outside of GCF to help support their ministry to Uganda and more recently, to other East African countries. SMPI is a ministry of Grace Christian Fellowship, Sturgis Michigan, and has as its operating board the elders of GCF. SMPI has three focuses:
- The support of Treasured Kids Primary School in Kampala, Uganda, under Deo Ministries. Through the combined efforts of GCF and the Sturgis-area community, a farm was purchased to grow food for the students of the school. Subsequently, a house was built for the farm workers and the land cultivated to grow maize (corn) and other crops for the children’s noon meal. In the fall of 2014 a well was dug thanks to generous donors. The well brings fresh clean water to several thousand people who live close to the farm. The farm is producing well but is still a work in progress as we pursue our goal of self-sustainability.
- Pastor Ross and Jen are Associate Trainers with John C. Maxwell’s EQUIP organization which trains leaders around the world. Ross and Jen have been training leaders in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi for nine years and recently graduated two groups of students from Uganda Bible Institute and Africa Renewal University. EQUIP material is very impacting and continues to reap a great harvest in the lives of the leaders who complete the three year course.
- In 2010, Jennifer, burdened by the poverty she saw among the students of Treasured Kids, offered friends back home the opportunity to sponsor children from the school. Almost immediately eleven people/families signed up to sponsor a child. To date we sponsor nearly 90 children and twelve teachers/staff at Treasured Kids. Sponsors send gifts and letters to their sponsored children with Ross and Jen when they travel to Uganda twice yearly.