WHO WE ARE
Pastor Ross and Jennifer Gerber founded Strategic Ministry Partnerships International (SMPI) in 2009 for the purpose of providing a vehicle for businesses and friends to help support their ministry to Uganda and other East African countries.
SMPI is a ministry of Grace Church Sturgis, and has as its operating board the elders of GCF. SMPI has three focuses:
— The support of Treasured Kids Primary Schools in Kampala, Uganda, under Heart for African People.
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 since 2006 and recently graduated three groups of students from Africa College of Theology, Kabale Pastors Fellowship and Entebbe Pastors Fellowship. 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 400 children and fourteen 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.