CHILDREN OF PROMISE (as of March 2022)
A CHURCH of GOD Child Sponsorship Program (similar to Compassion International) is headquartered in Anderson, IN. Children of Promise (COP) has been in operation for 30 years! They currently have children being sponsored in 30 countries and have over 4500 children in sponsorship. ‘Making Wholeness Possible’ is their motto and they live up to that by providing each child with 4 specific areas of focus: Education, Medical, Nourishment, and Discipleship. When the children are entered into this holistic program growth is seen in many ways. COP has a gap fund that helps give to those children who are in need now in these specific areas but who have not received a long-term sponsor. The role of a sponsor is to support their child through prayer and encouragement. A sponsor can write letters to their child from the COP website. You can find out more about this wonderful organization by going to ChildrenOfPromise.global. You can find the gap fund under the campaigns tab and you can see all the children and different countries currently taking sponsorships under the sponsorship tab.
In 2003, we began our work in Guatemala, while serving as the Lead Pastor of Hope Community Church in Oviedo, Florida. Our eyes were opened to the great needs that existed among the poor in Guatemala, particularly the children. For the next several years, we found ourselves returning to Guatemala more and more often. Eventually, we realized that God was calling us to come to Guatemala as missionaries. In June 2006, we moved our family to Guatemala and began hosting work teams that came to minister in Guatemala. We have been amazed to see how God could use gifts of hospitality to expand His Kingdom and make disciples.
In 2008, we founded Catalyst Resources International, a registered 501(c)3 organization. As Directors of CRI, we seek to partner in Guatemala with pastors and other Christian organizations in an effort to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people. Through partnership and shared resources, we see disciples being made and the process of multiplication taking place.
Our role over the years has been to be used as a catalyst to connect resources to those in need. We anticipate and trust that God will continue to use us in this capacity to impact the world for His Kingdom.
In partnership with the local Church of God, Tim and Colleen develop projects and communities primarily in Uganda, but also in Rwanda, Congo (DR), and South Sudan. They continue to facilitate the ministry of TAPP (Tumaini AIDS Prevention Program). And they manage church and school building programs and sponsorship programs, often in partnership with Kinderhilfswerk and Children of Promise.
The Stevensons are passionate about the work of the Kingdom in East Africa, connecting people and organizations in ministry. When they first began serving in Uganda, their assignment was to build and develop a single educational institution. Since then, they have developed more than 200 Church of God schools in Uganda, as well as others in neighboring countries, tied to local congregations.
They connect children in sponsorship programs, either within the schools or through personal networking through programs such as Children of Promise (United States), Furaha (Canada), Kinderhilfswerk (Germany), Compassion International, and Samaritan’s Purse. They also developed the TAPP ministry to help the church meet the economic and spiritual needs of women and children suffering from AIDS.
Tim and Colleen, both missionary kids, came to Africa as young children and have been part of the continent since the 1950s and 1960s respectively. They are parents to four children, who also enjoyed the beautiful continent and the hospitality of its people, and an expanding set of grandchildren.
With years of experience, and a passion for the work of God and the African continent, Tim and Colleen are an example of what happens in the church and in local communities when God connects local passion in cross-cultural ministry.
Facebook: Colleen Stevenson
The Church of God in Uganda has developed and grown through a strategy of integrated community engagement: congregations that are partnered with schools, housing, AIDS programs, and five medical clinics, among other services. While Ugandan nurses and doctors have been meeting people’s needs, there has been a desperate need for a medical coordinator for the clinics.
Kaitlin is developing relationships within the church and medical community, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the church’s clinics, developing and implementing plans to bring each clinic up to government standards, and connecting them to resources within the local and global community. One goal of Kaitlin’s ministry is to help them to grow and improve their standard of care, and to help clinic staff ensure that patients are cared for spiritually as well as physically in partnership with local congregations.
The love of Jesus Christ is a holistic love, one that he demonstrated time and again meeting the felt needs of people and addressing their spiritual needs. As a registered nurse with an ever-deepening faith, Kaitlin Smith has been meeting patients’ needs in the emergency room, in surgery, in critical care, and in hospital administration. Now she is connecting through Global Strategy to partner with the Church of God in Uganda as she continues to follow Christ’s example, meeting medical and spiritual needs.
Kaitlin was captivated by Jesus early on, experiencing his love in the example of her parents and her church community while growing up on the east side of Indianapolis, Indiana. And at a young age, she yearned to be baptized. Though she was active in youth group and youth missions trips, by the time she graduated from high school and pursued nursing at Anderson University, she had begun to drift spiritually, experiencing a growing emptiness in her life.
As a senior in college, Kaitlin was again overcome by the love of Jesus Christ and committed herself to walk with him. That same year, her heart was captivated by Uganda and its people while serving on a missions trip with nursing classmates from Anderson University. She dove into the culture and the experience, and came home wanting more, persuaded that God was leading her to mission work in the clinics of the Church of God in Uganda. But first, she needed some experience.
For the past three years, God has opened door after door, providing her with experience across the wards of a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, one that is both multicultural in staff and in patients. Not only have her nursing skills broadened, preparing her for the unique position working with the clinics in Uganda, but this experience has further prepared her for cross-cultural work. Two additional extended mission trips to Uganda have affirmed God’s call on her life to this country.