Category: News

FCA News, Announcements, and Events

African Technology Leader from FCA Church

Several years ago, while still in high school, Henry Damulira was on a ministry outreach from his home church, Seguku Worship Centre, about 10 miles south of central Kampala, Uganda. At the time Damulira was preaching the gospel and teaching English and math at the school in the Mukono district.

Henry Damulira

But then he noticed something unusual—fishermen in the village, having no access to banking services, hiding their meager daily earnings under large stones scattered all over their island. His observation, he says, “spurred me to develop a digital mobile saving platform which allows ordinary Ugandans to save money in banks through mobile money on their phones.”

Connecting fishermen to the banks was important, says Damulira, because their stone system not only left their money vulnerable to theft, but also made their cash too convenient to retrieve. They could access their money on a whim, and they often did, squandering it on frivolous purchases. “This left them in a cycle of poverty,” notes Damulira.

From his own experience, Damulira knew how easily savings goals could be hijacked by undisciplined habits. “As a teenager,” he says, “I had bought a piggy bank in which I saved my earnings from fetching water. At the time, my goal had been to save and buy a bicycle to ease my work and triple my daily income.” Instead of saving his money, however, he spent it on baseball caps.

When he saw what was happening at Rwajje Island and recalled his own experiences, Damulira realized that poor saving practices was a main reason why so many in Uganda remained poor. A study of 1,500 poor Ugandans showed that 99 percent failed to reach their savings goals through informal methods, either because the money was stolen or lost, or because they were too tempted to spend the money stored as cash. Estimates suggest that 3 out of 4 adults in developing and middle income countries do not have bank accounts.1

Damulira’s passion to support wealth creation among rural Ugandans led him to provide a secure digital platform that links up mobile phones to Airsave Saving and Credit Cooperative (Digital SACCO), in partnership with ECOBANK Uganda.

Damulira’s innovation was unique because it did not require the smart phone platforms upon which so many apps rely. His start-up company, Airsave, enables registered members to save and borrow money using a simple cell phone in small communities that have no physical bank.

Out of Uganda’s 40 million population, 90 percent are “unbanked” while 60 percent own mobile phones. Because the digital mobile saving platform can be accessed by 24 million with mobile phones, they can open up a digital account without having to step in a bank. Since its founding, over 3,000 people have signed up and lives have been changed through Damulira’s digital saving platform.

Thanks to Henry Damulira, Uganda’s unbanked can now access banks from their phones. For his digital innovation, AirSave won second place at the 2016 Africa StartUp Cup and came fourth in the World contest.

Seguku Worship Centre, Henry Damulira’s home church, is also where Steve Mayanja, well-known FCA minister with the World Outreach Ministry Foundation, is from. Damulira is son-in-law to Steven Kaweesa, a key leader in WOMF Uganda who was killed in a tragic car accident in 2016, which also took the lives of Ed Pohlreich and Scot Voltz.


https://docs.gatesfoundation.org/Documents/savings-statistics-financial-services-for-the-poor

Much of the information in the story above was found here.

A Canadian Perspective of Convergence 2018

by Glen Forsberg

Convergence 2018 was a unique celebration of the “Heart of the Father in the Heart of the Continent.” Winnipeg is both the longitudinal and latitudinal center of the North America continent.

The physical and spiritual concept of the centrality of God the Father was evident at Convergence 2018. The 349 delegates illustrated a level of interest and anticipation which inspired their attendance. Convergence was unique in its international attendance from the continents of Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia, and our beloved southerly nation of the USA.

Many travel visas were obtained due to the hard work and significant cost absorbed by the planning committee. Convergence 2018 was possibly host to the largest number of offshore delegates in a Canadian conference site.

Convergence exhibited brave initiatives which encouraged interaction and participation. The illustrated message of the Extravagant Father released a celebrative atmosphere of the joy of belonging to the Father’s house. Eloquent plenary and workshop speakers added to the practical results of the Father’s heart.

This continued with evening worship celebrations to illustrate the theme, and a unique and impacting “River Walk” of spiritual ministry. This was all encased within a warm “welcome home” atmosphere. In addition to all of this, the planners are to be commended in managing a balanced conference budget.

Several round table discussions for Canadians on Envisioning Tuesday exhibited increasing energy towards a renewed movement of faith and action in leadership development. Om that note, I would encourage you to read an inspiring devotional by Pastor Philip Jangam from a recent Coordinators’ meeting. Philip is Pastor of Acts World Outreach Church in Toronto, where he also serves as the FCA Regional Coordinator of GTA Central in Toronto, Canada.

With joy and peace in believing,

Glen Forsberg is Fellowship Pastor for FCA Canada and has been pastor of several churches throughout Canada, most recently McMurray Gospel Assembly in Fort McMurray, AB.

Missionary Geraldine Tornfelt

Long-time missionary to Native Americans, Geraldine Tornfelt, went to her eternal reward May 4, 2018, at 89 years old.

Geraldine was born August 30, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio to James and Alice Schuler but was raised by her grandparents, Erling and Marie Tornfelt in Ely, Minnesota. After graduating from high school in 1946, she attended North Central Bible College and graduated from there in 1949.

Geraldine joined Sylvia Kempas in 1951 to work together in what became a lifelong partnership of ministry to Native Americans as missionaries with the American Indian Crusade—in South Dakota, Colorado, and Wisconsin. In 1984, Geraldine and Sylvia “retired” in Atkinson, Minnesota—but as members of Journey Christian Church (formerly Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle), they continued to minister for years, visiting and encouraging shut-ins, hospital patients, and other.

Geraldine and Sylvia originally served in neighboring Sawyer Chapel, a church on the Fond du Lac Reservation begun by members from Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle. However, they embarked on what they called the 10,000 mile journey in 1957. They traveled the west, visiting and serving in reservation after reservation. When they traveled they went by car, camping in a little tent at night, cooking and eating outdoors along with their beloved dog Skippy.

They served as co-pastors on the Rosebud reservation twice for a total of 14 years. In all, they served the Sioux, the Lakota, The Mohawk, Chippewa, and a number of other tribes. Their lives were consumed with caring for people, leading native churches, Vacation Bible Schools, visiting shut-ins, and praying for others. Called by God and empowered by the Spirit, Geraldine and Sylvia together comprised a most remarkable ministry team.

2018 FCA International Convergence

If you missed the 2018 Convergence — or if you attended and want to revisit some of the highlights — check out the links below.

VIDEOS — Presented at the convention

PICTURES — A gallery of photos from the week in Winnipeg. Have Winnipeg photos of your own to share? You can add them.

RECAP — Roger Armbruster gives a moment-by-moment overview of the people, the events, the speakers, and the atmosphere of the gathering in Winnipeg.

Report on the International Luncheon — Tuesday, May 1 at The Wave Church. Of interest to missionaries and those involved with international connections both in Canada and the United States.

TEACHING — Notes (provided by convention speakers) plus AUDIO of sessions:

International Delegates Converge on Winnipeg

Among the many ministry leaders, pastors, and missionaries planning to attend the 2018 International Convergence May 1 – 4 is Bishop Robinson and Margaret Matende from Nairobi, Kenya. They, together with Rev. Gilbert Kinglol Emonyi, will represent FCA Kenya at this international gathering, adding to the global flavor of the convention.

While most attenders are from North America, a number of missionaries and third world indigenous leaders will also participate. Many have planted churches on the soil of their own nations and have a vision to reach out to other nations as well.

Bishop Robinson Matende is the Presiding Bishop of the Injili (Gospel) Mission Church in Nairobi, Kenya, which is involved in church planting, Christian seminars, conferences, revival meetings and leadership development.

After the Convergence, Bishop Robinson, together with his wife Margaret, will be flying to Dallas, Texas, where they will visit friends and the school he attended, Zion Bible College, now known as North Point Bible College.

One of the convention planners, Roger Armbruster reports, “We will be very blessed to meet with some of our FCA family who are global partners and affiliates as we connect together to advance God’s kingdom in the nations of the earth!”