I am creating this site to help facilitate the flow of information from our ministry with Engineering Ministries International in Uganda, Africa to our supporters and friends around the world. I plan to post all our email updates/newsletters and prayer requests on this site to better accommodate all our supporters. Updates will continue to also be personally emailed to all our current contacts just as before. This is just another added platform for communication. I will endeavor to add past posts for those that would like to scroll through for a more historical view of our time here in Uganda. This will be an ongoing project so please be patient. If you have any suggestions for improving this site or our other forms of communication we would appreciate hearing them. I am excited to better utilize multimedia and hope this approach is beneficial to all.
Merry Christmas from the Hoyts in Uganda
I love you and thank you for the gift of prayer and support. You have all helped develop this missionary team, and this Hoyt family.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about family. I recently saw two of our children off to boarding school. Now we are happily back together enjoying the usual family Christmas traditions. But though our days are joyous, several of our friends have experienced loss this past year, which reminds me that Christmas is not about momentary happiness and family traditions, rather it is much more than that:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One, and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Though a glorious start, this message from the manger isn’t the whole story. Jesus faced temptations, hardships, and sorrows just like me. While completely committed to God, he endured sacrificial separation from his Father. He felt fear and longing for heaven, even more than I long for those loved ones that are lost or far away. He gave of himself for my ultimate reunion with my Father in Heaven.
“To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13.
When Jesus willingly became a babe, persecuted, separated from his Father, died, then rose again, he gave me the most amazing gift of adoption. A way home to rest in the arms of my Father. I can only imagine that joy as I recall Sophia saying, “Mom I can’t wait for you to hold me again.”
May God bless you with the eternal joy and hope of Christmas. I have great anticipation for the day we will celebrate together our glorious King and Savior. And finally sitting in my daddy’s lap being filled with His love.
Melinda & Family
As a reminder, our workshop has little to no room for more employees. But we do want to reach more through job creation, so please continue praying that the funds to expand the EMI Uganda Workshop will come.
I believe a great way to reduce the orphan and widow population worldwide is through decent paying job creation within a Christian work environment that allows one to offer God their very best. When done, while pointing to the Lord as ultimate provider, the Gospel is heard, AND the importance of an intact Christian family is discovered.
Our product is people and the resulting byproduct is beautiful wood joinery and iron fabrication. The craftsmanship you’ll see coming out of the EMI Uganda workshop is a direct reflection of our desire to serve our partnering ministries in a Christ honoring way.
If you agree with our approach will you prayerfully consider joining the EMI Uganda Workshop team? Let’s talk.
We need your prayers!
9 years ago, when we started construction on the Music for Life Primary school (MFL), I decided to construct the doors and windows using a beautiful termite resistant hardwood called mugavu. But, at the time, I didn’t know dry mugavu was difficult to find, so I bought it wet and built a drying kiln. Issue one resolved.
Issue two: I wanted to give MFL excellent craftsmanship, but for such a luxury, when outsourced, the budget wouldn’t allow. So I bought a heavy duty 3-1 planer and hired an experienced craftsman named Kirabo Jonah. He was indeed a craftsman, but he was much more than that.
What stood out about Jonah was his heart to teach his trade to others. So between his craftsmanship and his desire to pass his talents on to others, the inspiration to start a permanent workshop was born.
Now, nearly a decade later we have a workshop located near the EMI office in Kajjansi Uganda and Jonah is helping lead the way. Issue two resolved.
Issue three: A year ago it was just two of us, and now we are 9 and we need your prayers.
In just 1 year we have out grown the workshop. We need more space and more machines. We are blessed to be in a place where we can turn business away, but the point of the workshop is not about fabrication and joinery, rather it’s about creating jobs, serving ministries, introducing people to and/or building people up in Christ. Covered space and machines are a critical means to an end. We want to reach more with the good News and serve more with our products.
Please pray with us that the funds come so that we can expand the workshop ministry thus reaching more people with the Good News found in Jesus. After years of pondering the prayer of Jabez, I now understand and will finish with that prayer:
“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!”
There are two end zones on a missionary’s lopsided field of play. At one end, chalked on the turf, is the easily accessed “next-cultural living” and at the other there’s the heavily defended “cross-cultural living”
Next-Cultural Living is like importing your own potted plant and purposefully placing it directly next to, yet distinctly apart from, the host cultures lush forest. The hope being that it will somehow influence how that forest grows. And of course if that does not work you can always take your plant home since, after all, it’s still in the original native soil lined pot.
This approach offers quick fast-food community living. It offers creature comforts nourished by the predictable. Placing one’s home culture next to another’s, albeit deceiving, creates a sense of security. But like Chinese food one feels hungry shortly after eating. But what was meant for an occasional meal quickly turns into a daily gorging. It’s as though you braved the roads of LA during rush hour traffic to dine at a 5-star restaurant, but once there you dared only eat the same food you keep in your refrigerator. A costly bologna sandwich for sure.
Rather than a way of life, the mission becomes merely a job, leaving the sojourner, whether returning home or staying put, with a nagging sense of failure.
Cross-Cultural Living, on the other hand, means bringing your own vulnerable self, a branch of sorts, and allowing others to graft you into their own forest thus making you more useful within their cultural context.
This approach requires a great deal of faith in the gardener because you as the branch must be severed from your tree in order to be physically attached to another. Clearly there’s pain and then healing required. But with time a fruit, not quite what it was, begins to flourish.
This approach, though anything but predictable, is where positive influence occurs. It requires not braving the roads of LA for a restaurant, but rather a sharp machete for blazing a trail through one’s own preconceived forest of “normal” in search of the ingredients for a one of a kind gourmet meal. Mission in turn becomes a uniquely influential way of life. Positive change occurs both in the host country and in the sojourning missionary as well. A truer sense of accomplishment is revealed.
1 Corinthians 9:22 comes to mind
…I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
Where are the Hoyts in the field of play? Still running the ball toward that heavily defended end zone.
Senior Project Manager
designing a world of hope
PO Box 3251, Kampala, Uganda
Growing up a missionary kid has its beneficial times, like being able to travel often and meet an abundance of different kinds of people. I have learned from these experiences to look at all points of an angle before making a judgment. So, though not always, generally it is easier for me to interact cross-culturally with someone from Australia or Ireland than with someone who hasn’t really traveled much. Although I can appreciate many cultures I have discovered I have my own culture, Third Culture Kid (TCK).
Most of the time I can’t understand American colloquialisms when on furloughs. When they were used they made me feel out of place. However, since our sabbatical, I have been able to understand and even use many of them.
When in the States I tended to stick out like a sore thumb (I used a colloquialism). For example, I almost always wore long skirts and T-shirts, which is an unusual outfit in America. Here in Uganda, we can always tell who’s a tourist and who’s not by what they wear. In America, I look and act like a tourist, but I feel as if I am supposed to look and act like I’m American, since that is after all who my passport says I am.
Sadly, I barely knew anything about sports last year when we went to the states because we don’t have a TV or follow sports a lot while we are in Uganda. Since sports are such an important part of an American’s entertainment I felt out of place whenever the topic of a conversation would change suddenly to sports. However, during the course of that last year, I had a crash course in American football, basketball, baseball, and hockey making it easier to interact with Americans, such as my Dad. I even have my favorite teams in football and baseball.
Though I loved it, this past year in the US was somewhat difficult because of all the cross-cultural interaction and the fact that we were in Maine for the winter. That sabbatical gave me the time to really learn what it is like to survive in the States and I now understand certain social aspects of life there that I will probably need in the future. Also, it was great to really get to know my Grandmother and some cousins while making a few new friends.
Here are a couple of pictures from the introduction ceremony (Kwanjula) that we attended last weekend. First, you may be asking “what is an introduction ceremony?” An introduction ceremony acts as the traditional marriage ceremony. Kwanjula is a Luganda word that simply means “to introduce”. It is a day when the bride to be introduces her future husband (and his people who escort him) to her parents and relatives. Finally, a dowry is paid and vows are made.
Again wedding Introductions in Uganda are culturally important. Critical even. But unfortunately, they are also extremely expensive. As a result, many couples choose to live together and build families with the hopes of one day walking the road of Christian marital ceremony.
A few years ago Tatyabala told me that he would likely have abandoned his family like so many others had I not witnessed to him about how important our committed role as husbands and fathers are not just to our families but to society at large. After all one of man’s greatest opportunities for spreading the Gospel is from the humble platform of husband and fatherhood. So to overly simplify, with that Richard stayed home. But that was just the beginning.
Recently in his process of sanctification, my friend and colleague Tatyabala Richard chose to honor God and his “bride to be” despite the worldly costs. And I am proud to say that he credits Gods use of the EMI EA Construction Management program for having made this decision.
This is one example of how the Lord is using the CM program to build up men who are willing to hold tight and upright the crimson banner of God’s grace mercy and love.
Your support is at work. Thank you!
Steve and Melinda