Page 1

First Edition

Inside EMI A journey of hope

Becoming a survey mentor in Uganda

p. 45

Finding living water in Nepal

p. 29

Engineering Ministries International



with Christian ministries


Ministries World-Wide



design professionals


Volunteers yearly



a world of hope


Projects yearly Children’s Homes, Hospitals, Schools & more

Impacting People


Jesus said ‘because wickedness is going to increase, the love of many will grow cold.’ The fact is that you and I are confronted with bad news all the time, and it numbs the heart. Where is the good news? Who talks about hope? At EMI, we know people all over the world who are doing a beautiful work with Jesus. Inside EMI, we go to Ghana to show you how three little boys think about their lives. We travel to India to meet a man who dedicated his life to pioneering ‘member care’ for Indian missionaries. We bring you into Mexico’s Copper Canyon to introduce people who have no word for ‘love’. We’ve reconstructed part of EMI’s

& Nations

journey in 2013 just so we could share a world of hope with you. The result is this magazine. We didn’t have a big promo budget or pro-photographers & writers. Instead, this is what you would have seen and heard firsthand over coffee in any EMI office this year. For the first time, the people of EMI decided to bring a few of their photos & stories together. I want to thank them for giving us a new and greater perspective; I thank them for sharing a world of hope. MJC 5 November 2013 New Delhi, India

INSIDE EMI, First Edition A Journey of Hope - 2013 Engineering Ministries International Editor Matthew J. Coffey Graphic Designer Christine Gerhart Web Support Shalom Lazarus


Cover Photo by: Benjamin Keller Naika was more shy than her friends, who all demanded pictures. It took a mixture of coaxing and making funny faces to get her in front of the camera.

Engineering Ministries International (EMI) is an international, non-profit Christian development organization.

Measuring Our Impact John Dallmann, CEO of EMI Over the last 31 years, God has given us over one thousand opportunities to serve His people. They work among those beyond the reach of the Good News about Jesus Christ in the poorest parts of the world. Whether for Christian ministries, orphanages, healthcare providers or communities, we have been designing a world of hope for a world in need. But how can we measure our success? How can we know we’re making an impact? The larger world of charities and development organizations are focusing on measuring impact. This emphasis is healthy and good, and it’s something EMI takes very seriously. We’re working to quantify the impact we’ve made over the years and better track the results of our efforts. We’re measuring what has been accomplished by looking at the number of design projects that have been built. We’re also looking at the lives of the physically and spiritually poor that have been touched by the ministries we serve. But the bigger picture we see is that God continues to use EMI at strategic points in the lifelines of our ministry partners. He uses us to empower their vision and encourage them in the work He has called them to. We don’t come alongside these ministries to lead or control but rather to understand what God is doing through them already. This requires humility and faith. So while we trust God for the overall results, we also work very hard to bring reality to our partners’ visions and the advance of His Kingdom. As you read about EMI’s world-wide journey in the pages to follow, I think you’ll be moved by the touched lives and impacted communities. God gets all the glory. He worked through us to accomplish His good will and purpose. And we rejoice that we can offer our talents in engineering, architecture, surveying, and construction management to be used by Him. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” - Matthew 6:10 Rejoicing in Christ,

Photo by Anne Herron


A World-Wide Journey Journey Itinerary - Table of Contents Editor’s Note



Measuring Our Impact


The Ghana of Tomorrow by Michael Woods

1. EMI-United States




Meeting Jesus at the Crossroads by Benjamin Keller

Be an EMI Intern


3. EMI-United Kingdom



5. DRC


Building Vision by Greg Young

6. EMI-Canada




Finding Living Water by Graham Frank

Be an EMI Project Volunteer


8. EMI south Asia



6 1


ar St

16 d










with Engineering Ministries International 9. INDIA


13. EMI-Middle East North Africa 57


Integrating Compassion by Janelle Hite

20 Years of Caring by Matthew Coffey



The Survey Mentor by Patrick Cochrane

15. EMI-América Latina




11. EMI-East Africa




Defining Love for the Tarahumara by Daniel Puttcamp


Give to EMI

Yusufu’s Dream by Steve Hoyt

Join the EMI Staff














12 11 10






= 2013 Journey Route = 2013 EMI Project Trip locations 4

Engineering Ministries International / / Est. 1982


Journey to Albania

With EMI United states

Photographer: Benjamin Keller Pictured: Jason Rowland April 2013, Udhëkryq camp, Ersekë, Albania Helping to design a new multipurpose facility for Torchbearer’s camp Udhëkryq, Jason Rowland takes a surveying measurement from the top of a recently purchased project building - an old Russian cheese factory.


Meeting Jesus at the Crossroads How a young girl’s life changed through the ministry of Torchbearers By Benjamin Keller / EMI USA / Albania


Boom! - Flash - Nine year old Ymrije Bytygi lay in her bed listening to blasts echoing down the valley. Suddenly her mother burst into her room - “Ymrije! Get up! We must leave now.” Ymrije Bytygi (EEM-ree-eh bew-TEW-ghee) grabbed a few things and joined her family as they left their home and trudged into the rainy night, towards the imposing mountains of Kosovo. It was 1997. Fearing attack from the Serbs, the villagers had fled to the mountains for protection many times. This time when they returned, a massive truck sat in the village square. Forty women and children were jammed into the covered truck bed and driven over the mountains toward Albania. As they went, the sound of bombs and ricocheting bullets was deafening. Dust from explosions sandblasted the sides of the truck. Ymrije peered out of a flap in the canvas to see a man walking with a young boy. When she looked again, the boy was on the ground, dead. When the truck stopped, Serbian men would try to find reasons to get single girls to leave the safety of the group and come with them. One time when her mother went to find water, a number of people were led into a school and executed. Again and again, the Bytygi family passed by certain death. In Albania, the women lived in an abandoned basketball arena for three months until it was safe to return to Kosovo. Finally they joyfully reunited with her father and brothers, all of whom it seemed they would never see again. But it wasn’t the end of Ymrije’s difficulties.

Forty women and children were jammed into the covered truck bed and driven over the mountains toward Albania.

In 2004, she sat in the corner of a cold, grey hospital room watching her father die. Her heart ached, just as it had done when they were fleeing over the mountains. It was filled with questions she could not answer. Suddenly she remembered the Bible someone had given to her after watching the Jesus film. Not understanding what she was doing, she began to read passages to her ailing father. The verses seemed to bring her strength, but did not stop her father from dying.

When he was gone, the eight people in her family moved into one room together. This created tension, particularly when the stipend her mother received from the government dried up, leaving the family without money to eat. Distressed and without any way to live, Ymrije and several other girls were taken in by American missionaries living in the region. Though she had been to church occasionally she had never relied on faith. One day as she sat in a window reflecting on the tumultuous events of her short life, she began to weep. In desperation, she called out into the world, “Oh Lord, I have no father. You are God and I need you to be my father.” Slowly He became just that. He gave her strength to return to a family that was in disarray. He showed her His word. Then, He led her to go to Bible school. 8

Torchbearers Udhëkryq facility

Torchbearers started working with local though she had been fearful, she was churches in Albania during the Kosovo war powerful in God’s hands. To help pay for the when 600,000 refugees had flooded into course, she took a job in the kitchen where Albania. Just as Ymrije had she found a mentor and other been sheltered in a basketball life-giving relationships. It was here at arena, in Ersekë, Torchbearers had housed refugees in an While working as staff at Udhëkryq (the old grain storage barn. When Udhëkryq in 2011, Ymrije Albanian word for learned that her mother had the war was over they were able to use the building for become very ill and needed crossroads) that something else. Over ten her in Kosovo. Bewildered, years they turned the old Ymrije’s life changed she found history repeating soviet building into a facility as she again cared for a again as she learned itself that houses summer camps dying parent. Everyone around and a Bible school. It was here more about God and her seemed cold and she at Udhëkryq (the Albanian longed for the relationships His son Jesus. word for crossroads) that she had at Torchbearers. “All I Ymrije’s life changed again wanted was to give someone as she learned more about God and His a hug,” she remembers. But this time son Jesus. something was different. Bolstered by the encouragement she received from Although she had been reading the Bible friends and mentors at Torchbearers, she for a long time, her time at Torchbearers realized she had the power to reach out opened her eyes. All the passages she in love. Sobbing, she told her mother about had read before now pointed to this man, her faith in Christ. Her mother reached out His amazing ministry on earth, His eternal her hand and nodded. They savored the plan for his children. She also learned she moment together as she was taken from was valuable to God. Because of the pain the room, into the arms of her new Savior. she had endured and the scars she carried, she had believed she was insignificant. Even though God had come to mean a lot Postscript: Ymrije has now returned to Albania for university. The EMI team heard her story to her, she had never realized her worth (translated from Albanian) during their design to Him. Her confidence also grew as she visit to Torchbearers at Udhëkryq. She is experienced outdoor activities which are engaged to be married to a worship leader and is excited about what God has in store for her part of the school. What she enjoyed most future. was archery. It gave her a sense that even


The EMI team discusses plans for doubling the Torchbearers summer camp capacity on a new property in ErsekĂŤ.

Journey results EMI-USA Project no. 5588 / April 2013

ErsekĂŤ, Albania Next stop: EMI United Kingdom

This EMI team developed plans that enable Torchbearers to double their summer camps to 1,300 campers, doubling their capacity to introduce Jesus to all who, like Ymrije, come to Crossroads.

First Floor - Guest rooms for 100 ppl. x 6 camps/year = 600 campers Ground Floor - Auditorium and meeting space for 300 people





Sandra Bissky Wayne Bissky Charles Cothern Bengie Daniels Jeff Drinkard Bob Gresham

600 Campers

Eileen Gresham Benjamin Keller Jeremey Kunkel Eric Lehmkuhl Fred Naff Esther Phang

Wilson Phang Jason Rowland Bob Smith Marilynn Smith


Join the journey

EMI internships An EMI Internship practically combines your faith, education and skills to serve the body of Christ worldwide. Join the EMI journey for 1-6 months and you will never be the same. How do we know? Because half the EMI staff are former interns. The vision God gave to EMI in 1981 will be carried into the future and around the world by you.

Pray that God would call students from every nation to apply their technical education in His Kingdom.

An EMI Internship sets the stage in a young professional’s life for a generous, Kingdom-focused career. Help make it possible with a gift to the Intern Mobilization fund.

Be an EMI Intern in one of our 7 offices. We’ll show you how to use your gifts to design a world of hope. Write us today! 11

Architecture Civil Engineering Environmental Engineering Construction Management Graphic Design Surveying Structural Engineering Journalism Mechanical Engineering Landscape Architecture

Photo by Ben Keller


Engineering Ministries International / / Est. 2008


Journey to Ghana

With EMI United kingdom

Photographer: Rachel Foo July 2013, Accra, Ghana The third storey window of a smart air-conditioned office building held this overwhelming scene. Hidden behind the main roads of the capital and washing up on the doorstep of Ghana’s rising businesses are endless seas of shanty houses. What struck me most was that these broken buildings held similarly broken people, yet each one is created in God’s image. This was my motivation over my ten-week internship at EMI: God cares for these forgotten people.


By Michael Woods / EMI United Kingdom / Ghana

The Ghana of Tomorrow The village school had no windows. Just open holes and brown wooden shutters in the rough rendered walls underneath a corrugated iron roof. It was amazing to hear the children laughing as they played, finding joy as children so often do even though each one of them had tragic stories to tell. Stories of loss, suffering, and bereavement.

These were the children that our EMI-United Kingdom team was called to serve. The team that God assembled for this project was from Ghana, Australia, Hong Kong, the UK, and the USA. What a privilege it was He told us in his for all of us to work together to bring hope to these children in Fintey, in the Eastern Region own language of Ghana, three hours drive up country north how he had cried of Accra. Working with Closecare Ministries, a British agency new to Ghana, we were asked to when his parents serve God through the design of an orphanage and a school. Closecare plans to provide an had died – education and a home to care for about a probably because hundred and fifty children. But who are these children? During our visit to the school, I spent some time to chat with some young boys who would one day be going to the new home and school we designed. I’d like to briefly introduce you to three of them.

of AIDS – and how he was now living with aging grandparents.

Ten year-old Lawson was sitting there in his orange T-shirt. He told us in his own language how he had cried when his parents had died – probably because of AIDS – and how he was now living with aging grandparents. He wants to be a carpenter but there are no facilities to help him learn this trade in Fintey. Without help and long-term care from Closecare Ministries, like many young men in this region, he may never achieve that dream. He too is at great risk from the same illness that claimed his parents. Eight year-old Godsway lives in a mixed house near the school in Fintey. His mother died giving birth to him and his father has gone away. Godsway says that he would like to be a policeman. With a glint in his eye he told me, ’because they can get lots of money’. Like much of Africa, Ghana has a corruption problem and it was sad to hear from someone so young that the way to a better life was to adopt a corrupt lifestyle. With Closecare Ministries help and supported by 15



Confidence 16

Children at Closecare Ministries

our design effort, Godsway and children like him will learn to live and fulfil their dreams in a better way. Confidence is only 4 years old. Looking very sombre in his green T-shirt and borrowed blue hat, he proved to be already good at ‘high fives’. Confidence told us that he wanted to be a driver. Since the death of his parents, he is living temporarily with people who are not his family. He has no security for the future, no one who will care for him. Like most of the children we spoke to in Fintey, Confidence lacks a male role model. Besides unemployment or alcoholism, these boys are growing up without examples of how to live. In the facilities we designed, Closecare will be introducing men into the lives of these children to help them grow as people of God and as caring, responsible adults. 17

At EMI-United Kingdom, we work to support Closecare Ministries to see these children become the Ghana of tomorrow. From here will come the country’s carpenters, policemen and drivers. More than that, from here will come the country’s teachers, pilots, doctors, architects and engineers. But most of all, from here will come Christian men and women, mothers and fathers. They will bring spiritual & physical relief to this nation in the same way that relief has been brought to them. Linda Williams, founder of Closecare Ministries told me, ‘What you have done is fantastic. Your work will bring life and health and hope to these children and I am incredibly encouraged to see a way forward that we, as Closecare Ministries, can go from here.’

EMI architect Robert Johnson and Linda Williams of Closecare Ministries review plans for an orphanage in Fintey.

Journey results

EMI-UK Project no. 11014 / June 2013

Fintey Dorfor Next stop: DR Congo Closecare Ministries envisions a future of hope for Ghana. This EMI team translated that vision into plans for an orphanage and school for 150 children like Lawson, Godsway, and Confidence.

= 6 days




George Adu Tim Berry Maela Le Nen Davey Rachel Foo

150 Children

Bright Kofi Frimpong Kristy Hayes Robert Johnson Michael Woods

Lingyi Wu Alexander Yuen



to the Democratic republic of the Congo With EMI Canada


Photographer: Greg Young Pictured: An orange color Czech-built LET 410 UVP airplane with American-built GE engines. Flying within the DRC is always an adventure. While flying over the beautiful African countryside from Kinshasa to Boma, we hit turbulence during a sudden rainstorm. We had been advised to choose Kin Avia because they employ foreign pilots who have better skill and maintenance accountability. They landed us safe and sound on a bumpy dirt runway.


By Greg Young / EMI Canada / Dem. Republic of the Congo

Building Vision

Pastor Lévy Pambu grew up in the small Congolese village of Maduda in the western state of Bas-Congo. As a child he studied hard in school and eventually earned a position as a primary school teacher. He loved the Lord and, as he served in his village church, its leaders noticed him for his diligence, attention to detail and quiet but strong resolve. This led to a decision to train him as a pastor and administrator. Moving from one appointment to another, Lévy was finally moved away from the church setting to become an administrator at the denominational seminary called “FACTEB”. The seminary was pioneered as a small undergraduate Bible school in the 1970’s and was located on an aging campus at the edge of Boma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s former capital city. In 2008, the rector of the seminary informed Lévy that a team from an organization called EMI was coming to help plan for growth and revitalization of the campus. However, Lévy was filled with uncertainty. What would these foreigners know about operating a university in Africa? Did they speak French? How dedicated would they be to a long-term relationship? But even as he considered these reasonable questions, something else was bothering Lévy: He did not know how he could personally contribute to the process of envisioning the future of the seminary. This was because, in reality, he had never really seen firsthand what a mature, modern school of higher education Something else was like. So during the first EMI team’s visit Lévy remained in the background of discussions and hosting the team, deferring to the rector to represent the seminary. The team spent hours under the hot sun to survey the essential portions of the 85-acre property, they held many long meetings with the rector, and they worked and reworked design plans. Finally at the end of the week, with the small campus community buzzing with excitement and promise, Lévy watched as the EMI team revealed a new campus master plan and Phase One designs for a new library and married-student housing.

was bothering Lévy: He did not know how he could personally contribute to the process of envisioning the future of the seminary.

During the following five years, overseas fundraising for seminary operations and construction stalled as the world economy turned sour, but little by little the plans turned into reality. Simultaneously, discussions among the denominational leaders turned to expanding the program of FACTEB Seminary to include a broader based Christcentered university education. Two new programs were being introduced in Business Management and in IT Management / Technical Services and the 21

During the first EMI team’s visit LÊvy remained in the background of discussions and hosting the team, deferring to the rector to represent the seminary.


Photos clockwise from top: EMI engineer Joshua Culp operates the survey instrument on the UAC campus


EMI architect Frank Gorman uses his knowledge of French to build rapport with LĂŠvy

Walking toward the married student quadruplex designed by EMI-Canada in 2008

first year of pilot courses had been very well attended. With these changes to the institution and as the Phase One buildings were nearing completion, it was becoming apparent that EMI would be invited back. This time, Lévy would hold the office of Chief Administrator of the seminary that had become University of the Alliance in the Congo (UAC). With the rector out of town during EMI’s second visit Though they in February 2013, Lévy would now be called on to represent the campus. struggled

over phrases This time Lévy began to work intimately with the EMI team. He participated in many lively discussions about the like “bubble future of the University that were translated to and from French by Dr. Rene Holvast, a colleague & UAC professor diagram”, Lévy from Holland. He was surprised and encouraged to hear a found these broken but functional French from the team’s lead architect. Though they struggled over phrases like “bubble diagram”, efforts at direct Lévy found these efforts at direct communication helpful and reassuring. Along with his colleague Jeremie Khele, communication UAC Financial Manager, Lévy kept up with the team and helpful and the design progress on Phase Two throughout the week of work. By the end, Lévy’s initial concerns had dissolved reassuring. away to thankfulness and contentment. Looking at EMI, he had seen the sensitivity to his culture and the commitment to his University that he was concerned would be lacking. Beyond this, through the questions they asked and as they built up the vision piece by piece on the masterplan, the team had actually helped him see the future of the UAC. The result was a three-fold expansion of the campus from the original discussions in 2008. More than just extending the life of an aging Bible seminary, Lévy was now guiding the development plan of UAC into an environment for learning that will one day become a thriving place of discovery and discipleship for 900 students. Five years after that first visit, Lévy saw EMI as an organization that not only brings expertise, but is also committed to understanding a ministry’s local context. Most importantly, Lévy saw EMI’s willingness to return and continue to walk alongside his university, step by step into the future.

Journey results

EMI-Canada Project no. 10036 / February 2013

Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo Next stop: EMI Canada This EMI team equipped Pastor Levy Pambu and others to build a vision for the UAC to triple its capacity for producing quality Christian leadership in the DRC.

= 50 hours = CA$5,200 value

900 Students




Civil Tech


Joshua Culp Frank Gorman Ralph Hildenbrandt

Justin Hom Aileen Kondo Kyle Kondo

Gregory Young


SHOWCASE PHOTO Photographer: Greg Young Pictured: Firmin Nkuanga Thumbu February 2013, University of the Alliance in the Congo Firmin sits in the soon-to-be-completed married student quadruplex. He is preparing for full-time ministry at the University of the Alliance in the Congo, where he lives with this wife and three youngest children. Born Catholic in a nominal Christian family, Firmin is now an active church member and an enthusiastic evangelist.


Engineering Ministries International / / Est. 2002



Journey To Nepal

With EMI south Asia

SHOWCASE PHOTO Photographer: Graham Frank Pictured: Maila Moktan February 2013, Padampokhari, Nepal Maila Moktan farms the land next to the church. He is looking for water.


By Graham Frank / EMI South Asia Staff / Nepal

Finding Living water After deciding to trust in Christ, Brother Man Bahadur Tamang was ostracized from his extended family and thrown in jail with his wife and small children. For over two years they sat in jail while deliberations over what the community would do with these new Christ followers continued. This young family did not reconsider their decision and eventually the case was dismissed. They were released back into the community, but now they would have to live this new life in Christ without water. The caste system that affords each person a position or status in society no longer had mastery over Brother Tamang and his family. However, this meant they had to live life from outside the community. In losing the system, they had lost everything. They were low, so low that people would no longer allow them access to the water supply. The community feared contamination of their precious water source and Man’s family was left to scrounge for water in unlikely places. While spending time hunting for water, Man decided that his community – the community that cut him off – needed a better water source. Along with a regional pastor named Brother Hanok, he made a plan to bless his community by bringing water to the people, eliminating their daily water trek. It was this plan that brought EMI the first chance to join these brothers in their work.

Man [Bahadur] decided that his community – the community that cut him off – needed a better water source.

In 1995, EMI engaged with this small community through Brother Hanok’s advocacy. At that time most of the people were Hindus who walked 5-6 Kilometers to fetch water each day. Hanok and his friends petitioned EMI to help a small group of believers bring water to offer new hope to their people. After a design visit by an EMI team and a five-week stay by staff member Craig Hoffman, the domestic water system was commissioned. Today, almost 17 years later, this simple water system continues to provide water to families throughout the community. Meeting this critical need for water also created inroads for the Gospel. Now more than a quarter of the community proclaims faith in Christ. 29

Photos clockwise from top: Man Bahadur Tamang and his wife Thulimaya Tamang A woman fills her vessels with water from a system designed by EMI in 1996 Graham Frank & Pastor Hanok next to one of the water system tanks


We met Man Bahadur again this year when Pastor Hanok asked us to return to the Himalayan lowlands to help find a way to deliver water to another community in need. In Kathmandu, he asked me to sit in the front seat of his 15 year-old pickup truck for the journey to Padampokhari. As we bounced down the road, he filled in the gaps of this community’s story and the economic struggles they face as crop production was sluggish again this year. One growing season just isn’t enough, he said, and families are forced to make hard decisions just to survive. Just like last time, a band of believers was trying to reach out in their home place– trying to bring living water to Padampokhari. On their homeland, a 3,000 acre island in the sky, margins are thin and one failed monsoon can mean disaster. With embankments that have been eroded by the Rapti River and its tributaries, the Padampokhari plateau stands 600’ vertical feet above life giving waters of the Rapti. The only water readily available for fields on these highlands is the rain that falls directly on them. For over half the year while there is no rain, the fertile land sits idle. ‘It’s good land,’ our team’s agricultural specialist said after having a look around. He should know after growing up on a family farm in rural USA. Our objective was clear: Find water to keep this good land producing and lift this community of over 12,000 people out of the doldrums of waiting for monsoon. Our team sprang into action to assess the situation. The surveyors set up on the rooftop of the church to see as much land as possible while the rest of the engineers (agricultural, civil & geotechnical) set out to evaluate potential water sources. We began by following our guides from the community to see the water sources they were considering – the Rapti River being one of them. We wanted to hear the thoughts they had since, after all, this was their homeland. We also knew we had to start with their ideas as we put all options on the table for getting more water. As with most engineering problems, each water source presented its own positives and negatives, and it soon became clear that this was not the typical EMI project trip. Sure it is technically possible to irrigate this land, but what is sustainable and within the reach of this community in rural Nepal? Time will tell as we continue the search for water on Padampokhari.

Photos top to bottom: Children in front of a hut at Padampokhari An elderly member of Ebenezer Church, Januka Dangal

Journey results EMI-South Asia Project no. 8215 February 2013

Padampokhari, Nepal Next stop: EMI South Asia

The feasibility study this EMI team prepared empowers community leadership to decide what strategy to pursue to achieve a second growing season on Padampokhari.

12,000 people Team Expenses: $10,050 (Cost to Client: $600)




Geotech / Agricultural

Graham Frank Jessica Glenn Bijay Gurung

Dale Herrigstad Kathleen Jarvis Wil Kirchner

Jim Pemberton Sam Pope Chance Steffey


Join the journey

EMI Project volunteers One single design professional on a 10-day trip can affect the development of a Christian ministry for 20-30 years into the future. We travel the world to learn how our clients lead and to see where God is taking them, and our teams put their visions to pen and paper. Be a Project Volunteer, bring reality into vision.

Pray Pray that God would call professionals from all over the world to sacrifice their time and talents to serve His people.

Give Support the mission of EMI by becoming a member of the Association of Christian Design Professionals with a minimum yearly gift of $250. Help EMI continue its non-profit ministry.

Go Even though EMI mobilizes over 300 professionals into strategic short-term mission each year, many teams go shorthanded. Be part of the solution. Commit to a project team today!


To honor the generous for their repeated service to EMI in Christian missions over the last decade, for their countless hours of professional labor, their travel exertions and holidays spent away from family, and for their dedication to Christ, the staff of Engineering Ministries International commend these project volunteers: Number of Project Trips Since 2003

Michael Young Robert Donahue Jim Cathey* Rodney Beadle

26 17 16 14

Richal Smith Nathan Martin Frank Gorman Ruedi Hans Tobler

14 11 10 10


Photo by Graham Frank


Engineering Ministries International / / Est. 1998


Journey To India

With EMI South Asia

SHOWCASE PHOTO Photographer: Kathleen Chu Pictured: Rampati March 2013, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan When I commented how pretty their sarees were, Rampati introduced herself and told us about her family living out in the desert villages. Before we left, she called me sister and gifted me an anklet.


By Matthew Coffey / EMI South Asia / India

20 years of caring An interview with JJ Ratnakumar Nearly 7 years to the date after my first visit to an empty Missionary Upholders Trust (MUT) property, I made another check-up visit to the growing campus. One afternoon I talked with JJ Ratnakumar, the founder of MUT, about how he’s spent the last 20 years… MJC: In ’93 you signed the Missionary Upholders Trust deed, becoming the first full-time care-givers. As you reflect back over the last 20 years, what have been the key results? JJR: God has enabled us to create awareness about Indian missionary welfare. That has happened in a big way among churches and even in missions [organizations]. Missionaries were only treated as machines, but now people know the struggles they face and the unmet needs they have. That is, I think, the biggest contribution. A specific area is bereaved families – for a missionary when he dies. The family is left in the lurch. In fact, not many people even bother to know what’s happened to them. But now, after MUT has come into existence, over 300 bereaved Christian families have been made known to their own missions, their churches – apart from the monetary support they get through MUT schemes. MJC:

Before you signed the Trust deed…


September 7th

MJC: Before you signed that deed on September 7th, you were involved in business and you took early retirement. You chose to use the last 20 years to pioneer something no one really knew or cared about. How did God call you into this struggle? JJR: In 1984 God clearly led me to form Missionary Upholders Family - that’s the [MUT] parent body. It all started with my own family. Slowly, people who are related by the blood of Jesus got connected to send monetary support to Indian missionaries. I was coordinating that and had to visit [the missionaries] on their fields. And they used to come and stay with us. So this led me to understand their struggles – the life struggles – of missionaries… 37

“[Indian] Missionaries were only treated as machines, but now people know the struggles they face and the unmet needs they have.� 38

Then in 1990 a family visited our house during their vacation to spend a few days with their two small children who were in boarding school. At that time I was in a company quarters – a big house with a lot of facilities, swimming pool, everything. So we used to entertain them. One evening that lady asked me why we were not caring for the missionaries. That was a shocking question. She wanted to have a time of privacy with the children on holiday. They would eat whatever we prepared and even though it was good food, she said if her daughter wants to have a particular food, she is unable to prepare it. Then she said that whenever they came to our house we take them out for meetings to promote ministry… So this made me think. Finally we decided that we should set up a rest house for missionaries. I approached a few missions, three at least. I told them that I will raise funds, build a house, register the property in their name, but then they should give me freedom to run the house as a common rest house facility. But they refused. Then I was forced to register this trust – Missionary Upholders Trust – just in order to meet the need of a particular family which wanted to have quality time with their children! MJC: Here at Oddanchatram you had the vision to expand MUT with a whole campus dedicated as a rest & retreat center. What has made that idea such a struggle?


JJR: At first I was only aware of the physical, the financial needs of missionaries. Then in 2003, I attended a member care conference in Malaysia. Each of the delegates were given time to talk about our country and the missionary’s plight. When I stood up and talked of the needs – basic physical needs – the other people were not at all interested. They were bored. I didn’t understand why they were so insensitive to the needs of Indian missionaries. Later, when people from developed countries stood up, they only talked about emotional needs, mental needs, and spiritual needs. They didn’t touch physical needs at all. Then I understood… So when I came back, I conducted a stress study among mission leaders who were attending a conference. And there I found out that missionaries also have other needs – and not just a small dose! But physical needs are visible and these needs are not visible, so many people are not bothered about meeting emotional or spiritual needs. So I started seriously thinking about setting up a rest & retreat center. I was looking for a place in a hill station or sea shore but nothing worked out. Then we ended up here [Oddanchatram, Tamil Nadu] with two good hospitals nearby...

Above: S. Sahayam and his family serve the Lord cross-culturally at a school in Bihar. They came to MUT to spend a two week holiday with their children. Their daughter was attending a music class being held on campus.

MJC: Inside MUT, are there still different opinions about whether this kind of facility is needed?


“I know God’s purpose of setting this up is getting fulfilled. I have that satisfaction”

JJR: Not only inside but also outside everywhere. People have still not understood the real need. And I think it will take some years, still some years. But those people who come, they understand. For example, last year when families came during September holidays. Parents came from their mission fields in the north, took their children [from boarding school], and came straight to MUT to spend one quality week together. It was a big blessing. The children, enjoy thoroughly, and it builds family relationships. This is a big threat for missionary parents who have not understood this need. Some parents in their busyness in reaching the unreached people don’t take enough care to be with their children... MJC: About seven years ago when I first came here, we were doing layout markings for this building on completely open land. A lot has happened since then. As you look around, as you live here now, what are your thoughts? JJR: We first praise God... we praise God. How it happened is a big mystery. Looking back I don’t know how it all happened… Well, let me ask you that question. When you came, you would have gone to other ministries, and you heard us telling you about this project. Did you have any idea what God was going to do in the next seven years? MJC: It certainly happened much faster than many other projects. That’s really good news because it means that people can use the campus, so I’m pleased. What has been EMI’s role in developing this? JJR: I would say it is really a lot. Not only in giving the drawings, but every time you people came, you really encouraged us. Not only me – others in the campus also. They had different opinions about foreigners. We have the idea that our problems will not be understood by people from the West... But when your people came you showed them Christ. Though we also had a lot of difficulties and challenges, that is something we really appreciate. As you look ahead, what are the biggest challenges for MUT’s MJC: ministry here?


JJR: Well, we need people, committed people. Then, we have to create awareness so that more people will make use of the facilities. I also believe it is God who sends people in His time. So we need to wait. We have started activities and they are steadily growing. So I know God’s purpose of setting this up is getting fulfilled. I have that satisfaction.

Photo opposite

Photo above

JJ & Shanthi Ratnakumar decided to spend their lives pioneering a member care movement in India. This is how they look now, nearly 20 years later.

EMI has been involved in developing the MUT campus from the ground up – from design plans to construction checkups to planting trees.

Journey results

EMI-South Asia Project no. 8095, May 2013

Oddanchatram, Tn, India Next stop: Uganda

Over seven years, EMI teams have supported MUT in creating a Rest & Retreat campus for Indian Christian workers to take holiday, undergo medical treatment, or receive counseling.

4 facilities with guest space for 6 families each


Matthew Coffey Seth Brown

2 more planned for the future

13 Site Visits 42

BEST ‘THIS IS EMI’ PHOTO Photographer: Jason Reinhardt June 2013, Kigoma, Tanzania After a long day surveying, these enthusiastic children wanted to emulate us and play with our expensive ‘toys’. Letting go of the stuff that really belongs to God anyway, we see the wonder of serving cross-culturally.


Journey to Uganda

With EMI Canada


By Patrick Cochrane / EMI Canada + East Africa / Uganda

The Survey mentor

Thirty five years ago I decided to enter Civil Engineering Technology in college. Making this world a better place or serving my fellow humankind were perhaps hopes, but not really my future. Thoughts like these just didn’t figure much in that decision. But as my professional abilities started to strengthen and as my family grew, my perspective on the world was maturing. A desire to step deeper into faith as a follower of Jesus Christ began to take hold, giving me a new sense of purpose and direction. I went on a trip to Belize to help a friend survey his land. This trip revealed the amazing beauty of that part of our world, but it also gave me a glimpse of the poverty and despair which much of our world endures. Returning home, I felt God challenging me to somehow use my training, abilities, & resources to help in this hurting world. I absolutely loved my work with Canada’s Department of Fisheries & Oceans. I served for 30 years as an engineering technologist and was involved in all aspects of fish habitat restoration. I traveled to some of the wildest natural beauty in British Columbia. Probably my favorite part of the job was surveying. While attending a pre-retirement workshop, I was advised to be very proactive in planning for retirement. Not just in taking care of the financial aspects but also I felt God preparing for activities you may want to be engaged in. challenging me to This, rather than suddenly retiring and not knowing how to fulfil your heart and time.

somehow use my training, abilities, & resources to help in this hurting world.

As I discovered Engineering Ministries International and served on my first mission, I knew it would be a worthy organization to invest myself into. This was right at the time when Steve Ulrich left EMI-USA and moved back up to Calgary in order to start EMI Canada. Steve, Greg Young, and I were all on the first EMI Canada team; I was the team surveyor. We visited the Dominican Republic in September, 2002. I thought EMI offered a great opportunity to engage my heart as a Christian and leverage my skills as an engineering technician toward projects that make a Godly impact. As I was fortunate enough to enter into retirement at the young age of 55, I found it wasn’t difficult to fill my time. Along with continuing on various EMI trips, I discovered I enjoyed mentoring others with my technical skills. For four years running, I served as lab instructor for a two week Field Survey class at Thompson Rivers University. I also carried out short survey workshops for EMI interns serving in different offices. Looking to gain more experience as a trainer and be engaged in a local mission, I developed and delivered an introductory AutoCAD course for high school students at Kamloops Christian School.


Jeremiah 11:29

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Photo Timeline clockwise from top

Patrick & Joan Cochrane, married 35 years with two children. Joan volunteers at local schools in Kampala during survey courses. Supervising the construction of a fish enumeration structure while working for Department of Fisheries & Oceans. Patrick surveying in Canada for DFO.

These new activities signalled a change in direction for me. Having always been a hands-on guy who thrived in the physical aspect of my profession, the toll of this was starting to show. My dear wife Joan pointed out that perhaps God was teaching me it was time to consider stepping into a new purpose: One that drew more on experiences and less on physical abilities. Sharing my skills & experiences in a mentoring role enabled me to empower others to have an impact. Around that time I was serving with EMI on several specialty survey missions to Africa. I witnessed firsthand the need for empowering design professionals in the developing world. While in Africa, I had several opportunities to work with Ugandan civil and geomatics engineers. One of the many things I discovered was that these engineers worked in very challenging jobs, with little training or access to the equipment & resources that I was so accustomed to. My time working alongside these engineers gave me an opportunity to demonstrate some of our EMI team’s equipment and software, such 46

“I would recommend this course because it doesn’t only groom you as a surveyor but also as a God fearing person.” - Hildah


as autonomous and RTK GPS, a total station with data collector, and various software applications. I noticed these engineers were very quick to pick up the basic functions needed to apply this technology, and that they had a great desire to build further on the skill set they had. I realized the problem wasn’t with their capacity to learn and use these technologies, but rather with the challenges their universities face in resourcing adequate equipment and instructors for training them.

Photo Timeline continued clockwise from top

Sharing a photo with kids in the Dominican Republic. EMI-Canada’s first project was also a first for Patrick. Providing assistance for survey lab students at Thompson Rivers University. Patrick working with Repher, Hildah, and Eric to get a survey station set up during the 2013 survey practicum in Uganda.

They also shared about a mandatory course they participated in during university called ‘Industrial Training’, which is like a practicum. Typically, engineering students seek out opportunities at companies in their particular industry, but the availability of placements can be a challenge. Although the objective of this practicum is supposed to be that students obtain practical engineering skills in a workplace environment, that doesn’t always happen. Additionally there is little, if any, focus on personal development or the betterment of society. This experience planted the idea of EMI providing a mentoring program for geomatics engineering students – a program that would focus on both professional and personal development. With the main objective being to model Christ-like behavior, we focus on encouraging teamwork & ethical practices students can take into the professional realm. Secondary is the knowledge and skills developed through using the equipment & software we are able to provide. Even with the challenges in the marketplace of accessing higher-tech equipment, I feel it is imperative they at least know what tools and technology exist. After developing an agreement with Kyambogo University in Kampala ,we held the pilot ‘Geomatics Industrial Training Program’ in 2012. For the practicum, the students performed a survey for the EMI East Africa office. We learned much from delivering the pilot program last year, and the resulting enhancements we made have really paid off in 2013. We had a great group of students who were very engaged and who were at a somewhat higher proficiency than last year’s students. Because God plans to give them hope and a future, I believe that building into the lives and skills of these students will have a most positive impact in Uganda and in the world.

Journey results EMI-Canada Project no. 10037 A partnership with EMI-East Africa and Kyambogo University JUNE-AUGUST 2013

Jinja, Uganda Next stop: EMI East Africa

Patrick’s desire to be a survey mentor became a seven-week practicum to build up the competency & confidence of Ugandan Geomatics Engineering students.

= 50 hours

2 practicum nd

Program Trainers: John Breitenstein Patrick Cochrane Andy Neufeld

= 30 acres

Students: Hildah Acan Repher Akamanya Jonathan Katamba

Eric Latim Martin Ludaga Sarah Gloria Nansukusa


Engineering Ministries International / / Est. 2003


Showcase photo Photographer: Alexander Kyle Mooney Pictured: ‘Jaja’ September 2013, Kampala, Uganda ‘Grandmother’ displayed true kindness during our project trip. Always feeding us traditional Ugandan foods, she never missed a chance to thank us. We looked for a way to honor our ‘Jaja’. So when this photo was included in the presentation, she was ecstatic.


By Steve Hoyt / EMI East Africa / Uganda

Yusufu’s Dream “He is a man with hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. A man once named Joseph.”


I woke early this morning and looked out over Lake Victoria. Dozens of tiny lights were scattered across the silent blackness. With the sky barely hinting of a horizon, I thought this scene would never change. But in the tropical equator the sun does not merely rise – it thrusts straight up into place. The scattered lights were transformed into handcrafted wooden boats – each captained by a hardworking, bare-chested Ugandan man. Seeing them brought the story of another hardworking man to my heart and mind. Like them, he is a man with hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. A man once named Joseph. Born to a Muslim family in the fertile Baganda region of central Uganda, his parents proudly named him Yusufu. Very soon after his birth however, his father abandoned the family – leaving them in abject poverty. It was during that time young Yusufu discovered that housing conditions are critical to the health of a family. He remembers the grass thatch

roof of his broken family’s mud hut was in such disarray that during the rainy season he had to hug the walls to avoid the downpour. These torrents of rain were like salt in the gashing wounds of his family. This is where the African Children’s Choir found Yusufu. They found a boy with a great smile and singing talent. Along with the promise of an education, they gave him a Christian spelling for his name: Joseph. They took him and 30 other needy children on a two year tour of North America. Traveling by bus from city to city and state to state, the children sang their hearts out. They even produced an album. It was his talented choir – the 12th of 40 sent to date – that received a Grammy Award nomination. The stage was set for this talented little boy: Joseph would return to Uganda to pursue his education. Then as soon as possible he would make his way back to affluent North America and the life most people only dream about. After all, wasn’t young Joseph far too talented for a place like Uganda?


Yusufu Segawa, Justine Nakayiza and one year-old Ryan Ttendo


Joseph certainly did pursue his education, project, I posted a “Help Wanted” sign. With but not just for himself. With the physical the common lie that ‘Ugandan men are lazy’ conditions of his childhood tattooed on his lodged in the back of my mind, I expected a mind, he completed college with a diploma dismal turnout. But – praise God! – I could in Civil Engineering. Joseph had been not have been further from the truth. I found exposed to the West but he was not starmen willing to work 10-hour days, 6 days a struck. Yes, he saw the positives: He was week. I found men that truly wanted to exposed to many men whose support their families through first ministry was their family. the work of their hands, men I suspect he He saw craftsmanship poured that wanted to work hard. It will not dream was in that crowd that I found a into buildings, roads and more. He saw a clean, perhaps even handful of potential leaders, one of what his life of whom was Yusufu. Yusufu antiseptic environment. Maybe he saw a promise of something would have been brought an intriguing mix of better, but it did not tempt him western and Ugandan culture. in the West. I He stood ready to begin making to run from his native Uganda. Running away would have a difference in Uganda, the think he dreams beautiful home of his family. meant following in his father’s footsteps. Instead he decided to about what his stay and build something better. I have now worked with Yusufu life is and shall for over 5 years. During this Joseph had learned from his father’s mistake. time I have seen him grow as be in Uganda. a Christian man. My experience One other thing that Joseph working with him and others learned from his own culture was that family on the Choir project in Entebbe began a can be honored without denying Christ. So redirection of the construction management in honor of his mother he changed his name program at EMI-East Africa. The program back to Yusufu – Segawa Yusufu, to be is not primarily about building buildings. precise. After all, having an Arabic name did In fact, it is about building men who build not make him a Muslim. It was shortly after buildings. At the heart of our construction this that I had the pleasure of meeting him. sites, boys learn what it means to be men. Construction has become a trade that In 2005 I moved my family from the USA to could change the nation through men that take a field position with EMI-East Africa in are being built in Christian discipleship, Uganda. Two years later I took on the role integrity and craftsmanship. And it’s not of Construction Manager for the African just the Ugandans that are learning. Yusufu’s Children’s Choir Primary School project. knowledge of my culture has allowed him to The goal was to construct a large school guide my understanding of his. I remember building and children’s housing that EMI when Yusufu confronted me during one of had designed for the Choir campus located my culture shock “fits”. He respectfully near Entebbe, Uganda. Before starting the reminded me about the many beautiful

aspects of his culture. After pointing out a few strengths, he stopped. And it was where he stopped that I learned about his people – the Buganda can say so much while speaking so little. Segawa Yusufu never insulted my roots in order to justify his own. He was teaching me about myself and my people. The discipleship works both ways and I too am seeing fruit as a man. The equatorial sun will set again today, giving way to night. That hard-working man,

Segawa Yusufu – a man who chose not to run from his people – will tuck his one yearold boy into bed. Then he will faithfully climb into bed with his lovely bride. I suspect he will not dream of what his life would have been in the West. I think he dreams about what his life is and shall be in Uganda. As the night comes, this young captain and many other men like him remind me of beacons of light shining bright in the beautiful nation they call home.

Journey results

EMI-East Africa Construction management 2008-present

Entebbe, Uganda Next stop: EMI Middle East North Africa As men like Yusufu have grown as followers of Christ through the CM program they’ve gained a new perspective on their work. Serving God isn’t just pulpit talk anymore – it’s something they can do with their hands.

= 25 workers

30 + 9 underway

Jeff Austin Hope Aparo Darrell Hobbs Matthew Horne

Steve Hoyt Carey Steckler Yusufu Segawa Tony Sykes

Richard Tatyabala Jim Taubitz Jullie Taubitz


Join the journey

EMI Staff

& Long term volunteers Staff and Long-Term Volunteers are the backbone of EMI. In most offices, we’ve got back pain because there are people missing. Are you one of these people?

Follow the Lord into full-time ministry with EMI. Together by their faith in God, EMI Staff have invested 342 years into this ministry and we’re ready to welcome you.

Pray Pray that God would call design professionals into the fulltime ministry of EMI. This is our greatest need.

Give Did you know that nearly a third of EMI Staff are under-supported financially? You can bless any EMI Staff member with a one-time or recurring gift at:

Go Are you ready to talk with us about joining the EMI journey full-time for 1-5 years? Write to We would love to hear from you. 55

“Even beyond construction and local job creation, EMI as a platform for sharing Christ was a true calling for me and my family. What about yours?” Steve Hoyt EMI-East Africa / Staff since 2005

Photo by Christine Gerhart



Journey to Lebanon

With EMI middle east north Africa

Photographer: Jonathan Zee March 2013, Beirut, Lebanon I’ve never felt under threat for expressing my faith. In Beirut however, for the first time in my life, I actively reconsidered the act of worship. It was a stark reminder that problems in Lebanon and in the world are not as simple as they seem. In this case, we were likely being protected by Muslim soldiers at a Christian house of worship.


By Janelle Hite / EMI MENA / Lebanon

Integrating Compassion Everywhere you looked children were running and playing together. The unseasonably warm weather in Beirut seemed to give all the children an extra burst of energy. As the first bell rang, a boy rushed to class with his friends. Just outside the door he said goodbye to his friends and turned away toward his own classroom. He could not be in class with his friends. Paying attention, relating well to peers, and following directions are difficult for him. Recognizing these learning differences years earlier, his mother brought him for a complete educational assessment, and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) was created for her son. The very first recommendation was that he be fully integrated in a general education classroom. His conditions – like many other children with special needs – would not hinder the educational though the environment of the class.

Even IEP said he would function best in a general education classroom, this recommendation was ignored by his school – just as it is ignored by almost all educators in Lebanon.

But looking into his current classroom, we see five children all with different learning difficulties, including selective mute, autistic, dyslexic, and emotionally disturbed children. Even though the IEP said he would function best in a general education classroom, this recommendation was ignored by his school – just as it is ignored by almost all educators in Lebanon. A child with any degree of special needs is either not allowed in school at all or immediately put into a ‘special needs’ classroom.

Since two of our sons have cerebral palsy, my husband & I have had the privilege of observing firsthand the benefits of classroom integration. It’s happening at an incredible public school preschool program in Birmingham, Alabama. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for Nathan and Owen to be segregated from their friends like the boy I saw in Lebanon. In the USA, we’ve seen that integrating children with special needs into the classroom actually enables all kids to learn at a higher level. Just like our oldest son Logan in our own home, classroom integration enables typically-functioning children to learn life skills, leadership skills and social skills that could not be developed with segregation. All children with special needs in our school district are automatically eligible for this preschool and it’s provided to us free by the state. In fact, this program is so sought after by parents of typical-functioning children that besides



The SKILD Integrated Elementary School design

We felt God hand-picked our family for this opportunity. We knew it was one way that God could use Nathan and Owen to bring Himself glory through their Our boys thrive immensely in this cerebral palsy. As the lead architect, my environment. Owen knows his colors, husband along with the other EMI architects alphabet, animal sounds and numbers. Nathan is also incredibly good at coloring spent countless hours in preparation to and cutting with scissors. They also love to produce the best integrated school design socialize with their friends. Countless times possible for children in Lebanon. Then for when we’re in public with our boys, one of eleven days in March we met in Beirut to visit SKILD. At the new their typical-functioning SKILD Elementary School classmates will see them we designed, children will and run over to talk to And it is this SKILD be able to grow through them. And at home, inclusion in a general Logan is developing [Smart Kids with education environment that character, compassion includes enhancements for and responsibility beyond Individual Learning children with special needs. most of his peers because Differences] vision of his daily living with Along with team member Nathan and Owen. for integration that Jackie, a retired special educator, I spent many Knowing the challenges brought our family hours with SKILD staff faced by children with from Alabama all the sharing our experiences special needs in Lebanon, of integrated special a Christian educational way to Lebanon to education in the United society in Lebanon States. Nathan and Owen started the Smart Kids volunteer with EMI. filled their time winning the with Individual Learning hearts of the SKILD staff Differences (SKILD) with their contagious personalities, allowing Center. This center provides individualized the staff to gain a better understanding of support in special education, therapy, counseling and community awareness. It’s children with physical disabilities. And Logan was a great example of how well typically a transformational approach for families, functioning children and children with children, teenagers and even professionals in Lebanon who struggle with learning special needs can play and learn together. differences. The SKILD team provides support both during school hours at satellite God has taught me so much about schools and after school at their center. Himself through this precious gift of Nathan and Owen and their cerebral Driven by a desire to promote integration as the best learning environment for children palsy. At SKILD in Lebanon they look at with special needs, the SKILD Team is special needs children in the same way, and God is working through their efforts planning to start their own elementary school. This will be the first school of its to bring about a change in that society. kind in Lebanon. And it is this SKILD vision That God would use our family to support for integration that brought our family from their work in Lebanon was so incredibly special to each one of us. Alabama all the way to Lebanon to volunteer with EMI. paying tuition, there is a lottery system in place to select children for a coveted spot.


Journey results

EMI-MENA Project no. 12018 / March, 2013

Beirut, Lebanon

Next stop: EMI AmĂŠrica Latina

After developing a campus masterplan last year, EMI returned to the SKILD Center to design the first integrated elementary school in Lebanon. Soon many Lebanese children with special needs will thrive through learning with their peers – just like the Hite boys.

Pod lower ground floor


ground floor


Special Educators

upper floor

= 3 classrooms = 51 students

XXXXXXXXX ttttttttttttttttttt Jiuns lking l tttttttttttttttttt XXXXXXXX Odiong lkdo tttttttttttttttttttttttt XXXXXXXXXXX LKinwong Lson Jonathan Dallmann Janelle Hite

400 Children

Preston Hite Adham Owies Chris Park Judi Raymund Jackie Williams

Tom Williams Ryan Woodson Jonathan Zee The Hite boys


Engineering Ministries International / / Est. 2001


Journey to Mexico

With EMI América Latina

Guest Photographer: Curtis Doell March 2013, Copper Canyon, Chihuahua, Mexico Children smile at the lunch table in the Tarahumara Ministry’s children’s shelter.


By Daniel Puttcamp / EMI América Latina / Mexico

Defining Love for the Tarahumara An interview with Pastor Tomás Benecomo and Brenda Granados of Tarahumara Ministries, translated from Spanish.

I spent many days traveling to and from the remote Copper Canyon area in Mexico to design a women’s shelter and clinic. Along the way, I asked about how the ministry there began… DP: How did God guide you to the Tarahumara people? Brenda: In 1993 the Mexican news ran a story about a people in danger of extinction in our very own state of Juarez. Pastor Tomás made some exploratory trips to visit these indigenous people in the most remote places. One time he found two men carrying a dead body wrapped in a blanket. They were on their way to bury him. Tomás asked them how this man died. The chief explained that one month earlier this dead man had asked for a liter of corn (a common Tarahumara food) and he had given it to him. A week later he asked for another liter but the chief didn’t have any. So the man finally died of hunger. It was a bombshell to realize these people who lived so close to us – and so close to the richest country in the world – were dying of hunger. Tomás decided in his heart to try and take food to these people.


DP: Pastor Tomás, what else caught your attention? Tomás: What impacted me were the physical needs, the sickness and malnutrition. They were all Indians – indigenous people. I was seeing the same people that Cortez drove into the canyon 500 years ago. It was as if they had been petrified, as if they had been taken from the rocks. They didn’t have anything to care about. They didn’t have any reason to live. That really caught my attention. I considered that the Gospel could be the means of bringing them the life they didn’t have because they had been forgotten. DP: How long did it take you to build trust here? Tomás: It was very difficult because the Tarahumara have been greatly oppressed and isolated from others. Their history has been like this 65


ever since the Spaniards, who used them like slaves. They fled to the canyon where they still are today because they don’t want any contact with anyone, especially not with us outsiders. So it wasn’t easy, but they saw our attitude as we brought food and doctors, taking care of their well-being without trying to change their religion. After about four years, one group began to accept us as friends. Guacayvo was a very difficult area because you didn’t see the people. But the people saw you. They were watching us and observed that we were generous. They studied us and began to notice that we were different from the others who had oppressed them. And now I can tell you we have come to consider some of them our parents. DP: They say that in Tarahumara there is no word for love. Is that true? Tomás: Yes. There are words that are similar, but that word doesn’t really exist. It was never necessary. The Tarahumara don’t show affection – not between parents and children, not between a husband and wife. Their faces are always sad and serious. They sometimes look like they are dead. With our attitude and with what we have done here, it has been great to see how they now express love through their actions and their words. DP: So how did you teach the love of Christ to people who don’t have this word? Tomás: It is very simple. When the Tarahumara noticed our desire to help them, it created a connection between us. They would ask, “Why do you come? Why do you help us?” So when they began to understand the Gospel, they began to realize that love toward your family is essential. You met a man who works with us named Alfredo. He was one of the first to become a Christian. He said, “I think my father is the one who murdered my mother. I didn’t have my father for a friend. Now that I know Christ, I am happy because I can tell my children that they have a father who loves their mother very much. Now, I love my wife and I love my children.” They have been an exemplary family here. All of this comes from the root of not only hearing but seeing our testimony.


BEST STORY PHOTO Guest Photographer: Curtis Doell Pictured: Rosenda March 2013, Guacayvo, Copper Canyon area, Chihuahua, Mexico Rosenda is the perfect picture of a how Jesus heals abuse and marital issues. Along with being the main Spanish/Tarahumaran translator, she managed the kitchen in Guacayvo for several years. She is being trained as a counselor to bring God’s love into the many needs of the Tarahumaran women.


DP: You mentioned Alfredo was one of the first people to convert. What year was this? Brenda: 2004 DP: After 10 years in the canyon… Now, after almost 20 years of labor what fruit have you seen? Brenda: We never dreamed about beginning a church here. But then another young man named Mingo converted. It was a radical conversion and he started an explosion in the last 2-3 years. It wasn’t something in our plans, but God had His plans and now we are building three churches at the same time. We never dreamed of the children’s shelter, we never dreamed of a women’s shelter, of a clinic, and now these opportunities are open to us... And soon God will give us these wonderful places just as you designed them. But for me Rosenda is a very special person. She was one of our first converts to the Gospel and she has demonstrated a complete change. I remember when she arrived at our camp [in Rio Chico] about nine years ago. Her husband had abandoned her and, like so many other Tarahumara women, she was dying of hunger. Her children were also dying of hunger. We took her in to take care of our goats because that was something she could do well. Over time, Rosenda became part of our family at the Rio Chico ranch. Then, she began to help us translate in the canyon because she knew Spanish and has become an excellent translator. So this is how she grew and came to Christ. Now Rosenda is one of our best missionaries. This is something very important to us – that the Tarahumara share the Gospel in their own language with their own people… God has done great things through her. Tomás: There are many others just like Rosenda – forsaken women who cannot get out. The women’s shelter and clinic will extend the ministry we started and Rosenda is an example. Just like a small seed looks totally different when it grows up, Rosenda is now a totally different person.

Journey results

EMI-America Latina Project no. 7413 Guacayvo, Mexico, August, 2013

Guacayvo, Mexico

The plans EMI developed for a women’s shelter & clinic will be used by Pastor Tomás and Rosenda to extend Jesus’ love further into the canyon. It will be a refuge to forsaken women and their children as they recover and plan their next steps.

Reaching the Tarahumara: 4 days / 28 hours / 4,250 km

SAT: San Jose, CR to Mexico City, MX 4 hours / 1,910 km


SUN: Mexico City to Juarez 2.5 hours / 1,542 km


MON: Juarez to Rio Chico 10 hours / 430 km

Tarahumara ministry workers

TUES: Rio Chico to Guacayvo 12 hours / 370 km

Curtis Doell Linda Doell

30 women & Children Jacqueline Foy Daniel Puttcamp


Photo by Curtis Doell

“EMI, thanks for what you are doing – not just for us, but also for many other ministries who need your help. Thank you for coming to Guacayvo, and thanks to all of you who support this ministry!” - Brenda Granados, Tarahumara Ministries 69

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Give to EMI Each of the ministries you read about received technical assistance from EMI on a non-profit basis. Your financial support helps us keep it that way, and we’ve shared some unique opportunities for giving throughout the magazine. At EMI, we’re driven to be good stewards of all our resources and have received the highest commendations for doing so. Believe with us in a world of hope and give to EMI.

At EMI, “non-profit” doesn’t only mean voluntary professional help, but also that most Christian ministries pay less than ¼ of the basic $8,000 it costs EMI to operate each project. You can sponsor a ministry to receive EMI’s help. Find out how at:

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