When we first felt called into missions, we asked God for guidance and received confirmation. We then started looking for a place where we could serve and discovered AIM. Working with a mission organisation was a new experience for us as we have always been involved with mission outreach from the local congregation. We also heard of the vacancy for Managers at Matoke Inn Guesthouse, a Guesthouse of AIM in Kampala. As we had our own Guesthouse in South Africa this seemed to be an open door.
After being approved by AIM we seriously started our preparation for our ministry in Uganda. We packed and stored all our belongings and moved with two suitcases. This was a challenge! At the beginning of October 2011 we attended ABO at Machakos, Kenya. Africa Based Orientation is a three week orientation for AIM long term missionaries. Although we are short term missionaries this was a wonderful experience and it gave us a bird’s eye view on the mission work done by AIM in Africa.
We arrived in Kampala at night after an 8 hour bus drive from Nairobi. Our first impression of Kampala was CHAOS!!!! The traffic was chaotic with many, many people, vehicles, Boda Bodas and bicycles. But Matoke Inn, what a pleasant experience!
Matoke Inn is a guesthouse that serves as a support base for AIM’s Central Region of Africa. It is a typical example of a ministry that exist to serve those that serve on the frontlines of some tough countries. The guesthouse is strategically situated between Entebbe airport (for international and AIM AIR flights) and the capital city of Kampala. It is also in close range of the MAF airbase at Kajjansi just a mere 4km away. From the MAF airbase some of the missionaries arrive and depart to countries such as DRC and South Sudan. The AIM Central Region office headquarters is also situated conveniently next door in the same compound.
Here missionaries find time to recoup after a long journey from their home country into the territory they are assigned to. For some it is a base to rest while they wait to catch their next plane to or from the mission frontier. For many of the short term missionaries, Matoke Inn is their first impression of Africa.
The age of missionaries that visit the guesthouse varies from 19 to 72 year old. There is a place for everybody!
We also needed to begin language learning as all other missionaries. I discovered that an important key to language learning is the right attitude. The biggest thing that prevents us learning another language is a wrong attitude. It is like a fish in the water. He is not even aware of the water. So many times we don’t even recognise our wrong attitude because that is just the way that we were brought up. We have to be prepared to be laughed at and made fun of in order to learn a language. Language learning opens doors to the community that you want to reach.
Two South Africans, Colin and Paul and a Congolese man, Musa, arrived at Entebbe airport Uganda on a flight from South Africa. Though not with AIM, we were happy to have them and hosted them at Matoke Inn. I greeted Paul who is a local pastor in Harding KZN in Zoeloe – “Sawubona Paul”. He was delighted to hear a South African language in the heart of Africa. They stayed overnight and we sent them off with a prayer that God will use them mightily among the Karamajong people not knowing that God was going to do exactly that. They bought 300 Karamajong Bibles from the Bible Society in Kampala to take with them. For many, this would be the first time they would get a copy of the full Bible in their own language. Through our ministry at Matoke Inn, we have the privilege of seeing more of what God is doing through a number of mission organizations and church groups.
Two weeks later they arrived again at the Guest house very tired but with a sparkle in the eye because God is awesome. They told us that they had a meeting with 100 people and they offered to pray for the people. Instantly God healed sixty of the people there and then. Two of them were totally blind – but now they could see. We thanked them for being such obedient servants of the Lord and we thanked God together for His great mercies in Africa.
We were not sure what to expect in working with a mission organization. Our background was doing missions from the local congregation. We discovered that the infrastructure that a mission organization like AIM has makes a big difference. Many local congregations have a hit and run strategy because they lack the infrastructure to be involved in the mission field for long periods of time. Mission organizations like AIM can assist congregations in their outreach. We now understand that South Africans are very much part of Africa and have a responsibility in reaching Africa for Christ.
Hennie and Magriet Jacobs