Many years ago, I met Brady Keeling, one of the founding members of Know Think Act. He and I played together in a worship band in Japan, which is a long story that formed a solid friendship. When Brady began telling me about the beginnings of Know Think Act, it sent my mind spinning in a number of directions. My passion is youth ministry, particularly guiding young people into a more holistic understanding of the good news of Jesus. Here was a creative idea that connected local leaders in Africa who are combating poverty in their own context with the youth of my context who were emerging out of spiritual poverty themselves.

In March of 2009, as the junior high pastor at my former church in Arizona, I hosted our youth group’s first Dodgeball Extravaganza. Junior highers created teams and smacked each other with dodgeballs, all for the sake of raising money through Know Think Act. We raised funds for secondary school tuition, pointing out that while junior highers tend to hate school in the United States, education is nevertheless vital for changing a person’s future for the better. We wanted to help provide some of their peers in Uganda with funds for school.

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After the dodgeball tournament, the students in my youth group raised funds to build a freshwater well in Uganda during a month-long campaign during the Christmas season. I remember one particular 7th grade girl who caught me after youth group one night. She sheepishly handed me a check, and turned to walk away. I looked at the check; it said $500. I called her back over and asked where the money came from. She is an incredible gymnast, and had won a tournament that past week, so she gave $500 of her own prize money to help build the well. I don’t know too many adults who would do that, let alone junior highers. Other students gave up their own Christmas gifts and gift money; still others baked cookies and sold them to raise funds. It was a remarkable movement in the lives of young people.

In the spring of 2010, the people in the community of Mukigando, Uganda built a shallow well from the funds raised by junior highers from Arizona. One of our youth ministry interns was traveling in Uganda later that year and saw the well and its impact in the community. She also met some of the students who were going to school because of that first dodgeball tournament. Her own experience in Uganda was eye-opening, and as she shared her story with the students back home in Arizona, her story became their story.

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As a youth pastor, I have a passion to see students wake up from the world of consumerism, materialism, and selfishness in order to embrace the ways of Jesus and love other people through sacrificial action. Know Think Act is a tangible way to help foster this transformation. As the end of the year approaches, I want to encourage you to partner with Know Think Act, particularly in their recent matching campaign to pay for students’ school tuition in Uganda and Kenya. Get your church or youth group to host your own Dodgeball Extravaganza, give all the funds to the matching campaign, and watch as eyes and hearts are opened. Compassion requires action. Put your compassion into action and pursue a connection with KTA today.

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Joel Mayward is a pastor, writer, husband, and father living in Langley, British Columbia. He’s been serving in youth ministry since 2003, and is currently the Pastor of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at North Langley Community Church. A writer for numerous youth ministry publications and author of Leading Up: Finding Influence in the Church Beyond Role and Experience, Joel writes about youth ministry, film, theology, and leadership at his blog, joelmayward.blogspot.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @joelmayward


I’ve heard a certain amusement park described as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” I would like to suggest that anyone who believes that happiness must involve mouse ears and an overdose of sugar needs to experience the joy that is found in simpler places.

I was excited to go Kenya and Uganda in September with Know Think Act and Red Earth Trading Co. It was a dream come true to finally travel to Africa.  While I was there, I experienced joy in the simplest, most authentic form.  Joy was everywhere.  It was demonstrated by smiles, waves, and gracious hospitality.

I loved playing with the children at Blessed Camp in Mombasa, Kenya and at Home Again in Kaihura, Uganda.  Their precious faces shone with bright smiles as they danced and played with one another.  Their enthusiasm grew as I joined in their fun. Uncontrolled laughter bubbled forth as I tickled them.  They shrieked with excitement as I picked them up and swung them above my head.  Their eyes glimmered as they hugged me and pulled me along by my hands.  I too could not remove the childlike smile from my face.

This is pure joy.  No toys, presents, or luxuries were necessary.  They were thrilled with the simplest gestures of love and friendship.  I think we can all learn a thing or two to learn from them. Will you join us in giving joy this Christmas? Each need listed here is a way for each of us to give joy in Uganda and Kenya!

Merry Christmas!

-Hannah, Exchange Tour

Nov
2012


Water is a basic human necessity. Can you imagine what life would be without water? In the Western world this is almost unheard of as the water system is always flowing, but the situation is different in most developing countries where entire communities survive almost without a trace of water, and what they seldom have access to is never fit for human consumption, not to mention that even our capital cities constantly run out of water, which can last for weeks.


One of our goals at Action Ministry is providing communities with access to clean water through the digging of wells. Two weeks ago we started the excavation of a shallow well at the Action Ministry Center – Blessed Camp. Water from this well will be used at the school, clinic and will greatly enhance our food production through irrigation, while the residents will greatly benefit as they will use it for all their domestic purposes.

At about 25 feet down we hope to reach the water surface. The excavation is no easy task as the land structure is all rock and will take a couple of weeks. Once we hit water, the water sample shall be taken for tests inorder to know its mineral contents, and we plan to have an overhead tank to supply the water to all sections.

We are so exited as we look forwad to reaching the water, and also very gratefull to Know Think Act for supporting this initiative!

– Peter

Founder & CEO of Action Ministry, Partner of Know Think Act


I am, and always have been so thankful to Faith and Peter for making the choice to serve those in their communities, especially the choice to serve the children.  The statistics about orphans in Africa are so overwhelming that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to truly absorb what was going on when I went to see Faith and Peter in action for the first time.  I thought I would leave full of despair.  But when I arrived in Uganda and Kenya and saw the absolute love and care provided to these children, I did not feel overwhelmed.  I felt hopeful and I felt thankful.

Personally, I could not even begin to the make the difference in these children’s lives like Faith and Peter have. And it is not just them, it is the house mothers at Home Again and it is the staff at Action Ministry.  Know Think Act has made a way for us to do what we are able, and for the staff and the community to do what they are able.  We can supply them with resources to meet the physical needs of these children and they can provide love, support, and care, which they are doing so well.  Together we are all giving these children a sense of family, of hope, and of possibility.

So this week, enjoy spending time with your families, reflecting on the many blessings that we have in our lives, and remember those around the world who do not have the same.  I want to invite you to look at the needs on KTA and however you are able, participate in making a child’s life better.  Click here to see how you can help. Thank you!

– Maggie


When I first travelled to Uganda in 2006, one of the first things I noticed was not only the extreme poverty, but the lack of proficient agriculture and farming techniques, especially compared to other countries in the region.  The problems with hunger and malnutrition were not strictly due to lack of access (most families in this area of Uganda have property that has extremely fertile soil) but due to the lack of knowledge and tools.  Thankfully, over the past six years I’ve seen incredible growth in this area!  Many families are no longer struggling with hunger and on top of that, many have excess produce that they are now able to sell in the local markets.  I am so thankful and proud of the role Know Think Act has played in this – specifically in providing training and resources to these previously destitute families.

The agricultural needs on Know Think Act are constantly updated and evolving.  I encourage you to take a look at the different projects that are empowering people to better provide for their families and communities.  This is truly a gift that continues to give!  Click here to learn more about the agricultural projects we are hoping to support right now.

In what ways are you thankful for the food and agriculture that you have access to? Thank you for helping these projects and we look forward to a sustainable future!

– Brady

Chief Technology Officer