After more than two decades serving in mission in Uganda, Garry is now a mission partner in the UK, working with the Diocese of Carlisle and Restore Cumbria.
From January 2021 he is working with “Men in Sheds”, a project to reach men who face challenges, including refugees.
Please pray for Garry as he steps into this new calling. Thank you for your faithful support for Garry both in prayer and financially. You are helping him to live out his call in God’s mission.
Holistic mission in Africa.
I support local church communities to undertake building projects so that they are equipped to meet their communities’ spiritual and physical needs.
More about Garry Ion
I am originally from the Lake District. After being trained as a carpenter, I studied construction management. I first came to Uganda and Kiwoko Hospital in 1995 with Tearfund. What was supposed to be a one year placement to expand a small rural medical centre into a district teaching hospital actually took eight years.
In 1998 I joined Church Mission Society. I continued to manage the construction and maintenance of the hospital. I then began working in the Diocese of Kitgum, northern Uganda, an area terrorised by the Lord’s Resistance Army. In 2003 I moved to the Diocese of Kajo-Keji, South Sudan, where I helped to re-establish the diocesan centre which was destroyed during the civil war. In 2005, I moved to Kampala.
Rooted in the community, the African Church is expected to take care of spiritual and physical needs. This is difficult as the local church leadership often endures the same poverty as those they are expected to help. Coming alongside them, it is important to build relationships before buildings, which takes time! There is a huge need to bridge the gap between needy isolated communities and outside supporters.
My mission was to serve and empower church communities to plan and successfully manage building projects in order that they can better serve their people. This was largely through building good relationships with isolated church communities who often struggled to implement development plans. My role wasn’t so much to “do” but to understand, encourage and empower so they can meet people’s needs. In practice this meant regularly meeting and praying with church leaders so I could respond appropriately. My role included much prayer, planning, supervision of projects, report writing and travelling.
Church Mission Society is a people-oriented, pioneering, evangelical mission made up of a network of ordinary people. They have given me support and encouragement to allow me to develop my own Christ-centred mission.
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