Garry Ion - Uganda

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 is to serve and empower church communities to plan and successfully manage building projects in order that they can better serve their people. This is largely through building good relationships with isolated church communities who often struggle to implement development plans. My role isn’t so much to “do” but to understand, encourage and empower so they can meet people’s needs. In practice this means regularly meeting and praying with church leaders so I can respond appropriately. My role includes much prayer, planning, supervision of projects, report writing and travelling.


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.

Church Mission Society is a people-oriented mission organisation with established, respected relationships with the Church in East Africa and South Sudan. It’s a 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 within Africa.


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