Watoto Church of Kampala, Uganda, Gives a Gift of $25,000 to the 2020 Initiative
In 1984, the PAOC supported Canadian missionaries Gary and Marilyn Skinner and their young family’s move to Uganda, where they planted an English-speaking church in the heart of the city. At the time, Uganda was famous for violence and poverty, but they believed that God would use this church to restore hope to the city and the nation.
Thirty years later, Watoto Church and its ministries have grown to become a beacon of hope around the globe. The result has been individual, community and national transformation. As an expression of gratitude, the congregation of Watoto Church decided to sow back to the PAOC specifically in support of its missionary work. A generous gift of $25,000 (CAD) was presented to David Wells, general superintendent of the PAOC, during his visit there, along with executive officers David Hazzard and Murray Cornelius, in April.
Learning from biblical teachings (2 Corinthians 8 and 9:6-11), the congregation of Watoto Church practices the culture of generosity regardless of its financial or economic condition. Their goal is to meet the needs of other people, which will result in thanksgiving to God. Says Gary: “Generosity is one of the primary characteristics of the nature of God. As followers of Jesus, it’s something we are called to emulate. The only hope for any nation is that the character of God is lived out practically in community. The church is to model that character in society. Even the so-called poor can do that. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he commended the church in Macedonia for being generous even though their resources were limited. This is a principle we have determined to live out as Ugandan Christians. The church in Canada has been generous by sending missionaries and supporting the growing work of God in Uganda. Out of the subsequent blessing and spiritual riches we have received from the Lord, it is our desire and delight to reciprocate and bless His work in Canada.”
The 2020 Initiative is a Fellowship-wide call to our 1,100 churches to vitality—spiritually, missionally and theologically. It is a call for us to engage 350,000 people nationally (one per cent of Canada’s population) through 1,500 faith communities by 2020. (Learn more here.) The PAOC is grateful to Watoto Church and to the people of Uganda for the tremendous support they have demonstrated towards this vision!
Now That’s Generosity!
While it’s hard to get accurate figures, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards says that the average income of a Ugandan is $1,200 a year. The average wage of a Canadian employee in 2014 was $49,000. So Canadians are paid 40 times more than the average Ugandan. An equivalent gift of $25,000 in Canada would therefore be $1,000,000. The average disposable income of a resident of Kampala is $3,900, just more than three times the national average. The disposable income of a Canadian is $37,500 or 9.6 times a Ugandan’s. That would make a $25,000 gift equivalent to $300,000, which is more representative of its true value. Any way you slice or dice it, the gift expresses real generosity!