On The Good Road » Non-Profit » Global Support Mission
Global Support Mission

Isn’t it amazing that in this day and age a twenty-something American guy is actually able to partner with a Ugandan woman in a little village most people in the world have never even heard of? Global Support Mission is a pretty big name for the grassroots, two-man non-profit being run out of Travis Gravette’s garage-converted-office. But Travis and Brady take their work pretty seriously. They jumped in, feet first, to support Faith K. and her mission: Bringing Hope to the Family. Well, maybe it wasn’t all that quick and easy, but it certainly has been well worth the hard work and sacrifices made to pursue this calling that the Lord put upon their lives. It all started back in 2004 when Travis decided to use his Christmas break from university to go and serve at an orphanage in Africa, rather than serving himself by staying home and relaxing for the month. James 1:27 — “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” — had been weighing heavily on his heart throughout college, and since he was about to graduate the following year, he decided this was the best time to try and start living out that verse. He wanted to have a better grasp of what it really looked like to care for the orphan and widow in their distress. Travis did some google research and found loads of orphanages in many African countries that were being run by African natives. Inspired and excited about what he had found, he contacted several orphanages and ended up choosing to serve alongside Faith K. in Western Uganda. It was through this experience and his friendship with Faith that Travis decided to pursue GSM with everything in him.

Leaders of Faith from Global Support Mission on Vimeo.

Faith grew up in Uganda and had a fairly typical African lifestyle. Poor family, no father to speak of, hard life. But her mother became a believer and later moved the family to a city, where Faith was able to become educated and, eventually, more successful. Years later after her mother had moved back to a rural village, she went to visit and found her heart broken for the orphans and needy she encountered. She quit her job and left everything she had worked for to go and pursue loving the least of these and giving them her best. Faith began teaching women about sanitation and hygiene, as well as consequences of sex, HIV, and a myriad of other notable things that they desperately needed to learn. She sacrificed everything, but has seen huge, positive results in so many lives. And this is what inspired Travis to take a similar path.

Travis linked up with a good friend from college, Brady, to start working toward the goal of creating Global Support Mission, whose purpose is to see a movement of compassion wipe out hunger, disease, and poverty. They decided to work only with organizations that were started and run by locals. This way they know that they can focus on equipping and resourcing people who are already leaders in their own territory. These are the people who best know and understand the history, lifestyles, circumstances, and needs of their neighbors. So GSM is all about leadership and community development from the inside out. Listening plays a key role. Strong relationships play a key role. They spent a year developing a relationship with their second affiliate, Peter, of Action Ministries in Mombasa, Kenya before partnering with him. GSM is currently working on a Leadership Development School for their network affiliates, in an effort to merge the heart and integrity of those serving with real, necessary skills like organization and servant-leadership. The leadership training is biblically based and shows the gospel in a tangible way.

KNOW. THINK. ACT. is the main campaign of GSM. More than a campaign, it is a community of action. There are five categories of need: Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Education, Healthcare, and Orphan Care. How does it work? You create an ally profile. Then you start an action group. You visit the needs section and pledge toward the need you would like to fulfill, and it is then removed from the need list and attached to your action group. When the need is completed (from your wonderful fundraising efforts!) beautiful photos are taken of the people receiving the blessing and you get to share those photos with your funding friends. You are completely connected throughout the whole process! It’s kind of like having your own little non-profit, but with a lot less paperwork. Since July 2009 this community of action has raised over $100,000 for these various needs. And one of the best parts is that 100% of what you give really goes specifically to that need. GSM is able to fund their operation costs through the Red Earth Trading Company (which is a social enterprise Travis and Brady created) and through legacy partners who specifically commit to a monthly partnership.

There’s a ton more to learn about how you can get involved as a legacy partner, development partner, KNOW. THINK. ACT. ally, or by buying goods that are direct-trade through Red Earth. What are you waiting for? DO something! Just don’t DO nothing.


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