EDMONDS, WA – The heart of HEED is to introduce the children of Uganda to the love of God. The ministry began as a means of rescuing and ministering to 17 desperately needy children from a remote Ugandan village.
Julie Secrist met the children when she was on a mission trip in 2005. Realizing that the children “had little hope for education, few had access to health care, there was no clean water, and most showed signs of malnutrition,” she laid the foundation for HEED Uganda.
Julie, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Washington and a licensed Church of God (Cleveland, TN) chaplain, is the President of HEED Uganda. Her husband, Steve, the Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer at Puget Sound Energy, is HEED Uganda’s Vice President.
HEED Uganda’s Vision
HEED Uganda’s first project in Uganda in 2006 was launching the Ebenezer Primary School with students sitting on the floor of a church in Kyakitanga. Within four years, the school had added temporary classrooms to accommodate over 350 students. In 2011, HEED purchased land for a permanent school, constructed three permanent classrooms, and dug a borewell to give the staff and students immediate access to clean water.
Three classrooms were added in 2012. In 2013, HEED added another building with six additional classrooms.
A grant from Rotary International funded an expanded water reservoir and a solar-powered pump in 2014. Ebenezer High School commenced that same year.
Today, more than 500 students attend the Ebenezer schools, where they are educated and equipped to know and follow Jesus Christ and to lead morally and spiritually mature lives that reflect their relationship with Him. HEED’s vision is that the Lord will use these young people to transform the community around them and restore places that have long been devastated.
HEED Uganda’s Values
Having written about many charitable and faith-based organizations, it often seems like the values expressed by one after another are nearly identical. That’s why I was so struck by the way that HEED has expressed theirs. I cannot improve on them, so I will simply share them and hope that your heart might lean toward them.
- Stop for the one. HEED will be characterized by love in all of our interactions with the children we reach through the ministry, one another, and the community we serve.
- Love in action. HEED employees will communicate with one another and members of the community in an open, honest, sincere, and loving manner.
- Participation with provision. HEED will help the community in a way that fosters a spirit of self-reliance and impresses individual responsibility and dependence on God.
- Integrity. HEED will be above reproach in financial, organizational, and all business dealings.