Both Jonathan and Kate
grew up as missionary kids in east Africa, and always felt a call to live as a
part of God’s kingdom
and community in Africa.
In 2008 a dear friend
and godly visionary David Kasali invited the Shaws to join in the work of Congo
Initiative (CI) in the troubled town of Beni in North Kivu, DRC. Jonathan
gained a master’s degree and Ph.D. with the intention of assisting at CI’s
flagship university (UCBC)
and our family moved to Congo in 2013.
In the years since,
God has called us into a deep and rich community in Beni, where we have
experienced the unstoppable faith and love of our fellow believers in spite of
many external pressures and difficulties.
Jonathan has used his
passion for entrepreneurship and the discipleship of young leaders to initiate
UCBC’s research center, a solar mini-grid company, a coffee company, and a
small business accelerator project. He
is excited and energized to see the potential of Congo’s next generation, and
grateful to work alongside them to provide opportunities for growth and
improved livelihoods in Beni and the broader region.
Kate’s background in
nursing and healthcare has taken a backseat as she was asked to lead the
establishment of CI’s primary school, Acadèmie Bilingue du Congo (ABC). She has loved seeing the impact of a new
educational model on the children and families being served, as well as the
young leaders and teachers who have become part of the growing team. Kate continues to support ABC’s development
from a distance in Nairobi, but misses being part of the day-to-day life of the
and Eliot’s open hearts and friendly attitudes continue to blossom in our Kenya
setting. As we accommodate a number of
short and long-term guests and “family members” in our home, they are a
wonderful part of the hospitality that our family is called and blessed to