Thank you for joining us to find out more about our essential work.  There are many ways we can work together in support of the most vulnerable people on the Frontlines of Faith. 

We Fit Well Together

It’s like we are one of the best combinations of all times.

Collaborative Community

Collaborative community is another way of describing Partnership.  This means everyone in the work of the Gospel is on equal footing as far as involvement goes.  One of the unique assignments we have as partners is to offer each other the gift of sharing in the calling God has placed in each of us.  Together we offer one another the opportunity to be blessed by using our God given gifts.

Tell us what you think?  What or who goes well together.

What's your favorite combination?

Jesus Did It First

Jesus was the initiator of the collaborative community.  During his time on earth, our Lord wasn’t the only one working.  He relied on others for housing and food.  In fact, Luke 8:1-3 tells us many helped support Him out of their own means.  Those who partnered with Jesus were actively engaged in the work of the ministry.

Paul spoke of the churches as giving themselves first to the Lord and then to the partnership of His work.  He says in II Corinthians 9:13-15,

“Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

God promises to provide for those He calls.  The opportunity and means to partner together allows all of us to fulfill our desire to make a difference in the Kingdom of God.  Ultimately we are all giving to achieve something that is beyond our own ability to achieve.

The unique relationship we share as partners is at the core of our work together.  God has already prepared each of us to be in partnership with each other and maintaining that relationship is vital to the work of His kingdom.  We as partners together in the Gospel of Jesus Christ commit to unite, connect and involve one another in the ministry we share.

Our mission at Open Chapel International is very straight forward.  We act strategically to meet legitimate needs in a way that glorifies God.

Here is what we, as a collaborative community, are partnering to do in Uganda:

  1. We are committed to bringing the Gospel to people in their mother tongue of Lumasaaba.
  2. We plant new churches where needed. If a church is already in place be train the pastor.
  3. We create models for growing a greater amount of food without eroding the soil.
  4. We visit people in their homes, where they live to bring them hope and practical assistance.
  5. We accept abandoned or HIV+ people into our home to live with us and be a part of our family.
  6. We reach out to our neighbors with basic integrated basic healthcare and discipleship.
  7. We connect with youth, working out a way to give them marketable skills.
  8. We repent on behalf of the tribe for witchcraft, idolatry and corruption.
  9. We reclaim this people group back to its original purpose as created by God.
  10. We are recording the Lumasaaba Bible to bring transformation to this oral culture.
  11. We offer our recording studio to any people group that wants to record scripture in their own language.
  12. We provide personal and family counseling and mediation services to any who request it.
  13. We train missionaries in language acquisition, cultural acclimation, internships and field study.
  14. We are strategically placed and equipped to bring transformation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our Commitment to YOU:

  1. We value you as an individual and a member of the partner in the team.
  2. We commit to you in a relationship based on mutual respect and communication.
  3. We recognize the sacrifices you make to me a member of the team.
  4. We pledge that you will hear from us about the progress of our work together — often!
  5. We are devoted to you in prayer.
  6. We commit to engage you in dialogue; creating a bond for a lifetime.
  7. We equip you by identifying needs and targeting your resources to make the most of every opportunity.

Open Chapel International is dedicated to presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of East Africa, with an emphasis on pastor & vocational training, church planting, conservation farming, basic healthcare and recording the Bible in local languages.

The best way you can support Open Chapel International is by becoming a partner with us.



 Partnership Gift

Open Chapel International depends on tax-deductible gifts from interested individuals like you. Whether you make a special gift or become one of our monthly supporters, your financial partnership is greatly appreciated.  Read more about our mission.

Shem and Catherine Mabongor, the leaders of Open Chapel International, are missionaries sent out from Christian Health Service Corps. CHSC is a registered 501(c) nonprofit organization. You may donate a partnership gift to Shem and Catherine through Christian Health Service Corps’ website using your credit card or mail a check.


Pray With Us

Prayer is the work every Believer has been assigned.  No matter what your economic status, age or location – you can make a difference through prayer!  Your prayers for us and other missionaries are a vital element of our work.  There are many obstacles to carrying out the call to pray, but few of them stand up in the light of the eternal significance of prayer.  Here are our areas of focus in prayer:

  1. YOU – First of all, let us know how we can pray for you.  Prayer is our priority. God’s power is released mightily as we commit ourselves to praying effectively. After all, who couldn’t use more of God’s power? We commit to pray with and for you.
  2. Health –  They say in medicine, “When you hear hoof beats think horses not zebras.”  That means than when a child in the U.S. or Europe gets a fever, the doctor is not thinking of a tropical disease but it is more likely just a common cold.  But here in Uganda, every time one of our children falls ill, malaria always at the forefront of our minds.  There are also skin rashes and intestinal worms that defy our ability to describe here.  But once you’ve seen the maggot of a mango fly crawl out of your skin you will never forget it.  Please pray for the health of our family.
  3. Journey mercies – Pastor Shem Mabongor travels to many areas of Uganda on a regular basis for prayer missions.  Catherine must hazard trips to town for shopping and finances.  We do not have our own car so he must use public vehicles.  The “taxis” are cracker box minivan that look older than we are.  It is always jam-crammed with 22 people or more, when it says very clearly on the side of the van it is only meant to carry 14 passengers.  The roads are very bad and driving habits are combative at best.  Motor cycles weave in and out of traffic, large semis carry flammable liquids at tremendous speeds and minivan taxis ignore traffic laws.  Please pray for everyone in the ministry to be safe on the roads of Uganda.
  4. Safety  –  There is a constant spiritual force that works against us in the physical realm.  Just a few examples of how to pray in this area: pray for the safety of our children as they walk 20 minutes to school, for our animals to be healthy, our possessions to be safe from thieves.  The Lord can lead you how to pray for us in other ways in the area of safety.
  5. Finances – We long to make the most of every opportunity to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But many times we have to wait to act because we simply do not have the money to move out and push forward.  You may believe that where God calls, He provides.  That is true!  Please pray for our finances, even if you are not able to give – you are able to pray for others to give.
  6. Effectiveness – God looks at productivity differently than the average Christian.  He measures success based on our faithfulness to His calling; how we are in relationship with Him.  Look at the story of Moses. He had always used his staff to carry out the signs and wonders God would have him perform. He used it during the plagues the Lord brought on Egypt. And it was his staff that he used to part the Red Sea. Even in the desert God told him to strike the rock to bring forth water for the people to drink. But later when the children of Israel needed water again, God used a different method. God told Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses disobeyed God and hit the rock.  He relied on his staff that had always worked for him in the past but this time, it kept him out of the Promised land.  We don’t want to lead from experience or our own strength.  Pray for us to be effective in the strength and wisdom of Almighty God for the Glory of His name.

You see – the prayer list is not too long.  But it needs serious effort on your part.  When we ask you to pray, we are not joking!  It is a serious, vital business.

Prayer Request

You can also partner with us by

Signing-up For Our Free Quarterly Newsletter

Vibrant photos and engaging content in every issue.  Sign up to get our free newsletter, updates and special offers.  It’s a great way to get to know us.

You Could Give Us A Call

Nothing takes the place of hearing your voice.  Communication with you is one of the best ways you can give.

When calling from U.S. dial 011 first

SHEM: 256-782-770-680   CATHERINE: 256-774-570-183

We love phone calls and texts.  Our time zone is GMT+3

Start by Sending Us A Package

It’s almost as fun for you to pick out things and send a parcel as it is for us to receive it!


We love to receive packages and the postal system here is very reliable and safe.  You can expect it to reach us in 6-8 weeks.  Let us know when you have posted.  This allows us to check our box and inform you when your package arrives.  Uganda does not use the ZIP code system so don’t worry about that.

Need ideas of what to send?

Choose a Book for the Pastor’s Library

We have hand-picked 37 titles as our Pastor’s Library Wish List that may be purchased and mailed to us directly from

Reach Out Through an Email Conversation

We sure would love to hear from you.  If you don’t see the contact form below, simply us the address:  We’ll get right back to you.  Then we can begin a conversation.  Wouldn’t that be fun!

Contact Us

Contact Us

Follow Us on Social Media or Add a Link

There are icons on the bottom of almost every story, post or article which allow you easy access to our social media accounts.  Please follow us and then tell a friend.

You can also link the page which you would like share in a post on your favorite social media.  Pin one of our photos on Pinterest or create a link to a story in your Facebook post.

You can even use our hashtag: #Open_Chapel_Uganda in your tweets.

This is a great way to help us get noticed.

Any way you choose to contact us will bring joy to our hearts. We value you as an individual and would love to hear from you about your life, your vision, your mission, your family.  We commit to engaging you in dialogue with the hopes of creating a bond for a lifetime.  Thank you for making this website much more relationship oriented.

Thank You!


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