We are Klint, Vicki, Paytyn, Morgan and Olivia Ostermann. We are serving as missionaries in Jinja, Uganda. Please check out our blog to learn more about our call to missions by clicking the “Blog” tab above.
My name is Klint Ostermann and I have been married to Vicki for 16 years. We currently reside in Jinja, Uganda with our three daughters, Paytyn (12), Morgan (10) and Olivia (6). Prior to our move to Uganda, I worked at American National Bank as Vice President of Operations and Vicki was a stay at home mom. I led a small group session with the 11th and 12th grade youth on Wednesday nights at hour home church, Faith Baptist Church, and was active in out Sunday School group and a Wednesday morning men’s Bible study. I served on the board for Habitat for Humanity where I was the Past President, served on the advisory board for the Salvation Army and was on the Thrift Store committee, served on the board for Camp Fire USA, and served on the board for the Optimist Club of Wichita Falls where I was the Club President. I also volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters at Southern Hills Elementary. I have also served on the board for Child Advocates and taught at the Christian Men’s Job Corps.
Vicki led a Camp Fire group in Archer City where they have been the top selling candy sales group for the past 3 years. This past year, her group sold 25% of all the candy sold by Camp Fire USA in Wichita Falls. She also served as treasurer for the Archer City Elementary PTO and sat on the Archer City ISD campus improvement committee. She worked with the 5th and 6th grade girls on Wednesday nights at First Baptist Church in Archer City. She had volunteered with the Junior League for 8 years where she served as Chair of various committees to put on Falls Fest and served as Co-director of the Miracle League. I don’t tell you all of this to brag on our achievements, but I wanted to let you know that serving God, the underprivileged, children, and the youth is not a new thing for us, but volunteering and emptying self has been part of the fabric of our family for many years.
We have been called to the mission field, specifically Uganda, where Vicki’s sister, Vanessa, has been serving for the past 8+ years. I have grown considerably in my walk with Christ in the last couple of years and have been involved in several Bible studies that helped me to understand that Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28 are not suggestions, but commands. I understood that the real message of biblical Christianity is “God loves me so that I might make Him-His ways, His salvation, His glory, and His greatness-known among all nations.” Once I surrendered to the mission field, I did not know where we would end up, but God began to lay Uganda on my heart.
Now that you know about our call to Uganda, the next logical thing to know is what we will be doing there. According to a 2012 UNICEF study, there are 2.5 million orphans living in Uganda right now. Exactly how many orphans is that? Cowboys Stadium holds about 80,000 people. To contain all of the orphans in Uganda, you would need over 31 of these stadiums. Of the 2.5 million orphans, 1.2 million of them are due to the AIDS crisis in Uganda. What is the cause of the other 1.3 million orphans? Many are orphaned due to civil conflict, epidemics, and natural calamities resulting in high adult mortality. Another cause of the orphan crisis in Uganda is high infant mortality. Uganda has an infant mortality rate of 64.2 deaths per 1000, which places it in 27th place in the world. The infant mortality rate is over 10 times the rate of the United States. Because of the high infant mortality rate, many Ugandan parents do not bond or even name their children until they are at least three months old. Without this bond, it is easy for these parents to abandon their babies.
What can be done about this orphan crisis? One aspect is health training to teach young women how to refrain from being infected with HIV. If the adult mortality rate is addressed, the rate of children orphaned will decrease. Another approach to help alleviate this crisis is to address the mother/child bonding. One method that has had positive effects to the orphan crisis in Haiti and one that Vanessa and Fount of Mercy is investigating is to work with expectant mothers to provide prenatal care, develop relationships and then work with the mothers postpartum to help them to bond with their babies. They will also provide health training so that the mothers can take care of the health needs of their babies and also send them through their vocational training program so that they can provide for their babies. Vicki will be assisting Vanessa with running this program for Fount of Mercy. James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
I feel called to take some of the things I learned at the Christian Men’s Job Corp and develop a vocation education program for the men in Uganda. So many people want to provide charity to help with the poverty, but despite our best intentions, charity rarely provides a long-term solution, often creating dependency and hopelessness instead. Money can’t solve the problem because poverty is not only a physical problem; it is also a spiritual and social problem. There are some organizations that have been successful by providing tools to empower individuals to put their skills and creativity to work. These tools are discipleship, Bible study, business training, and small loans to launch small businesses or strengthen existing businesses. Once these men are trained, they can become job creators, leaders and advocates in their communities and take what they learned and teach others. I will also be working with Fount of Mercy’s organizational development program to work with leaders of local community based organizations. We will be working with them to assist them with addressing needs in culturally relevant ways.
Matthew 25:37-46. “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”