About Us

Welcome to Shepherd’s Heart International Ministry! We are so glad you stopped by and paid us a visit.

Most of our members at our annual retreat, January 2017 at African Village, Mukono.


Papa Mama O

Andrew and Karina Smith, center, with Papa O and Mama O, during the Smith’s “kwanjula,” traditional “introduction” ceremony in 2007 on Lingira Island.

Shepherd’s Heart International Ministry (SHIM) is a multi-national ministry started by Ugandan Pastors and Christian Leaders and Karina Smith, and is located on Lingira Island in the Buvuma Island chain of Lake Victoria, Uganda. The nearest mainland city is Jinja, 15 miles away by boat. Jinja is the location of the long-sought source of the Nile River, and is quite near the equator. The temperature, however, is surprisingly mild due to the elevation (about 3,000 feet) and the proximity to the largest fresh-water lake in Africa.

The Buvuma Island chain consists of about 52 islands, ranging in size from very small – less than one mile around, to quite large – the main island of Buvuma is approximately 19 miles long, and quite wide. Population for the islands is unknown, but estimates are in the seventy thousand range.  Lingira Island is just about 5 miles in circumference, and boasts a population of perhaps two thousand people amongst its 5 villages of Lingira, Kyoya, Katonga, Dubai and Omollo’s Place.

SHIM is located on about eight acres on the north edge of the village of Kyoya (pronounced “choiya”). From this location, we have developed and run the branches of SHIM-Evangelism and Discipleship, The Lake Victoria Pure Water Project, Economic Development, Educational Development, Agricultural Development and Family Ministries.

The Namiti Health Centre, operated by SHIM on Namiti Island.

The Namiti Health Centre, operated by SHIM on Namiti Island.

In the spring of 2011, SHIM established a more permanent presence on Namiti Island, by opening and subsequently operating a medical clinic to serve Namiti and the surrounding islands. From Lingira, Namiti is located about 3 hours further south into the lake – an area that had previously suffered without reliable medical services. A team of nurses, a clinical officer, and community health workers run the clinic and its adjacent maternity ward, and also works as a mobile team, traveling to teach on health-related issues on neighboring islands, and regularly providing needed immunizations to the islanders, specifically young children and mothers.

SHIM has a multi-national leadership team, consisting of Andrew and Karina Smith (President) from the United States, Pastor Wafula Robert (Vice President), Pastor Mumbya Samson (Director of Evangelism and Discipleship), Bob and Michelle Peterson (Support Ministry, Family Ministry, Discipleship), Ruthie Howard (Child Development and Communications), Papa Okoro and Mama Olive (Family Ministry), Justus Arineitwe (Agricultural Development), Geoffrey Oriage (Water Purification Engineer), and Ronnie Kakaire(Accountant). Our desire is to come alongside indigenous pastors and leaders and assist them to meet the needs of their people in effective, God-honoring ways.

The SHIM Directors: Pastor Bob, and wife, Michelle, Peterson, Pastor Samson Mumbya, Ruthie Howard, Pastor Robert Wafula, Pastor Andrew and wife, Karina, Smith.

Thank you for your interest in this ministry. We hope you enjoy your visit!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Andrew and Keeky (Karina) Smith

Click here for a video tour of the SHIM base

To stay up-to-date on current happenings in SHIM and the islands, visit the SHIM Facebook page.