Meet our Staff

Andy & Karina “Keeky” Smith

The Smiths – Andrew, Karina, David, 8, and Johnathan, 6.

As the administrative director of Shepherd’s Heart, Andrew oversees staff development and the coordination of each ministry. Using  his degrees in leadership and pastoral ministry, as well as previous experience as a youth pastor, Andy assists Pastor Samson in the discipleship training ministry. Since his first visit in 2007 his heart has been stirred by the island pastors’ plea for training. After much planning and prayer, Andy and his fellow teachers and pastors, Samson Mumbya and Bob Peterson, began a two-year training course for island pastors in February 2012 at SHIM’s Kyoya base. Successfully completing it in June 2014, a second school was launched in April 2015 for the “Upper Islands” of Namiti, Kirewe and others. The Upper Island class of 12 graduated in April 2017, and the third school began the same month. It is ongoing with about 27 students in Lingira Village.
Having lived on the island for 14 years and being fluent in Luganda, Karina is considered a resident of Lingira. She is the founding president of Shepherd’s Heart International Ministry, co-director of SHIM’s Educational/Child Development program, and a member of Family Ministry. Her background as an RN and heart for the marginalized island communities give her a passion to see God transform the islands through holistic development at all levels. Her favorite role is that of wife to Andy and mother and teacher to David (8) and Johnathan (6). She also enjoys serving expectant mothers with prenatal services at our Kyoya base.

Pastor Wafula Robert

Robert, with Karina and Andy

Robert, with Karina and Andy

Robert is the vice-president of SHIM, the founder of the Buvuma Islands Savings and Credit Cooperative, and a founding board member of the Lingira Living Hope Secondary School. Robert also leads the economic development branch of SHIM, and co-directs the Educational/Child Development program. Robert was the first Buvuma Islands resident we are aware of to graduate from university (2007). He also completed a master’s degree in Organizational Management at Uganda Christian University in Feb. 2012.

Pastor Mumbya Samson

We are so blessed by the friendship and wise counsel of our SHIM Director of Evangelism and Discipleship! Pr. Samson is an evangelist, church planter, and discipleship trainer in the Buvuma Islands. He is not only trained in ministry, but is a builder by trade. Samson oversaw the construction of buildings for YWAM (Youth With a Mission), LLHSS (Lingira Living Hope Secondary School), and SHIM on Lingira Island. He presently is active in leading the “Marathon” crusades and seminars, held three times a year in various locations on the islands and mainland Uganda. In 2009-2010, Samson led the “Anti-defilement” committee to protect young girls on the islands. Samson also serves as the Director of the Lake Victoria Sanitation and Pure Water Project. He is shown in the opposite photo with his wife Joy and six of their seven children on their home island of Namiti.

Okoro and Olive – “Papa and Mama O”

Staff.Okoro and Olive-1

Drawing on 30+ years of personal experience, including successfully raising six outstanding children of their own, Okoro and Olive are the directors of Family Ministry. Their professions of teaching and nursing have proven very helpful to their ministry. Completing a 5-month Family Ministry School in South Africa in 2014, the Os believe God continues to broaden their “borders” as they conduct house-to-house counseling and seminars throughout the islands and on mainland Uganda.

Richard and Prossy Kasanka

Prossy and Richard Kasanka with niece Patricia

Prossy and Richard Kasanka with niece Patricia

Joining the SHIM family in Feb. 2014, Richard and Prossy assumed the roles of Base Manager and Assistant Base Manager, respectively. They brought with them hearts burdened for the island people, specifically widows and children. In addition to overseeing the SHIM base, Richard conducts film ministry crusades and continues to serve in a mainland church on the weekends. When not busy with base duties, which include hospitality, Prossy conducts after-school classes for local primary children. Rounding out their family on the island are their young daughter, Jovian, born July 2014, and nieces Patricia and Prisca, students at the island secondary school.

Oryagi Geoffrey

Oryagi and his radiant bride Immaculate during their wedding ceremony on Namiti Island March 8, 2014.

The “chief mechanic” of our water systems and a gifted teacher, Geoffrey is an asset to the Lake Victoria Sanitation and Pure Water Project. He also serves as SHIM’s faithful boat pilot. His leadership in the church and in the realm of community health on his home island of Namiti is helping SHIM to expand its reach to those southern islands. The couple sanctified their marriage as a testimony to the surrounding communities in a special wedding ceremony in March 2014. Geoffrey and his wife Immaculate have six children.

Jennifer Abenakyo

Jennifer “Auntie Jennifer” is SHIM’s base cleaner, having transitioned in 2015 from base cook. Still following her heart for the lost, Jennifer regularly visits every new Lingira Island mother, bringing gifts of newborn clothes and friendship. In her words, “I pick the very best for the Muslim women, because I want them to see Christ.” She also has a heart to visit and minister to the sick of the islands villages.

Peace Kusasira

IMG_1047Bringing with her a peaceful heart and a cheerful attitude, Peace became part of SHIM in early 2015 as the new cook on the island base. Born and raised in the Jinja area, Peace is trained as a computer network professional, but is presently sharing her other skills, as well as her love for Jesus with SHIM and the islands.

Julius Twali

Julius and Ruth, with sons Andrew and Gad.

Julius holds a degree in teaching agriculture at the high school level and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from Busoga University in August 2012. He oversees SHIM’s gardens, and is a resource for various island agriculture co-ops. As an outspoken member of the Lake Victoria Sanitation and Pure Water Project, Julius has motivated communities to take action and responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. His wife, Ruth, is working toward a degree in social work and cares for their two sons, Andrew (5) and Joseph Gad (2 1/2).

Ruth “Ruthie” HowardRuthie4

With a background in journalism and discipleship of young women, Ruthie adds heart and organization to SHIM’s Child  Development program. She mentors secondary students through the weekly Morning Star Ladies’ Study, teaches computer studies, life skills, and Bible classes at the school and is working to expand student discipleship at the school. She has been a great help to Karina as she assists in international communications with student sponsors and SHIM friends. Feel free to visit Ruthie’s blog

The Peterson Family – Bob, Michelle, Janae, Joshua, Jon, and Josiah

Peterson Family, back row: Josiah, Bob, Michelle; front, Jon, Josh and Janae.

The Petersons are an encouragement to many of the SHIM ministries, especially discipleship, evangelism, and family ministry. As longtime pastors in the states, Bob and Michelle are sensitive shepherds to the SHIM staff. Bob has come alongside Andy and Samson in the planning and teaching of discipleship, and is a primary instructor for the two-year pastors’ training course for island pastors begun in early 2012. The family moved in March 2014 to Apha Omega Seminary, just outside of Jinja, where Bob is the new Academic Dean and a professor at the seminary. Bob and Michelle also draw on their years of personal and pastoral experience in joining Family Ministry for presentation of island seminars on marriage, child-rearing, and other related topics. The Petersons have four children, Janae, Josh, Jon and Josiah. Visit the Peterson’s blog at

Ronnie and Stella Kakaire (Partners)

RonnieStella-001Though not officially SHIM “staff,” Ronnie and Stella are considered part of the “family” as they regularly partner with the Okoros in Family Ministry, Ruthie in working with the secondary students, and join in other SHIM ministries and activities. They also operate Family Altar Ministry (FAM), based in Jinja. Natives of the Jinja area with extensive backgrounds in ministry and business, Ronnie and Stella were married Aug. 31, 2013 in Jinja.


Update on Jennifer Abenakyo

Jennifer For those who knew and loved “Auntie Jennifer,” she retired from SHIM in 2016, having worked with the ministry since 2007. She continues to live in the nearby Kyoya Village, so we see her occasionally and continue to consider her as part of our SHIM “family.”

To follow more of the SHIM staff and ministry, visit the SHIM Facebook page.