Initiative against shrine slavery (ritual servitude)(Ghana, Togo, Benin)
Initiative for street children (DR Congo, Ghana)
Vocational apprenticeship for street youth (DR Congo, Ghana)
Haven of Hope Children’s Home/Orphanage (Ghana)
Educational assistance for orphans & vulnerable children through sponsorship (DR Congo, Uganda, Ghana)
Special helps programs for albinos (Uganda)
Training for teachers of children and youth (DR Congo, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Uganda, New Sudan)
Intensive 9-month training for “teachers of teachers” (Spécialisation en Education Chrétienne) DR Congo
Leadership training (DR Congo, Ghana, Nigeria)
Teachers’ resource libraries (DR Congo, Ghana)
Development & publication of uplifting literature on health themes, education, literacy, and spiritual values (DR Congo, Togo, Benin, Uganda)
Kids’ Clubs & Sunday Schools for children (DR Congo, Ghana, Uganda, Sudan, Togo, Benin)
Health services (DR Congo, Uganda)
DR Congo (formerly Zaire) since 1985
Ghana since 1999
Uganda since 2006
New (southern) Sudan since 2006
Togo since 2006
Benin since 2006
ECM training has also reached Rep. of Congo Brazzaville, Angola, and Nigeria.
Every Child Ministries (ECM, sometimes called ECMAfrica) was founded by John and Lorella Rouster in 1985 after serving three years in what was then Zaire with another evangelical mission. John had an agricultural background and later earned a Biblical studies certificate from Moody Bible Institute. Lorella was a teacher, Christian educator, and journalist, also an alumna of Moody Bible Institute,Tri-State University(B.A.)and Covington Theological Seminary (M.R.E.) The Rousters served a total of nine years in Zaire (now DR Congo)—a little more than three before founding ECM (1981-Spring 1984) and six with ECM (1990-1996). During this time Lorella wrote numerous books in the African Kituba language, translated songs, Gospel and health booklets, which were published by ECM. She also developed an extensive training manual for teachers of children. This book was later published in seven languages spoken in Africa: Kituba, Lingala, Tshiluba, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese. From 1985 to 1998, Every Child Ministries served only in DR Congo and was mainly limited to Christian education, training of teachers, development of literature, and health services. In 1985 ECM was featured in the "Mission Explorers Video Serieswith Carey Kinsolving. These ministries have continued and expanded under national leadership.
Since 1999 three tendencies have been noticeable: 1. Rapid expansion into other African countries, and 2. A growing tendency to focus on the needs of what the organization deems as the most marginalized and neglected children, 3. A growing emphasis on Child sponsorship.
In 1997 the Rousters returned from Congo. Floyd Bertsch had served as International Director while the Rousters were in Congo, but upon their return they again took the position of International Director, sharing the duties as co-directors.
In 1999 an evaluatory trip was made to Ghana. As a result, several initiatives were established there including the Initiative against shrine slavery ritual servitude and the Initiative for Street children.
In 2001 ECM initiated a program called "Character Building from the Bible" in some of the public schools of Ghana.
In November 2002 Haven of Hope Home/orphanage was founded. Forty-five children now find a safe haven there. Many were homeless street children, some are orphans, abandoned children, former shrine slaves and children of former slaves.The home now includes a school, Haven of Hope Academy, offering Nursery through Class 6.
In January 2003 Every Child Ministries held its first liberation of shrine slaves known as trokosi, cooperating with International Needs Ghana. This was followed by another liberation in January 2004 in cooperation with FESLIM (Fetish Slaves Liberation Movement), and a third in December 2005. ECM has been very active in advocating for the abolition of the practice and the liberation of existing slaves.In 2007 they released a DVD for their anti-slavery project called "Stomp Out Slavery" to help raise public awareness. In January 2008, ECM issued a "Prayer Guide against Modern Slavery" in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
In 2003 ECM expanded its ministry to street children to include DR Congo, ministering to children living on Kinshasa's streets with meals twice a week, vocational training, literacy classes, sports teams, gardening and Bible classes.
The same year they introduced an in-depth method of teaching the Bible. Called "Step by Step, Slowly", the approach teaches Bible passages phrase by phrase involving a four step process--Read, Question, Act it out, Sing and Dance.
In 2006 ECM made investigatory trips into Togo, Benin, Uganda, and New Sudan, and conducted training for children’s teachers in Uganda and New Sudan.
This was followed by training for children’s teachers in Togo in 2007 and in Benin in 2008, and by the establishment of a main base of operations with numerous projects in Uganda in 2007-2008.
Current projects in Uganda include Youth Vocational Training through raising poulty,summer day camps and holiday parties for children in IDP camps,, and an initiative to help albino children and improve public acceptance of them