Friday, November 28, 2008

I'll fly away, Oh Glory, I'll fly away

It's been 4 and 1/2 years. Four and a half years since these feet of mine touched African soil, and these lungs breathed in African air. Pardon my nostalgia, I can't possibly express what I feel, as that is about to change...

I am very excited to tell you, that I have a one-way ticket to Africa. Not the jump-up-and-down-and-scream type of outward excitement... But the quiet, stirring anticipation of something I've long waited for. The kind of excitement that brings tears to my eyes as I type, because I know that what lays ahead of me, is the story I've been realizing in my heart for 25 years. A story that God has had written since the very beginning. The Prologue is almost over... On January 6th, get ready to turn the page.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Rebuild the Ancient Ruins

In effort to keep giving you an idea about what I'll be doing in Sudan, this entry will be about the "Rebuild" project itself.

If you've been following along, you've read about the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people returning to Sudan after having fled for their lives from the war that has torn the country apart. Since the start of their return, back in 2005, many NGO's (non-government organizations) have been doing relief and development work all over the southern part of the country, in effort to meet the, at times, insurmountable needs.

SIM has had an active ministry in Sudan for over 100 years, having to leave for periods of time during various wars, but has maintained a good relationship over all with the government, and with Sudan's people (Lord willing this will continue).

The repatriation of so many people is a challenge that I can only imagine at this point. In response to this huge challenge, SIM started a project called "Rebuild South Sudan: Church and Nation". The premise of this ministry is to partner with the already existing National churches to rebuild the infrastructure back into the South, by empowering, training & educating the local people, and sharing the Love and Hope of Jesus along the way. There are a few ways this project is going about doing this - allow me to give you a brief overview:

1) Water and Sanitation Initiatives - getting wells dug and latrines built so people have access to clean and safe water asap
2) Teaching Educators - depending on the resources available in the camps, kids may or may not have had any opportunity for learning up until now... SIM is teaching teachers so schools can re-open and education can start in villages again
3) Health Care - as you know and will hear more of in the years to come, we are rebuilding a previously existing hospital in D, as well as training local people in basic health care with the goal having the hospital and surrounding clinics operated and run by National people as soon as able.
4) Agriculture - believe it or not, many Sudanese youth or young people have little to no knowledge of how to work the land for their livelihood. Many of them grew up in the refugee camps and never got the opportunity to learn these skills from parents.
5) HIV/AIDS Education & Prevention - pretty self explanatory and a big need of course, all over Africa. These people have been through enough... Who better to bring this important information to Sudan people's then the people of Sudan.

Through all of this SIM desires to make known the person of Jesus, and give Him Glory for the wonderful things He has, and will do in the beautiful country of Sudan.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Flood... Please Pray

I have received news from Sudan that requires our faithful and urgent prayer. There has been flooding in the Mabaan area that has destroyed crops and cut off access to food supply. The corn and pumpkin crops that usually sustain people until the sorghum (a grain) crops are ready in December, have been completely wiped out in areas. Also bridges between the Doro area and the nearest supply towns have been washed out, making it nearly impossible for food to come from other areas to sell in the markets, for those who might have had the money to purchase it. I have heard that people are surviving on just a handful of grain per day.

"The SIM team in D. is facing a situation where the local people who work in the clinic and people from the church are not getting enough to eat," wrote my co-worker. The people of Doro as well as our team working there need much, much prayer.

The Team had designated October 29th as a day of fasting and prayer for this situation. That day has come and gone, so perhaps you'd like to join me on November 4th (tomorrow - sorry for the short notice), or pick another day. This is an opportunity to "stand in the gap" on behalf of this ministry and these precious people.

  • for the SIM team to have wisdom in how to respond to this crisis and to their friends.
  • for an end to the flooding.
  • for the Lord to supply food to the people who are hungry and suffering.
  • for the many refugees who have returned recently and haven’t been able to farm or settle in completely yet.
  • and as the Lord leads you