We Made It Home!...63 Days Ago  

Posted by Michael

I want to thank those of you who prayed for us while we were on our trip and apologize for not updating this when we made it home. For some reason I haven't wanted to touch the blog since I've been back. It might be because I spent countless hours on it in Sudan (the pictures took ages to download there) and just needed a break. It could also be because just about every night has been booked since I've been home, leaving us time only to crash! Regardless, we are back from Sudan and are all enjoying being home with our families.
And for new news: In 4 weeks, Jude Michael will be born! We can't wait to see his sweet face. I'll be posting our 3D/4D pictures next week.

These are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip:

The Sahara Desert:

IDP (Internally Displaced People) Camp in the distance:

A better view of the IDP Camp:

We were on 14 flights in 17 days:

Notice the beard. How sweet was that beard? Here's the evolution of it:

Here's a quick wrap-up of our trip (by Jamie Hipp):

Our trip to Sudan was a success. The trip came in His timing and He moved mightily.
Vernon Burger, of His Voice for Sudan (a non-profit organization), set up our itinerary for southern Sudan with Bishop Taban, leader of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). We visited two different orphanages established near Yei, Sudan – one orphanage just north (Lura) and one orphanage just south (Morobo). We were able to spend time at these orphanages meeting the children, widows, and assessing needs. Each orphanage has 95 children 14 widows, four cooks, one pastor, one guard, and one farmer. What we found upon arrival at Lura Orphanage were shy, smiling children, each with a terribly beautiful story of his own. Stories of parents killed during the war or subsequently by random land mines. Needs were wide and varied from something as simple as a functioning toilet, to medical needs (including needs for minor operations), to facility expansion needed in order to handle a new building for schooling. The next day we visited Morobo Orphanage and found many of the same needs. There are so many needs – you only need to walk the grounds and observe to find which needs would be considered greatest. When we asked Bishop Taban what the greatest needs were he simply replied, “You’ve seen our toilets and our children.” He said more in that comment concerning needs than he could have listed in an hour.
Our team was blessed by our time with Bishop Taban. Beau said it best in that working alongside the Bishop seemed as if we were communicating with a prophet out of the Bible. This man exuded a rare humility for someone in his position. He is a man who understands the Body and church planting exceedingly well. Bishop Taban and the EPC are those whom we would love to work with in the future as they are living and serving a comprehensive gospel.
The second part of our trip seemed to be an altogether separate one. The north and west of Sudan seems to be a separate country from the south. Our time in the capital, Khartoum, was short but a blessing as we met with several missionaries and stayed with a couple of Journeyman friends of Matt Elkins. We then flew out to Darfur – an answer to prayer in that we were actually permitted at all. The landscape of the north and west is dominated by Islam. There is a mosque on every corner with requisite call to prayer over every loudspeaker in the city. The southern part of Sudan is actually considered Christian though Islam is still present.
We spent a couple of days in the city of El Fasher (capital of Darfur region) before traveling out to the remote villages to repair wells. We spent 2 nights outside under the stars with loud parties (it was Ramadan so they were breaking their fast) and donks braying so loudly they would wake us up at night!
It was a wonderful opportunity as well to be able to lend a hand in helping villagers repair wells which were broken down, some for 22 months without clean water, leaving them little resource for abundant clean well water (though we almost had to elbow out the locals who wanted to do all the work). The Sudanese are some of the most hospitable and gracious people I have ever met. Our time in Darfur afforded us the opportunity to see just how vast and different this country appears to be. Our time in the south looked very different than the north and west, but both were powerful and wonderful trips.

Please pray for both of the ministries we worked with and support them financially if you are so led. They are always in need of money for things like heart & reconstructive surgeries, drill bits, air hammers, air compressors, food, water, shelter, and so much more. Here are the websites of the 2 ministries we partnered with:

Thanks to those of you who have followed this post for so long!

This entry was posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at Friday, November 21, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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