South Sudan Journey

I’ve been in South Sudan now for almost a week & have had the honor to travel to many different places, most of which I’d not be able to pronounce nor find on a map – it has all been a very wonderful experience. I’ve met some really great moms & seen some very fabulous babies, looking with Saving Moses for babies who have urgent needs & where the care is least available. South Sudan is an interesting place – it will celebrate its 2nd birthday next week, so in many respects, it is a baby country & it feels fresh from getting to travel around over the last week.
I’ve met beautiful people & seen some difficult situations but I feel hope in my heart for this nation because the people are wonderful. They’re kind, friendly, helpful, beautiful, generous, hospitable & very warm. They are very intelligent & have a confidence & hardiness to them after decades of conflict with their northern neighbors. I love getting to be with them, learn some of their language, culture, values, hopes & dreams. This is a wonderful country & I say, “happy early birthday South Sudan!” May you continue to develop, be strong & be great!
The attached pic is a burned down home from a rebel group who was causing some serious problems in a rural area. We visited this village today & learned that more than 100 people died here at the beginning of the month from the rebels

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South Sudan Journey

I’ve been in South Sudan now for almost a week & have had the honor to travel to many different places, most of which I’d not be able to pronounce nor find on a map – it has all been a very wonderful experience. I’ve met some really great moms & seen some very fabulous babies, looking with Saving Moses for babies who have urgent needs & where the care is least available. South Sudan is an interesting place – it will celebrate its 2nd birthday next week, so in many respects, it is a baby country & it feels fresh from getting to travel around over the last week.
I’ve met beautiful people & seen some difficult situations but I feel hope in my heart for this nation because the people are wonderful. They’re kind, friendly, helpful, beautiful, generous, hospitable & very warm. They are very intelligent & have a confidence & hardiness to them after decades of conflict with their northern neighbors. I love getting to be with them, learn some of their language, culture, values, hopes & dreams. This is a wonderful country & I say, “happy early birthday South Sudan!” May you continue to develop, be strong & be great!

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Babies are Gods kisses :)

I’m sitting in a malnutrition until for babies & surrounded by beauty – beautiful moms, babies, care workers & beauty. Along with the vast colors & faces who are nothing less than breathtaking, I am also see babies who have some definite feeding & some healthcare needs. So I’m looking into some possibilities & we’ll see the ways in which we can be helpful. In the meantime, I’m overwhelmed by how beautiful the people are. They’re regal, majestic, strong & friendly. I’ll try to post some pix with this blog, but know that the beauty goes far beyond my ability to capture in a photo & with that in mind, consider how wonderful & beautiful you are to God 🙂

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Adventures in South Sudan

We’ve been in South Sudan for almost 24 hours & it has amazing feeling of hope & optimism with some undercurrents of struggle & hardships. The people are absolutely beautiful, graceful, confident & warm. So far, it seems to me that they don’t have any space in their thinking to see themselves as victims. They seem pragmatic & live as engaged in daily living on the path of progress.
We will be making our first visit to a refugee camp in about an hour & they say that these particular refugees have been displaced at least three times, trying to stay alive from various armed insurgents & rebel forces. I’ll be interested to see how their treks & survival efforts have affected their babies & toddlers. Stay tuned for more observations.
In the meantime, here’s a picture from our hotel last night – each “room” was made of two shipping container & nicely appointed on the inside, for container quarters ,)

Welcome to South Sudan

We just arrived in the very new country of South Sudan, capitol city: Juba. Next month, July, this country will be two years old & so it is very much in its infancy. I’ve never been in such a brand new country, so I’m excited for all the new adventures that await us this week! I’m also very happy to have arrived in the country after anticipating & planning this visit for well over a year. I have a keen anticipation that the experiences for this week will be nothing like I’ve ever had before – so I’m both excited & a little nervous. I’m nervous because our mission with Saving Moses is to save babies 0-5 where the need is most urgent & the care is least available. While this mission is very compelling, it can be more than heartbreaking at the same time. So stick with me throughout this week & we’ll take the adventure together! The picture is of the airport 🙂

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Most urgent, least available

For the next several days, I’m going to be visiting South Sudan for Saving Moses. I’m checking out S Sudan because our mission with www.savingmoses.org is to save babies where the need is most urgent & care is least available. South Sudan has only recently become an independent nation after decades of fighting with Sudan for its independence. It is also a place where Joseph Kony & the Lords Resistance Army have continued to commit indescribable atrocities. When a country has this amount of unrest & instability, the babies are often the population that suffer the most destructive results – hence the trips for Saving Moses to South Sudan. Please be sure to stay tuned on this blog, through Facebook & twitter over the next week or so, as I’ll be keeping you posted as much as I can – and of course, please don’t fight the urge to pray for us as well!

I can get jittery

I was thinking about the time when Peter walked on the water & Jesus rescued him from drowning. That must have been a totally amazing trek. Can you imagine how Peter felt when he was getting ready to step out of the boat? Excited, nervous, scared, jittery, lots of adrenaline, . . . . . Peter did something impossible, illogical, stressful, successful & epic when he walked on the water. Even though Peter did something amazing, I think that perhaps there may have been some stress & jitters running around in his mind – some quick conversations about doing something impossible & then he just did it.
Lets be careful not to talk ourselves out of Gods miracles just because there’s some stress & jitters that go along with these impossibilities 🙂

to the least of these

In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about how if you visit someone in jail, or feed a hungry person, invite a stranger in, or basically help a person in need (to the least of these), that you’re doing these acts of kindness to Christ.  As a follower of Christ, I want to love Jesus well and so this means that I want to be tuned into the needs of the “least of these”.  My attempt to be engaged with the needs of the “least of these” is largely through my work with Saving Moses: for me, the “least” are babies and toddlers who have urgent survival needs. As such, Saving Moses is actively engaged to provide life for these babies where help is least available.  So over the next week or so, I’m going to visit South Sudan to see the needs of the “least of these” and assess how Saving Moses can give love and life.

I’ll be blogging, doing tweets, fb updates and as much as I can during my visit, so please be sure to come along for the adventure – and of course, please don’t fight the urge to shoot up some prayers as well 🙂

Making Progress!

I like to accomplish things & can sometimes get discouraged when it seems like I just slough along seeming not to get anywhere. I’ve had some really big projects on my plate for several months & I finally seem to be making progress & this is WONDERFUL!! Nevertheless, I’m learning some important lessons for “in between” trying & achieving:
*persistence & patience – nothing worthwhile is achieved without these important pieces
*stay encouraged – this is no one else’s responsibility but mine
*teams are important – I can achieve WAY MORE on a team than by myself
*keep your eyes on Jesus – a great immunization for distractions & discouragement 🙂

happy belated Father’s Day

I had the honor to speak in our church for Father’s Day & although it was difficult (my 1st Father’s Day without my dad), I’m thinking that God always has good stuff in mind for us, even in challenging situations.  Yesterday, I talked about how Abraham was a man of faith & miracles – a father to us in our faith.  I also threw in a few stories about my dad with his faith & life.

Here’s a fun story:  one time my family took a Christmas vacation to Europe, using a book called, “Europe on $10 a Day”, endeavoring to do the tour thing on a tight budget.  During that vacation, we visited Italy & I quickly learned that Italy is a bastion to all things beautiful, high style and fashion.  This became uber obvious through my dad who had a unique sense of fashion that could be considered “counter-culture”.  He had this bright yellow jumpsuit that he wore with white tube socks and black shoes as he walked through the streets of Florence, Rome and Venice.  The best part of these strolls was to watch the Italians get whiplash in their necks as their heads spun to fully take in my dad’s fashion bravado.  Even though my dad wasn’t in step with Italian fashion, he sported his yellow jumpsuit with dignity & poise, showing me that being a strong individual isn’t only important in fashion, but moreso in faith.  So be encouraged to be strong in your faith and weak in your doubts 🙂