Monday, July 8, 2013


The life of a missionary is a life filled with amazing adventures and endless transitions. 

This past week marked the beginning of my year and a half away from Didinga (three months of Home Assignment and one year of Bible studies).  This will be the longest period of time that I will have been away from South Sudan since moving there in 2008.  

Saying goodbye to those we love and venturing off into the unknown is never easy.  However, it is the perfect opportunity to practice 1 Peter 5:7 - "Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

Thursday, July 11th I will land in Spokane, Washington and begin my three months of scheduled Home Assignment.  With family, friends and supporters scattered throughout the US and Canada, it should be a busy summer season! 

In January, I will begin a year of full-time Bible studies.  I am still in the process of choosing a school.  I am looking for a graduate level, in depth, one year Bible program; with an emphasis on cross-cultural missions and discipleship.  My ever growing list of possibilities includes:  Moody Chicago or Michigan, Columbia International University located in South Carolina and the Bible Institute of South Africa.

Please pray for clarity of direction as I endeavor to choose the suitable place.

I will be remaining with AIM throughout the coming year as I do plan to return to my work in Didinga.  Thank you for your continued partnership!

With love and appreciation,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hiding and Seeking

Last week, in between the packing and preparing for my year away at Bible school, I played a little Hide and Seek with these two...

Sweet Poi

and a finally healthy again, Yaya.

Behind the water barrel - I found these two!!!

Behind the kitchen door - found again!!!

In the garden - they found me!!!

Hope your Monday is cheerful!!!

A Trip to Napep

Last Saturday, I hiked the ten miles over to Napep, around most of the village and then back home again. It was a really, really long day, but all together lovely. 

I hiked over with these two boys, Lobia and Logia.  

They are both originally from Napep, but have been living in Nagishot for at least two years now - attending school, living on the church compound and participating in the Nagishot church.  

They are both good boys, so full of potential. 

I met this shepherd boy back in 2008.  He is growing up.

This little fella didn't feel very well and certainly did not want anything to do with the funny looking white lady!

We hiked to the far western edge of Napep; to Lobia's mother's compound (his father was killed in the war years ago).  Lobia was thrilled that I was finally meeting his family and seeing his home.

Lobia's brother-in-law
His older sister, Naboi

It was beading season in Napep.  Girls everywhere were working on their new creations, including Lobia's older sister.

We spent a few hours hanging out in the Didinga's equivalent to the living room - the "naparit". 

A naparit is a campfire pit.  Due to Didinga's cool temperatures, most people gather around a campfire most evenings.  Often these fire pits are covered to offer protection against the rains.  

In the picture above, if you look carefully, you can just pick out three small children and one black dog napping in the foreground.  All three of these children were simply laid down, covered with a cloth or mosquito net and told to sleep - and almost instantly, all three did.

We spent a few hours chatting, eating sunflower seeds and beading at Lobia's family's naparit.

At one point, Lobia asked me if the lit up number on my camera was the current time.  I told him that it wasn't, but rather how many picture were still remaining on my camera - 164.

Well, from that point on, Lobia took it upon himself to take all 164 pictures before we returned home to Nagishot that evening.

Here are a few of his photos.  It is fun seeing things from his perspective.  He is quite the photographer!

After Lobia's compound, we headed to Logia's.  Most of his family were away, weeding in a distant field, so we did not end up staying long.

It was a tiring day, I estimate that we hiked more than 25 sandle-clad miles, but it was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends in Napep, while also spending quality time with two boys, Lobia and Logia, who I have grown especially close to these past few months through our chronological Bible study, UNO youth nights and last month's Bible Camp.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


After nearly five months in South Sudan, Abbi and I relished a little time of rest, relaxation and reflection on the cloudy, but nonetheless beautiful, Kenyan coast this past week.

I was pretty worn out, pretty ready for a break.  

Evidence of weariness... I only took two picture the whole time we were on holiday.
Picture #1
Abbi and I rented bikes from some dude we met on the road one day.  The alignment on Abbi's was wanky and mine didn't have any brakes - as in, walk down steep hillsides or die trying, NO brakes!!!

I felt like a carefree, summer loving, 9 year-old riding that death trap of a bike back and forth from the rinky dink coastal market and swimming hole.  It was lovely!!!  

Photo #2
These monkeys wanted a sip of my morning coffee... I refused. 

We will be heading back into Nagishot early Monday morning.

Home Assignement and Future Plans!!!

In mid-July I will be flying home to the States for my scheduled Home Assignment.  While home I would love to meet up with you to share a bit of what God has been doing in the Didinga Hills of South Sudan as well as hear what our Lord is doing in your life.

After Home Assignment, as a means of completing AIM’s Bible requirements and building a stronger personal Biblical foundation for future mission service, I will be taking a year long Educational Leave from Sudan to attend Bible school.  I will remain active with AIM throughout this upcoming year, as I do plan to return to my work in Didinga after this time of full-time study.

 After nearly five years of service amongst the Didinga people, I have grown to love them, my work and life there.  I originally planned to complete most of my Bible requirements as a member of the Didinga TIMO team.  However, when that team ended early, I was left with several unmet Bible requirements.  Though I am sad to leave my work in Didinga, even for a year, I am excited about this opportunity to diligently study God’s word, as I believe that it will deepen the cornerstone for my work amongst the Didinga people, my faith, while also serving as a catalyst towards effective future ministry in Sudan.

I am applying to several Bible schools – praying and researching my way through this decision.  I would appreciate your prayers as I attempt to choose the appropriate school, make a cross-continental move, transition back into life in the Western world after years of mud-hut living and attempt to fully trust in God the great Planner and Provider – while living a life which currently a bit chaotic.    

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bible Camp - The answered prayer addition!

Camp was amazing!
There were so many answered prayers, so many opportunities to see God at work.  Here are just a few…

Weather - Some may say that organizing two, mostly outdoor, Bible Camps in the middle of rainy season is not a good idea.  And yet, God is so much bigger than the weather.  Realistically, the possibility for rain to have literally washed out these camps was almost inevitable.  However, due to the faithful prayers of many, God miraculously held back the rain.   

Our first camp was held under sunny summer-like skies, without so much as a drop of rain.  The second week, as Didinga farmers started to complain about their dry fields, we were emboldened to pray more specifically for clear skied teaching periods and evening showers.  God answered these prayers as well  How awesome it was to see the mighty hand of God providing for these practical everyday needs. 

Our team flew out of Nagishot on a Saturday.  The torrential rains started shortly after that!

Health – Even though most of our Colorado team, both Didinga translators and Abbi struggled with foul tummies, a severe cold and general weariness throughout the two weeks of camp, God always provided enough strength for these individuals to carry out their daily duties.  No one missed a single lesson – though many could not stray far from the outhouse! 

I am happy to report that all are feeling much better today!

National Participation – Though it has never been done before and everyone said that it would be impossible; we had AMAZING national volunteer staff participation for both camps!!! 
Our rockin' camp staff!!!

While planning for these Bible camps, Abbi and I were repeatedly warned that Didinga people, even those in the church, would not freely volunteer their time, energy or services for the church. 

In the past, we have repeatedly experienced and been frustrated by this pervasive selfish attitude.  However, we felt quite strongly that without a call to selfless service, our Didinga church body could never spiritually mature.

So, it is with a very happy heart that I share with you the news of our incredible national participation in both Didinga camps!!! Our translators, junior counselors and cooks all served with their whole body, heart and soul!  In fact, after the first camp, we had young ladies asking if they too could join the service party!   

The national staff far exceeded my expectations and anything I have ever seen in South Sudan – they truly served with joyful spirits.   Praise GOD!!!
Lokolong, Lugia, Yaya and Lubia - our camp drama team. They performed a Gospel drama each morning, as a means of introducing new concepts.

The junior counselors helping others decorate their camp-made candles.

Nakoris and Tim teaching a Bible lesson.

Unity - It was amazing to see God unify our Didinga/Western team.  Whether it was playing volleyball or UNO, teaching God’s word or hiking with heavy loads on our heads across the hillsides to camp each morning – there was an overpowering spirit of love and harmony amongst the team.  People were truly one-anothering, helping the least of these and doing it all with an seemingly unexplainable joy.  
Our second camp was held across the valley - each morning 8 jerry-cans of clean water, craft supplies, teaching tools and the day's camp food was portered from one hillside to the other.

Youth Night - UNO!

Preparing gizari - boiled beans and corn - for the campers' noon day meal.

Being a part of this team was one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced in Sudan.

Campers – We had no idea how many children would actually attend camp.  We were hoping and planning for up to 80 children at each camp for a total of 160 little ones.  We were blessed with between 90 to 100 plus campers at our first camp and around 60 at our second.

Prayer at the 2nd Camp
Capture the Flag was another HUGE hit - I am not sure who had more fun - the campers, the junior counselors or us adults...

Students were eager to learn and for the most part very receptive to the Gospel message.

The Sunday after our initial camp, the church was filled with youngsters, many who rarely, if ever, attend church.  We believe these camps laid a wonderful foundation for future ministry opportunities.

Thanks again for your prayers!