Angie and Arok, heads of Seeds of Hope, are home from their trip to Africa. They had an amazing trip as they went to do different things: Arok tried to get to his village, Paliu, in Sudan, Angie and Arok observed Kodera, Kenya, a village which is experiencing community tranformation through their partnership with Pine Lake Covenant, but most importantly, to meet the now 39 children in school in Nukuru, Kenya.
Read some of the excerpts from their updates below:
Saturday night I returned home from my first trip to Africa. It was a trip filled with adventure, new friends and challenging circumstances.
As an American, I found myself struggling to understand the ways of the Kenyans and the cultural conflicts between them and the Sudanese community living among them who are the beneficiaries of our project, Seeds of Hope.
Seeds of Hope is a non profit project within Missio Lux Covenant Church that seeks to raise awareness and funding to care for and educate orphaned Sudanese children through partnership with Lost Boys from Sudan living in America.
There are thousands of displaced and orphan Sudanese children today due to the decades of ongoing civil war in Sudan. Seeds of Hope is targeting orphans from the Ajuong Community of Southern Sudan and sending them to boarding school in Nakuru Kenya.
My purpose in going on this trip was to gain perspective and vision for our project and build relationships with our project leaders, all of which I feel was accomplished.
Connecting and spending time with our project leaders and the children in Nakuru was momentous.
Arok Garang, a Lost Boy from Sudan who resides in Denver, Colorado met us in Kisumu and traveled with the team from PLCC to Kodera.
We served this community together for 7 days before going to Nakuru to evaluate the Seeds of Hope project. Arok is a thoughtful man of honor and dignity. At 6'4" his presence can be intimidating, but he leads with a quiet strength. Arok is the leader of the Lost Boys of Sudan from the Ajuong community and serves as our liason between those leading the project onsite in Nakuru and his community leaders back in Sudan.
Arok and I were able to deepen our connection and understanding of each other through our expereinces in Kodera and discussing the onsite issues in Nakuru with our project leader there, Ghak Thiong.
Ghak Thiong, nicknamed Nyerere after a former president of Tanzania, is a deeply compassionate and selfless man with a smile as bright as the sun. He coordinates the boarding school education of the orphaned children and their care when they are on break from school. Spending time with him and witnessing him in action with the children gave me great respect for his heart for his people and the future of his country.
I was also privileged to meet Beatrice, the Head Mistress of Roots Academy boarding school that most of our children attend. Though several of our children have been very challenging for the school, Beatrice maintains a deep concern and compassion for the orphans of Sudan. Many of our kids came to her with virtually no prior schooling and little knowledge, and much to her amazement and delight she has watched many of them them excel academically over the last year to become the top students in their class.
Just wanted to Thank you all for all your prayers for me while I was in Africa. I arrived here on August 24 safely. My trip was a successful one, I was able to meet the kids and Ghak (the Seeds of Hope director in Nakuru).
I was so excited to see the kids, how their lives have improved and also to learned that our kids are the top students in Roots Academy. I proved it when I spoke to them in English. They speak very clear English even those in grade one. The smile in their faces showed me that we have changed their lives.
I was able to go to Sudan and Kakuma Refugee Camp. (although due to bad roads, Arok did not make it to his village.)
Also, I was able to meet Angie and the team from Pine Lake Church and we went to Kodera together. In Kodera, I learned alot about the community there and how they have to build schools, Clinic and clean water for their community.
Back to Nakuru with Angie and Dave from Kodera. We were able to meet the headmistress of the Roots Academy and we toured the school.. Then Angie meet the kids and played some games with them and gave them gifts.
You can read more about Seeds of Hope on Angie's new blog: www.seedsofhopesudan.blogspot.com