Next week this time, I'll be boarding a small plane with eight others. It's a two-hour flight to Lochichogio (Lochi), where we have to clear customs. Then we take off for another two-hour flight to Padak, where we're praying we'd be able to land. There is but a gravel landing strip in Padak, and when it rains (like it does this time of year), they sometimes have to turn planes back to Lochi.
The team I'm going with are mostly medical people: four nurses and a physician's assistant. Then there are two pastors, one community health care trainer, and me. While the others are offering clinics, I have to go and interview all of our orphans to get their stories. I'll also be talking with our teacher who is single-handedly caring for 13 of the orphans. (Fifteen more currently stay with extended family.)
I also want to write something about the life that many of our students live, among thousands of cows in a cattle camp. Cattle camps are areas where children take care of cows. They sleep with the cows and drink the milk from the cows. To the Dinka, cows are invaluable! The children who take care of the cows are anywhere from age three upwards. They burn cow dung to keep pests off the cows, so these kids are easily recognizable: They're all covered in white ash. I am planning on staying at a cattle camp one night. David Tarus, one of the ELI directors (and a pastor), is also planning on spending a night among these children, so I should be safe. I cannot imagine really getting any sleep, though...
While the pastors and community health-care trainer is doing teaching, I'll be recording their sessions--as well as the Dinka translations--so that we can put this, with Dinka music, onto CDs or other pre-programmable, solar-powared devices that we can then send into remote villages.
1. Please pray for safe travels, including that we may be able to land in (and fly out of!) Padak.
2. Please pray that I will be able to spend one night at a cattle camp in order to effectively tell the story of the lives of 50+ kids who currently attend our school and whom we feed. Especially pray for the interaction with these children, that I'll be able to share the message of Jesus Christ in a clear way.
3. During all the interviews and visits, I'll be using a translator. Please pray for a good translator!
4. Please pray for me as I'll be using new audio recording equipment that I've never used before, that everything will go smoothly and there will be no technical glitches. Please also pray for
5. All of our food (lentls, rice, ugali) and water was sent by land. There might be a few times that we may be offered goat meat. Please pray for protection against any food-borne diseases, as well as protection from malaria. Right now, I'm fighting some bacterial infection... Please pray for complete health before we leave for Sudan!
Thanks for being part of this journey.