Sunday, March 31, 2013

Gentle Spirit and a Warm Smile

It is pretty exciting to be in a church that is standing room only and a few years ago it didn't even exsist.  It was a wonderful both in and out of the church today.  I took a break and thanked God for what He has done for us and what is yet to come.  When it gets down to the basics, true Christians, those who are following Christ are simply the luckiest people in the world.

After the service is over every Sunday we stack all the chairs so that they can sweep the floors.  This very nice lady who lives about a mile away was helping us while she was holding her baby.  I was taken by her gentle spirit and smile.  I asked her if I could take her picture and she noded yes.

I hope and pray that all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend....
Blessings for South Sudan

Saturday, March 30, 2013

OK.. What is a Tukul

A little over 100 yards from where I lay my head every night is this structure.  I might be proned to call it a hut.  The word for it in this part of the world is a Tukul.  The people who live in it call it there home.  Anyway you want to call it, it is very interesting to this Westerner.
Today, Mama Lillie and Sue & Ben from Arizona arrived.  Mama Lillie along with her husband Dennis founded Harvesters Reaching The Nations 12 years ago and Sue is one of the board members. The people that were already here are fascinating and now I have three more adventurers whose stories I can explore. 
Oh yeah.... they killed a black mamba in one of the kids latrines last night.  That would cause you to think twice about going to the bathroom late at night without a flashlight wouldn't it?    LOOK OUT THERE GIRLS.... WATCH YOUR BACKSIDE!!!!  Why does that seem so funny to me?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Casualties of War

I am guessing that this tank had it tracks blown off about ten years ago.  The guy on the right is missing his left hand and part of his right.  the guy in the middle is mentally ill and I am not  sure about the other fellow.  He looks like he has lost a track or two himself. 

This tank is on the road from Yei to Juba, the capital of the new country of South Sudan.  I don't know if it was left there as a reminder of the civil war that devastated this country for so many years or not.  At Harvesters we are reminded everyday of that devastation because a huge number of the orphans here are a direct result of that war.  We are also reminded what can happen if group of people have the courage to step out in God's Name and do something to make a difference.  I am seeing first hand the difference that is being made.  I am so grateful to God for letting me rub shoulders with these extraordinary people.....  Please pray for them as they have a long way to go.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kiwi Delight

Kathrine Young is 26 years old and from Christ Church, New Zealand.  She was raised in a strong Christian family and doing something to serve God was not something to possibly consider for a life was a given.  Kathrine started praying for Sudan when she was eight years old and also knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a nurse, so coming to South Sudan last year to serve at House of Hope Hospital here at Harvesters was a natural.  She told me she is a quite, shy, reserved type of person not proned to stepping outside of the box to far.  She is being humble.  This is a very brave young woman who is part of a team doing extra ordinary things for some very needy people in a very tough environment.  Kathrine is a kick to be around, although I have to admit I have as much trouble with her accent as I do the Africans.  That's alright, she puts up with me asking her to repent herself all the time.

One of the problems here is that kids are brought to the hospital to late for help and they die.  I ask Kathrine how she deals with the constant presence of death.  At the end of day she said she cries out to and sometimes wrestles with God,  reads poetry and listens to Christian music.  She also said that you have to have a good theology of pain, suffering, and death.

Kathrine is truly a Kiwi Delight.....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kitty From North Carolina

A long time ago someone asked me who my heroes were.  What came to mind then as it does now are two groups of people.  Social workers who have a huge case load and missionaries.  I must say not all missionaries fit into my hero level, but the six who live and work at Harvesters do. 
Kathryn Moyer, AKA Kitty.  Born 50 years ago in Hillsdale, Michigan and has worked at Duke University for the last 20 years.  Kitty has always been single and ever since she was six years old knew she wanted to help people and hopefully someday be a missionary.  She has a masters in nursing health ministries as well as a masters in church ministries.  She is also trained as a pediatrics nurse which fits so well here.  Kitty came to Harvesters to serve at His House of Hope Hospital in November of 2012.  In 2005 she took a years sabbatical and help start a clinic in Kenya.  Kitty is a perfect example of someone willing to dedicate their life to helping someone in need.  She has such an interesting story, I wish I could put it all in this blog.  Thank you God for sending Kitty to Harvesters.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Football Fans

A couple times a week the orphanages older boys get together as a team and another team from the surrounding area comes to Harvesters and they have a soccer match.  In the picture you can see a shipping container that is now used for storage.  I have a block of wood I set on and lean up against the container and watch some very good soccer.  I would like to think it is because of my wit and charm that all of these kids come to watch the game with me, but actually it is because I have a camera.  That's OK, we have fun anyway.  It is great to see these kids laugh.....
I hope you have a great day,
Blessing from South Sudan

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another Looking Good

At church this morning this little guy kept looking at the old white guy.  Partly because of curiosity and partly because he didn't know me and there is a certain level of fear for little kids around strangers.  Dr. Graham Poole from the hospital here, gave the sermon and it was outstanding.  He talked about being courageous during tough times and did a very good job of it.  Most of the people in that service defiantly have had first hand experience with tough times.  Sorry the picture wasn't a little clearer, but he is still a good looking young man.

Looking Good

There are anywhere from 157 and 165 kids that live here full time.  Because of that I get to see these kids everyday.  I don't know them all yet, but I do have some that I have grown quite fond of and this little girl is one of them.  Her name is Adrielle and she is the daughter of Josephine, who is the orphanage supervisor.  Josephine has also become a good friend and we are scheduled to do an video interview tomorrow.  Adrielle thinks that pulling on my beard is great fun. 

I have been trying to blog for three days.  Service is real spotty here.  Blessings to everone....

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bota Bota

I got a pleasant surprise at breakfast this morning.  The Poole family or as I affectionally call them, "The Aussies"  invited me to go into the town of Yei with them for part of the day. Yei is on the crossroads with Uganda and The Republic of Congo so it has turned into a very busy town since the war stopped.  What an interesting culture they have here.   It was fasinating driving and stopping through out the city which has grown to be well 1000,000 people and there are no paved roads.  The picture is of a man retieing some lumber that he was transporting by draging behind his Bota Bota.  (Motorcycle Taxi)
Thanks for reading my blog,

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Hand You Don't See

Every Saturday the Poole family gather 12 kids that are having trouble reading and they read with them for an hour. For two Saturdays in a row I have helped them and both times I was assigned a little guy by the name of Obediah.  Obediah is nine years old and he was brought to Harvesters when he was a new born by his father.  He was very sick and could not keep any formula his stomach.  The father told them there was nothing he could do and left him with Mama Lillie and her staff.  He was so sick they took him to a hospital in Yei to see if they could help.  They told them there was nothing they could do and would not even admit him.  They took him back to the orphanage and did the only thing they could do.  They gathered the other children around Obediah and they simply prayed to God to save his life.  The next day he was able to hold his formula and nine years later God is letting me help him with his reading.  God's hand has saved my bacon more than once and I considered it a great honor that He let me help Obediah a little bit.

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's All Florences Fault!!

I just knew that when I came to Sothern Sudan I would get away from junk food, midnight snacks, and raiding the refer when ever I wanted to kind of stuff.  And I did.  I am eating good meals and almost zero snacking.  So why I am still a chunko?  One word... Florence...  she cooks to good.

Florence Nabaziwa is a 26 year Ugandan.  She was born in Kampala, Uganda and still calls that home.  Florence is the head cook for most of the staff and all the missionaries who come tramping through here.  She has a certificate of education and a certificate in catering.  She told me that she loves serving God here, but really misses her four year old son Jerico and her family who are back in Kampala. Like in most parts of the world, many people have to go to where they can get work.

I get to see Florence everyday because I can't seem to stay away from the mess hall.  She always has a warm smile and a hello for me and she is a kick to be around.  Thanks Florence for keeping me  round and robust.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gather Around The Flag Pole

Every morning before school, over 500 students and staff gather around the flag pole and say their national anthem and pray. Some of you might remember when we use to do stuff like that.  I zoomed in on the four year olds and one little guy seems to be giving another little guy some much needed advice. Yesterday we had a nice rain that really cooled things off which was real nice while it lasted.  Back to hot and hotter today and is supose to really warm up the next few days.  You can bet old chunko here doesn't move to fast when it heats up.  Come to think of it, I don't move to fast anytime, anymore.  Keep moving forward though, right?  Been doing some interesting interviews lately.   I hope to share them with you as time goes by.  Thanks for reading this,  Blessings from Harvesters in South Sudan.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

R U Crazy!!! Alaska to South Sudan

If you could go anyplace in world, why would you pick Southern Sudan? 
Stacey and Denver Urlaub have  an easy answer for that question.  They have been supporting three kids at Harvesters for three years and those kids kept inviting them to come all the way From Alaska to the other side of the world.  So they ask God and they felt very comfortable that He wanted them to go, so they did.  They spent a month here and God use them a very good way.  They spoke and taught and built things.  But I think they would say that building relationships with the kids was the most important thing that happened.  I only got to be around Stacey and Denver for a few days, but it was long enough to know they are very kind and generous people and the kids here really enjoyed them being here. 
If you ever thought of really stepping out on a limb a little bit and maybe coming to a place like Harvesters, Denver and Stacy allowed me to post their email in case you might have some questions about their vacation that turned into a mission trip they will never forget.    drop them a line or two....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jane Gummoh Owanga

I so wanted to be able to upload video from here, but as of now it doesn't look like that is going to happen until I get back to the US.  I wanted you to hear the wonderful accents and see the beautiful character in the faces of all these interesting people that make up Harvesters.  We obviously have a lot of Sudanesse people, but also Kenyans, Ugandans, Yanks, and a few Aussies and Kiwis thrown in to spice things up a bit.  So for now I will just try to give a brief discription of some of the characters that make this boat float....

Jane Gummoh Owanga was born in Kakamega Western Kenya 34 years ago.  She is of the Luhya tribe and is also single.  Jane has a college level certificate and is the office manager for Harvesters. She loves kids and  the Lord but she came from Kenya for the work.  Finding someone with Jane's skills was not easy to do, but God sent them Jane.  To give you an idea of the compassion in this womens heart; she is supporting 15 kids as they get their education.  These are not her bilogical kids, but she is like a mother and a father to many of them.  She has a warm and gentle spirit and I am proud to call her my friend.

If you would like to send Jane a word of encouragement you can contact her @   or facebook @ Jane Gummon Owanga

Sunday, March 10, 2013

African Food

I guess it fair to call the food we eat African food because we are eating it in Africa.  However, I must say that the cooks do the best they can to make us comfortable with our food.  Every lunch and dinner we have beans and rice.  The rice is normal white rice and the beans are a red bean cooked in a tasty sauce.  For every meal  they try to add a side of some kind, such in the this pic we had green beans for the first time and a potato salad made without the tradtional mayo.  We have had chicken a few times and a taco thing one time.  Today is Sunday and for lunch after church we we had a treat of mashed potatoes, fried chicken, and green beans and as always, rice and beans.  Dinner is always left overs from lunch.  Breakfast is almost always oatmeal and bannanas.  Sunday mornings we have had omlettes and one time we had pancakes.  I have to say I am very pleased with the food that they give us.  I not losing the weight like I wanted, so I must be hitting the feed bag pretty good....
Now I am going to spend the rest of the day and night trying to upload an interview with Ms. Jane Owanga, a very interesting yough women....

03/10/13 Day 498 24,797 Total Miles

Well up loading photos and videos has turned into a real problem.  I tried for 16 hours to upload a great little interview with Jane Owanga, a staff member here.  Didn't work.... ugh!!!  Decided to send you this picture of our mess hall along with one of the inside and also a typical plate of food.  After an hour and half I gave up trying to get more than one picture on a blog.  I am going to send this and try and send another blog with the food info.  Thanks for your patience....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Compound Walk About 03/07/13

This a quick tour of about 1/3 of the compound.  Hopefully in the future I will be able do some editing and the quality will be better.  It took over 14 hours to download this little video onto my blog site.  I hope I can figure out something quicker down the road.
God Bless all of you and I hope you enjoyed this little tour Harvesters Reaching The Nations in Yei, South Sudan

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Scary Video

I recorded this last weekend by holding the camera in my hand.  Besides being to close, it is obvious that I need a trim.  That's alright as this was the first in a series of experiments.  Blessings.....

Orphanage Church

I arrived at the orphanage last Saturday and got to go to their church the next day.  All the kids attended as well as most of the staff and many locals.  They have come along way in the last twelve years.  It was exciting being there for the first time....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

3/6/13 Countryside

This is a photo shot at approximately 1,500 feet as we are flying into Yei, South Sudan.  We are right on the outskirts of town in this photo.  You may notice that some of the buildings have metal roofs.  Just a few miles futher out there are many grass huts spread out but no metal roofs and hardly any roads,  mainly just trails.
I had a few photos I wanted to add, but apparently my system is only going let me do one at a time....
We will keep working on that....

Ugh Picture

Going half way around the world didn't help my looks any......  In the process of trying to put a video up on my blog I tried using my web cam and this is what we are stuck with.....  Images will get better, I promise....


I finally got a picture to download.  Been having a lot of techy problems since I got here Saturday.   I am meeting with someone after dinner tonight to see if we figure out how to put some video up.  There are so many interesting people and things going on, I would love for you see it on video.  Anyway this is a picture of the plane we took from Entebbe, Uganda to Arua, Uganda and then to Yei, South Sudan.  The last two airports had dirt runways and I had this wonderful since of being like Indiana Jones as we slide down these runways.  It was so cool (actually it was very hot) the pilot had his arm out his window as we are getting ready to take off.   Hopefully, I will be posting soon..

Sunday, March 3, 2013


A note to let you know I made it to Yei, South Sudan.  I will be here for two months working with an organization called Harvesters Reaching The Nations.  I am on a compound that has an orphanage, school, and a recently added hospital.  I am very excited to be here and plan on boring you to death with posts about the amazing things that God is doing through this outfit.  I have also tried my hand at adding a video clip.  Will see how that goes.....  Thanks for your prayers....Dave