As the title says- where do we even start? We really appreciate you taking the time to check out what we are part of here. The "long and short" of it is that we have a calling to make these people's lives a part of ours, and we invite you to join us.
Since our first trip in 2007, we have seen many things happen for the Gok Dinka in the Cuiebet area of Lakes State. Each time we have gone, there has been a specific mission in sight and different connections are made that open up amazing new possibilities beyond any of that which we could ever imagine.
Right now, we are planning for a trip in January of 2011. The specific group we have been visiting has been granted (by the government!) a nice plot of land, and anonymous donors have supplied the finances necessary to drill a well on their property. This is to be completed in September/October and will open up limitless possibilities for them- agriculture, brick making, drinking water, etc. It's like winning the lottery.
Our mission this time has become clear to us through a nice chain of events. We are in the process of obtaining a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to be shipped to Mombasa, Kenya, where we will pick it up and drive it through Kenya, Uganda and up into Southern Sudan. We intend on loading the vehicle with spare parts, tools, and other necessities prior to shipping it. We also plan to have the suspension outfitted for the conditions in Africa (very bad roads) and the undercarriage fortified for protection.
There is additional need for a group of young men from Cuiebet who are living in Nairobi, Kenya, attending school. Often times, you will hear them referred to as "lost boys." Well, we FOUND them in Nairobi and took up their cause as well. These young men all intend to return to Sudan when school is completed and will be working in positions of leadership and teaching.
We have tabulated these costs of getting us, the vehicle and the supplies over to Kenya and into Sudan and the cost is roughly 11k. The cost of the boys' tuition is about 3k every four months.
Until now, these trips have been funded by us working extra nights and weekends and by gracious few-and-far-between donations. This is quickly becoming bigger than just our little rag-tag group of people.
We are at the literal beginning of the rebuilding of a nation here. In January of 2011, Southern Sudan will have a referendum to vote whether to become an independent nation, and we plan on being there! In this area, there is literally NO ONE ELSE investing in these people. There is no humanitarian aid and the only medical presence in the area will be leaving in December of this year. This is your chance to make a real difference!
We are not the Red Cross, the UN, or UNICEF. Your donations don’t go to someone who you don’t know, but to people who are taking the money applying it directly to the people. There are no administrative fees and no salaries to be paid to anyone. ALL OF THE MONEY GOES TO BETTER THE GOK COMMUNITY. In fact, we accept that this is going to cost us as it always has, but we humbly ask for your help in any way possible, starting with your prayers.
On August 21st, we will be doing a free car wash in the bank parking lot on the corner of Santa Fe and Ridgeview in Olathe, KS, from 8 AM to 1 PM. We will be taking donations for this trip.
It is our desire to be 100% transparent in everything we do on this trip, and keeping everyone updated on the details. We are equipped to update this blog while on the road in Africa. Join us!
Thanks for reading,
-Jason and Randy on behalf of the group