3.18.2011

breaking ground

It has not been that long since we started digging in and really pushing hard for the development of South Sudan.  So much has been done and so much more is needed.  We now have decent roads from Rumbeck to Cueibet and an excellent vehicle for transportation.  The local community has embraced us in every way and we have an open door to help change this entire community.  As I write this the 2 wells are being finished, one for the community and one for our next project... Agriculture.   I will be the first to admit that I personally know nothing about this issue.  However, what I do know is this; it has fallen on us to be the very people to research and develop a system of irrigation to coincide with our newly drilled water resources.  As far as I know we are still the only ones partnering with these beautiful people to assist in their personal rebuilding of their nation.  Each region is very different from the next and the needs of South Sudan are greater than I can list.  But we know what the Gok Dinka have expressed to us personally.  We are not reaching the whole of the south, only one region.  Water, agriculture, and education..... this is our vision.  I personally believe we can develop a system of agriculture that will far surpass anything the South has ever seen and empower the people to become self sufficient.  They have been running for the greater part of 5 decades and those who are now in place have never known anything except survival.  They have not been given the chance to develop.  But a new day has come.  South Sudan has successfully separated from the north and the iron grip of tyranny and control has ended.  Now is the time for development. Now is the time for change.  We have a wide open door to move ahead and give hope to a people that have never known anything but fear and insecurity.   Join us in this mission.  Help us change the face of a nation.  We welcome any input, thoughts, experience......  we need all the help we can get.   Against all odds everything that we have put our hand to has succeeded and I have no doubt this endeavor will follow suit.   Thanks again to everyone who has sacrificed to see this through.  Stick with us. 

3.07.2011

A very belated post

Everybody-

Jason arrived back in KS safe and sound, Land Rover delivered to Cueibet and all. I wanted to post this note that Jason wrote while waiting to come home in Nairobi. For the present, we are sifting through hours and hours of video and pictures. We have enough to make a seriously cool feature-length presentation. I'll update soon, but here's a word from Jason:

"I'm now back in the land of SUV's and over priced coffee. No not America, but Nairobi, Kenya. I just made it to the airport and will wait about six hours for the flight to Brussels. I has been a wild ride for the last few days but all is well.



One of the kids at the orphanage in Nimule

Our time in Juba proved to be very valuable. We arrived in the afternoon and met the man who had been directing me over the phone. Onek Brian Juma served as our driver and his knowledge of Juba (the largest village in the world) was extremely valuable. When we met Gabriel Mayel I had no idea how well connected he really was. He took me straight to the Minister of Finance's office and pushed us through the crowds to get into his office. There was standing room only, there were at least 50 to 60 people trying to see this man but Gabriel pushed us to the front. He explained what we needed and the Minister seemed to be put out and said we need to file with the appropriate channels. He then whispered in Gabriels ear and we left in a hurry. Gabriel's said we need to get a few documents together and he would do everything tomorrow morning. I went to the internet cafe and found it closed so we just went to the hotel and slept. I left everyone at he hotel and went to the cafe to download all the documents, however everything opened late that day. I went to the 3rd cafe and just decided to wait. After downloading the documents and getting back to Gabriel it was about 10:30. Se we left to go back to the ministry of finance and found a crazy scene. Now, I still don't have not watched the news so I don't have all the facts. Another minister working in the building was assasinated by some one close to him in the building. So this place was on total lockdown. The soldiers would not let us near the place. However Gabriel would not take no for an answer. In less than 15 mins we were pulled out of the crowd, walked through a crime scene and met the Minister of finance alone in his office. He made quick work of an exemption letter and we were on our way. You cant buy favor like that. We the took the letter to customs and cleared in a few hours. Gabriel has been absolutely amazing in all of this and there will be more to come on our new relationship with him. It was about 5 o'clock and we decided to head out for Rumbeck. I needed to meet with a few different people in Cueibet and had no time to rest. We drove off road through the night and made to Rumbeck about 6am. Now it may have been delirium or pure imagination but I almost ran over a few hyena's and a huge porcupine, who knows. I "rested" about an hour and forty five minutes and set off for Chumnyiel.


H.E. John Kur posed with the Land Rover
The scene there was beautiful. The church had gathered to celebrate our arrival. The people were singing as we drove up and the feeling is not something I have words to describe. All of the long days of planning and dreaming with Randy in coffee shops and car lots. All of the unreal expectations we placed
 on ourselves. All of the things that seemed too great for us and out of our reach, have finally come to fruition. Every official, every customs agent, every single person who has seen this land Rover in Africa has assumed it is going to some rich white man. All assumed it was business as usual where the foreign aid lives in luxury while the locals walk to the community meetings of "development" and "change" and the foreigners drive back to the good life and leave the African with empty promises. Not this time. Not this day. Today the local Gok Dinka have been lifted "out of the dust" and are walking among princes. No longer do the sick have to wait hours or even days to have an audience with a doctor. Or a woman giving birth have to make due in the village due to lack of transportation. This single act of service will change this community. This changes all their lives. They know that the Lord esteems them, that their faith alone has brought them blessings. This year will be a milestone for the Gok. This marks the beginning of community development and prosperity. Thank you to everyone one of you who sacrificed to see this through. It was not in vain. I dare say that even if it were only for this day, that it was all worth it, the sacrifice was worth it.

There is still so much work to be done in the next few months. Its always a bit staggering to think about the level of development that the newest country in the world needs. They have been left with truly nothing but now is the time to rebuild. Continue to stick with us as we give ourselves to this community. This will not happen over night or even in a few months but we can and will raise these beautiful people out of the dust."