Kakuma is the Kiswahili word for 'nowhere.' Two weeks ago several WGM leaders, Deng Jongkuch - a South Sudanese Lost Boy, and I traveled from Logichoggio in northwestern Kenya to Kakuma. You can see that we are headed . . . . nowhere.
As the hills rise out of the scrubland, so a city was raised up 20 years ago to meet the needs of the thousands of Sudanese who were walking south out of Sudan, looking for a place to lay their heads and call home. It is called Kakuma Refugee Camp.
When given a chance to speak at a function a common way to begin a talk here in Kenya is to start by saying, "I don't have much to say!" Today, I don't have much to say because Tim Rickel, one of our team, has already said it really well. Please go to his blog and meet Deng, pictured below. Here are just a few pictures to accompany his thoughts about our trip.
Deng stands in front of the gate where he heard his name called, telling him he had the opportunity to go to the United States.
Deng sits in Pastor Mubarak's church in Kakuma Refugee Camp. Pastor Mubarak is from the Nuba mountains where fighting is currently going on.
Team members Vera Steury and Karen Duncan meet with the women and pray for their needs.
Nothing is wasted, not even the tins from cooking oil distributed by the United States Agency for International Development. An entire church was roofed with these homemade shingles. Is that 'going green' or what!?
Deng showed us where his tukel (hut) used to stand.
Although it had been many years since his last visit many excitedly remembered Deng and crowded around when he showed up unexpectedly in his old neighborhood.
As Thanksgiving approaches here are a few thoughts:
- If you haven't had to leave your home due to threat or persecution - thank the Lord. Pray for the 42 million men, women, boys and girls uprooted worldwide. In Kakuma Refugee Camp alone there are twice as many people than those living in Marion, Indiana where WGM has it's International Headquarters.
- Pray that the pastors ministering in the Kakuma Refugee Camp and town of Kakuma will be empowered to share light and hope. Those WGM has met are: Pastor John, Pastor Kenneth, Pastor Mubarak, and Pastor Benjamin.
- Pray with WGM as we continue to explore what God might have us do in light of these incredible opportunities.
- Have you had a "hunger" day this month? (see Tim's blog for the definition of a hunger day) If not, praise the Lord for keeping hunger at bay. Consider giving a gift to WGM's crisis relief fund to help the Church reach out to people in crisis on one of WGM's fields.
- Pray for the people of the Yida Refugee Camp in northen South Sudan. Over the past several months people from Kordofan which is now part of (north) Sudan have fled their homes due to bombing. And last week the refugee camp where they have sought refuge was bombed too.
- To learn more about the Lost Boys of Sudan read, What is the What by Valentino Achak Deng or watch God Grew Tired of Us.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His contenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Numbers 4: 24-26