Thursday, January 29, 2015

Got Fruit?

Are you up for a long, wordy update on Mango Ministry activities from last year?   I didn't think so:) This is a really long post only because it's mostly all pictures.  Even though I can't introduce you to the people in these pictures I hope you will spare a few minutes, get compfy in your favorite chair and travel to South Sudan with me to see what God has been doing and witness the fruit of your partnership in my ministry.

Adhanom (in the middle) continues to live with and mentor the leaders of the area where he lives.    Peter and Joseph are pastors and have been instrumental in the use of Bible Storytelling within their Church. The pastors of this church district have a hunger to learn more of God's word and now pastors from other districts want to be trained in the approach known as Simply the Story!  How cool is that?

This group of Community Health Evangelism trainees finished their third week of training in November.  They have one more week to go to finish.  That's scheduled for March.  Pray that the security situation will allow the training to take place.  Despite the insecurity these folks are changing the way they think and live.  Less illness in the home is being reported - yeah!  

Adhanom is a farmer at heart.  Here he is teaching about growing moringa trees.  Moringa is called The Miracle Tree and has so many uses.  The leaves are even a complete protein!  Pray for real fruit from agricultural training:  use of Farming God's Way to increase yield, planting moringa and mango trees, and lemon grass.

During the course of our CHE training over the past three years some really sharp people have been identified and we've been mentoring them to be Trainers.  In November a two-day Training-of-Trainers was held for seven of these up and coming trainers.  Seven men who can continue teaching what they've been learning and being role models in their villages!

It's not good enough to hear about building a safe fireplace.  You've got to see it and hopefully even get your hands dirty.  

This mud stove is an improvement over the traditional 3 stone stove, pictured below.  A fireplace like this means many tangible benefits for families - less time for the women to collect firefood each day and fewer burns by falling into the open fire to name two. 

Cooking for the participants during CHE training.  Maybe at the next training we should build an improved mud stove for the cooks! ;/

This is another class of CHE participants who finished their 4 weeks of training in November.  John and Beth Muehleisen, WGM missionaries, have been leading this training for the In Deed and Truth Ministry.  These men and women are changing the way their villages look at health and God. 

Active participation increases understanding.

Please pray for Mary and the 100+ men and women who have had their world enlarged and challenged through Community Health Evangelism training.  It's not easy to change the way you live, even when it's for the best.  (think of American's and their New Years resolutions!) Especially with pervasive insecurity that South Sudan is experiencing.

Dr. Carol Spears and I posed with the Tenwek Surgery team after a time of orientation and prayer before they headed to His House of Hope Hospital in Yei (spoken like yeah!) in November. 

The team operated during the day, and sometimes at night, relieving the staff while one of their Doctors was away.  The Tenwek surgical resident, Dr. John Kanyi, sure got practice with C-Sections.  Seventeen babies delivered during 15 surgeries.  

Here is one set of twins delivered!  Surgical facilities are few and far between in South Sudan.  We love the chance to bring new life into the world and share about new life in Jesus.  

Welcome to morning rounds after a day of cataract surgery! You've never witnessed a more joyful group of people than these South Sudanese when the patches are removed and they can see for the first time in quite awhile.  

Joyce (on the left), one of the Tenwek team, gets lots of hugs and kisses as she removes the bandages.      The staff and chaplains give praise to Jesus for this miracle and 'halleluia' is heard from many a patient.  253 patients received sight during a week of clinic.  

To be honest, it's a lot of work to arrange the logistics that go into sending the Tenwek eye team to South Sudan.  Seeing the smile on this woman's face I relent and exclaim, "It's all worth it!!"

Dr. Ben Roberts and one of his patients say, "Thank You" for giving and praying.  Your participation with Mango Ministries is making a difference in South Sudan.  Although insecurity in South Sudan curtailed much of what we had planned at the beginning of the year we are thankful for the opportunity to do what we did.  Our prayer is that all that was said and done will bring hope, the hope that only Jesus gives, to the people of South Sudan.  

2014 was a transition year for me.  Transitions can be good!  During my Homeland Ministry Assignment I had a welcome chance to take some slow deep breaths while being relieved of my responsibilities of overseeing the ministry in South Sudan.  

As always it was good to visit with all of you who support me through your prayers, finances, and encouragement.  A favorite event of mine - we again had a great time at the Kountry Kitchen last March.  

Sensing that God was about to do something new in my ministry I had the amazing opportunity to explore several aspects of WGM's ministry outside of Africa.  Like visiting this missionary training school in Argentina for Latin American's. 

I was also able to spend a few months in Nairobi this year helping to facilitate our ministries in South Sudan. 

With this New Year I am transitioning into a new role that is very exciting.  I'm now WGM's Compassionate Ministries Coordinator and I'm thrilled! 

As I make this transition the top 3 questions I'm asked are:
  • What will happen to Mango Ministries?
  • What will you actually be doing?
  • Where will you live?
This is plenty long enough so stay tuned for my next blog update when I'll answer those questions and more!

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