Thursday, August 29, 2013

MWP Introduces NEW WEBSITE & BLOG


MWP turned 10 years old this past April, and we continue to celebrate the many ways God has redeemed hearts, transformed lives, and restored dignity through our partners!

We began by introducing our new family crest (click to read what our crest means).

Today, we are very excited to announce our new website!  We have three primary goals with this new site:
  1. For YOU to know all you can about what MWP is doing to end human trafficking
  2. How YOU can be involved.
  3. Make it EASIER for YOU to share the story.
Please take a tour around MAKEWAYPARTNERS.ORG and let us know if we hit our goals!   

(If our old website is what you see when you go to makewaypartners.org, please hit F5 on your computer to refresh.)

Then, help us by sharing our new website with your friends, family, church, and coworkers. The easiest way to share is to forward this email or facebook post.

Share with 10 friends, send us their email address, and we’ll send you a FREE Make Way Partners coffee Freedom Mug!  Help us continue to save lives by telling the story!

Love, your sister along the trail of remembrance and celebration,
k

Monday, August 26, 2013

FREE Copy of Passport through Darkness!


GREAT NEWS!

We have an exciting week of news for Make Way Partners... so stay tuned!

To get things rolling my awesome publisher (David C Cook) is running a promo just TODAY AND TOMORROW August 26-27: they are giving away FREE downloads of Passport through Darkness for Kindle, Nook, Sony and all electronic platforms!  So, if you already have a hard copy, enjoy a free e-copy.

The main point is to help us go viral with the powerful story of what God wants to do in and through our lives.

Three things you can do TO HELP:

1. Forward this email to everyone you know, so they can get a free copy too!

2. Go to my author facebook page to “like” and “share” the link today!

3. Go to DCCebooks.com to see participating retailers and download your FREE copy of Passport through Darkness!


So far God has used Passport through Darkness to raise more than $1,000,000 for our orphans. Let’s keep sharing the story!

Love, your sister along the journey,
 k


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Time Marches On



I have crossed the border from South Sudan into Uganda. Compared to Sudan Uganda is a virtual Disney Land. I have electricity, running water, and a roof over my head! Milton will join me here on Saturday, and we will spend the next week investing in the young men we have here on scholarship.

The hotel where I am staying has a simple garden. Early yesterday morning I passed through it making my way to breakfast. A large tortoise surprised me at the edge of a low hedge. He looked like such thick-skinned grandfather, I would’ve placed a pair of round spectacles on the bridge of his nose if only I’d had them.  That first cup of morning coffee beckoned me onward so I hurriedly took his snapshot, and left him soaking up what little sun he could draw from the heavily overcast sky.

About two in the afternoon I passed through the garden once again. I took note that not only was the aged hardback in the same spot, but it didn’t seem he’d even changed the position of his head. Smiling at him, I took another photo and went on about my business. Finally, about seven pm, I passed through the garden yet again. There old-wrinkle-nose sat as if slowly, deeply pondering the problems of the world.

This time I squatted beside him for awhile, hoping some of his secrets would seep into me. Not much transpired, so we both settled for snapping one final photographic image. Like the wrinkles gathered about his neck, time and trouble swirled around my new humpback friend, but neither seemed to much bother him.

I envy the stillness of ol’-wrinkle-nose. No telling how many people pass him in a day, much less how many horrible, angry, or sad stories he hears. While time marches on in a flurry, nothing shatters Tortoise Peace. While I doubt it’s faith that stills the tortoises of our world, I can’t help but wonder if they’re not put on earth, in part at least, to help we humans get a picture of what faith looks like. Stillness. Patience. Becoming gatherers of wrinkles rather than storms.

Life can feel like one big storm after another, interspersed with occasional days of overcast skies and sprinkled with rare days of brilliant sunshine. My last few days in Sudan were most certainly of the brilliant-weather-system variety.  Matt, Nick, Olivia and I played, prayed, dreamed, and swapped stories with 15 of our high school students at New Life Ministry.

Stephen, Mangar, Josephine, Masalina, Mary, Bakhita, Priscilla, Siliana, Peter, Majok, Luka, Agazio, Junaselina, Abraham, and Job have seen and experienced a brutal side of life that merely listening to in stillness requires the vast grace of God. Yet, there they are—these mighty young men and women of courage and character, searing flaws and flaming love—clamoring for not just life, but also skills and education so that they might change the world as they’ve been forced to endure it.

They dream of being doctors, preachers, teachers, ministry leaders, faithful lovers, patient parents, and most of all, to know their lives make a difference in the Kingdom of God. They already do make much difference, especially for the younger students they lead at NLM, but they dream of so much more.

These 15 teenagers have a perspective on life that few in our world can offer. As their parents were, they were born into war. Only whereas war normally shuts down all aspects of life except mere survival, these children have had the rare experience of being educated in the midst of bombs, slave raids, famine, and disease.

By the grace of God, we’ve succeeded in saving their lives. Now, their spiritual, emotional, and mental formation are paramount to them carrying the torch for the future. Africa, especially this Northeast corner bordering the Middle East, has long been central to much of the world’s wars, corruption, and economic impact. Even more so, it plays a major role in eternal spiritual developments.

The significance of higher education flowing through a Christ-centered environment can make the difference between saving a few lives and changing the course of history. This new high school will include solar-powered computers and a science lab to equip and prepare these mighty Christian leaders with a solid foundation in all aspects from politics, to economics, to various fields of healthcare.

This far-fetched dream of higher education is currently only about 50% funded. You will find the full proposal and needs at this link: www.makewaypartners.org/MakingDreamsComeTrue.html.  Please consider partnering with us in the ongoing transformation of young lives set to change the tides of time.

Although I never saw my wrinkled-neck, round-backed friend take a single step, I know he moved because this morning he was on the opposite side of the garden. Faith teaches us to be still, turning the problems of Stephen, Mangar, Josephine, Masalina, Mary, Bakhita, Priscilla, Siliana, Peter, Majok, Luka, Agazio, Junaselina, Abraham, and Job over to our Father who remembers them through every pain. Yet, it is love—His love for and in us—which drives us into the action that He equips us to take, in His name, on their behalf.

Others may never see us take the steps, nonetheless, the evidence of our children’s lives will tell the toll of God’s love moving through us.

Love, your tortoise sister along the slow-but-sure journey of redemption,
k


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Monday, August 19, 2013

Only One More Seat



Francis is a teacher at our school in Nuba Mountains, where Make Way Partners currently educates 400 orphans. Only One More Seat is his life story as he shared it with Matt McGowen.  

My name is Francis. I am 20 years old and have spent the past year as a teacher in the Our Father’s Cleft primary school.  The war broke out in June 2011, when I was in Form 2 (a sophomore in high school).  The High School closed down and the Kenyan and Ugandan teachers fled to get away from the fighting.

When the school closed down, I worried my dreams of becoming a teacher were over. My family had no food and I had no way of earning money. But I heard that a school had been started for refugees in Pariang, South Sudan, so I traveled there.  The trip was long and hot by footing.  Finally I arrived there and found out that the school had not yet begun. I waited for 3 months for the school to start, but soon my little money got finished because food and supplies are so expensive.  After my money was finished I had nothing left for school fees. I was so disappointed and began walking home.

By the time I footed back to the Yida refugee camp, I was exhausted. The whole time I was walking I kept praying for someone to give me a ride back home, but no one would stop for me. When I arrived in Yida I saw a Land Cruiser and went to see if they had space for one more person. I kept praying that maybe this one might have a space for me.  Inside the Land Cruiser were Joseph (OFC Director) and Amos (MWP Field Health Manager).  I have known Joseph my whole life because he is a leader in our church.  He told me he had started a school for orphans. Only one space was available in the Land Cruiser and before I even asked, Joseph offered the space to me!

From Joseph: “The vehicle was almost full, we had space for only one more person. The Land Cruiser was borrowed and the driver was really pushing us to hurry. So many people wanted a ride but I felt the Lord saying to me that there was one person He had in mind. So, I prayed and waited for the Lord to send that person. When I saw Francis, I knew that this was the person God told me to wait for.  On the way back home I offered Francis a job teaching at the OFC school. Since Francis has almost 2 years of secondary education, he is more qualified than most to teach primary school.”

I could not believe it when Joseph offered me the last seat on the Land Cruiser. And then he offered me a job! My dream of becoming a teacher was not impossible because NOTHING is impossible with God!  I do not have the education I need, but the little education I possess is enough to help the orphans at OFC School.

As I teach, I am not only giving knowledge but I am also receiving knowledge. I pray that with the money I earn I can one day pay my school fees and get more education so that I can be an even stronger teacher. For now, I am doing the best I can for my people.

I always pray to God everyday so that he might create peace in Sudan so that we might get a better quality education for our future life.  I thank you all very much for the support and your hearts toward us.  Thank you for the love and honor you have for your fellow Sudanese brothers and sisters. I ask God to give you more knowledge and support so that you may continue to give to the needy. I ask you to continue to pray for us so that peace and stability may one day come.

Thank You
Your brother in Christ, Francis



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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Reuben Saved from Rabies by Guest Blogger Amos Maganga


From Guest Blogger Amos Maganga, Field Health Manager

One day when I was recently serving at HFS, we received tragic news – Baby Reuben, son of HFS Logistician James Okwan’g - had been assaulted by a neighbour’s dog while sitting in front of his family’s tukel. The child is only 9 ½ months old.  The dog was attracted to a piece of meat that the baby was holding in his hand.  When Reuben would not give the dog the meat and became scared, the dog attacked Reuben, biting the child on the penis.

This was of course a terrible emergency. The wound was superficial but the major concern was rabies. Rabies vaccine is a rarely available vaccine in health facilities within South Sudan. At the same time, many rabid dogs freely roam villages, leaving inhabitants prone to dying from Rabies and wild animal bites.

Peter Ihire head nurse at HFS reported, ‘We had one 13-year-old boy from our village bitten by a dog. The child developed fever and convulsions and eventually died because there was no treatment available. This was typical rabies. In due course the boy had bitten a pregnant Woman who was saved by being taken to a referral hospital 4 hours away. Rabies is fatal.’

After Reuben was brought to us, the first place we checked was with the Torit State Hospital.  However, the State Hospital had no anti rabies vaccine.  Romano, HFS Director, drove 4 hours to Juba in order to secure 2 doses of the Anti Rabies Vaccine. Romano rushed to Juba and back to HFS and praise God, the child was saved.

We eventually found the follow up vaccine doses at a private clinic in Torit and purchased the required doses. By working together, this life has been saved.

James and his wife Joyce Abao, pictured above, cannot withhold their appreciation and gratitude to Romano and MWP for the support of ensuring that the Anti Rabies vaccine is readily available for Reuben to be given at intervals.

Amos Maganga
Field Health Manager

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Monday, August 12, 2013

The Sound of Silence

By the time you read this I will be in the air on my way to Sudan. Matt, Nick, and Olivia are with me, and we once again find ourselves carrying the pregnant silence that always comes with the anticipation of wondering “What will God do now, next—in us, among us, with us, and in those we meet?”

In Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, Frederick Buechner writes of the silence of Jesus in response to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Buechner shares, “What Jesus lets his silence say is that truth is what words can’t tell but only tell about, what images can only point to. The weight of these sad times is the weight of their eloquent silence…”

Sad times and Eloquent silence. These four words more aptly capture the weight of glory and the darkness of despair in a precious child who’s lost all hope and has no one to point the way than anything I’ve ever considered. Often when meeting such a child, I—the woman who loves words—find myself wordless. In the past I have bitterly judged myself for not being a “good steward” of the people God has led me to if I cannot share their stories and mobilize others to help them. Gradually, I am learning silence is sacred and is the first evidence of our looking to God, just as when Jesus was silent before Pilate, the Stone-Throwers, His dead friend Lazarus. All His words and actions came after the holy silence.

I think part of my comfort in words is that they can easily help to size up a problem and carve out a solution. Whereas all of life’s deepest suffering comes not from the ABCDs of solvable, albeit complex, problems (like the ones that if we do X then problem Y goes away) but rather ones that defy human rectification, drive us to our knees, render us powerless, and cause us to weep wordless prayers to a God whose ways are not our own.

These broken moments of life are the cracks in our walls where the real work of God takes place. The same holes which we try to stuff with wordy prayers, until finally the hammering story of another breaks through the mortar of our own and we, at last, helplessly weep with another—unable to separate their tears from our own puddling together at our feet. Then, and only then, our holy water breaks and surrender is born.

How I wish you were physically alongside us, feeling both the weight of glory and darkness of despair which our children carry with resounding silence. For now, I ask you to be with us and our children by taking time each day to let the spoken and unspoken words of their lives mingle with your own experience of needing to know God in the silence, and eventually hear Him speak as well as see Him work in your life.

Love, your sister along the silent journey,
k


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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Prayers for Our Nuba Orphans Needed!


As adults it’s very difficult to remember what it’s like to be a child. By the time most of our bodies have grown up, we’ve tasted enough success that we do everything within our power to steer away from any risk of failure, loss, or pain. So, we work hard to walk within the lines. We don’t play as wildly, laugh as deeply, cry as easily, love boldly, or allow our fears to be seen. In other words, we control ourselves and as much of our environment as possible. Then suddenly we surprise ourselves with how childishly we act when something unexpected happens and we are forced to face how utterly powerless we are.

Catching myself in such childish behavior, whether it be an angry outburst or turning a cold shoulder, is never fun but it does cause me to remember how much of life is out of my control, how desperately I need God, and the fact that children live much closer to those truths than we adults, who keep trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, do.

No child knows the limits of her control or her desperate need for God better than an orphan in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. Even with as much time as I have spent in Sudan the last ten years, I still cannot imagine what it must be like to be born with the sound of bombs heralding your entrance into the world and never live a day of your life without the worry of when the next one will hit, and if it will be the one to mark your death.      

This week alone, nine more children were killed in a throng of bombs, and many more wounded. This three-minute video and subsequent article does a great job of helping us see what children face each and every day, without actually showing any the violent images: Nuba Article

Please continue to pray for our 400 orphans at Our Father’s Cleft and our truly heroic leader Joseph, who literally pulls the children from caves to save their lives. As soon as the rain slows down enough for the rivers to become passable, we will send more food, medicine, and building supplies. Every penny you give toward Our Father’s Cleft not only saves a child’s life, but through the daily loving care she receives, helps her to play wildly, laugh deeply, cry easily, love boldly, and talk about her fear—as all children should be free to do. Perhaps making it safe for a child to be a child just might even help us become genuinely childlike as well… “for such belongs the Kingdom of God”~Jesus

Love, your sister along the journey,
 k

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hungry by Guest Blogger Matt McGowen

From Guest Blogger Matt McGowen, Senior Field Coordinator

In a land where every day, week, and month is a fight for survival, July in South Sudan is exceptionally difficult.  By July, any food stored from last year’s harvest is long gone; the rains have come but this year’s crops have not yet been harvested. July is a lean month in South Sudan, a time when many starve to death. Families suffer. The most vulnerable widows and orphans have nowhere to turn.

Amos Maganga, MWP Field Health Manager, is based at Hope For Sudan for a few weeks conducting medical training with HFS staff and serving in the HFS clinic.  Last weekend Amos and Peter (head nurse at HFS) were awakened in the middle of the night to the news that four widows from the nearby village were at death’s door.

Amos and Peter rushed to the women and discovered that they all exhibited signs of poisoning.  These widows had no support system. They had been foraging for food and had discovered tubers that resembled yams.  They rejoiced at their good fortune and feasted on this root – the first food they’d had in days.  Soon, though, their bodies went into shock and they each lost consciousness – the root they had eaten was in fact poisonous.  Amos and Peter worked all night long to stabilize save the lives of these widows – and, though they were sick for days, by God’s grace all four recovered.

I can’t help but be struck, as I have been so many times before, by the harsh contrasts between my world and that of a South Sudanese widow struggling to forage for food for herself and her children. I get hungry for a snack in the evening after an enormous dinner and find a refrigerator full of options.  The widow searches day after day for nourishment and after finally discovering a morsel to eat, her joy turns to ashes in her mouth and poison in her belly.

Thank God that Amos and Peter were on hand to rescue these women.  God has used these men and our bare-bones clinics to save countless lives and grip innumerable hearts. Even the most basic medical care saves lives and creates tremendous opportunity for the Gospel to transform hearts.  As an old Gospel song says, ‘little is much when God is in it.’  God can take a one room clinic, rudimentary medical supplies and willing hands to accomplish the impossible.

Speaking of transformation – take a look at this photo!  Night, James Kanuto, and Awek (along with her mother, Abuk) have all received surgeries in Nairobi, Kenya and are continuing to recover in the home of Eugenio and Jane Kirima.  As you can see, the faces in this photo reflect transformation which runs much deeper than physical healing.  Night and Awek will be returning home soon.  James Kanuto will remain in Nairobi for a few more months as his leg continues to heal and he engages in physical therapy to learn to walk on crutches.  After more recovery time we will be able to explore fitting James with a prosthetic leg, which will greatly impact his quality of life. Eugenio tells us James is flat-out running on crutches!

These cases serve as constant reminders of the value of the MWP Faith, Hope, and Love Medical NetworkYour partnership is needed in prayer, hands-on service, and giving to build our in-country hospital.  Your partnership empowers us to maintain quality medical staff, save lives of widows and orphans, and fly extreme cases to Kenya for further treatment. In addition to this ‘day to day’ medical provision, your continued engagement allows us to keep taking steps closer to the dream of a Christ-centered holistic medical center in South Sudan.

Your participation has made a world of difference to four widows near HFS, along with Night, James Kanuto, and Awek. These lives will never be the same. Neither will they forget the Christ Who sent help. Participation, though, is not a one way street.  Entering the agony of the orphan and the widow means my life and your life will never be the same.  In God’s kingdom it’s the hungry who get filled, the broken who receive comfort, and the searching who are found. The widow and the orphan remind us that only One can satisfy our deepest hunger. Lord, help me know this true hunger today, and to share from the portion with which you fill me.

You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.
God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry.
Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.
You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning.
          Luke 6:20-21, The Message

Starving to become truly hungry,
Matt McGowen
Senior Field Coordinator

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