The preparations in the last couple of weeks have been exciting! I had the opportunity to Skype with Steve last Sunday and ask him the question that everyone has been asking me: “Is it safe there?” I was very glad to hear his response (mostly because it assured me that I hadn’t been lying to everyone when I brushed off their questions with a shoulder shrug and “its not too bad”). He told me that because there are only 30 miles of paved roads in the whole country and most of the conflict was happening pretty far north, very little trouble reaches them. He also said that they are far enough from the border that any trouble that takes place there doesn’t reach them, either. Also, the place that I will be staying is a stone’s throw from one of the UN buildings in the city. That news really allowed me a sigh of relief. He reminded me that Yei is a fairly large city, population 170,000 people, so it is necessary to be wary of pickpockets and the like in the market. That doesn’t sound like anything I can’t handle. He did, however, say that it won’t be a matter of IF I get sick, but for how long. His hopes are that it will only last a day or so. Thank goodness, I guess.
It still isn’t very clear exactly what I will be doing while I am there, but I am convinced that this trip will be as much about learning as doing. I am anxious to see what the schools and “churches” are like. I was very excited over the weekend to learn that some of the youth leaders seem to be having trouble reaching the adolescents; working with teenagers is not only something I can do, but something I love immensely! Steve also mentioned that he would like me to sit in on a church planning session led by he and his wife and to help at the Eden Teaching Farm as they harvest in July. As if that is not enough, he may need my help in building a solar food dehydrator/dryer! His wife, Diantha, may also find a way for me to help with some of the village health training she is doing. As I sit here typing this, I am having a hard time staying in my seat because I am so excited! I feel so blessed that God is allowing ME the opportunity to take part in this! I keep questioning how I could be so lucky.
Please continue to pray for me and for my trip this summer. I cannot put into words how important it is to me to feel that I am supported in this “crazy” adventure!