Wednesday, July 29, 2015


This blog is for those of you who like details. Many of our dear friends and family are asking questions about what our new home/life will be like in Doro. Let me try to fill you in. Above is a map of South Sudan and if you look at the upper right hand corner you will see arrows that show where Melut is (where we used to live) and where Doro is- where we're moving in 6 days. You can see that we are very close to the Ethiopian border.

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This picture shows just one frame of the many white refugee tents that dot this county. Because of fighting and unrest in other parts of the country, many thousands of people, from varying tribes have fled and settled in Maban County. At the beginning of 2015, the numbers of refugees were 130,000. That was before the situation worsened so I imagine there are even more now.

So this is where we're moving. We are very humbled and thankful for how God has provided us with a great house for our family.  We will have plenty of room and I'm most excited about having space for hosting and having a whole room to set up as our schoolroom!

There is no electricity or running water so we will use solar power for lights, fans (at night) and charging electronics. Another thing I'm so excited about is that we'll have an indoor, western style toilet! Since there is no running water, we will just flush it with a bucket.

I will cook on a 2-burner propane stove but since propane is so expensive to get in South Sudan, I am also taking in a nice charcoal "jiko" or stove. This way when I'm cooking something like beans or meat that takes longer, I won't use up our gas quickly.

We will not actually be on the SIM compound. This house belongs to a missionary family with another organization so we will be on a small compound with one other missionary family that will join us in September. We already know these folks and LOVE them, so this will be yet another wonderful aspect of our new home!

At the SIM Doro base, the majority of our missionaries are nurses and medical staff. SIM has a hospital, clinic and nutrition village very near to the compound. There is also a secondary school - the school actually began in Yabus and was on our compound 'back in the day' but had to transfer to Doro because Yabus had become unstable. Besides medical work and education, there is also a water project - providing clean water for the many hundreds of thousands of refugees - and a great evangelism and discipleship movement going on. As you can see, this is a very exciting place to be and the ministry opportunities among the many different tribes who have moved to Doro for safety, are endless!

We aren't sure what our first month in Doro will look like but we imagine it will take time to get unpacked and settled into our new house, do some exploring around and get to know the market and local area, connect with old friends, and then Eli will begin his discipleship work. To start out, that will mean lots of meeting together with pastors and leaders of different churches in the area, discussing the different materials he has for teaching, and creating a vision and plan together. We would really appreciate your prayers in this.

Right now, it is still rainy season in South Sudan so we've got our mud boots and bug repellent packed. We hear there are many cases of malaria and many bugs! Will you stop and pray for our family's health and safety when we head in? We've all started our anti-malarials already.

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Because there are so many different tribes in the Doro area, we have not picked a specific people group to work with. We are thankful we know Arabic and that Arabic is commonly spoken among the different tribes and in the Doro area. We are looking forward to visiting different churches in the many camps and we pray we will be an encouragement to the believers there.

Hopefully you can hear the excitement in this post. We are deeply grateful to the Lord for opening His good plan for us and guiding us in this direction. Though there are many uncertainties and changes in our future, we remember: "this Hope (our God) is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls." Hebrews 6:19.

We fly into Doro this coming Tuesday, August 4th, on a small AIM AIR plane loaded down with 300 kg to start over in a new place. 6 days and counting!

1 comment:

Grace Womack said...

Eli & Bethany,
So glad you are going to Doro! I know you will do well there. So much opportunity to minister. Wish I could be there with you. Hug Cathy, Vicki, Sandy & Christiane for me. Greet Tabitha and Mary for me. Love you and your family and will be praying for you. Love, Grace