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Saturday in the life of the Perryclan

Maybe it feels a bit cooler because we have not been in air conditioning for over 2 months and are therefore adjusting to the heat, or maybe it actually is a bit cooler today because it's overcast and raining off & on.  Saturday is our favorite day here on the Harvesters' compound-- the children of the orphanage are not in school, so we get to spend more time together!  Here is a taste of our day on August 27, 2011...

Elizabeth and I get up while it is still dark, between 5 and 6, and use our battery-powered lamps to read Scripture, pray, and journal.  I call my mom on the cell phone (since the power is out, we have no internet to use Skype) and we actually connect-- it is still Friday evening for them.  We have a good chance to talk about some health issues she is facing (please pray).  The children gradually awaken and occasionally come out to check on us (and we send them back to their room).  The children at the orphanage awaken at 6 to the sound of the bell, then the singing for chapel begins at 6:40, which we can faintly hear from our house.

We start our day with a single pancake each, then most our children eagerly head out to find the other children at their chores.  Some are picking maize, some are washing their clothes in plastic tubs, others are mopping off the cement porches, and still others are "slashing" the grass... yes, the slashers are sharp as one boy can attest to, after a fourth stitch (Vicryl, figure eight) had to be placed a day after he was cut on the chin, as it was still bleeding!  I (Jeff) stay home for a while, trying to arrange for a driver for our upcoming trip to Kampala, Uganda, where we will attempt to purchase a vehicle and establish contracts with medical suppliers for the hospital, His House of Hope.  Sophia also stays behind to wash breakfast dishes-- we are blessed to have a dishwasher, and today that blessing is named Sophia!!  When we are done, we head out of our gate and toward the main compound to find the others.

I find Elizabeth talking with James B., one of the older boys that we enjoy so much, and several other older girls, as Hazel and Given "help" some of the children wash their clothes; Olivia is behind the dormitories picking and shucking maize with about 10-15 children; Logan is slashing grass with his friend Thomas; Lillie is playing with a group of kids in the playground; Winnie is being held by one of the older girls; Eva is mopping and cleaning with some of the girls.  (Follow the tab marked Gallery above to see pictures!)

I meet up with John, who is a gifted artist, and we head over to His House of Hope / Bet Eman to look at the signs that have been prepared by a recent group from the US.  We talk about how the writing should look and what it should say, and he begins work penciling in the lettering.  I then go to talk with some of the young men who work here on Saturdays, most of whom now live on their own just across the road, after leaving the orphanage.  Logan joins me then, and we begin slashing the grass around our house.

At noon, all of the Perry clan meets up at the house for a lunch of rice, beans, cabbage salad, and pineapple.  This is our time to reconnect in the midst of a day spent with the 155 children from the orphanage!  After lunch, Winnie and Given go to rest time, while the others spend a quiet 1-2 hours in the house.  Four older girls stop by to work with Elizabeth on a sewing project they have been working on the past few Saturdays-- aprons for the cooking staff!

Elli, a German missionary whose husband is the administrator for another medical clinic, stops by with several trees for us to plant-- avacado and meringa.  James B. has also stopped by, and he helps me plant these trees, along with Samuel, our guard (they all know far more than we do about local plants).  As we finish, some of the work crew comes by as they have finished their work day.  We discuss some medical ailments they have had (no HIPAA concerns here-- privacy is not a huge concern), and one of them walks with me over to the orphanage clinic and I give him some medications.  James and I then take some "rubbish" (trash or garbage in American English) we picked up in the yard to the pit near the edge of the compound, which smells badly and coincides with what I imagine the valley just outside Jerusalem where they threw trash must have been like.

Back at the house, Elizabeth continues sewing and discipleship with the girls, right up until five o'clock!  It has been a sleepy afternoon and is lightly raining, so we have to wake up the youngest two.  Dinner at five is a repeat of lunch, but we eat in the pyat ("meeting place" in Juba Arabic), for we have prayer meeting at 5:45.  Most of our children go to the boys' and girls' meetings held in the school classrooms, while Elizabeth and I head to the church with Olivia and our 2 youngest.  We love this time.  Sylvia, one of the older girls, leads out in a mixture of English and Arabic praise songs.  "Bi wala, bi wala, nur ta Yesua bi wala"-- (Shine, shine, the light of Jesus shines...) We then break into groups and begin praying for the different tribal groups in South Sudan: Dinka, Nuer, Tama, and others... as well as the global church.  It is wonderful to pray for and alongside people of different tribes and tongues... any given meeting at church involves 2-3 tribal languages plus Juba Arabic and English!  We close by praying for the church service that will happen the next day.

It is nearing 7PM, and it is getting dark.  Here near the Equator, it is light from 7-7, with little change during the year.  And here, when it gets dark, you go inside--because for one, it is very dark here (no city lights around!), and two, the mosquitoes come out--and with them, the risk of malaria.  Inside, we start filling plastic tubs (the same used by our house helper to wash our clothes) for the kids' baths.  Back in the US, we bathed our kids 1-2 times a week, but here where there is much dirt and no "tarmac" (asphalt), we do it 1-2 times a day!

The generator finally kicks on for the evening run to charge the batteries for the compound and provide power for the well pumps.  As we notice our water pressure is down a bit, I go outside with a flashlight, unlock the well house, and switch the pump on.  I stand there for about 15 minutes as the tank fills, as the sky grows black and the stars come out.  I can hear the sounds of our children in the house playing after their baths, as all of our windows remain open most of the time.  Across the back fence, through some teak trees, I can see the dim outline of Bet Eman (the clinic/hospital) under construction.

We meet in the living room and practice our memory verse (John 3:16 in Juba Arabic) and read more of the biography of Eric Liddell (Olympic sprinter and missionary).  After praying for the children, we begin tucking them in their mosquito nets and trying to get them to stay in their beds!  Bedtime is not as smooth as it used to be in the US.  We take our showers to rinse off the accumulated sweat and dust of the day (which doesn't bother us quite as much as it first did).  Elizabeth and I are tired, but we try to call a friend on his birthday (Happy Birthday, Tom!), chat briefly with another friend in New Orleans by Skype, and try to call her parents through Skype as well.  After tucking in our net, turning our fan on for some moving air, and turning off the light, we drift quickly off to sleep.

A missionary, originally from Sudan, now back serving here, says that "life in South Sudan is hard on the flesh, but good for the soul."  We agree.  And we thank God for the privilege of sharing life with the people here.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 19:16

The Perryclan NOW IN the newly formed Republic of South Sudan!

We praise God that we have finally made it to South Sudan!  Yesterday, July 9, we celebrated the inaugural Independence Day with the people of South Sudan.  Please pray that righteousness, not corruption, will prevail in the new government.

The children at the orphanage gave us a warm welcome, with a sign and singing.  We remembered many of the children there-- them having grown much since December 2007.  It was good to finally see our home (nearly complete) and the hospital in progress.  We live amongst fertile fields and banana, coffee (can I get an Amen?!), mango, teak, and papaya trees.  (It is said that South Sudan could feed all of Africa if farmed well-- and they are doing just that on the compound now!)

We are settling in to life here, and taking it day by day as we seek what the Lord would have us put our hands to initially.  There is much planning, hiring, and building relationships to be done before the hospital opens, so there is plenty to do as the construction continues.  There is very little to distract here, and we have had some of the sweetest times of praise, prayer, and worship as a family that we've ever had.  Though our schedules are far from clearly laid out, and we are not yet operating within our specific roles as we thought they would be, we have the conviction that we are we need to be, on God's time.

Our days are filled with relationship building, accent acquisition, language learning, family walks, seeing a few patients in the orphanage clinic, looking through supply lists for the hospital, deciding where to have the container placed (it will serve as our central supply area and is scheduled to arrive August 21), staining doors for the new house, greeting our fellow team members from Pioneers here in Yei (all of them from countries other than the US), getting used to sleeping under mosquito nets, working out nuances of hiring staff for our family and the hospital, playing with the children in the orphanage, and all the while, maintaining our closeness as a family.

Thanks for praying with us... we'd love to hear from you!  We'll keep updating this page, so check back!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 19:16

Praise God!: safely arrived in East Africa with all 8 children!

We thank our faithful God that we are here!  Our travel went smoothly, we made all our connections, and all luggage made it!  The children actually slept on the final plane flight, which rarely happens!

There were challenges: our first connection had us changing planes (with 8 children and 20 carry-ons) in only 55 minutes, but we were assured it was just a gate change within the same terminal... Well, it was the opposite side of the airport, then the car seat carrier's wheel kept falling off, we arrived to the gate and it was changed again...  I was reminded of the words of our pastor from New Orleans: "The devil is a liar," as he would have us despair in situations like this.  But God knows all, and the catering truck was delayed, so the plane was over an hour late!

We were greeted in Uganda by Ms. Amanda, the nurse with whom we'll be working in Sudan, and a group of Sudanese and Ugandan ministry partners.  Now we are at a guest house in the capital city of Kampala until our July 2 flight to Sudan.

Please pray with us for adjustment to the climate, culture, and time zone (the youngest two were up until 5 AM this morning!).

Thanks for your support and encouragement as we complete the "going" process!

Jeff & Elizabeth

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 19:16

June 20 Update: 8 days to departure!

Praise to our Lord Jesus-- we are ready to go!  Please pray with us as we make final preparations for departure-- we leave June 28th 11AM from Colorado Springs, fly through Amsterdam, and on to Uganda.  We arrive the night of June 29-- after 30 straight hours of travel!  On July 2, we make the 3 hour small plane flight into South Sudan.

Thank you to all who have been praying and giving toward our call from God to go to the people of South Sudan.  It  has been amazing to see the body of Christ in action.

Please pray:

1. For alertness, stamina, and safety as we travel on June 28-29, and again on July 2.

2. Adjustment to new culture and climate of East Africa.

3. Unity within our family as we transition out of the US.

4. Ability to complete the necessary logistical details over the next week.

 

Thank you again for your overwhelming support of us in this process!  We will update you more once we are on the other side of the pond...

In Christ,

Jeff & Elizabeth

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 19:16

May 14th Update: Departure June 28!

The tickets are bought and we leave in 6 weeks!  Despite seemingly insurmountable challenges to moving a family of 10 around the world, our God has shown Himself to be faithful to accomplish what He called us to do.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all-- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:31-32

Join us in praising Him:

1. Logistics in place: sold trailer & van, rented house, tickets and passports done, immunizations almost completed...

2. Monthly support: 99%

3. Prayer partners: 200% of original goal (but welcoming more!)

4. Safety and great connection with people and churches on our recent trip to the South, and even some time to rest and play as a family!

Please pray with us:

1. Final details to go smoothly and that we have time to get everything that is necessary done

2. Final trip to share with supporters and see Jeff's family in Washington and Alaska (May 29-June 16)-- safety and connection

3. That we would be at peace with one another and love each other well

4. That we remain connected to the Vine and speak His Word clearly as we share with others

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 19:16

Page 9 of 10

Our Mission:

Share the gospel of Jesus Christ and strengthen His Church through medical care and education, discipleship, and loving the people of South Sudan as a family.

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01/27 
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