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Shifting and Sifting

We are “missionary refugees.”  As you may have noticed from other writings on this site, we are still the “Perryclan” but not currently “in South Sudan.”  While our heart is to be in South Sudan, the last of our team had to evacuate Yei, South Sudan in November of 2016, and His House of Hope – Bet Eman Teaching Hospital (HHH-BETH) had to reduce services to the point of caring for the orphans and staff on the compound only.

There are now over one million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, and nearly 400,000 in Ethiopia.  Yei is a key, central city in the southernmost part of South Sudan, and was relatively peaceful during most of the time since the civil war started in December 2013.  During 2016, however, groups who were dissatisfied with the government began forming in the bush around Yei River State and preparing to fight.  While Yei itself has remained in government control throughout, the rebel groups have surrounded it and cut off all roads in and out of the city.  Most of the local population fled to northern Uganda due to the fighting, lack of food, and absence of safety in which to continue planting, harvesting, trading, and doing normal life.

We, like many of the local population, have “shifted” to the West Nile Region of northern Uganda.  (The locals in the Moyo District say “shift” rather than “move” to describe a change in where one lives… though it is often pronounced “sift.”  For example, a man asked me “When are you ‘sifting’?” and I was confused as to what he was asking!)  Some of our missionary team shifted to northern South Sudan—Yida, a large transit camp for Nuban people fleeing from Sudan; others shifted to Kenya to help in mission hospitals, training doctors and nurses; others have shifted to Arua, Uganda, a central point from which many refugee services are coordinated; and others have shifted to their “passport” or “home” country to help with refugee care there, while helping with mobilization and support of missionaries.

In the process of “shifting,” there is also “sifting.”  The Lord has taken our team and dispersed us throughout East Africa and the world.  He is “sifting” us with regards to what we do and who we are in Him.  In Yei at HHH-BETH, there was a large, clearly-defined amount of work to be done every day.  We never had to wonder about our relevance.  In our new locations, we are struggling to find our way, as are the South Sudanese refugees.  In the process, there is great potential for outcomes that are not as tangible, but perhaps more fruitful

While the buildings of HHH-BETH sit undisturbed and unused, many of the relationships that were built within them continue, as each of our team discovers staff and patients living near where we have shifted.   When people are displaced, they are often more open to what God wants to communicate.  May we, and those we work alongside, receive what He intends through His sifting.

(The pronunciation of “s” versus “sh” in words has a long and sordid history… for those with further interest, read the story in Judges 12, particularly verses 5-6.)

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 September 2017 14:33

Olivia's Blog #5: (Guest blogger- Sophia Jade)

Hi, everyone! You may be wondering, “Where is Olivia?”  Well, I asked her if I could write a few blogs, and she said I could. So here we go…

We were in Arua on a mini family breather. It was about four and a half hour drive (minus the stops)!  We stopped three times— that’s a Perry record. Ok, it’s not really a record! You see, we brought our dog who is named Kwadja.  Anyway, the first stop was not even three minutes into the drive— when he threw-up.  He threw-up twice on that trip.   We were staying at a guest house— it was ok. We have seen better. Ok— to be honest with you, it was not all that nice. We spent most of our time at the “White Castle” swimming and seeing the few friends that we have in Arua. It was good to have a breather, from school and so forth. We were thinking of moving to the White Castle, but we could not because we had our dog. They said they have had people bring their dogs without asking and the outcome was not good. 

We are back home in Moyo, our kitten Puff is still alive and was happy to see us and Kwadja, too. All the animals are alive and well.  And we are settling back into life in Moyo. Thank you for praying with us! 

This is Sophia Jade…

Last Updated on Friday, 11 August 2017 15:08

In the New House: Olivia's Blog #4

I’m happy to say we moved into our house and unpacked.  The house hasn’t been lived in for a long time so there were a lot of bugs. During the first night there were bugs buzzing around, frogs making funny popping sounds and the crickets chirping. During the last few weeks we have been cleaning and getting stuff set up. We planted five nursery beds, and they have already sprouted. We also are working on the pigpen and goat shelter, had shelves and tables made, and started school again. Until next time... 

Writing from our new house,

Olivia  

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 July 2017 11:32

Back to Barefoot: Olivia's Blog #3

Well, we are back to barefoot once more. I don’t like to wear shoes, and neither do most of us kids! We found a house with a big backyard that is going to work for us. Dad and Logan took a trip to Kampala to get mattresses, a fridge and freezer, fans, solar panels, and so on. Us girls took advantage of it and watched most of the “Love Comes Softly” series by Jannete Oke. Amidst all of this Given and I have been brainstorming names for our pigs. Since we are getting two females and one male, I’m going to name one girl and Given is going to name the other. We agreed to name the boy “Hamwise Gamgee.” Hopefully we are going to move into the house soon after the workers get the power going.  It is rainy season in Moyo now, and it rains almost every night. As we walked back to the compound after church, it was pouring rain. Though it is only a four-minute walk, we were drenched. When it rains it rains heavy—no such thing as just a sprinkle!  Well that is all for now… ~Olivia 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 18:02

On to West Nile!: Olivia's Blog #2

We left Kampala and drove to Arua where we stayed for one day. The drive from Kampala to Arua is always kind of fun because we cross the Nile twice and can spot lots of animals. I spotted two giraffes, tons of gazelles, about seven elephants, many monkeys and baboons, and one hippo. When we drove by towns we could see people selling a lot fruit, mainly mangos, which are growing from trees every where.  It got really hot wearing long skirts with no air conditioning.  After staying one day in Arua we drove the last four hours to Moyo.   Though the roads reminded me of a roller coaster, the landscape was beautiful.  Every thing is green and lush with lots of growing crops, with mountains in the distance. We are staying at an agricultural compound, where we are the first white kids to stay. There are a lot of people from another major world religion here, and while we ate our dinner of rice and beans, we could hear the call to prayer. It is our call to pray for them. We are looking for a house to live in, either in Moyo or Yumbe.  I find myself wanting to learn the language and get to know the people. It is a challenge sometimes to get to know a very different world where there are so many differences.   

Please pray for us,

Olivia

~writing from Moyo District, West Nile Region, Uganda

Last Updated on Friday, 02 June 2017 13:45

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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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