All In The Family...
My nephew Ben has left this week to work for a year in southern Sudan for the Christian humanitarian relief and community development agency, Samaritan's Purse.
Ben is a recent college graduate with a master's degree in Civil Engineering. He has wanted to spend some time working in a third world country where he could use his skills to make a real difference.
With that in mind, he applied for a job providing construction expertise and supervision in Sudan with Samaritan's Purse. He interviewed and was hired, and now just a few weeks later, he's en route to Africa.
Last week, he attended some orientation sessions (in Washington, D.C., I think), and next week, he'll have more orientation in Kenya. From there, he goes into Sudan and joins a team to begin work. My sister said that Ben is traveling light with just two suitcases, one of which holds his new, really good backpack.
Supposedly, the semi-autonomous southern part of Sudan is not as strife-ridden as the Darfur Province in the western part of the nation where the government has been allowing genocide. Still, the south has endured decades of war and has millions of refugees. (For more information, see the CIA's brief history or Wikipedia's "History of Sudan.")
I think my family is proud that our good, fine Ben wants to do this, and we admire the humanitarian and missionary spirit in his heart, but we feel some concern for his safety and well-being. If you have a prayer list, will you please put Ben on it?
Here are my two children (Keely on left and Isaac in the middle) with Ben (on the right) in 1995 at the Little House on the Prairie historic site near Independence, KS. It's hard to believe that Keely is now 21, Isaac is nearly 18, and Ben will soon be 26.
A year ago today, I posted a 1994 photo of my kids and their excellent snowman.