Caroline, Fiona and Andrew are now in Arua.
From Andrew’s Blog below, we hear about the busy day they had yesterday, meeting some of the CRESS delivery partners and finding out about the progress made on CRESS projects, as well as making plans for the future.
We left the comforts of the Airport Guest House at 6:15 am to drive to Kajannski Airport to catch the Mission Aviation Flight to Arua. We were excited to be catching up with Joseph and his team who are the core of Cress work on the ground. Our worries about having more than the 120 kilograms of allowed baggage dissolved as we were waved through, even though our bags weighed much more. Praise God.
During the short flight, we were able to reflect on the previous days’ conversations with satisfaction and hope for the future. Andrew had a good conversation with Edward Dima, son of Canon Henry, who is the Baptist overseer for Baptist Churches in Uganda and South Sudan. He knows Joseph and they work collaboratively together.
We were met at Arua airport by our wonderfully joyful Bishop Joseph and some of his staff. We were whisked off to meet Bishop Charles Collins, the Bishop of Arua and a good friend of Joseph. The two of them collaborate on several projects, with a sense of cooperation so often found here.
We were warmly welcomed on our arrival at the Diocese of Liwolo and CRESS office. The gifts we distributed from the UK were greatly appreciated, ranging from printer cartridges, to iPads and clothes. The Wonderbag received the best reaction; everyone was fascinated. These bags allow a food dish, once it has been brought to the boil, to be placed in the insulated bag to finish cooking. This saves burning charcoal or wood. Lunch in three days will be cooked this way.
We finished the afternoon with a catch up meeting and did some brainstorming about self-sustaining projects. The team is clearly enjoying working together enjoy working together. In spite of the huge challenges facing them, they see the ‘exile’ as a time to equip themselves and their people with skills in the hope of making a better South Sudan when they return. Everyone there is excited about moving towards self-sufficiency and some have already put some plans into action.
This hope is fortified by the progress evident around the office compound. Yango, the Bishop’s wife has produced an amazing garden with lot of vegetables just since January this year. The funds supplied for agriculture has led to 200 people being trained to farm. We are looking forward to see further results of this, when we visit the camps.
It was a very gratifying and joyful day. Bless you all for what you give and for your prayers.