January Trip -- Part 1 -- Fortune

This is one of three blogs in a series, sharing highlights of my trip to South Sudan in January 2018. The series includes Part 1: Fortune; Part 2: Family; and Part 3: Future. Thank you for sharing this journey with me!  ~JacobPicture of Jacob outside the Easy Hotel Kenya.Like Nehemiah in the Old Testament, the Lord placed a burning desire in my heart to help the country I left as a child.  In January, I returned to Bor, the main town in my home state, to conduct an assessment of the needs—just like Nehemiah did a secret survey of the broken-down walls of his beloved city, Jerusalem.Even before I went, I had a general idea of what was needed.  For nearly 40 years, our people have been deprived of any means of power—especially education.  When we finally gained our independence in 2011, very few of our leaders had any formal training. The few schools we were allowed to have were poorly staffed and very overcrowded.  We had no books, no desks, and certainly no computers or libraries.My vision is to help my fellow Sudanese lift their quality of life—spiritually, educationally, socially, economically, and physically.  However, I wasn’t sure how I would be received.A group of friends and family gather to welcome Jacob in Bor town.To my delight and surprise, I was received enthusiastically everywhere I went. The Lord opened doors for me to the highest leaders in the country.  In the capital city of Juba, I met with government officials to discuss the mission of Africa Sunrise Communities in South Sudan. One official who agreed to see me for 15 minutes, listened intently for over an hour when I shared my vision with him. He encouraged me to land in Bor town on which to build a school, a clinic, a guest house, and a playground. When he looked through my book, The Lost is Found, he said all school children in South Sudan should read it to learn how to overcome tragedy.Bor is the town closest to my home village, in Jonglei State. I was welcomed once again, when I arrived there, and the State government gave Africa Sunrise Communities a 100 meter by 100 meter lot (just under 2.5 acres) located on the road between Bor town and the airport. There is room to expand as soon as our project fills the first plot.  It is an ideal location.Picture of Jacob with several small children.The next steps toward fulfilling the vision God has given me is to secure the property which has been allotted to us for a school.  For this we will need about $8000 to obtain the deed to the property, register Africa Sunrise Communities as a non-profit organization in South Sudan, and to clear the land and put up a sign marking our ownership.If you would like to help me with this project, you can make a donation here.  We will share updates here on the News and Updates page in the coming months.As exciting as it is for Africa Sunrise Communities to be a few steps away from having a home in South Sudan, this is not the end of the story of my visit last January.  I will share a couple of more episodes with you here in the coming weeks.  _________________________________________________________You can also follow these posts on Facebook and on Twitter (@africa_sunrise).