Friday, August 26, 2011

Warm Greetings from Alabama

Some of you know that we returned to the US in June.  We did not announce this return because it was rather sudden, and after returning we decided to take a few weeks to reconnect with our mission community here in Birmingham.  
Our return was prompted after some attacks about 40 miles from our home resulted in numerous killings and child abductions.  Romano, the Hope for Sudan founder and director, asked us to fly out to Nairobi until we understood more about the violence.  We left immediately, and upon arriving in Nairobi, I (Kevin) consulted with our directors in the US and they asked us to return to Alabama and spend the time working from our home office.

While we have been here, we have worked to evaluate what we have done over the last 18 months, and what we hope to do.  We have recognized that Make Way Partners continues to grow, and the load that places on our staff in the US is growing.  I have also recognized that I need to do less building design and construction and more spiritual formation. 

In light of this, we have decided to stay in the US indefinitely.  I will take on new responsibilities in our home office.  
It has been very challenging for us to make such a significant decision so quickly.  It also makes us sad to part with the great friends we have made in Sudan over the last 18 months.  While sad to make this change so quickly, I am excited about the work that I will be doing with Make Way Partners, and I look forward to sharing more about it in the coming months.

The work in Torit will continue as planned.  My work there has been to train local craftsmen in new building techniques.  This has been successful, and Hope for Sudan will continue to protect and care for many children under Romano's direction.  

I (Kevin) will return to Sudan to collect the personal belongings that we need to bring back to the US.  I will be leaving tomorrow, August 27 and returning in mid-September. Shalene will not be able to make the trip, she will be remaining here to care for Abigail.  I do expect that I will be returning to Sudan regularly for specific projects or trips with Make Way Partners.

Grace and peace to you,
Kevin, Shalene, and Abigail