South Sudan update: Libby Dearing writes of progress on orphanage

South Sudan update: Libby Dearing writes of progress on orphanage

The following is the most recent letter from Libby Dearing in South Sudan, where Holston Conference is building and preparing a home for children.

May 18, 2013

Greetings Friends and Loved Ones:

Today my excitement can hardly be contained!  We dedicated GRACE Home for Children to God in a beautiful service attended by the community and the mission team.

Every team is special with its own unique qualities, but this team has a special meaning for me. Three of the team, Jeannie Higgins, Patricia Downs, and Dr. Mike Hartsell, were with me on my first visit to South Sudan. One member, Carmen Rawiszer, has been with me three times, and Boo and Phyllis Hankins, who were the first missionaries to serve here, are on this team. Art Masker, CEO of Holston Home for Children, is here helping me with policies and procedures for GRACE. It seemed fitting to have the dedication at this time.

When we arrived, I had a plan of how things would go. That quickly changed.  The people of Pukuka UMC had an entire service planned before the dedication. There was praise and worship, preaching by Jeannie Higgins, and singing and dancing. It was quite a celebration. That part concluded with Holy Communion served by Boo Hankins and Moses Abui, the pastor of Pukuka UMC.

We were then led by the Sunday school choir and church, singing and dancing, to the site. There the dedication was done. The team presented Art Masker and me with four cross-and-flame wall hangings that will go in each house. Justus was presented with one that will hang in the Director's House. Mike and Phyllis sang "Bless This House" and we concluded with "Holy Ground."

The roof beams have been raised on two of the houses, all four of the houses have been plastered inside and outside, and the dining room walls are completely up. The houses have been wired and the dining room will be wired before the walls are plastered. So much happening so fast!

There is just too much going on to put in one email. It will be difficult to leave for six weeks, but we really need the break. Thankfully, God has provided a wonderful team in Drs. Lynn and Sharon Fogleman, so the work will continue here while we are gone. 

God is great and we are blessed.  Hope to see you soon.

GRACE, peace, and joy,

Visit Holston's "Hope for the Children of South Sudan" web page for past letters from Libby.