South Sudan update: Libby Dearing writes of progress on orphange

South Sudan update: Libby Dearing writes of progress on orphange

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

April 26, 2013
Hello Everyone:

Here is just another very brief update on the happenings at GRACE Home.  Three of the buildings are ready for roofing and the fourth one will be ready by tomorrow.

I was in one of the houses looking out the "window" and thought about how peaceful the view is. They have started preparing the dining room for the concrete slab and will start this tomorrow also. Santino said he expects it to be up in two weeks.

This week Justus and I hired four security guards, and they will start training on Monday. Our guards will train them here for one week, then go to the site and stay with them for one week to get them settled in. They will guard the site during the night and clear the compound during the day. With them on site, the contractor will be able to keep supplies there without fear of theft.

Next week we will meet with someone to discuss solar power since there are no power lines out there yet. Then comes the latrines, director's house, office, and other necessities.

Thanks so much for all your prayers. It is comforting to know you are holding us up. I hope to see you all very soon when we return to the U.S.

God's GRACE, joy, and peace,


April 19, 2013
Greetings, Friends in Christ:

It is so exciting to see the progress being made on GRACE Home for Children every time I visit! Two buildings are now at roof level, one at beam level, and the fourth one going up fast. The borehole now has a pump and is giving clear, clean water. I know the workers are grateful for that.

In one of the pictures, Justus, the director, is showing where his house will be built. That will come after the dining room, kitchen, bath house, and latrines.  There is still so much work to be done, but it is still moving faster than I ever dreamed.

On Monday and Tuesday of next week, Fred, Justus, and I will be interviewing for the security guard positions. I am not sure what to expect, but today I gave the pastor at Pukuka UMC 13 applications and he said there will be more than that apply. We will be hiring at least three and possibly add another one after we open. On Wednesday, I hope to have the applicants narrowed to six. They will then go through another interview and a decision will be made from those.

Please pray for wisdom and discernment as we choose the ones who will protect our children and the compound. We need people who are not only physically strong, but also those with a good, Christian heart, who love children.

Also, please be in prayer for the next mission team who will be coming in May.  Art Masker will be coming to help us write a child protection policy, give Justus a little training, and other logistical things that I probably haven't even thought of yet.

God's GRACE, peace, and joy,


April 4, 2013
Happy Spring Everyone:

I have seen many pretty flowers on Facebook, evidence that springtime is here - no, correction, springtime is THERE. I guess our rainy season is our spring because now is when we start planting our crops.

Many new things have taken place since the last update. Two of the houses are now at beam level. They are attaching the iron bars to hold the beams in place.  They do not use wood to frame because termites would destroy it in no time.

The children's bedroom will hold three bunk beds. Tiny, yes. But more room than most tukuls have.

They started drilling for water on Tuesday. They found water at 17 meters and continued until they reached 51 meters deep. This occurred while I was at the site today. You can see the nice, clean water coming out. That is a sight to be celebrated here where clean water is precious. Well, it's precious everywhere but we often take clean water for granted. They will cap the borehole for about two weeks to allow time for everything to settle, then will complete the work.

I am very happy to announce that we now have an Administrative Director. His name is Justus, and some of you may recognize him as he is our driver. 

He has worked for us for one year and is in school working on his degree. He has a wife and a 10-month-od son. Prior to coming to work for us, he worked for the government in social services. He has a heart for God, for children, his community, and his nation. Since we have worked together for a year, it seems like a good start. He has been present throughout all the planning. It's amazing how this person, whom I prayed that God would send, was already right here.  Sometimes, we just have to take off the blinders.

I am pleased to keep Justus with us in this new position. I know he will do well, nd he has asked that we pray for him.

Now that I have someone to help me with the work, I can now start on some of the administrative stuff. So, keep praying for us. Thanks so much for everything you do to make our work possible.

God's GRACE, peace, and joy,


Visit Holston's "Hope for the Children of South Sudan" web page.