Reflections on Sudan & Looking Forward to God’s Plans – June 18, 2009

I must start by praising God for His faithfulness and strength through my weakness! Once again, God showed Himself amazingly faithful on the Sudan trip. It was a very different trip from Sierra Leone, and I think it has taken me a little longer this time to process all that God accomplished through the Sudan trip. There is, of course, more that has been going on in the background of these trips, too, so I will do my best to concisely share where I believe God is leading me.

First, because I know many of you have been waiting patiently for pictures, I have posted most of my pictures from the trip at

God blessed me in so many ways through being able to go on this trip to southern Sudan, including the following opportunities:

  • Sharing life and working closely with three unbelievers on our team
  • Participating in long-lasting discussions during devotions and throughout our time together
  • Sensing God’s peace throughout changing and delayed plans
  • Getting to spend my birthday on a bumpy drive through pools of water on a road in the middle of southern Sudan
  • Spending lots of time in airports and passing the time with great conversations and cappuccino (especially in Ethiopia)
  • Having a flight cancelled and spending an unexpected night in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Teaching team members (including interns) as much as I knew about water and wastewater design in Africa
  • Worshiping God in a Sudanese church
  • Learning even more about Engineering Ministries International from two excellent project leaders
  • Observing the beauty of God’s creation, including some spectacular sunrises and sunsets
  • Conversing with a Ugandan woman on the flight to Juba about how God is working through local African churches
  • Landing on a gravel runway in a single-engine turbo-prop plane
  • Experiencing God’s provision through His protection of the team
  • Visiting eMi construction projects in Uganda

And, the team got to work together on preparing a fabulous preliminary design for a primary school site with a woman’s center, well, and latrines for the community of Jalle Payam. I think we ended up with a simple yet unique design for the school buildings and the women’s

While both the Sierra Leone and the Sudan trips had themes of rebuilding and restoration, Sierra Leone was more of a spiritual mountain-top experience for me that included amazing connections with the indigenous people. God showed me how He is faithful to reflect His
glory through my life, and the reflection of the moon in the Atlantic Ocean still stands out as one of the most powerful images from that trip. Sudan was a more difficult trip for me personally, especially being so soon after Sierra Leone, yet so different. God continued to
show His faithfulness to me through every circumstance during the Sudan trip, but it was much less spiritually charged. I did not feel that I connected as well with the indigenous people, even though I am tremendously heartbroken by what many of them have survived. Throughout both trips, I saw people filled with hope, and I sensed that our presence and designs helped bring more hope into people’s lives.

My prayer is that the ultimate source of hope in these peoples’ lives would be the Lord Jesus Christ–“May the God of hope fill [them] with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit [they] may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13)! Christ is the only lasting source of hope for each of us personally, but it is a privilege to be a part of sharing that hope through designing projects that will further His kingdom and help the poor around the world.

Because of this, I have decided to begin the application process to join eMi’s staff. God has been so good at setting up this next step toward long-term missions, and I am extremely excited to see how He will use the coming months and years in strengthening my walk with Him and my testimony to others. While I had planned to work at least 4 years in consulting engineering before heading out of the country, I believe God has provided this opportunity at a key moment in my career. Work for consulting engineers has slowed dramatically, resulting in my hours being cut and less allurement to stay in private consulting. Working under eMi Professional Engineers still gives me experience toward taking the PE exam in October of 2010, plus it provides rare international design opportunities with a missions
focus. How incredible God is at providing something I cannot resist!

I appreciate all of your prayers so much, and I cannot wait to share new requests with you! Please pray for the application process with eMi, relationships with my current employer, the support raising process, and that God would grow my faith through all of this. Praise Him for His faithfulness!

Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Giving thanks and hoping in the One whose council stands forever,
Psalm 33

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