What is the newest nation in the world? The answer is South Sudan. Many of us do not even know where Sudan is, but the Lord has put it on our hearts for years. Sudan is located in Africa and lies north of Uganda, Kenya and the Congo. If you watch the news you will remember that for many years, before their independence, they were part of the Republic of Sudan, ruled by the Arabs in the North. After years of war, persecution and enslavement by the North, they finally became a free independent nation on July 9th, 2011. Unfortunately, that was not the end of their troubles. Civil war and tribal conflict continued until a recent peace agreement came between the government and the rebel leader. While that is good news, the conflict has left 2 million dead and 4 million displaced in a country of only 10 million people. Refugee camps in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana have received hundreds of thousands of these refugees. Today Kenya announced it can no longer afford to keep the camps open, so they are threatening to close them. The people of South Sudan are largely tribal, (Dinka and Nuer). Most are sustenance rural farmers, who struggle to feed their families.
As I mentioned in our last newsletter, our school of Environment and Resource Stewardship decided to go to East Africa for 3 months to work in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan. They have been working in the refugee camps teaching on water, health, hygiene and sustainable agriculture. Please keep them in your prayers since they are in very volatile areas. They will be returning to Costa Rica the end of June.
In April, Donna and I returned from ourtrip to New Zealand. We spent two weeks in Matamata helping with the RescueNet Training.
While in Matamata, we visited Hobbiton, where much of the filming of Lord of the Ring movies happened. After that, we took a 12-hour bus trip to Wellington to visit one of our former students and meet her husband, daughter and brand new baby boy. We also had the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends from our time in Colorado and to speak in a local church. The only challenge we had was on the way home. We were supposed to be flying home on a Buddy-pass, but that fell through at the last minute. A friend graciously bought us return tickets for $1600, but we need to pay her back. If anyone could help us with this, please let us know!
On May 26, I will be leading a team of five to Ghana in West Africa, to build an aquaponics system at the City of Refuge! They are feeding over 300 people, many who are refugees that have fled the conflicts in the area. The aquaponics will help them provide fish and vegetables for the people they are trying to serve. We will be flying through Brussels, Belgium where not long ago they had the terrorist bombing. Please pray for us as we travel and work in these parts of the world.
In July, we will be going to Salem, Oregon where we will be leading the RescueNet Introductory Course. We will be gone for 3 weeks. The day after we get back, I will be teaching a seminar on Resource Stewardship and Sustainable Agriculture. At this point, we have no funds for the trip to Salem. We estimate it to cost us around $2000 for our airfares, room and board while we are there. If you would like to be a part of making that trip possible, we would really appreciate your help.
We are excited about all the new opportunities God is opening up for us. In each case, we ask God if he would have us accept these offers. If we do not have clear direction from the Lord, we do not proceed. What that means though, is that if God is sending us, we have to trust Him to provide the funds and the visas to do so. It also means leaving our home and ministry here in the hands of someone else. This has not been easy, but when we hear that we have made a lasting difference in someone’s life, it makes it all worthwhile. We thank God for faithful partners like you that have stood by us over the years! May God richly bless you!
Yours in Christ,
Terry & Donna Keith
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” ~ 2 Chronicles 32:7-9
Please check out the other blog pages like our Needs & Prayer Requests, and our Thank you page!!