26.2.10

Heading to Sudan, Feb 26 - March 5

As many of you heard, the Tenwek Eye Unit surgical expedition to Akot, Southern Sudan, was cancelled the week prior to our departure in January due to intense clashes between the SPLA (Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Army) and the people of Akot.  The SPLA is in the process of de-arming as many
civilians as possible prior to the elections this April.  The SPLA met resistance in Akot from the cattle wranglers.  Fighting broke out, the army base was attacked, and the town was then burnt to the ground by the SPLA in retaliation.  The civilians fled to the bush having lost everything.  The SPLA has increased its presence in the area significantly, but no active fighting has gone on recently.  People have begun seeking care again at the small, newly opened, mission hospital on the outskirts of town where we plan to operate.

The missionaries on the ground there feel it is safe for us to now come.  Most people have never received any eye care in their lifetimes, and many suffer from needless blindness.  Please pray that we will be able to help bring the gift of sight as well as Christ's healing and peace to this broken, hurting town.  We have had over 150 of the Tenwek staff commit to praying with us daily for the people of Akot over the past month.  We hope to preform at least 100 sight restoring surgeries during our week visit.  This will only be possible if the Lord works in a mighty way.  The obstacles to locating and mobilizing the blind to a point of care in a war torn country are innumerable.  Two Kenyan community health workers from Tenwek have been working in the Akot region for months to do just this.  Pray that God will bless their efforts.  Please also pray for the patients' safety as they begin traveling even now.

Pray for the eye team's safety as we (eight of us) travel by van to Nairobi today, fly commercially to northern Kenya tomorrow, and then board a small mission aircraft to take us to the airstrip next to the mission hospital.  We plan to arrive back in Nairobi on March 5th.

Below are pictures of Akot post the January burning (our community health workers are surveying the damage).

Please be praying with us.

John Cropsey
Ophthalmologist
Tenwek Eye Unit
Bomet, Kenya


4 comments:

scott goldstein said...

God speed and good luck on what should be an interesting and gratifying journey. And certianly more rewarding then then 4th winter storm that is passing through philly with its foot of snow.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you, your team, and those there. Thanks for sharing!
j

Anonymous said...

Will be praying for you John and your family that you leave behind. May many miracles just so happen. Tim and Sharon McLaughlin

Philip said...

Let's be careful out there. I'll be praying.