The Uduk Hope Team’s Return

Last Posted Update: 7/26/16

A Daily Update of the 3-Member Team’s Evacuation Journey Home

7/15/16 Due to increase violence in South Sudan’s capital of Juba and around the country the decision has been made to call the Uduk Hope Team home.

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The Team as they arrived at the Toronto Airport in June

7/16/16  A flight has been arranged through Samaritan’s Purse (SP) to fly the Team to Kenya on Tuesday, July 19. Plans are underway to reschedule their previously scheduled return flight out of Juba. Funds are being raised to cover  the extra cost of this early exit cause by concerns for the team’s safety.

7/17/16  A plan is coming together! PTL! I have made contact with the  Area Director for FMC Missions in Africa who lives in Nairobi, Kenya. He will meet the Team when they arrive on Tuesday. He is making transportation and housing arrangements for them in a guest house. He is also my contact with the Superintendent of the FMC in Ethiopia who is pastor of a church in the Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) area. We are praying the Supt. will be able to provide assistance at that point in the journey home.  We were in contact with both these individuals many months back and had hope they could meet with the Uduk Hope Team.  I spoke with Liasor today and hope to have their flight schedule to Kenya sometime on Monday. They are 8-hours ahead of us in time.

7/18/16 / 5:15 a.mChange. Samaritan Purse flight to Kenya is now scheduled for Thursday–going to Eldoret airport northwest of Nairobi.

Kenya Airports

 

7/18/16 – 11:05 p.m. NY Time  I spent 75 minutes online with the reservation service through which the Team booked their original roundtrip tickets. As we are not dealing directly with the airlines there seems to be little they can do but to charge us the going rate for basically new tickets on a new date. Samaritan Purse does NOT recommend any options that includes returning to Juba, South Sudan the origin entry and exit airport.  That would have been our cheapest option but  least secure. I spoke, via SKYPE, with Mike Reynen, the  Area Director for FMC Missions in Africa who lives in Nairobi, Kenya. He is assisting with option for housing, transportation, etc., for time spent in Kenya come Thursday. Much needs to be workout. God is Good!

7/19/16 3:37 p.m.  Long story short, we have a return flight booked for July 25, 2016, four days after they are scheduled to arrive in Kenya. We had hoped to give them a stop in Addis Ababa but there were no connecting flights that stop there and NO flights with 3-seats available between July 23 and August 5. I believe God opened this one up for us because it was not available during the conversation I had yesterday.  We still need to get them from Eldoret to Nairobi, Kenya but I’m working that out with Mike Reynen. They will have SP housing on Thursday evening in Eldoret before traveling on to Nairobi by plane or car. Two rooms in a guest house are being reserved for their stay in Nairobi.  The cost of this “rescue mission”  is now estimated at $3600-$3800. $3300 hundred of that is “hard” and already committed (return flight changes and Nairobi guest house).  That is an estimate that seems to keep growing. To date we have $2300 “on the way” and a promise of another congregational gift of up $500. Continue to pray for this final days of travel from Doro Camp. Continue to pray for the work of Samaritan’s Purse and others still at the Doro Camp.

Return Flight

7/21/16 5:07 a.mFurther delay. The SP flight from Doro camp to Eldoret, Kenya has been rescheduled once again. It is now scheduled for Friday. Your prayers are requested that this flight take place place in time to get the Team to Nairobi as we cannot afford another change in the return flight date from Nairobi on Monday, July 25. Thank you.

7/21/16 10:00 a.m.  I just had a good conversation with Liasor and Christine. We know we made the right decision to evacuate them. All the NGO higher up personnel are now being evacuated from the Doro Camp. Therefore, Liasor reports they cannot do anymore research anyway. However, they have accomplished MUCH in their time there.The reason for the delays on the flight from Doro to Kenya is because of incidents in Juba, South Sudan–the capitol. Samaritan’s Purse has not been able to get their plane from there to Doro. As God parted the seas for Moses, let us pray that God will provide a safe window for the SP plane to get to Doro today so they can leave for Eldoret tomorrow  without further delay.  Everything is arranged once they get to Eldoret, Kenya thanks to our Free Methodist contact (Mike Reynen) in Nairobi.

7/22/16 5:00 a.m.  (Noon in South Sudan).  No word yet from Doro or from our contact in Nairobi.

7/22/16 9:40 a.m.  (4;40 p.m. in South Sudan) Good NEWS! We have just received confirmation from  Mike Reynen in Nairobi that the SP plane will arrive in Eldoret today. Plane is expected at 7:45 p.m. Eldoret time. PTL!

7/22/16 1:37 p.m.  (8:37 p.m. in Kenya) Here’s the latest and last update from  Mike Reynen for Friday. “Daniel has confirmed to me that the plane landed in Eldoret and they (I take that to be a general they, the passengers) are clearing immigration.  I have given definite instructions now to my taxi guy.  He goes early in the morning to reach there by mid morning to collect them.  Then, they should be back here late afternoon.”

7/23/16 3:30 a.m.  Mike’s message: “10:30 a.m. Kenya time, my taxi guy has the team and they are on their way to Nairobi.”      Liasor’s message:  “It feels good to have an overhead shower. I am the first to wake up at 5:30 am will be showering soon. I can call in about 30 minutes if you are available. I have viber.”  [Brian: I didn’t get this message until 5:30 USA time. Viber is a telephone service.]

7/23/16  Message from Mike Reynen (8:00 p.m. Kenya time) “BrianJust letting you know I have your team.  They arrived safely this afternoon.  They commented on a pleasant and beautiful drive down here.  I took them just up the block to a store to get some snacks since they had hardly eaten today.  Tonight we will pick them up and they will eat with Vickie and me and a team we have here from the US.  The team is being hosted by our other FM missionaries, Ken and Letty Myers, and family.  They all are just arriving back to Nairobi from Mombasa.  Your team is well. Brian”

Blessings, Mike

7/23/1Later (10:02 p.m. Kenya time): “Further…I will pick them up in the morning and they will go to church with us.  Then, I will have lunch with them so that we four can have some uninterrupted conversation.  We had a nice time with the team just returned from Mombasa.  But, with the large group, plus three other friends we ran into there, we have had very little chance to talk much.  FYI, Jared Sittig, son of Scott Sittig is on this team.  Liasor knows him.  Very fun surprise when we all discovered these were friends.”    Mike

7/24/16 12:09 a.m. NY Time   Message from Liasor. “Hello all! Thank you all so much for your continued prayer and support through this journey. Our team is doing well today in Nairobi. Today we will worship with a local church here and praise our One True God who in all scenarios of life shows that he cares and protects those who call on his name. I pray that he watches over all of you and your families today and the week to come. We are very excited to share with you our research and the things that we found. Blessings, Liasor.”

7/24/16 6:30 NY Time (1:30 a.m. Kenya Time). In just 3 hours our Team will board the EgyptAir plane in Nairobi and head for Cairo, Egypt for the first leg of the long trip home. See the posted  flight schedule. Let us continue in prayer for their safety the rest of the way home,  for peace in South Sudan, and for the care and safety of family members and thousands of others left behind at Doro Camp. 

Also please join me in prayer and thanksgiving  for: 
  • The Work of Samaritan’s Purse (SP) in South Sudan and other parts ofAfrica
  • David Philips Samaritan’s Purse Regional Director of Northeast Africa (Office in NC). David has been a major help to me in arranging for help, contacts, and UN and SP aircraft flights. It was David that God used to finally find the means of getting the Team from Juba to the Doro Camp when they first arrived and making sure the SP personnel in the Camp helped the Team while there
  • The SP personnel  (Patrick known as Paddy and others) at Doro camp for provided internet service, arranging the SP plane to evacuate them, provided housing in Eldoret, etc., etc., etc., for the Team during their time there.
  • The ministry of Mike Reynen in Nairobi, Kenya; the Area Director for Free Methodist Missions in Africa. Mike has been indispensable to me in making arrangements for and hosting the Team once we got them out of Doro Camp.

 7/24/16 9:22 p.m.  Flight Delayed.  Want track the Team’s flight status?  Click Heretype in “EgyptAir” and the various flight numbers given in the chart above starting with the first for now. I just did and discovered the flight has been delayed from 4:25 a.m. until 5:50 a.m. (Nairobi, Time) 10:50 NY time. It is going be a LONG day for our Team Members.

7/25/16 10:30 a.m.  Flight is in London!  Are you tracking? Liasor reports that they are already exhausted. Next stop Toronto.

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7/25/16 7:25 p.m.   Flight now due in Toronto at 9:07 p.m.  Note plane’s location on this map.

tracking

7/26/16 1:30 a.m. Rochester, NY. Home Safe. “Heavenly Father, Thank you.”  

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7/26/16 1:00 p.m. Rochester, NY    I wish to express a heartfelt “Thank you” to all who have been following the journey of the Uduk Hope Research team over these last seven weeks. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for the gifts many have already sent to cover the expenses of this emergency evacuation.  We will provide a full accounting of the costs and the funds received as soon as the remaining housing and transportation bills are received from Kenya.

I also need to again acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe to two specific individuals: David Philips (Samaritan’s Purse) and Mike Reynen (Free Methodist Church USA). See my 7/24/16 notes above for more details. 

We will be tracking with Uduk Hope’s work across the summer and looking with interest to the decisions made and plans proposed based on their research. Pray for these leaders as they  seek to follow God’s leading (1) to support relief efforts to the thousands in the Doro Refugee camp, and (2) to build a Foundation of Hope for the Uduk people of (South) Sudan. Future updates will to posted under the Uduk Hope tab on our RC website’s Menu.  Thank you

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