Wednesday, May 31, 2006

To think about

A ministry that thinks a lot like ELI does is ECHO. Says their director, Dr. Michael Price: "It is a bottomless pit to send only medical assistance to treat diseases cause by poor nutrition, yet do nothing about unproductive farms."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Kau La Amani Training

Kau La Amani Training
Originally uploaded by Boyznberry.
Last week, we had 51 evangelists from the Kau La Amani Training Center at Ilula for an intensive training session. All 51 are determined to have groups from their individual churches return for our "church empowerment" training.

One person commented that he believed the church (in Kenya) could offer much to their communities if they implemented what they learned at our training center!

Their training included talks about bio-intensive agriculture and small business ideas.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sudan Stories

For a behind-the-scenes look at our journey to Sudan, please visit Adele's blog

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Home Safely

Originally uploaded by Boyznberry.
Praise God we're home safely! I'll write in more detail tomorrow, but here are some highlights of our journey:

Seeing God answer our prayers to heal Abiye. On Thursday, this young lady had NO pulse, NO blood pressure, and her extremities were like ice. The medical staff gave each other one of those looks that speak more than you'd like to hear. One said, "There's nothing more we can do for her. Let's just make sure she's comfortable..." We went and prayed for God to save her so her cattle camp (see below) can know GOD! Today, she walked. She'll be going home tomorrow!

Spending several hours in a cattle camp. The Sudanese did NOT want us to spend the night since it would've been too dangerous, but we were able to stay from the time the cows came home till almost 11pm, observing life... The camp we visited has about 10,000 cows and 600 people. Some of the people have tarps set up as tents. (I'll post photos tomorrow.) One tarp becomes home to FORTY people when it rains! When it's not raining, the children sleep in the cow ash (ash from cow dung having been burned). They even brush their teeth with the cow ash!

Watching the Dinka worship God!

None of the team got sick. There were fewer mosquitoes than we were told due to the rains being late, but we had a lot of flies (including humongous tsetse flies--ouch!) The ELI staff worked like crazy to complete a little shower room and outhouse, so we didn't have to dig holes... They brought some water from the community wells so we could take simple bucket showers at the end of the day to clean up. It was VERY, VERY hot (the thermometer we had couldn't read above 120F, and it read 120 on several days).

It rained only two days, yesterday being the worst. I'll tell more about that later. We ate rice and beans most meals. There was also sheep and goat.

The medical team saw more than 1,000 patients, mostly for worm and malaria treatment. There were two cases of cholera. Many came to have teeth extracted.

The 2 pastors on the team were able to do a seminar for pastors and community leaders which was well received. I was able to record teachings and preaching as well as worship songs.

Click on the photo to see some pictures from the journey. I'll be uploading more tomorrow.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sudan Hands On - Hearts In!

Adele Booysen called from Sudan on the Satellite phone Friday May 5th in the afternoon to let us know some of the ministry the team has already been involved in since their safe arrival on Wednesday. The team immediately settled into their tents and grass hut homes and interacted with the ELS leaders and community Wednesday. Thursday the medical team set up a mobile clinic and was able to see 200 people. On Friday when she called they had already seen 150 by lunch time.
One of the people was a 15 year old young girl that they saw in the morning who was so weak from typhoid and cholera that they did not think she would make it past noon. The treatment and prayers they gave provided some strength to her and so far she is still alive. Praise God.
They have not had any heavy rains so far and the mosquitoes are certainly present but not as troublesome as anticipated.
The team will continue their mobile medical clinic today (Friday) and as they move into the weekend, the two pastors that are on the team will minister in the local churches and meet with Sudanese Christian leaders to encourage them and dialogue with them about how Empowering Lives Sudan can best help them and their churches to heal, mature, and grow.
Empowering Lives Sudan - Empowering the needy spiritually, physically and economically.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Good news!
The ELI team arrived safely to Padak, Sudan and were met by EL Sudan Director Steven Reech at the dirt landing strip. It had rained the day before but the dirt landing strip was dry enough for a safe arrival.

They called me (Don R) on the satellite phone in the afternoon and let me know that they were able to get out to the village of Kolmarek where the property of SL Sudan is located just fine. Steven told me "I did not have any vehicle to transport them from Padak (a 15 mile distance) God then did a miracle and touched the hearts of a local road construction organization. They gave all of us transportation. God is good!"

The ladies will be bunking in a grass hut where there is some solar power near a clean water well.

The men will be setting up the tent under the ELI iron sheet covered structure that is still under construction.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sudan: The Next Journey

Dear Family and Friends,

Many greetings to all of you! It is amazing to think that it is already May. Last month (April), our theme among the Empowering Lives Staff in Kipkaren, Kenya was "Victory and Celebration," and we were sure blessed to witness many victories for which we praised and thanked God. This month's theme is "Love in Action." We are beginning the month with putting God's love into action in the country of Sudan. We begin the journey tomorrow (May 3rd) from Kenya to Southern Sudan with a dynamic team of nine (five Kenyans, three Americans, and one South African).

We will be partnering with Stephen Reech, director of Empowering Lives Sudan. In September 2005, Stephen returned to Sudan after many years as a refugee in Kenya to his original home in the village of Kolmarek to begin a ministry of empowerment to his people, the Dinka. In February 2006, a team (including ELI Staff Juli McGowan and Don Rogers) went on a scouting trip and returned with stories which opened all of our eyes here in Kenya and broke our hearts. The idea of taking a medical and pastors team began to come into view. As soon as the idea was mentioned, God quickly began opening the doors, and on May 3rd (tomorrow) we are headed to Kolmarek in Southern Sudan until 9th May.

I am so excited to be a part of this team. It is going to be an adventure of discovering unknowns. Some of our team members have never even flown on a airplane before! We are all excited for this opportunity to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Southern Sudan. We are also excited to go with our notebooks and pens and listening ears to learn all we can about the Dinka tribe and the challenges they are currently facing. I will have a lot more information to share when I return as this is a new journey for all of us. Please keep our team in your prayers during this next week. If the satellite system works, we will be sending updates during our trip to this same blog address.
Also, if you would like to learn more about ELI Sudan's Director, Stephen Reech, please visit the following site,
Thank you very much for your prayers and support!

Allison "Chebaibai" Tjaden
ELI - Health Ministry

Note: The team consists of five medical workers: Juli McGowan -ELI, Bernard Kiptoo -ELI, Julius Kemboi -ELI, Rachel Ototo -Turbo Clinic and Mark Lochte -Hillside Community Church), two pastors: David Tarus -ELI, Peter Maru -ELI, one primary health care trainer: Allison Tjaden -ELI, and one journalist:Adele Booysen -ELI.
The medical team will be conducting mobile clinics. David and Peter will conduct pastoral training sessions, Allison will do teaching on primary health care. Adele will be collecting stories on the new ELI School, Orphan care, Training Center construction, and Reforestation Project.
Kolmarek is in Southern Sudan, (far from Darfur - the region that's been in the news more recently for the ongoing genocide.) In fact, there are no usable roads between Southern Sudan and Darfur.
The team will be sending updates whenever possible, and those will be posted on this site.