Into Southern Sudan, Part 2

Posted on August 20, 2010

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This is part two of a segment that seemed to long to have all as a single post. If you have not read part one, you can read it here.


Leaving the Lokichoggio airport and heading into Sudan in the Cessna Caravan, we flew over two hours of jungle, briefly inerupted by rusty earthen ribbons winding their muddy way through the dense foliage. Our first stop was to be be in the remote village of Akot (home of the Dinka people) at a hospital where we would be dropping off 4 months worth of medical supplies. We landed on a dirt strip and taxied up onto a small concrete platform. The hospital is small, there is only one doctor, and a few nurses that rotate in and out. They have facilities to manage many more patients than they have but not the staffing. They are surrounded by lush green jungle and isolated by poor roads but still people come from miles away for treatment because they are the only hospital in the area. For more information and pictures of the Akot Medical Mission, check out their website.

The back of our plane, full of supplies for the hospital.

We flew over the Nile River!

John actually got to spend quite a bit of time flying the plane.

An aerial view of the mission hospital in Akot.

Getting ready to land on the dirt airstrip.

Unloading Supplies

 

Some of the kids from the village came out to see the airplane and help unload supplies.

 


During a short tour of the hospital, we learned that while there is technically a road that they can take to get to a larger city, there is a very high chance of being carjacked, and that the roads are absolutely impassable during the rainy seasons (of which there are two, each lasting multiple months). Getting to see first hand how much this ministry is dependent on aviation has given us an eagerness to continue pressing on to the goal of serving long term in Africa.

As we were flying out, we actually saw some of this impassable road. We also saw some of the huts that the Dinka people live in.



After dropping off the supplies at the hospital, we stopped at Lopit, a Sudanese village nestled into the crook of a small mountain. We dropped off Victor, a Sudanese pastor who had been trying to get across the border back into Sudan, to bring building supplies for churches and homes damaged by the war, and had been prevented. Our stop was quick, only a few minuets, so we did not get to see what was happening there, but here is a story of an AIM missionary who is working among the Lopit people.

Perched on the side of a hill, the Lopit people build their houses very close together, much closer than in most other villages around Southern Sudan.

We had planned to land in Nagishot, a village up in the Didinga hills of southern Sudan, but unfortunately the airstrip was covered in clouds, and we were unable to land. This is an area in which there are no roads. Other than aircraft, there is no way of access for missionaries carrying the life-giving Word. Flying over this area, perched high up in the mountains, it was obvious that without the airstrip and the planes that flew into it, there would be no missionaries there. Here is a video that some missionaries put together who are serving with the Didinga people. This is a link to a Blog of a young woman serving the Didinga people with AIM.


Though our trip into Sudan was short, we were able to experience first hand how the ministry of aviation is truly serving dozens of other ministries. Our hearts feel full when we think about the privilege we have of, in a small way, being a part of such a vast array of ministries that God is using to serve Eastern Africa.
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Posted in: Africa, Aviation, Sudan