Greetings!, February 2012
When I was growing up in the 60's and 70's the pace of life was moving a bit slower than now. Local churches would send out a few missionaries to Africa and Central America and I would wonder, why? Why, when there are so many needy, poor, uneducated, non-believers right here in our own country? Over the years I settled into the accelerating pace of life not giving the missionary thing much thought. Sure I supported local organizations, such as Campus Life, Young Life, etc., but as far as foreign missions, not so much. Not until recently, two years ago working with missionaries from World Harvest, or last year with my trip to Kenya with SIM Sudan, were my eyes opened to the work of these special people. Getting to meet them personally, hear their stories, see what they are doing, sure gives you a whole new perspective of missionary work. There is definitely a great need for missionaries in these areas!
This year I am going to Kenya, April 14 – 22, with a group of musicians and willing caregivers from five different churches. We will lead worship for the missionaries from SIM Sudan and care for their children. I will be using my gifts as a sound engineer to make sure the spoken and sung words are heard, and to record audio and video. This will be my third trip with the World Music Mission. There is an incredible relationship developing between the SIM organization and the World Music Mission. They candidly have said if we do not send a team to them they know of no one else. They really appreciate our serving them. The SIM Sudan teams are serving in bases in (North) Sudan and the world’s newest independent nation – South Sudan.
For the past year we’ve been getting emails and facebook posts detailing how these brave men and women have been hearing bombs and attacks as the (northern) Sudanese government looks to retain much of the resource wealth of South Sudan. The bases that SIM Sudan have operated for years had to be temporarily shuttered and rescue planes sent in to get the missionaries out of harm’s way. They continue to stay close by, serving at other bases, waiting to return and pick up the ministry where they left. The following was copied from a facebook post:
"The old familiar sound of not-so-distant bombing caught my attention early this afternoon . . . I looked around: yep, not a cloud in the sky, can't be thunder. What really caught my attention a minute later, though, was my teammate Hiakie Hegui's concerned voice as he described the Sudanese students from our secondary school (which used to be run in Yabus, Blue Nile State, and is in the process of being moved to somewhere in our state) being stranded with a truck full of supplies and equipment that they were bringing back to Doro from the school . . . stranded next to the river in Yabus, in plain sight. Some of us stopped and prayed for them as more bombs exploded. When a smiling young man greeted me late this afternoon, looking for Hiakie, I immediately asked if he had come from Yabus and if there had been bombs near them. Yes, apparently 4 bombs fell on Yabus, some only meters from the truck loaded with expensive equipment and priceless Sudanese lives. Although shrapnel pelted the trees around them, nothing hit the truck or any of them. 4 other bombs were dropped on a nearby town at almost the same time. This young man's words? "God greatly protected us. Praise Him!" They are going back for more equipment tomorrow. Please surround these courageous young men, who are willing to invest so sacrificially in their education and their future, with prayer. This is not the first time they have had to dive for cover under the shadow of a bomber. It probably won't be the last, but their eyes are on the One who is greater than any enemy."
My reasons for this letter is simple - prayer and resources. Pray that the missionaries would be safe; pray that South Sudan would be protected and able to fully materialize as a free nation. Resources would include any amount you could give. Each team member is responsible for $2530 to cover their air-fare, lodging, meals and visa. On our past two mission trips we brought musical instruments with us with the intention of leaving them in East Africa for the missionaries to use. If someone you know has a guitar, etc., they would be willing to donate let us know, or send it to me. Please make your check payable to Christ Community Church, with “Kenya Trip” in the memo line, and send to me as soon as possible.
Randy Gardner 407 Eastover Ct. Franklin, TN 37064
God Bless and Thank You!
All funds received for this trip are considered as gifts to Christ Community Church and are tax-deductible. While the gift that you make will be credited to my portion of the funds required for the trip, in the event that I am unable to participate all monies raised will be used to offset the costs incurred for the trip or to fund ministries on the field where we are going to serve. Please do not decrease your normal giving to your home church in order to support this mission project.