“Alice laughed: ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said; ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'” Alice in Wonderland.
Alice in Wonderland is a magnificent story encouraging us to practice not only believing in the impossible, but actually doing it. Saying “Yes” to God means becoming “curiouser and curiouser” even as we tumble deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. This upside-down life is both wondrous and horrifying at times, but, oh, the amazing things we experience that we never would if we settled for the ordinary topside life.
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed in at least six impossible things before breakfast.”
As I reflect upon 2017, I’m amazed by all the “impossible” things that we have done together this year! I can’t possibly list all the impossible things I am THANKFUL for in 2017, but I’ll give it a whirl. I’d love it if you chimed in as well and post, click, comment, and share your own impossible adventures of 2017!
6 “Impossible” Things!
1. “Impossible” Storytelling:
2017 launched with a powerful interview from GOOD TV in Taiwan, which my editor from the Chinese translation of Passport though Darkness arranged. By plowing deeper into the stories begun in Passport through Darkness, this single interview exploded Make Way Partners ministry throughout the Chinese speaking community both in the USA and abroad. Our Chinese-speaking partners have become our largest foreign-speaking donation base. Now, I have just returned from my second month-long book tour in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, which resulted in even deeper partnership. Re-watch & Share the video!
Just a few months into the year, Margaret Dardess published her book: Brutal Silence. Brutal Silence is a powerful novel to raise awareness of human trafficking, and the best part of all is that Margaret committed 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Brutal Silence to the support of Make Way Partners. Read more about her impossible journey!
To make it even easier for you to help us share the story of Make Way Partners and our precious orphans, we also launched a new website. Visit today!
2. “Impossible” Medical Needs:
“Impossible” medical needs hit a lot closer to home for me this year, as I broke my collar bone during a trip to the Nuba Mountains; and, in the early spring, I suffered a horseback riding accident that cost me my spleen. Although I am the healthiest I have been in a long time now, the quality of medical attention I received stood out in stark contrast to the limited health care available for those in Sudan and South Sudan. We’re relaunching Medical Mission Trips in 2018. Please contact us today for more information—and help us recruit doctors, nurses, dentists, optometrists, and ophthalmologists. Our next medical mission trip is planned to New Life Ministry in July, 2018. Get your application in today!
We continue to grieve the loss of a New Life Ministry high school graduate, James Akech Wol, who died just a few months after his graduation due to improper medical care at a local “hospital.”
Even as we grieve James, we celebrate the many lives our anti-trafficking network has saved through both our clinics and medivacs. Lives like Teresa Uma who has fully recovered after we medevaced her to Uganda for emergency care; Esther, Opio, and Ochen who are thriving at our Kenya Safe House after knocking on death’s door as infants; and, Lokolong, Simplicio, and Moses whose sight and hearing have been restored through medvacing them to mission doctors in Kenya!
Esther, Opio, Ochen, Moses, Lokolong, and Simplicio
now thriving under the loving care of Jane, Eugenio, their daughters and caretakers at the Kenya Safe House!
3. “Impossible” Partnerships in Warzones:
I am deeply saddened to see the downward spiral the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan continue to hurl their people along. Tribalism, rape as a weapon of war, and genocide continue to be the norm in both countries. Amazingly, by the grace of God and through your support, the Make Way Partners anti-trafficking network continues to grow and flourish. Thanks to your sharing of our story, new partners are coming from all around the globe to the aid of our children every day.
Like Paul, who lists his many calamaties in 2 Corinthians 11, this year alone we have documented chemcial warfare in Nuba Mountains; life imprisonment and final release to a dear friend and partner: Petr Jasek; ground combat around our Hope For South Sudan orphanage; bombs falling in Nuba; man-made famine climaxing in June; massive flooding and a cholera outbreak in September; child-brides, mass rapes, and kidnappings on the rise.
In lawless lands like Sudan and South Sudan, the hope we find is in the generation of children we are raising and the impact of transformed lives that they will have in their families, communities, and nations. Now having children in high school, university, and even pre-med, the realization of our Far-Fetched Dream of Christ-Centered leaders draws very near.
We especially celebrate the “impossible” gift of protection from General Wiere Akoon, who, unlike many of his counterparts, continues to protect our orphans at Hope For South Sudan.
4. “Impossible” Rescue:
Recently, while on a plane, I was asked, “What do you do?” I answered, “Thousands of friends and I pray and brainstorm together about how to bring more heaven to this clod of dirt we call earth.”
“Impossible” rescues have taken place for thousands of orphans who our sponsors stand in the gap for each day and month, year after year. What a transformative difference you are making in their lives, hearts, and minds!
Together, we have also rescued many children who the local culture would have cast outside the circle, ensuring a slow and painful death. To remember a few:
This year we also invited nearly 100 more of the most vulnerable orphans into our Hope For South Sudan and Our Father’s Cleft orphan homes!
Faiza & Baby Jane; Angel & Honor; James Lual Atak with Sarafina and her sibilings
5. “Impossible” Education:
In a nation where few ever have the opportunity to become literate and even fewer attend high school, the opportunities you help us to provide our orphans are the stepping stones for creating a new norm of what life is meant to be.
In 2016, we celebrated our first high school graduation at New Life Ministry. Every graduate who passed their national exams received full scholarships from our partner, Sudan Relief, to the only fully accredited university in South Sudan!
In December, we celebrated our second high school graduation at NLM. Every one of our 2017 graduates who passes the national exam will be awarded a full scholarship to the same accredited university in South Sudan!
This year, at Our Father’s Cleft, we expanded our Nuba educational services to include a high school, and will be expanding our orphan homes in 2018!
We also sent several students to Uganda on scholarship, including Hannan, who is studying in nursing school today!
Graduating Class of 2017! New Life Ministry’s second high school graduation.
6. “Impossible” Dreams Come True:
Fifteen years ago, I never dreamt that the journey down the “rabbit hole” of Make Way Partners would go so deep and include so many wonderful partners! In 2018, MWP will celebrate our 15th anniversary. 15 years of watching “impossible” dreams come true.
In these 15 years, we’ve grown a dynamic anti-trafficking network—the only indigenous network spanning Sudan & South Sudan! We’ve built safe houses in Uganda and Kenya, and a new branch in Taiwan which coordinates all our extensive efforts to raise awareness in and funds through our Chinese-speaking network. We have developed exciting new partnerships with Sudan Relief who offers college scholarships to all of our high school graduates, and VOM Canada that allows a tax credit for our Canadian donors, as well as, Step 30 that helps by providing shoes for our orphans and by drilling wells.
Closest to my heart is the deepening of our trauma-informed care through our Faith, Hope and Love Medical Network. This trauma-informed care is a unique and integral part of all that we do to end the cycle of violence—transforming a new generation of peacemakers in Sudan and South Sudan. We began training our leaders in 2017; and, in 2018, we will hold our first official teacher training in this transformational trauma healing.
The difference we continue to make is directly linked to the partnerships we build with individuals—like YOU—who desire to save and protect the world’s most at-risk and oppressed widows and orphans.
Your giving and sharing of the story makes this ministry possible. Please consider making a year-end gift to help us end 2017 strong, and to equip us to save even more lives in 2018!
Join me in taking ACTION to see the “IMPOSSIBLE” become POSSIBLE!