Graduating High School – the New Norm

Sudan orphans - Make Way Partners

I trekked along a rutty path, having no idea where it led. Step-by-sweltering step, all I thought about was my aching feet, parched mouth, and empty stomach. But, none of those problems could be solved on the dusty airstrip where I’d been dropped, so off I set in search of answers. A clearing yawped open from the belly of the path where a tall, skinny black man ran from tree to tree, rhythmically chanting an alphanumeric lesson of sorts to three squads of sickly, mostly naked kids. Several of the children pointed at me, screaming, “Kawadja! Kawadja!” The stick-thin man spun around and, simple as that, invited me into their circle—one that has wrapped itself around me and, still, all these years later, continues to transform my life like a mystical blanket spun from Spirit cloth.

That Spirit cloth first fell upon me more than a decade ago. A life spent caring for children whose feet are always bare and often wounded from the wild, who walk miles for a cup of water, and whose bellies are rarely full teaches me not to be so concerned about the minor and rare discomforts of my life. In my better moments, I even give thanks for stints of suffering I may encounter, as it forges a renewed bond with those in this world who know little else—and, as I participate in suffering, it encourages me to do my part in offering comfort to others.

Apparently, this Spirit cloth—and the children bound in it with us—wraps you and your family in its love as well, for those same hordes of children who were scared out of their wits at their first sight of a wild-haired white woman, today, count you as family. And, you and your family have changed their lives as much as they have ours!

2017 Graduating Class - South Sudan - Make Way PartnersWhat a journey these years with God have been for us all.  Last year, we held the first high school graduation our region has ever known. Children—who 12 years ago cried alone in the bush as their friends were eaten by hyenas—today know the love of Christ and the tool of a solid education.  And, they have the assurance that Make Way Partners will support them as they grow to become doctors, preachers, teachers, and leaders of their struggling nation.  Through our great partners at Sudan Relief, all of last year’s graduates received full scholarships to the only fully accredited university in South Sudan!

Rather than stirring political coups and tribal conflicts, we are raising a generation of peacemakers from within who have not only a vision for change, but also have the tools to empower themselves.

Now, we are hosting our SECOND HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. Please pray especially for these children this week as they prepare for their special ceremony on Friday, December 8th.

In a nation where few who ever have the opportunity to become literate and even fewer who 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. Most of our graduates are the first to be literate in their entire families.  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!

Click here to see the graduating class’s yearbook & meet our students!

Adam Nash is attending this year’s graduation and will return with many stories, photos, and videos. Be on the lookout for exciting coverage in the New Year!

Celebrate with us as we honor the 21 students who are graduating this week:  click here to make a donation in their honor and help us prepare for the Juniors following in their footsteps!

Continuing to trek a rutted path, but the place we are headed is becoming gloriously clear!

With love, gratitude, and a humble heart,


  • Sylvia says:

    What more can be said, but “ALL PRAISE, HONOR AND GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!” what an awesome God we serve.

  • William Jongkor Kuol says:

    Thanks be to God for materialising more than 12 years dream through His inspired servants in forms of donors and most specifically MakeWayPartners diligence.
    Your spiritual and literacy intervention is rewarding.

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