Hope Against All Odds: Highlights From Recent Trip To My Beloved South Sudan

Dear family and friends,

My recent trip to South Sudan was fruitful and encouraging. That being said, I experienced a piercing thorny pain in my heart due to countless orphans and street children wandering hopelessly and aimlessly. The purpose for my trip to South Sudan was, thankfully, accomplished!!!! I came back to the US two days ago, still grappling with jetlag but filled with much joy for the mission accomplished. I am getting ahead of myself!

First off, I wanted to update you on my family’s transition to Houston, Texas. In his book, Transition: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, William Bridges emphasized that, “Transition is not simply a manual on how to cope; rather it is based in a theory of personal development that views transition as the natural process of disorientation and reorientation making the turning points in the path of growth.” My wife and I remained hopeful and focused despite confusion in an unfamiliar place, which is a natural part of the transition. We are surrounded by family and friends who have been graciously helpful when in need. Our utmost hope, however, is to settle in well, find better opportunities for our family, open doors for Undying Hope, and growth each step of the way.

Through friends’ assistance, we found a bigger home that costs relatively less than what we were paying for our home in Maryland. Unlike Maryland, most rents in TX are without a refrigerator, washer, dryer, etc. We had to purchase our own since we can’t do without. BGE is divided into two companies overhear, each with its expenses. All in all, we love our new home and enjoying Texas weather!! Our son, Thomas, enrolled in a reputable high school. He is already making friends and loving it. Our daughter, Nina, is learning new words and filling our home with much joy. My wife Rose is always a blessing. Her unwavering support and love keep me going.

Student 2022 Scholarships:
We are making progress on the students’ 2022 scholarship initiative. While in Juba, I had a productive meeting with Undying Hope’s strategic partners. We agreed to focus the scholarships on the severe economic hardship coupled with South Sudan’s main three regions (Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal, and Upper Nile) and three administrative areas (Pibor, Ruweng, and Abyei). A list of 30 students has been received and being reviewed.

These scholarships will provide students with hope and keep many students in school. Please consider joining Undying Hope’s scholarship plan. Every dollar counts and makes a difference!

To donate, please click here or the link below, then follow the instructions:

Thank you so much!!!!

Seeds of Hope Elementary School and Orphanage
I am profoundly grateful and pleased to let you know that Undying Hope’s vision for Elementary School and Orphanage started to take shape in Aweil. The following were accomplished during my recent trip to South Sudan.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal’s Ministry of Physical Infrastructure surveyed Undying Hope property again for accuracy
Forty (40) trees planted in our land!
Signpost designed and mounted in the property
Community and government officials demonstrated steadfast support
Official documents received
and many more
This exciting news would not have been possible without your continued prayers, support, and generosity. On behalf of students and orphans, thank you!!! Together, we will make a difference in South Sudan & beyond. One step at a time!

Guiding Star Leadership Academy:

I also visited our property in Wau, land in which we intend to build a high school (Guiding Star Leadership Academy). Per community member who gave us this land, some random people encroached into Undying Hope property. I’m watching this new development closely and taking notes. The Board of Directors has been notified.

It’s worth noting that, for strategic reasons, Undying Hope will not build schools before 2024. However, depending on available resources, we will drill boreholes for clean water, install water towers, plant trees, and maintain them.

Undying Hope will train, teach, coach, and provide scholarships between now and school construction.

Hope for the Broken Hearted:

LAST WEEK, when I was in Aweil, my hometown, I felt as if my heart was breaking down into pieces. Despite successful meetings, networking, and activities, my heart melted painfully. Everywhere I go, look, or turn, I see street children and orphans. They were everywhere. In the markets. On the streets. In front of restaurants. Under broken walls and trees. Swimming in dirty waters. They were walking individually and in groups. Some were collecting bottles and scrapes to sell for survival. They were begging for food. Begging for money. Begging for shoes and clothes.

I intentionally unleashed my imagination to travel beyond their desperate situation and focused on hope and potential. I believe these street children and orphans have talent, gifts, and abilities.

If nothing is done, such potential will most likely be a waste and a disaster to their community, country, and the world. They need hope and education. My wife and I will serve these children and South Sudan through education for the rest of our lives.

We can do something, but we can not do everything. Together, we can do a lot and save lives from such an unfortunate situation.

Rest assured that, with our collective support, partnership, and generosity, some of these children will grow up and emerge to be change agents on our planet earth. Would you help?

With much love and gratitude,

Theil Theil

Posted in