January 3, 2017

Happy New Year Loved Ones!

We hope this newsletter finds you well in body and spirit! We have enjoyed a good rest and are ready to get back to the people we love in Juba. This next Wednesday we begin our journey back via a short stopover in Rwanda. This update will be focused on giving you a summary of our plans for 2017. We hope you enjoy tracking with us, and praying for us as we dive back into all that God has planned!

We have several plans “on the books” for the next 6 months (Lord willing, of course) that we want to share with you. We would LOVE for you to pray for each of these projects/programs, for those God would touch through them, and for a lasting impact of #Restoring, #Equipping and #Empowering to take place:

1. Worship Community Group-
We are having a group evaluation meeting the last week of January to discuss where God is leading us in the new year. Pray for this meeting, and for clear direction in how to best equip and empower these young people! Previously we had been meeting twice a week to worship, pray, study God’s word, and work on both vocal and instrument skills, as well as having other one-on-one instruction times during the week. We believe this is an important time for them to step up and put what they’ve learned into practice more on their own. We’re excited to hear what God has been putting on their hearts for this year.

2. Women’s Health Ed. (WHEd)- We have an organizational meeting scheduled for the last week of January to discuss the final details. The first series of classes will run for 8 weeks and focus on basic women’s health topics like The Importance of  Women’s Health, Healthy Communication, Women’s Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition for a Healthy Body, etc… These health topics are vital to growing a healthy community.  We are excited about equipping & empowering women to make a real difference in their communities! Pray for the finishing details that need to be ironed out (most especially the need for a female translator). Pray for the hearts of these women who are so eager to learn about health topics, and who want to use that knowledge to bless others.

3. Divine Mission Church Building Project-
Jason has already been serving to help with strategic planning, project oversight and organization for the new Divine Mission Church building. Two years ago our Juba church family began a faith journey to build a new sanctuary. The one they are currently in is more than 15 years old, made of mud-bricks and is much too small to host everyone (even with having 2 Sunday service times). A bad deal with some shady contractors in the beginning, and the extreme economic challenges in the country have hindered any further progress. After almost a year of discussing, planning & praying Divine Mission decided to put to use what God had already provided. Dec. 1st they began working on the foundation and have not stopped. We’re excited to get back to see what God has helped them to complete, and to help with the rest of the work. (More details to come in the future…)

4. Farming God’s Way- 
We have planned for a “Well Watered Garden” project among the Mundari people, just north of Juba. Our relationship with the Mundari is a growing one. We have seen it best to plan loosely in this area for now; being keen to see the ways God has already been preparing their hearts. We want to see the principles of God’s word demonstrated through this “Well Watered Garden” to those who have an interest in learning the FGW agricultural techniques. Pray for the Mundari’s hearts, for the political and tribal peace that is needed for people to plant & harvest, and for us an increase of wisdom and discernment. Depending upon the arrival of the rainy season, we will begin in March. *You can learn more about FGW by clicking HERE

Project in Focus: Our Big Move

Remember back in July we shared with you about our hearts to live alongside our Juba church family? Although we already live within walking distance, we have felt it is God’s best for us to relocate to the church property. This is both for strengthening local relationships, and the effectiveness of the work. Above is a picture of the construction that was started in August. We began cleaning, digging and building a place for us to live. This is something we want to share with you “IN FOCUS” because we believe it is a very central part of our work in this next season.

The plan from the beginning has been to build something very simple, cost effective and in a basic way, accommodating for our family. This space will also serve as a community space for the future to be used by us, and the church. The plans involve: leveling out the area next to Pastor Abraham’s mud house, between the primary school buildings and church sanctuary, adding security fencing for our area and the rest of the church (which has been needed for years), the setting of an ocean container for storage purposes, building a bathroom and washroom, an outdoor kitchen area, and setting up a water tower. Since building anything in South Sudan takes SO LONG, we’ve planned to use tents for our sleeping arrangements this year in order that we can live with our Juba family sooner. God has blessed us, and little by little we have made good progress toward our goal. Our Juba family has also donated some materials, and their muscles to help us. (See the pictures below)


Next we will begin working on completing the security gates, building the water tower and then our bathroom block. We do have $1,800 to put to work when we get back, but still need more to finish and get ourselves moved.
We are asking all of our support team members and friends/family to pray in focus with us on this project.
  • Pray for the finances still needed to complete the construction ($10,000).
  • Pray for the energy needed to be able work in the heat.
  • Pray that God would help us with all of the complicated logistics involved in completing a project like this one.
If you would like to give toward our building project, you can do so through the link below. (Or by sending a donation to our Hayden, ID address)

Thank you again for loving us, praying for us, and supporting the work of BHI in South Sudan. We wouldn’t want to do it without you!! If you have any questions, comments, or just plain want to connect with us, send us an email anytime!

With Love,

On Behalf of Birthing Hope International,

Jammie, Jason, Nayana, Sarah & Aliyah Stark