Sunday, 27 September 2009

Good news from Rokon

Mogga Loyo also e-mailed this week, to let me know about an environemental workshop that he had led in Rokon.
The background to this is the deforestation and environmental degradation inflicted on South Sudan by the occupying troops during the civil war.

South Sudan's Forestry Officers are working to grow seedlings to aid in the reforestation of their countryside. This picture shows Mogga (right) with his twin sister Kulang and a Forestry Officer.
Having wisely secured the backing of three local chiefs, Mogga's workshop got people thoroughly involved in planning for action. If I have understood correctly, one immediate outcome was the ceremonial planting of a seedling tree.
Please pray that the people of South Sudan will be able to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to rehabilitate their war-ravaged country.

Good news from Juba

This week Mike forwarded a news story to me, which told of a thousand illegal arms having been seized by the Government of South Sudan's security forces in Juba. The Minister of Internal Affairs said the search for these hidden weapons had been prompted by many killings carried out at night in Juba by men wearing military uniforms. Many people were said to have expressed happiness about a successful operation to improve security in Juba.

My question was:
I think and hope it is an answer to prayer. Do you? But what about the General tracking down the LRA and stopping them? I think that should be the highest priority. What do the people of South Sudan say about that?

Mike replied:
Through a joint prayer every thing will improve one by one [one thing at a time - JG]. i think it is just the start. they want to provide security in town areas then expand further .For the LRA i think it will take time because they usually come and cause problems then runs to Central African Republic whereby Sudan has no power to go and face them from another country we pray everything will be okay after some tome [time -JG].

Saturday, 12 September 2009

News from Mike and Mogga 12/9/09

Hi Jenny.
I think you are really having a nice time with your sister Clare but having a hard time over there like communication problem through the Internet.

This semester I am doing Bible studies which I am really enjoying because we are really learning a lot of things from the Bible. The first week we were given an assignment about the importance of Bible studies, for which I got 18/20, so I was very excited. The computer is really helping me a lot; thank you once again for the computer.

The situation in Sudan is getting better. When Mogga came back., he told me there was rain and although most plants dried up when the rain did not come back for some time, the vegetation is now green. As for the fighting, it has been solved by the government forces and people have come together, except in the eastern part of Sudan, which is rather remote. There is frequent cattle raiding.

I didn’t tell you that Mogga has organised a workshop which he went to facilitate and every thing went okay. It was about environmental activities/care of the environment.

I wish you a good family meeting. One day if we all achieve our goal we shall do the same, since we’re all far from each other. Insecurity in other places where other brothers and sisters are staying has hindered us as a family.

Greetings to everybody over there. God bless you all,

your brother in Christ

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Beginning of first semester, year 2

Hallo Jenny,
I am happy to hear from you too. I am really pleased about what you are doing for me.
I expect you are happy because your daughter is with you. Please send my greetings to all of them.
About this semester: I have not sent a receipt yet, because since our university always delays giving a receipt until they prove whether your cheques has cleared. When it is out I will send it to you immediately.
Mogga (Mike's foster brother who is a student at the same university) is now in Sudan but he will be coming in one week’s time. He is doing trimesters - that is three semesters in a year; not like my course which is two semesters a year. He has a break of two weeks a semester. We pray too for our country for what is taking place over there so that things will be okay.When are you completing your Bible studies? I think it will not take many years.God bless you for every thing you do.
Your brother in Christ

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A message from Bishop Francis

Dear Jenny and all,

It has been a longtime since we communicated,our communication system is not yet good,however, I hope that you and the rest of our friends are doing well.

I have travelled to Uganda for some duty and soon will go back to the Sudan after 4 to 5 days.from now.

I left Yemba Soro in the Sudan and he is doing well during his vocation with relatives but soon he may come back to Nairobi as they will start their academic term.

The situation back home was well only that we lack rainfall and so crops this year will not be harvested well. Pray for the rains please!

1.Pray alsothat the political situation will go well as recently,the borders disputes was resolved by the International borders disputes committee regarding to Abeyei areas bordering the North and the South Sudan.

2.Remember also the Darfur areas as the warring factions fought between themselves and the people suffer most.

3.The forthcoming elections in the Sudan as well as the refrandum which will take place in 2011.

4.Pray for our diocese as we seek contributions to build a simple office for the Diocese of Rokon. The community have done their best by burning red bricks and collections of stones and sand, what remains are the industrial materials and support for the skill builders.

Thank you and you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Kind regards,


Monday, 27 July 2009

A touching "thank you"

I've already told the story of Robin Bragg taking a laptop on the plane with him when he went to Kenya, and successfully giving this to Mike. What I didn't know was that Mike sent us all a beautiful "Thank you" card, which Robin passed on when he got home. I will try to get a photograph online for you to see.

The wording is:
I want to thank you for STANDING by me
and HELPING me in your own way when I really NEEDED you.
I cannot state my GRATITUDE towards you.
Thank you for all that you did for me.

There were also two lovely postcards from Kenya, one from Mike, and one from his foster brother Mogga, also thanking us for supporting Mike.

I can't wait for Mike to get back to Nairobi, so that I can e-mail him our thanks! I have no way of contacting him when he is at home in Sudan, and he has been there since the last semester ended in May. There are two semesters a year: August to December, and January to May.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Six Months in Sudan

I have been knocked out. First there was the generosity of the friend, who dropped "Six Months in Sudan" through my door, with the most kindly note. Secondly there was the book itself.

Having read, I treasure even more the photos of Kera, with its healthy children and the clean environment. Truly a miracle in the midst of what was, then, the most terrible war. I know I keep on saying, "These people have nothing." Each time I think I have finally realised fully what that means. But I never have. Always there is another landmine of truth on the path to understanding.

If your heart is open to Sudan and its people, you might like to walk the path of understanding too. One way to begin (or bravely continue) is with the eyewitnes testimony:

I know I should say a word of caution. Sudan is an enormous country: the biggest in Africa. Its geography is very varied. Perhaps we could just see Abyei as a way to begin to understand a little better that a civil war and its suffering does not finally end with the peace agreement.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Summer vacation coming up

How are you doing over there? The slip I sent you last time shows the next years fees structure. You can check the second year first semester and get the amount which we are to pay for the August semester.

About the 589 pounds what do you mean? The amount I am remaining with in my account or that we are to pay next semester? Sorry for the confusion on my side.

I am already planning to go to Sudan minus meeting Robin.

Greetings to every body over there and wish you a happy time. I know it will be hard to communicate to you but I will try my best I am going to miss you people because communicating to you is like living together with you all. God bless you all, your brother in Christ Mike

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

A great day out - and support for Mike Yemba

Most unusually, I haven't heard from Mike this week, so I expect all the students have had to take the December exams again, and are busy with those. (You will remember that the University lost all the marks in its computer system.)

So I hope you won't mind a message from me.

On 16th May, the Winterborne and Milton Abbas Benefice will be holding its annual Valley Walk. This gives those taking part a chance to walk from Turnworth to Milton Abbas in five easy and very beautiful stages, stopping at each of the benefice churches on the way. Or you could just do one stage, or two or three - whatever you like. We finish at Milton Abbas, where a most wonderful tea is always provided in the Reading Room. As well as having a great day out in (usually) brilliant May weather - but do pray for that, if you will - we also have the opportunity to be sponsored, and to raise money for our churches and a good cause. This year, the organisers have kindly suggested that the good cause could be the support we are giving to Mike Yemba Soro.

If you would like to take part, please e-mail me at, and I will send you the information and forms you will need.
The picture above is people arriving at Milton Abbas last year.

Chris (the Diocesan Accountant) has just let me know that he has sent over £500 to Nairobi for Mike, so we have more than covered his first year's costs. Well done everybody! The next target is to raise enough money to pay the next lot of fees in August. I am expecting what will look like a steep rise in costs for us, as the British pound has been declining steadily against other currencies. So any and all contributions will be very welcome.

If anyone else would like to commit to giving by standing order, (even if only once a year - even if just a small amount) please let me know, and I can provide the appropriate form for you.
Yours in Christ Jesus, Jenny

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Mike Yemba's first year exam results

Thank you very much for every thing. I started my exams last week and I am now left with two units to complete for the semester, and wait for the next semester. Every semester we do a total of six units as it keeps on increasing; if we reach third and fourth year it will increase to seven units. I am not really happy because I have not got the results I expected.
(Mike actually passed everything - with 2 Bs and 3 Ds.)

I am trying my best that I work harder and get the best that I can as seen from the results sent. Some of the results were not recorded due to the disappearance from the computer. The lecturers do not have a copy - that's why they were not recorded; so we (the whole class) are expecting to re- do it again so that it will be recorded. I am planning to meet Robin but I think he is too busy, so I don't know what to do because after finishing the computer course I will then plan to travel to Sudan. (This refers to Robin Bragg, who is in Kenya at the moment, and who successfully delivered a donated laptop to Mike.) I pray the plan you are laying goes successfully for the benefit of the people. May God lead you all in what you do. (This refers to the benefice's Mission Action Plan - which every parish and benefice in the Diocese is currently working on.)

God bless you all. Greetings from Mogga and the rest.

Your brother in Christ, Mike

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Prayer for peace

Bishop Francis has asked us to go on praying for the peace of Sudan.Please pray in your own way, or perhaps you'd like to say "Amen" to my prayer:

Father, I know that our Sudanese brothers and sisters have treasured Christ's peace in their hearts, even as the civil war raged around them. I pray that his love and peace may continue to be very real for them, as they work to build the human peace. Sometimes that peace must seem so fragile, and so threatened. I pray especially that you our mighty God will overrule everything that threatens the comprehensive peace agreement.

A word from Bishop Francis

Lovely to hear from you Jenny.

While mama Linda is preparing to leave for the Sudan, I was grateful that she was able to communicate with you and I think it is good that Internet has made communication easier to reach each other.

Yes, indeed God has some purpose for the link with the diocese of Rokon, where we need to share prayers together and so giving us all strength that we may need in this Ministry

We also thank you for your support in sending Mike the laptop for his private use.

Thank you and may the Lord bless you all including the Rector and the Christians. Enjoy the lovely weather of UK.


Bishop Loyo.

A Beautiful Easter and a happy meeting

Mike writes:

How was the beautiful sunny Easter? We had a beautiful sunny Easter too.We organized and met with Robin at the Airport unfortunately we did not have enough time to talk since they had organized to proceed to Nakuru. It was a pleasure to meet with a new friend and I was happy to see him. We are organizing to meet after my exams, if every thing goes well, so that we can have nice time together.I got the laptop and it is so nice that it can facilitate my activities effectively in my education. I thank you all for the special gift you have given me.Greetings to all the friends and the family members. Your brother in Christ, Mike

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Greetings and good news

Dear All,

Mike's latest e-mail is below. I'm just adding a few lines as well to let you know that I successfully met up with Robin Bragg (from Blandford Evangelical Church) who flew to Nairobi yesterday, taking with him an excellent laptop, with all the add-ons you could possibly think of, which he hoped to be able to hand over to Mike as he (Robin) landed, and before he started on the next stage of his journey. Robin's son is spending 10/11 weeks as a teaching assistant in a school somewhere north of Nairobi, where Robin used to be the chaplain, and Robin will be undertaking some chaplaincy duties. Robin has said he would be happy to come out to talk to us about their experiences when he gets back, so I'm hoping that it may be possible to issue an invitation to him to do so. Happy Easter to you all, and thank you for your continued support and prayers,

Love, Jenny

Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 06:53:22 -0700From: yemmicloyo@yahoo.comSubject: RE: Happy Easter preparationTo:

Dear Jenny'

Happy Easter week How are you doing over there?Thank you very much too for keeping me busy too through the e-mail. I appreciate what you are doing to me. I praise God for making things be okay on my side through you. The exam results are out and ours will be distributed soon but I do not know when, because every body is preparing for the exams. I will inform and update you and send it if it is out thank you for the patience. Greetings to every body and wish them happy Easter.your brother in Christ Mike

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Happy Easter - Prayer request- exams soon


How are you doing over there and the family at large? I think you are very busy running up and down for the preparation of the Easter days.

We are soon starting our exams that is the second week after Easter. As you will be preparing for the Easter you should put us in your prayers as I am preparing for my end of first year exams soon.Wish you a HAPPY EASTER and everybody over there in your congregation.Your faithful brother in Christ MIKE

A word of explanation

You may like a few words of clarification from me, Jenny.

First, the computer. This is a laptop that has been kindly donated by Robin, our Rector, then checked and refurbished (if that's the right word?) by Jim McIntosh. We are hoping that Robin Bragg, who is going to Kenya shortly on behalf of Blandford Evangelical Church, will be able to take it with him to give to Mike Yemba.

Second, the photos. I'm trying to take photos of all the kind people who have supported Mike, and to send them to him, so that he gets an idea of who we all are, as well as us getting to know him.

God bless you all! Jennyxx

Sister Maria - sending a laptop - working hard

We had a wonderful time with our sister. She is called Maria Gire. She completed her secondary school and she came to visit us. She has been at home and when Mama Linda came back, she was also given the chance to come and visit us. She is now 19.

The computer will be of a great advantage and will help me in a lot of things to be done. I will be grateful if you work it out for me.
About the postal address I will confirm and send it to you soon.

I am really trying my best by working harder to achieve what I want. We always have assigments almost every weekend to keep us busy on the different units to be done.
Greetings to every body and the family members
Your brother in Christ Yemba

A visit from my sister - a photo from Marion - Mothering Sunday

Christian greetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are all doing fine with Mogga and our sister who is on her long holiday after completing senior four. She has come to visit us and will be going back soon.

How was the mothering season? I wish I could be there to give you some flowers too but wish you the same for the help support and care you have given me. I wish I knew the mothering season so that I could also remember you all. May God bless that day.

I received Marion's wonderful electronic photo. How about you making a permanent copy for me some time and sending it to me please?
I will be grateful to see your photos.

Greetings to all family members
Yours brother in Christ

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Late (lost?) exam results in Nairobi

Latest news from Mike:

Thank you too for keeping me in contact all the time when I do write to you.

How is every body over there in the parish of Abbas? I think every body is busy as per now in different activities been carried out in the parish..

We are doing fine except in the university where every body is furious about the delay of the exam results. The administration said the results are not yet seen from the software so we are still waiting for what is next: whether to re-do the exams or to get the list of the results from the lecturers. I know my supporters are expecting the results so sorry for that but I will inform you about it if every thing goes well.

Greetings to all the family members and those supporting me.
Your brother in Christ,

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Fundraising event - can you help?

Winterborne Whitechurch PCC are holding a car boot sale at the village hall on 28th March. I am planning to ask for a space so that I can run a second hand book stall, and hopefully raise some money towards Mike Yemba's support. Any donations of books would be much appreciated. They can be left in Winterborne Whitechurch church or Winterborne Stickland church, or you can e-mail me to come and pick them up.

News from Nairobi 15th March 09

Dear Jenn,How are you doing over there?We are all doing fine with Mogga and my friends although there was some violence in the city. Our university is around 12 km from the city, so we are not much affected by the violence taking place. We are safe; don't worry about us.
It was my dad that I lost when I was young and my mum is still living although others were lost and disappeared during the war. My mum also disappeared during the war and came back after some time. That's when they happened to know that she is alive.
Robin wrote to me and has told me his plans of coming.
I think all of you are busy right now for the happy Lent season that is taking place. I pray all that you're doing may be blessed and God will grant you more for what you have done.
I will be grateful to see the photos of my British friends and those supporting me .May God bess them for making my future brighter. Have a blessed spring weather change for the better. Work to be done! We have been experiencing dry and hot weather with no rain since December upto now.God bless you all, Yemba
(The photo is Mike Yemba at home in Rokon during the Christmas vacation. He's "helping mum during her absence cooking.")

Friday, 13 March 2009

What's Juba like?

To read a wonderfully vivid description of Juba, please see Trevor and Tina Stubbs' blog for 9th March at:

Latest from Mike

How are you doing and the family at large?About the photos: I took them in Rokon where we now live in our ancestral land (since it was the war which displaced our people during the war) except the one in the church which was taken in Kera during Christmas time. Since I grew up with Mama Linda from my child hood I have been calling her mum and Bishop Francis as dad. If my mum is among them I have to differentiate by calling them mama Kiden or mama Linda - not for me alone even other brothers and sisters do the same.
I will hear from Robin of when he is coming to Nairobi.I will be grateful if you can send for me the computer because as per now that is what I am lacking and I usually face difficulties in doing my assignments and accessing other things from the internet.
I thank God for choosing you to answer my prayers through you.
I will search for some photos showing the different tree species but I think it will delay a bit because I don't have them as per now but think the soil and weather differences create a wide difference in our place since our place is mostly hot.
I know how you feel now very happy and thanking God for your son's step daughter snce you are to be called great grand mum. Greeting to them and wish them happy moments.You mean knitting using your own hand or machine? I thought that you don't know about these things. Then it is the same among all of us - that’s what our people do for their children. I thank you for all that you are doing to me. May God bless you all. Greetings to all the family members and those who are supporting me in my career.
Your brother in Christ Yemba

Our friend - Mike not Mark + Mama Linda's travels

Dear Jenny,

Thank you so much and accept my apologies for not responding to your email prompt. However, I am now in Juba since yesterday and will travel after a few days to Rokon. Many greetings from home in Rokon.

Yes, you are right and I think the right name for Yemba is Michael or Mike Yemba Soro. The other Mark is not real one as all his papers are carrying Michael Yemba Soro.

Mama Linda is in Nairobi visiting those of our children there and she will be back soon to Kampala to visit other children too. Later on she will join us in the diocese.

Jenny, the only connection with us is through prayers Link and hopefully one day we will be together.

Thank you for your continuous support for Michael Yemba Soro.

God bless,

Bishop Loyo.

Monday, 2 March 2009

News from Sudan

Bishop Francis' latest e-mail reads as follows:

Dear Jenny,

It is a long time since we communicated.

Yes, I have been engaged so much in church work in the diocese and difficult to connect because of lack of communication , - no internet services in my place.

However, most of the programmes are done except that some confirmation and the synod will soon come. At the moment am in Kampala for some few days and will go back to the Sudan.

Some two weeks ago there was convention in our diocese organised by the Mothers Union in the diocese where it brought all people from the diocese and its neighbouring dioceses .It was very challenging indeed and many still turned to Christ that was in the end of Jan,09.

And by the 12th Feb,09 we have retreat organised by the ECS Province ,where we were blessed with the two Archbishops to carry us along with the retreat for a week. Archbishop George Cary as well as Archbishop Orombi of the Church of Uganda and other Bishops from USA.

I have read the correspondences from Mike Yemba of the support for his upkeep has not yet reached although you told him that you have already sent. You have to cross check with the CMS-Nairobi with Omukuba Wycliffe whether the support money has arrived with them.

This is to assure you of our thoughts and prayers to you all.

This comes with much appreciations and thanks,

+Francis Loyo.

News from Nairobi

Mark's latest e-mail reads as follows:

"Dear Jenny, How are you doing over there? I hope you had a wonderful mass today like mine because the pastor was preaching about St Paul's letter to the Galatians which was interesting and understandable.I have just received some of the photo's that we took during the Christmas and i did not send to you immediately because i was expecting them. During our arrival, in church during Christmas, helping mum in her absence, cooking, clearing the compound. I hope they are nice. I did not hear from you about the neighbour who is coming to Nairobi - when am i expecting him? your brother in Christ Mike "
Oops! Mike? It seems I have been mis-calling our friend for 6 months. I am so sorry!
The good news is that donations have now passed £3,000.
I am trying to do my bit by running a Christian bookstall anywhere I am allowed to. New books (10% of cost goes to support Mike) and/or second-hand books can both be offered. All the second-hand books are donated by people who wanted to get behind the idea of a Christian bookstall in rural communities, so all the takings from these go to support Mike. I praise the Lord for all of you!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Such a gracious God!

I have been praying that support for Mark Yemba will continue to come in during the difficult months after Christmas. As I keep reminding God, I am not a gifted fund-raiser at all, and I always need his help.

I am always impressed when God takes my small efforts and turns them into something much bigger. I had thought I might raise a small amount of money, and provide a service for our rural communities, if I offered Christian Bibles and other books for sale through the church account with a Christian bookseller. This hasn't in fact made a lot of profit yet, but what has happened is that kind people have donated their second-hand books for sale, and these are raising more money than the new books.

Thank you Lord!

Then I appealed for more photos to send to Mark, and here is one of the beautiful photos I was sent.

Friday, 20 February 2009

E-mail from Bishop Francis Loyo 20-02-09

Dear Jenny,

Many thanks for your continuous concerns in the education of Yemba and we valued your supporting spirit and kindness.

Please you are not alone in this venture but we are remembering you and all friends who have given you this support. We pray for you and we assure you of our full support.

At the moment am in Juba where I can access the internet and will go back to our diocese today and will proceed to Kampala for some work.

We have just finished our Bishops and wives retreat and last 3 weeks we had a big convention organised by the Mothers Union to at least bring us together. Thousands of people gathered and prayed for the lasting peace in the country wide.

Be blessed,

+Francis Loyo.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Crisis in support for a Sudanese student

Mark Yemba Soro was born in south Sudan in 1988,and orphaned at the age of 6. When Mark was offered a place at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Bishop Francis Loyo of Rokon Diocese asked for support to meet Mark’s university fees and living expenses.

Individuals and parishes in the Deanery responded magnificently, and have met the first term’s fees and living expenses. Now, at the start of the second term, there is an urgent need to raise our level of giving. The falling pound has resulted in a 10% fall in the value of every pound we send. Meanwhile, Kenya also faces economic crisis, resulting in inflation and higher fees. The combined effect of these two changes has been to increase this term’s fees from £648 to £768. The extra cost to Mark has deprived him of some of the money he needed to live on.
At present, we therefore need an estimated £374 per month.

Dear heavenly Father, Please show me how to respond to what, in human terms, is a crisis. May I find the proper balance between doing all that you have equipped and called me to do, and putting my trust in you.

I pray especially that Mark may not suffer hardship because of our own national economic crisis, and feelings of insecurity. Help us, Lord, to keep a sense of proportion.

I pray also that you would bless Mark's studies, for his sake, as one of your little ones with no other support but you; as a member of a nation that sorely needs his love, his courage and his skills, and as an individual with a human right to develop to his maximum potential.

Lord, in your mercy, hear my prayers. Amen

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Supporting a Sudanese student through university

Mark Yemba Soro is a twenty-year old orphan from the Diocese of Rokon, in South Sudan. He was orphaned during the long Sudanese civil war at the age of six. He and his sisters found shelter and support with Bishop Francis Loyo and his wife, Mama Linda.

They were deeply impressed by the strong Christian faith which Mark's parents had passed on to their children, and also by Mark's hard work and dedication to his education. Seeing his potential, they sacrificially funded his secondary education in Uganda (South Sudan had no secondary schools at that time), and Mark gained the local equivalent of our "A" Levels. Mark was offered a place at university in Kenya.

At this point, Bishop Francis contacted a friend in the Blandford and Milton Deanery, and asked for urgent prayer for Mark, saying that he desperately needed support.

Bishop Francis and Mama Linda were quite unable to go on funding Mark's education, and they were just praying that God would take care of it. The people of the Deanery responded immediately, and have so far funded fees and living expenses for one of two semesters in the first year, and the fees for the second semester.

Dear God, please help me to continue to be radically dependent on you, but also wise enough to respond when you show me that there is something I can and should do. Please don't let Mark's education falter now, for lack of support..