Thursday, December 15, 2011

Water Filter Sponsorship

The water/mission team departs in just 71 days!

In our approximately 25 days in the village, we hope to install 50 water filters. This is a VERY ambitious goal, as we'll be training right alongside installation/construction. We also have other projects going at the same time. But the water filters have been identified as "most critical" right now, as they truly are a life/death project.

Fifty water filters are in our budget, but really, not enough to serve the people in this community, the way we want to, so we are asking you to consider sponsoring one for yourself, or as a gift this holiday season.

Sponsorship of a water filter costs $35 and will cover construction and wages to the local builders (not to our team). The sponsored water filter will be installed in a home, school or clinic on your behalf.

For a home, these filters serve the purposes of approximately 20 people for all water uses (dish-washing, bathing, etc) or for drinking water only, such as a school, it would serve approximately 70. The life expectancy of a concrete biosand filter is a whopping 30 years, and there are no maintenance costs at all through the life of the filter. Free pure water for 30 years. Now that is return on investment!

Would you be willing to sponsor the construction of a filter? This would allow us to continue our program beyond the first 50 filters. For your sponsorship, you would get a color card about the project sent to you (or if you choose, a recipient of your choice) and after the water filter is installed, we will send you some information about the person/people it served.

Your sponsorship would be tax-deductible (Kent Lutheran Church is managing this South Sudan water project, and it is a registered 501(c)3 in the United States.)

For more information about sponsorship, email Jessica Ward

Sponsorship must be completed and registered before February 10 in order to get an update when the filter is installed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Join Us: Fundraising Dinner Auction

Please join us, Sunday November 13, for a dinner auction benefiting our project in South Sudan.

You can still get tickets through online registration here.

We are also looking for donations of silent auction items. Please contact Jessica if you are willing to donate an auction item.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Fundraiser Items

New fundraiser items have arrived! See our album on Facebook. Order while you can--this order is very limited, and items are going out for sale at two different churches on September 11.

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Water?

Some people ask why we are interested in water as our first project. To clarify, our first-year plan in South Sudan includes both water and micro-enterprise. But we don't believe that anything can happen without safe water.


See this video from Water For Sudan to understand why.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shoe Drive "Kickoff" September 23-24, 2011

Your recycled shoes provide jobs and usable footwear in Africa, additionally wholesalers buy these shoes from our collections, so your donation of unwanted shoes actually funds our mission team's trip to Sudan to provide clean water systems!

Drop off your used shoes between 10:00-5:00pm on Friday September 23 and 24th, or until 1:00pm on Sunday to help us "kickoff" our team's fundraising efforts.

Kent Lutheran Church
336 2nd Avenue
Kent WA 98032

If you can't drop your shoes that day, email or call us for a list of collection sites or to arrange pickup. Collection sites will be open until late November and will be posted here.

Contact: or Jessica Ward 253-350-5427.

Registration Open for Latrine Construction Training

Class will be held September 15 and 16, 2011.

Online registration has closed. If you need to add in to the class on the day of the class, call Jessica Ward at 253-350-5427.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Short-Term Warehouse Space Needed


Our mission team is in need of some short-term warehouse space and access to a loading dock. We hope to cover part of the team's travel expenses via a used-shoe drive. (Used shoes are collected here, and sold wholesale to micro-businesses in Africa and Central America). However, we can only make this happen if we have a place to stage the shoes for the shipping container we have to fill. (If we can fill one container, we will raise $10,000 for our team!).

Here's what we need:
1. Flat floor space in a warehouse in Western WA (Kent/Renton/Auburn preferred), sufficient to mimic the inside of a shipping container (8' wide, 9' tall, and 50' long). We do not need heating or air conditioning.
2. Access at least weekly (on your schedule is fine) to add more shoes to our "collection."
3. Access to a loading dock and forklift (your operator, or our certified operator) for the day of loading the container.
4. Space available until the end of November, 2011.

Here's what we can offer:
1. Credit for a tax-deductible in-kind contribution to a registered 501(c)3.
2. Only responsible, screened individuals with access to your space.
3. We will leave the space in better condition than we got it--clean and tidy, and in good repair.
4. Insurance if necessary.
5. Our eternal and undying thanks.

If you or someone you know has commercial warehouse space available, please let Jessica Ward know at 253-350-5427 or

For more information about our mission and mission team, learn about our South Sudan repatriation efforts here.

Image credit: Bill Longshaw

Monday, July 25, 2011

Videos from Friendly Water for the World Training

Disinfecting the Outlet with Bleach Water

p.53 Biosand Filter Manual

Construct the Difuser Plate

pp. 33-44 Biosand Filter Manual

Sieving the Sand and Gravel

pp. 18-22

Loading the Filter

pp. 49-59

Preparing the Mold

pp. 27-30

Extracting the Filter

pp. 31-32

Making Concrete

pp. 28-30

Sieve Set Construction

Appendix 2

Sources of Water – Suzanne Livingston

Question and Answer Session

More Q & A

Travel Insurance

Hygiene and Sanitation

Sand Sieve Analysis

Maintenance of Biosand Water Filter

p. 54

Budgeting Projects

Appendix 6

Water Quality Testing

Prosper Ndabishuriye - Burundi

Keith, Deborah, & Avalon Theisen

Naimat Gilal – Pakistan

Tips for Traveling Overseas

Honduras Medical Project

Dr. Jonathan Hibbs

Kids and Friendly Water for the World

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Our Project in the News

Many thanks to Friendly Water for the World for the mention in their July newsletter about our project! FWW is a great organization, and they have a fantastic water and sanitation program!

Monday, July 18, 2011

South Sudan's New Constitution

South Sudan has an interim constitution now, and while it is very hard to find, Gach has found a copy of it. It has a lot of potenital problems, but a lot of things done right. What do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. The full document (86 pages) is linked here in PDF format.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Seven Graduates: Trainers for Water and Sanitation

Congratulations to Gach, Koang, Peter, Susanne, Nyereu, Jessica and Destiny for completing the water and sanitation certification training with Friendly Water for the World. This team is now certified to train in the construction of biosand water filters and sanitation and hygiene.

Together with others from around the world, we learned how to spread the "wealth" that is clean water, health and water security.

If you're wondering what the next steps might be, we also need individuals trained in latrine construction. As surface water is the primary source of water, and the water table sits at just 11 feet below the surface, it is critical to have quality sewage control to reduce the risk of contaminating water. We're coordinating a training to be held in Kent. Please let us know if you are interested in attending, and willing to commit to at least 2 weeks of travel in early 2012 to South Sudan. More photos from the water training are in the Flickr stream and on Facebook. :) Just look us up "klcsouthsudan."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Independence Day South Sudan!

South Sudan's National Anthem

Oh God

We praise and glorify you

For your grace on South Sudan,

Land of great abundance

Uphold us united in peace and harmony.

Oh motherland

We rise raising flag with the guiding star

And sing songs of freedom with joy,

For justice, liberty and prosperity

Shall forever more reign.

Oh great patriots

Let us stand up in silence and respect,

Saluting our martyrs whose blood

Cemented our national foundation,

We vow to protect our nation

Oh God bless South Sudan.

Independence Day celebrations are being held in Seattle at the Church By the Side of The Road, and also in Portland. Kent Lutheran also has a booth at the Kent Cornucopia Days fair on Saturday to spread the word about independence day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Water Training, Day 3

Today, July 4, we are at the third of five days of training with Friendly Water for the World where we'll learn to create biosand water filters. We're celebrating A different kind of freedom. Freedom from protozoa, from typhoid and cholera, bacteria and illness and premature death, accessible to all regardless of wealth or class, because everyone deserves it. That sounds a lot like "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" to me, don't you think?

We're hot, tired and sunburned, well, Jessica is sunburned. Class has been starting at 9:00 which means a 7:30 am departure from KLC, and we have been returning between 8pm-10pm at night. The work during the day has kept us busy, so no big blog tonight, just a link to some fun photos.

One very interesting thing we learned today is a testing method for determining good filter sand versus bad filter sand, and how to decide where to dig our sand from. Beach sand won't work as particles are too rounded, and the salt cannot be removed. All other sand needs to be as free as possible from pollutants and dust. Naturally, it isn't likely to be like that, but we learned a clever test for determining the best place to dig to save ourselves a lot of extra sand carrying, and sand washing, to ensure that all of the sand and gravel falls within the right size and volume ranges. It will help us to plan our quarry project (i.e., where to dig and where to store sand).

Photos from training so far are on Facebook.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 1 of Water School

Today was the first of five days of classes with Friendly Water for the World where we are learning to build biosand water filters. We have an energetic and diverse team of seven "builders" from Kent Lutheran alone, including speakers of English, Arabic, Swahili, Nuer, Dinka, and Amharic.

Today we met other missionaries from around the world including India, South Africa, Kenya, Burundi, Nicaragua, Mexico and probably at least a couple more that I (Jessica) forgot. The fellowship is fantastic. As our new friend Prosper Nbabishuriye of Burundi says, "It is your work, it is my work, it is our work, so it is God's work."

Half of our day was spent in classroom time learning about water contaminates, and the hazards of a life spent without pure water.

The second half of the day was spent in fellowship, and in the first stages of building a water filter. We learned how to identify and grade the sand suitable for concrete mixing and the biosand media. (Photos coming soon).

The sand sorting required quite a lot of manual work--shovels of gravel onto metal filter screens that two people shake repeatedly back and fourth. The sand filtered through four sets of screens to determine the four grades of sand; the finest for the filter media, the second finest for the concrete, the third finest for a gravel layer and finally a coarser gravel layer.

Filtering is time consuming and rhythmic work, so we learned some Swahili working songs to pass the time.

If you want to learn more about Prosper's work in Burundi (his work in Burundi is very similar to our agenda for South Sudan) please join us for a small working session at Kent Lutheran on Thursday at 7pm.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Program Update

Fundraiser beads have arrived. If you want to help sell beads, let Jessica know. (Photos)

Water school starts on Saturday. To carpool, please plan on arriving at KLC by 7:30 AM Saturday. For everyone planning on attending water training Saturday-Wednesday, please email Jessica and confirm that you can attend. (This is important, I need to do a final check to see how many people we have). Fuel contributions will be about $30 per person if we take the church van. We have registered 8 people, so we have room for one or two more. I am told that most of the teaching is done without speaking, so if someone would like to attend, but doesn't speak much English, that is ok—please encourage them to attend.

A new opportunity: Today, I was introduced to a Burundian man named Prosper. He is flying from Nairobi to attend the water training, and he is willing to stay in town for a few more days to meet with other churches and mission teams to explain what he has done, and help to provide information. He has extensive experience building in Africa. He has built schools, orphanages and more in Burundi. Would anyone else be interested in meeting with Prosper one day after the water school for dinner or something to learn more about what they’re doing, and how we can apply what they know to our projects? Here is some information about his projects: - You can also download the YRWD/JRMD PowerPoint on the following link: and facebook page:

The next (scheduled) meeting is July 24th, at Kent Lutheran at 11:15 a.m.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fundraiser Beads

beads from uganda, a set on Flickr.

These beads are for sale to support our mission trip to South Sudan. Beads are priced as marked (in photo description) + $5 shippping. The beads were hand-made in Uganda and range in size. If you have questions, email Jessica about the strand you want (identify it with the number) We will do our best to keep inventory updated, and sold items marked as such.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Many of our South Sudanese brothers and sisters have wanted to learn how to sew, to take that skill to South Sudan. Treadle (pedal power) sewing machines are available there, and we hope to make a microbusiness out of locally-making mosquito nets. Mosquito nets are very expensive and an absolutely necessary supply to prevent Malaria.

Six members of our congregation attended a sewing class at SewUp Seattle to learn to sew on June 25th.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kent International Festival

Thanks to all who came to meet us at the Kent International Festival today! I'll post photos as soon as I get them. We appreciate all of the support and excitement about the planet's youngest country and it's amazing people and culture!

If you missed the coloring contest and you (or a little person in your household) would like to submit your artwork, you can download the page here and send it to the church. (Click the photo to get the full-size version.)

We need to receive entries by July 1st.

Entries can be scanned (color please) and emailed to or mailed to KLC COLORING CONTEST 336 2nd Ave S Kent WA 98032.

Be sure to include the following:
Artist's name
Artist's age
Parent's contact info (in case the artist is a winner) Email or phone is fine.

Prizes will be awarded in age groups up to 6th grade, but older artists are welcome to submit their artwork as well. We will try to display as much of the artwork as we can during Kent's Cornucopia Days, which coincides with South Sudan's independence day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Independence Day, July 9, 2011

July 9th will be South Sudan's independence day. In the sates, we celebrate our independence with fireworks, but South Sudan will be celebrating with song.

There will be singing, dancing and drums I am told. Here are some Sudanese drums (thanks Gatch D. for the photo!).

Also, the new national anthem will be sung.

I don't know the lyrics, but YouTube tells me this is the anthem. Someone tell me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hello! Thanks for Joining Us!

This page exists to share information about the South Sudan Community Restoration Project, a ministry of Kent Lutheran Church in Kent, Washington in the United States. More information will be posted soon, but in the meantime, here's the story of how we got started.

Kent Lutheran Church was blessed by the membership of a large group of Sudanese families in 2010. Their stories of war, relocation and living as refugees touched the entire congregation. Now, in the wake of Sudan's independence, many in our congregation hope to help with repatriation efforts, to assist those living as refugees around Africa, and the world to return to their homeland if they wish to.

Near-constant war since 1985 has left South Sudan's infrastructure in ruins. While refugees could technically return, they have no jobs, homes, clean water sources or schools for their children to attain any quality of life.

Our mission trip hopes to make repatriation possible for those who wish to return.

We have several goals for this trip, which may become the first of several.

While surface water is abundant in much of South Sudan, and certainly in Upper Nile, water is full of bacteria, pollutants and parasites. The team will be installing biosand water filters which can eliminate every pollutant except for pesticides and salt from surface water. The biosand filters are very inexpensive and fast to build. They are also efficient--each filter serves approximately 70 people for between 25-30 years with very minimal maintenance.

The climate in South Sudan leaves many days "too hot" or "too wet" for school. Presently school and church meetings are held under trees for shade or shelter. Teachers are not available to students at this time, and students lack classroom materials and uniforms. Our goal is to build a multipurpose building which can serve as a church and school, and to provide the necessary implements for a successful school year.

Most of South Sudan's population is subsistence farmers, but we hope to establish a few microbusinesses as well.
Water Filters
We will be teaching people how to build the biosand water filters and leaving equipment to replicate the process in other communities to earn a living wage.
With the abundance of surface water in the region, there is also an abundance of mosquitos. Malaria is a very serious risk and mosquito nets are a critical tool to survival. We plan to provide treadle sewing machines, mosquito netting and instruction to locally manufacture mosquito nets, keeping jobs local, and costs low to enable more people to buy nets.

*Early estimate last updated 6/2011.