Mission Team

2013 Mission Team

Reath Hoth (Andrew) Thoa

Andrew was born in Malual, South Sudan. The civil war between the northerners and southerners in Sudan forced Andrew to flee from his home village and country into Ethiopia. Along with other "Lost Boys" and girls, Andrew lived in a refugee camp. When civil war began in Ethiopia he traveled to Kenya. While living in Kenya, Andrew’s uncle began the long process to sponsor him to come to the United States. He has been in the United States for over twelve years, and is now a U.S. citizen. The civil war has since ended, and South Sudan became an independent country on July 9, 2011.

Andrew traveled back to Malual, South Sudan, last year with the first KLC-South Sudan Community Restoration Program mission team, where many members of his family still live – two sisters, an uncle, and many cousins. His desire to help those who remain in South Sudan begin to rebuild their lives, their community, and their country motivates Andrew to return again this year with Jacob Wur Lol to install a well in Malual, and deliver some needed supplies to both Malual and Bethlehem, a nearby village.

Lol (Jacob) Wur

Jacob was instrumental in getting a well installed in Bethlehem last year.   Jacob coordinated with this same team for the well that is being installed in Malual in 2013. Some of the people contracted to drill the well are from Bethlehem, a nearby village, so there is high confidence that maintenance will be available. Jacob was born in Bethlehem. 
Jacob lost most of his family to disease, so providing clean water to the people in South Sudan is important to him. 

2012 Mission Team

Gach Dedoch Mission Team Leader

My name is Gach David Dedoch, I was born and raised in what is now the Republic of South Sudan Sudan. I spent part of my youth at Itang refugee camp Gambella, Ethiopia.  When the civil war broke out in Sudan between Arab Muslim in the North and the Africa Christian in South Sudan. I was living in village or town Malual, Upper Nile, South Sudan.

My parents owned land and a herd of cattle there. During the civil war Sudanese soldiers looted herd of cattle from Nuer and Dinka tribes including my parents’ cattle. The only thing I knew is that whatever had happened, I would still treat people with respect be fair to all humans which means being equal, and offering my help and support when needed.
The reason of mentioning my childhood life story is to show that my motivation and hope has been in these areas of helping my community. Now I realized that my dream could come true if I continue support KLC South Sudan Community Restoration Program aid mission trip to Malual, Upper Nile, South Sudan, hopes to make repatriation possible to Malual and other villages.
In 1988, I Graduated from Misrak High School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and went to Addis Ababa’s University for one year before I came to North America. I went to Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa, and graduated in 1998 with Associates of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. I went to Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated in 2000 with bachelor Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Human Services.

I have been trained in the construction of bio sand water filters, and composting toilets. I am also a lay-preacher. 

Professional experiences:
Seattle, Washington: King County Superior, District, City of Kent/Seattle Municipal court and DSHS, legal, medical, and community Nuer-English interpreting. December 2006 continue.
Bethany Christian Services: Grand Rapids, Michigan: Refugee Foster Care Social/Case worker. December 2000 – December 2006.
Employee and Family Resources (EFR): Des Moines, Iowa. Intervention Case Manager. December 1996 – December 2000.

Pastor Jane Prestbye
By God’s call I am serving as pastor at Kent Lutheran Church (and have been since 1999). Therefore, I will join this list of travelers in a venture to South Sudan as pastor with them, as pastor for the community we serve while we are present, and as pastor of all those at Kent Lutheran supporting our mission effort.  The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) has established a principle for Global Mission of “accompaniment.” This means that ELCA members serve where we can accompany the work of God’s people already living on-site.  This principle fully applies to our experience of traveling with Kent Lutheran Sudanese-descent members to help bring about community restoration in the area they once lived and with the people whom they call family.  Although our traveling and living situations will be difficult I am confident in God’s help. I trust God will use me – and us – in ways we can’t even yet imagine. I am also certain that the people of God living in Malwal – and those who come to trust Jesus the Christ – will teach me – and us – in life-changing directions. This first trip will pave the way for others to assist in the future – and for others to experience such faith growth

Peter Manyang
I am Peter Manyang, and I was born and raised in what is now The Republic of South Sudan. I spent most of my lifetime in South Sudan during the war time and in neighboring Ethiopia as a refugee before I made my way to USA on April 15th of 2006.

I have an AA Degree from Kaplan University in Computer information system (CIS). Since then, I have been thinking of the ways to help my communities back home. I have never forgotten and will never forget the horrible situations that I have been to and in which my fellows are still in now. I’m trying every way possible to make a positive difference of being here in this country. I pay for my family members’ school fees but not the whole community since I have not enough to cover the entire community.  I have received training in biosand water filtration and composting toilet construction, and plan to teach people in South Sudan how to build and use these life-saving devices. Our communities in South Sudan rely heavily on surface water, which makes people very susceptible to contracting disease. I also hope to help people to develop microbusinesses for their communities. 

Nyareu Thong
My name is Nyareu Thong and I’m currently fulfilling my education. I recently completed my Associate in Elementary School Education at Seattle Central Community College. I plan to travel to South Sudan because I want to help my homeland any way that I can. Going to South Sudan will help me strengthen my knowledge about the country as well as the school system in which I plan to teach at someday. My fundraiser idea is to help set up a fundraising party with the local Sudanese community. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been back home and I’m really excited to return to my homeland with a great team such as KLC. Nyareu has been certified in teaching bio-sand water filter construction and hygiene for the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation's local trainers in Washington. She will also complete CAWST's composting latrine construction training. Nyareu is coordinating the car wash fundraiser on September 10, 2011 at Kent Lutheran Church.

Jessica Ward
Jessica, a freelance writer, wife and mom of two delightful girls. This is Jessica’s second trip to Africa, after spending part of 2008 in Ethiopia, where daughter Melat, now 6, was adopted.  Jessica has been trained in the construction of biosand water filters and composting latrines. She is also going to be keeping extensive records of the project's accomplishments, budgets, etc to take back to the 2013 team. 

Kathlyn Kinney
Kathlyn Kinney of Bellevue, WA, is a recent graduate in environmental science from Western Washington University, was touched by hearing the experiences of Gach Dedoch in moving from his home country. She wants to honor his people's wish to return to Sudan in order to transform it into the home they wished they had had. Though she has always dreamed of visiting Kenya, answering the critical need in not-so-far-away Sudan will make for a trip that is far more meaningful. Overall, she hopes to leave with lasting friendships and a little stronger taste of how it is God wills us to live. A firm believer in the potential embodied in a small, dedicated group, she is overjoyed to be serving with Kent Lutheran Church. To raise travel funds, she hopes to sell $1000 in paintings.

Koang Chop (Known as "Machar")
My name is Koang Chop, but my nickname is Machar. I am married to Nyaboth Tut. We have three children; two daughters and one son. My wife and I are from South Sudan. I’m very happy to live in America now for so many reasons. I’m very happy to go home to South Sudan with God’s gifts, that we have from KLC. The mission we are working on, it is part of my dream. I have more than 60 cousins back home who need my support, most of them need my support all year round. But I cannot afford to help them all from here. I’m very happy to go with the KLC Mission and provide the skills I have to them so that they can support themselves with dignity and prosperity. This mission will help a lot of people in South Sudan because there is no school building, no clean water, no jobs and no food. My prayer is that God will take this mission to South Sudan peacefully next year. To sponsor Machar’s travels, please mark donations to “Travel:Koang Chop” in the memo. 

Reuben Kettel
I would like to help to build the school and work with other members of the community to accomplish the work that is involved therein.  I have done work with World Changers to build a roof on a house for a person in need, lots of community service work, and I enjoy helping other people.  I am hoping to learn about the culture and the People that I will be visiting. 

Other Kent Lutheran members traveling:
         Jacob Wur Lol
Jacob Jack
James Gach
Reth (Andrew) Thoa

Kent Community members traveling with Kent Lutheran:

Bob Bonanci, owner of Bonaci Jewelers, caught the vision for South Sudan Community Restoration Program while talking with Jessica at the Kent Cornucopia booth. A long-standing member of Rotary and a worshipper with the Friends church, Bob has a deep and compassionate heart for people in need around the world. Since clean water issues are a keen concern for Bob, this project gave him a practical and powerful opportunity to personally participate. He brings the support of Sunrise Rotary Club of Kent and plans to discuss an international partnership with the Rotary Club of Juba, South Sudan.

Coleen Bertino and Judy McAlister
Coleen heard about SSCRP and the upcoming trip to South Sudan through Pastor Jane in their monthly book club. She included her sister, Judy McAlister, in an invitation to the Cod Dinner fundraiser. As they prepared to attend they discussed their deep commitment to helping others and their interest in the new African country of South Sudan. They asked if they could travel with the mission group and of course the answer was “Yes.”