Chris Campbell has now arrived in Africa. Earlier, she, Peter and others who include VERY famous people congregated at dinner to finalize their plans for what they will be doing in Africa this time. Chris sent me her diary of sorts of what they have learned during their first day there. I am sure that you will be interested in her diary as it really brings to life what is actually happening in these poor and war-torn countries when you experience it through the eyes of someone from Wichita County, Kansas!
The following words were sent to me from Chris today:
"We have been in the desert for a couple days and are in El Geneina tonight (01/09). It is time for a shower!
Within the country of Sudan, there are three regions of Darfur. El Genina is a "larger" city in Western Darfur, close to the country of Chad. As you know, Chad is also a region of tremendous instability. The Sudan also shares a border with Central African Republic, Democratic Region on The Congo and Uganda, amongst others. This entire region is nothing but war torn, displaced people, poverty, etc. There is a saying in Darfur that there are three things that it needs to help the region. "Security, security and more security". What an understatement. Since most of the aide organizations were kicked out during 2009, things have gone from bad to worse and we are definitely seeing it.
Travel is always difficult in Darfur as the roads through the region are not paved, simply tracks through hundreds of miles of desert. And the areas you drive through change from control by government to various rebel groups. There are an estimated 2-3 million displaced persons in Darfur and a camp can range from 55,000-700,000 (people). We will be heading to one of the largest camps tomorrow (Sunday) and plan to be there about 10 days before returning to any sense of what would be "normal".
I will try to send you some aerial photos of the camps, they are unbelievable. I have a satellite photo of Camp Tawila, one of the largest that will give you an idea of the enormity, however, I am hoping to get some aerial images which would provide more detail.
We are about to head to dinner, the final preparations but wanted to say "hi". "
I will continue to post her email to me that will report of her current day and it's happenings.
Chris and her comrades are traveling with a team of security personnel. Please keep these heroes in your prayers!