Monday, February 15, 2010

Training for Sudan Mission Work


We believe that though we have years of background experience in health development, agricultural and microenterprise development in the U.S., it would greatly improve the impact of the future mission work we hope to do in Sudan to use our time now to get as much additional training as we can, while we can, which is particularly relevant to the particular setting of Sudan, including tropical climate and reality of village life. This is so important that we are willing to pay the cost of these trainings ourselves, though of course we would welcome anyone who decided to help; we are hoping this might work through a fund set up at Holston Conference. Contact us to find out more, at

Sep. 27-Oct. 2 (Diantha attended) CHE (Community Health Evangelism) Seminar at Equip, International in Marion, NC. Six-day training in a holistic approach to facilitating village planning and implementation around health, sanitation, clean water supply, literacy, family-based business, agriculture and evangelism; focused especially on a train-the-trainer approach to developing village leaders, and on using visual and role-playing methods that work with persons of limited literacy. Cost: $750

Dec. 7-11 (Steve and Diantha attended) ECHO Tropical Agriculture Conference, Ft. Myers, FL. (description of content and value). Three-day conference by this mission resource group included lectures and workshops on participatory community and agricultural development, agroforestry, cross-cultural communication, sustaining food production, appropriate technology in the village, biodiesel production, sand dams to store water, moringa and African medicinal plants, fruit tree propagation, building smoke-free efficient stoves, fish farming, and nutrition gardens. We had a chance to meet and get contact information for several missionaries doing agricultural development in Uganda, Kenya, Central African Republic, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Cost: $1310

Jan. 21-23 (Steve attended) Southern Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Chattanooga, TN. Three-day conference by the leading sustainable agriculture organization in 13 states of the southeast US included workshops on raising poultry, on-farm poultry processing, holistic animal healthcare, seed saving methods, farm machinery, building soil through cover cropping and composting. Steve was able to network with 4 persons who had done sustainable agricultural and health care work in Africa, including a Presbyterian missionary couple who have been doing agricultural work in northern Uganda for over 15 years. Cost: $42.61 (most expenses paid by SSARE and SSAWG Board scholarships)

Feb. 18-20 (Steve) Georgia Organics Conference, Athens, GA. Two-day conference will include workshops on basic engine operation and diagnosis for farm equipment; use of draft animals to grind meal and for other purposes; using forage plants to control worms in livestock; soil testing and fertility; and seed saving for warm-climate seeds. Estimated Cost: $747.72

Mar. 6 (Steve) Organic Growers’ School of Western North Carolina. Steve will attend one day conference to take workshops on poultry health, composting manure, and making cheese from goat milk. Estimated Cost: $190.30

Mar. 11-12 (Steve and Diantha) Sudan Summit, Kingsport, TN. No cost expected.

April 11-17 (Steve) Health, Agriculture, Culture and Community Workshop, at ECHO in Ft. Myers. FL. Five-day training that brings together principles of health, agriculture, cross-cultural communication, and skills in establishing relationships in the context of Christian mission that facilitate changes in the unhealthy behavior – including that rooted in culturally determined beliefs and values – that contribute to significant health problems. Includes an understanding of cultural anthropology, and practice of methods of cross-cultural communications. Estimated cost: $897

April 25-30 (Steve) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Community Training, at Equip in Marion, NC. Diantha was originally scheduled to take this, but cannot due to radiation therapy. Six-day training to teach community development approaches in the context of Christian mission to improvement in water quality and supply in order to reduce diarrheal and other diseases. Includes an emphasis on learning how to train others to replicate the process. Estimated cost: $655

May 23-June 3 (Diantha) Missionary Medicine Intensive – MMI at Equip in Marion, NC. Two-week course providing training in step-by-step methods to diagnose hundreds of tropical diseases, injuries, and illnesses. Lectures and hands-on labs cover the above topics as well as midwifery, physical examination methods, and skills of suturing, splinting, calculating dosages and rehydration fluids, sterilizing, and other topics. Estimated cost: $1120

Steve and Diantha Hodges

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