After dreaming about it for over 5 years we will finally be on our way to Gambella, Ethiopia to build the library on August 26, 2021.
Let me introduce you to the team.
My name is Leah VanderPloeg. M y brother Ed Pollock is the one who started the project. In 2017 he started working with his church St. Andrews in Mt Airy MD to collect theological books with the dream of one day building a library to house the books at West Gambella Bethel Synod Bible School in Gambella, Ethiopia. Ed and I worked with his church collecting over 6,000 books. In April, 2019 my brother Ed called me with his last request. He told me he was dyeing of cancer and would I, his little sister Leah, promise to finish what the two of us started. I agreed to do my best. Ed died in October 2019. Praise God, He has added the following members to the team.
In 2019 God had other plans for me. In September 2019 I married Don Vander Ploeg. He and his first wife worked with Wycliffe in Africa and Papua New Guinea doing the same kind of jobs that Dave, my first husband, and I had done for Wycliffe. He agreed to join me in SERVE and travel to Ethiopia to help build the library. His many years of working in Africa make him a wonderful addition to the team. I am doing a lot of the organizing and planning and will leave the heavy lifting to the team of men.
The next two members of the team are my brother Ron and his son Adam. Again both have done lots of building in Africa and know what needs to be done. However, we have ordered a prefabbed steel building from Ethiopian Steel Profiling and this is new to them. It is the same building construction that we used in Pokwo, Ethiopia in 2014. I am sure that with God’s help they will be able to put everything together.
The next member of the team is Bob Kraft. He has been going on trips with SERVE over the past decade. He grew up in Africa and has worked there for many years. His background as an electrical engineer will be useful when it is time to wire up the lights and things when we get to that part of the project. Until then he is always happy to serve where needed.
The last team member is Jack (Manpiny) Jordan. Jack arrived in the South Sudan at age three and grew up playing with the other boys his age. Jack has continued to go back and visit with the Nuer and work among them every few years. The library is for the Nuer Bible School. Jack speaks Nuer and knows Gambela well. He will be a major player when it comes to shopping for supplies and relating to the people he already knows and well as making new friends. Yes, God has put together just the right team for this job.
We leave on August 26th and I trust that we will be able to update this site from time to time providing that we have an internet connection to work with. I hope to introduce you to the Ethiopian members of the team that we will be working with us, as well as post picture updates as the building goes up. We will be in Gambella five weeks and plan to leave the building lockable. Adam may stay longer to put on any finishing touches if needed.
Negative is good. All six of our covid tests came back negative PTL. We leave in the morning thanks for praying us on our way.
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8 thoughts on “On our way!”
Leah,thanks for getting this straightened out so we have easy access!!!! God-speed and our prayers are under-girding you. Love, Carolyn
Dear Leah & Don, Praise God you are now able to complete Ed’s dream. We will pray for the Lord’s protection and safety for the building Team. God bless, Donna & Bill Johnston
Leah, I will miss not being on this trip with you. Thank you for the link that we will be able follow you on your journey.
Karen and I will continue to keep all aspects of the entire trip in our Prayer’s. All will be well.
Praise God for the team chosen for this trip. Take care
In His Name,
Greg and Karen
Hurrah, praise the Lord you are on your way. May our Lord bless you and give you strength to complete the job He has called you to do!
Wow, I didn’t know of your connection to Mt. Airy, MD. Louise & I visited a couple of our WBT Prayer partners there 2016 during our long RV trip. They attended the Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church. The couple have since passed, being in their 90s, but there was a online Memorial Service this past Saturday for Grace Greenslit, which Louise & I observed. Have a great trip. You know of our connections over the years to your and Don. Blessings, Jim & Louise Anderson
The church in Mt Airy is St. Andrews Presbyterian church. My brother Ed was one of the founding members and helped build the church. We are part of a wonderful large family of believers. Leah
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I will be praying for you.
I’m looking forward to reading progress reports on the projects. My prayers are behind the team all the way.