Unthinkable: A Teenage Girl’s Decision to Forego College for South Sudan

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I have had the privilege of getting to know the Tuckerman’s, one of the families in my church, over the past several years. We have partnered together in reaching some of the Sudanese families in Cleveland, we have shared difficult moments, cared for one another, prayed, laughed, and eaten together.

For some time now they have been listening to the Holy Spirit and attempting to discern what God would have them do next as their heart for the people of South Sudan continues to grow. Well, recently they made the decision to leave everything and head to South Sudan to take over the leadership of an orphanage in a village called Yei.

Abby, one of their daughters, is graduating from high school and our youth program this year, and instead of heading off to college, she’s heading off to Africa. This is her story.

 Unthinkable: Not to be considered; Out of the question.

That is how I would have described my upcoming trip to South Sudan about a year ago. You see, I could think of going to a war torn country for a week or two, maybe even a few months. I mean, at least you have the thought of home to get you through. But trying to process being there for a year…. my mind couldn’t seem to go there.

When my parents sat me down for the first time and said they were prepared to move to South Sudan and begin to be Leaders in Harvesters, Yei orphanage, I began to process my options between college and this trip. I avoided the topic altogether with my parents for a few days or so. To be honest, I was confused about what God was doing. Why wouldn’t he just let me be comfortable? Why wasn’t two months “good enough”? After days of avoiding the conversation it finally came crashing down. No other route seemed to bring my anxious heart peace. I will never forget when I first verbally told God and my parents I would go. An overwhelming peace came over me and ever since that day the Lord’s peace about my upcoming year long trip to South Sudan has comforted me.

[tweet “It brings me ultimate joy that I get to spend a year serving Him in South Sudan @abbytuckerman http://bit.ly/1gv5sGI”]

God has designed the path laid out before us. He has created every bump in the road, every valley low, and mountain high. He has designed it all for Him and I to walk together. It gets me so giddy to think about how my walk with him is about to experience a lot of those things. It brings me ultimate joy that I get to spend a year serving Him in South Sudan. I fully acknowledge that I cannot do what I am about to do without Gods footsteps next to mine, because it was not designed to be that way. My greatest comfort through all the fears has been his promise to never leave nor forsake me, and I know I serve a faithful God.

As we send students and families out from our church across the world, even to difficult parts of the world, I say,
“YES – Thank you Lord for calling people to do your work across the world!  This is evidence of new life in Christ.


Rick Duncan, the founding pastor of our church, often says, “we need passionate goers and passionate senders.”

[tweet “we need passionate goers and passionate senders @richardduncan http://bit.ly/1gv5sGI”]

If you are not a missionary that is going right now, would you be a sender? The Tuckerman’s need to raise a significant amount of money to cover their first year in South Sudan – you can be a part of the mission to take the Gospel to this war-torn nation by giving a tax-deductible donation. It’s really simple. Click the Harvesters button below and you will be taken to the Harvesters donation page.

Under “fund” choose “Missionaries – Steve and Jackie Tuckerman”

Then pass this post along to friends and family by clicking the share links on the left side of the page.


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