PRESS STATEMENT – OCTOBER 25, 2007
RETURNING FROM THE REFUGEE CAMP IN GAGA, CHAD 10/5/2007 – 10/22/2007
My daughter, Sharon Daughtry, Mr. Yahya Ousman and I visited Chad, Central
Africa. Our purpose was to deliver material support, consisting of body
wear and books, to the refugee camp in Gaga, Chad.
First, I want to thank Sharon for speaking to and interacting with the
female population, young and old and assisting in filming and coordination.
And Mr. Yahya Ousman for his advance work, contacts, connections, experience,
wisdom and coordination. Without him, our trip would not have been possible;
in fact, our achievements as it relates to the Darfur crisis would not
have happened. I want to thank all of the people in Chad who assisted
us, humanitarian agencies, Christian Outreach for Relief and Development
(CORD), AFRICARE, World Food Project (W.F.P.), governmental officials,
security officers, transportation drivers and staffers in the various
bureaucracies, the refugee camp helpers and our debtors. I want to thank
all the people in the USA who contributed money, clothing, books and
volunteered time and skills. I want to thank the people who prayed for
our success and safe return. And finally, I want to thank God, whose
mission we were on and whose presence we could feel and see in so many
different ways. We claim no credit. It was God who directed us, who
made things happen successfully, in spite of stubborn obstacles and
painful disappointments – to God be the glory for the great things
God has done.
On March 28, 2007, we visited the refugee camp in Chad. We carried a
coupled of hundred blue
t-shirts, with the name of our organization and the words “We
Stand With You” written across the front. We were overwhelmed
with expressions of appreciation and gratitude. One little fellow said
to us, “Next time, bring us some shoes.” We promised we
would bring shoes and more; there was also a request for books.
When we returned in April, we held our first fundraising benefit on
May 5, 2007. We announced we were initiating a material support drive.
The response was spectacular. From May 5 to July 31, we accumulated
approximately 700 boxes, weighting 1800lbs, which filled a 40 ft. container.
We estimated the cost of the shipment, including advanced work, would
cost approximately $23,000. It exceeded that amount, so we still have
more fundraising to do.
The shipment departed the seaport in Newark, New Jersey, on August 5th
and arrived in Douala, Cameroon in early September. (Chad is landlocked)
In early September, the shipment departed Douala and arrived overland
by truck to N’djamena, the capital of Chad, 2000 miles distance.
From there, by truck to Abeche Chad, 600 miles. Thence, to the camp,
60 miles. The shipment traveled thousand of miles by sea and nearly
3,000 miles by land. Mr. Ousman, who arrived in Douala August 24, coordinated
shipment from the day it arrived in Douala on August 24 to its arrival
in the refugee camp on Saturday, October 20, 2007. I met him in N’djamena
on October 16, the next day we flew to Abeche, then on to Gaga.
It was a stupendous effort by many people, especially Mr. Ousman. I
should tell you, Yahya is an expatriate whose brother was killed by
the Sudanese government.
I am especially elated, by the grace of God, I was able to deliver on
two promises I made to the people:
I promised the refugees we would return with greater supplies, and we
I promised the people who contributed that I would be on the truck when
it entered the refugee camp with the supplies, and I was. And that I
would help unload the trucks, and I did. I took the first and last boxes,
respectively, off the two trucks. And, I would bring back film to confirm
that their gifts had reached the people directly, and I have.
In addition to Sharon, we hired a Chadian, Mr. Walid Sulieman to film
our activities. He filmed us from N’djamena to Abeche to Gaga.
I considered this venture one of the major satisfying experiences in
my 49 years of ministry and, by the grace of God; I have been blessed
to have had many marvelous experiences...Back in May, when the supplies
started pouring into the House of the Lord Church, I helped to load
the trucks, which made several trips to St. George’s Warehouse
in South Kearney, New Jersey. I went each time to help unload in the
warehouse. We raised the money for the shipment and to send Mr. Ousman
to Douala to meet the shipment and guarantee its arrival to Abeche from
which city we would go together into the Camp.
Again, as at the first, the people inundated us with handshakes, cheers,
embraces and kisses – the gratitude and appreciation expressed
made it all the more worthwhile.
Our future plans include a report to the community with the showing
of the film on November 11, 2007 – from 2pm to 4pm. We are considering,
in addition to body wear, focusing on education and medical supplies.
The books we shipped started a library. We will continue to work with
organizations in the camp and in the USA to expand the library. They
told us before we departed to help with simple science and children
books. We met with staff members of International Medical Corp. Their
hands-on delivery of medical service is most commendable.
Our plan is to focus on one camp. We have been advocating an Adoption
of a Refugee Camp Project (A.R.C.P.). If nations and Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGO) were to implement this strategy, much more could
be done and with greater efficiency.
There was a major disappointment. On October 25-26, 2007, Darfurian
leaders will be meeting in Juba in the southern part of Sudan. Mr. Salva
Kiir, President of South Sudan and Vice President of Sudan Central Government,
will convene the meeting. On Wednesday, October 17, we were extended
an invitation from Mr. Kiir to attend and participate in the meeting.
However, from N’djamena, the only commercial airline is Ethiopian.
They fly to Juba only on Mondays and Fridays. We arrived back in N’djamena
from the refugee camp too late to catch Monday’s flight. The flight
on Friday would have been too late for the meeting.
The meeting was convened to unite the Darfurian leadership for the October
27 conference in Tripoli, Libya, convened by the United Nations (UN)
and the African Union (AU) and hosted by Muammar al-Ghadafi, President
of Libya. The Sudanese government has agreed to participate. The importance
of the meeting in Juba cannot be over emphasized. If the Darfurian leadership
can unite, go to Tripoli, it is possible that a peace agreement could
be signed. The Darfurian conflict would be over and with the help of
nations and humanitarian organizations, the people of Sudan, especially
the Darfurian, could enjoy peace, security, freedom and stability.