Update on Pastor Marrion…

Those who have followed my blog will probably recognize the name… just wanted to share this update I received.

For those not too familiar with the name…this is a man who builds school, faces Warlords in the Congo and dares to try to make a better life for this country. A good man.

Hello friends,

First off I’d like to thank those who’ve recently donated to the Pastor Marrion Fund. Your gift is greatly appreciated and couldn’t come at a better time.

As of this afternoon, Pastor Marrion will be admitted to Nairobi Hospital to prepare for his kidney transplant on Thursday. His donor, Ayer Omaka, will be admitted tomorrow. Omaka’s stepfather has even traveled from Congo to give his son encouragement during the procedure, and will escort him home once he’s healed. Omaka will be required to stay in the hospital until May 28. Pastor will remain until the second week of June. As always, his wife is by his side.

Right now, our colleague Riccardo Gangale is rounding up fellow journalists to donate blood in case of an emergency. As our point man in Nairobi, Riccardo has been working tirelessly for months to help coordinate everything, and we’re grateful to have him on the ground.

I spoke to the pastor just before he left for the hospital. He sounded buoyant and cheerful and undoubtedly relieved to finally be at this point. He had a message for all of you who have kept him in your prayers, donated money, and spread the word about his plight.

“Tell them how grateful I am,” he said, “and that this will be successful. I’ll get my strength and will continue with my ministry and what I was doing for my country. You know, I have to help my people.”

He then told me that before he’d gotten sick last year, he’d started a primary school. I had no idea. It’s located in the Tagba displaced camp near Lake Albert. Some 400 kids — whose families have fled fighting between warring militias — now study in a ramshackle building made of sticks and mud and plastic sheeting for a roof. Local churches collect money from traders to pay for books and teacher salaries. The last he heard, it was still operating.

“By next year I want to have a secondary school,” he said, then added: “The government does nothing, so what can we do? We have to do these things ourselves.”

So please keep the pastor in your thoughts and prayers this week, and keep spreading the word. We still need about $5,000 to cover the post-op care and medication. And again, thanks for all your support. It’s been a long journey, but now we’re closer than ever. We’re gonna do it. Let’s get pastor home and back to work. Those kids need a new school.

all best,

TO DONATE: http://www.indiegogo.com/The-Pastor-Marrion-Fund/

For those who missed it, here’s some recent press: