The New Patch

On my third trip to South Sudan, half way through the trip, someone gave me a patch of the flag of South Sudan. I thought it was pretty cool. They had one for everyone who came on that trip. I proudly sewed the patch (let’s be honest, my wife sewed it) on my camera bag. It’s the bag that carries all my camera gear and enough clothing and other items that if my other bag didn’t show up, I could still get through ten days in Africa.

Ten years ago, I was working for an insurance company. I could never have imagined that the gift God gave me for photography would take me to such incredible places, to meet such incredible people. I’ve met people who I’m sure will be lifelong friends in countries one of which didn’t even exist ten years ago. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.

Later this month, I leave for Ethiopia with the Petros Network, the same people that gave me the South Sudan patch when I met them in 2013. This time I’ll be with them, and I’m looking forward to all that this trip brings. I have no idea what to expect. I’ll be traveling alone until I get to the capital, Addis Ababa. Once I get there, I’ll have a night in the capital, then travel about four hours, I’m told, west into the mountains. I’m working on being able to stay with a local family once I get there. Many of the soul-capturing pictures of people happen when you’re just sitting outside in the village, and I can’t get that from a hotel. This trip is a completely blank slate, and as Kenya was for my wife, at this point all I have are preconceptions.  I have preconceptions of what the people are like, preconceptions of the food, preconceptions of the landscape. I’ve tried googling images of where I’m going, but virtually nothing comes up, and that is very unusual. I’m both nervous and excited.

So with that, I’ve now sewn the third patch on my bag. I only sew patches onto the bag that the bag has been to. So I now have South Sudan, Kenya, and  one clean patch, Ethiopia.

Feel free to subscribe to this blog to follow my trips. I will update, internet allowing.

The new patch
The new patch

2 thoughts on “The New Patch

  1. I have enjoyed your blogs and I want you to know our daughter is a Dentist from Portland , Dr. Wages, and we have no idea of how to feel about this trip. Other than to say I know she is in God’s hands as she has been called to do his good deeds. I hope you will meet her. We are home praying for her safety and return
    with many stories to tell us all. I will be reading your blog as you go. Thank you for putting this on line for us to read. Best wishes to you all!! Mama Redd at home in California. …..


    1. Thank you for the reply. Your daughter is doing good work, and yes, she is in God’s hands. Hopefully these posts will help you understand better and ease your concerns. There is massive revival going on because of people like her.


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