While Lauren and Mark Pickens understand the complexities of fielding a Top Fuel team, the civil unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa are filling their philanthropic efforts in helping the victims of war-torn Sudan with a number of less understood complexities.
Lauren, the face for the Hope4Sudan effort, can rest for now knowing the location of their recent efforts are somewhat safely away from the protests and violent clashes portrayed on the nightly news.
“While violence and unrest no doubt affect the whole country of South Sudan,we have been blessed that the area where our compounds are located remains unaffected by violence and reasonably safe. In our area it still has multiple issues involving a baby country that is emerging basically from scratch, but thankfully our regions biggest issues concerning lawlessness are probably the cattle raids. It is not uncommon to see 12 year old little boys with AK-47 machine guns protecting their cattle."
A recent attack on the American Embassy has resulted in the United States ordering non-essential diplomatic staff and their families to leave Sudan, the neighboring area to where the Hope4Sudan efforts are focused.
The Hope4Susan group has been responsible for rebuilding schools, medical clinics, deep water wells and churches. They partner with People to People for feeding programs as well as child sponsorships.
“Right now we have three compounds started with one completely finished including a medical clinic,” explained Lauren. “The other two are at various stages of construction.”
The unrest in the country will not deter the Pickens in their mission to help the unfortunate victims in the horror of war, which never seems to end.
“It’s not going to deter us,” said Lauren. “We have resolve that God will open the doors.”
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