Year Joined MKLM: 2017
Country: South Sudan
City: Yambio, Gbudue State
Focus: Education and College Administration
Project(s): Solidarity with South Sudan, – Solidarity Teacher Training College
People Served: 106 Students at the college — 25 local and 10 international staff.
Project Goals: Provide certified and capable teachers in a country where there is a lack of qualified educators.
Gabe’s inspiration in life has always been an uncle who is a Franciscan T.O.R. priest, who served for 33 years in India and Brazil. Gabe was well aware of Maryknoll Lay Missioners over the years, and so he reached out to MKLM’s Director of Missions, Marj Humphrey, about joining. At the time, MKLM was not in South Sudan, but Gabe was very interested in working there, so MKLM made it possible. Having already served in Africa, he has now returned to Solidarity with South Sudan as a long term Maryknoll lay missioner, joining three Maryknoll priests already in the country. Gabe is currently teaching Social Studies to Level 3 and 4 students. He also teaches computer classes, religious education and English, as the need arises. Gabe serves as Assistant to the Principal in administration at the college. Some duties include record keeping, data entry, alumni follow-up and communication, documentation of student histories, interviews, donor communication, grant writing, and project monitoring. Gabe is also assisting the neighboring Solidarity Agricultural Project in Riimenze with various project documents and proposals.
Gabe is a parishioner at St. Bartholomew Church in Stevens Point, WI, in the Diocese of La Crosse. He has a Master in Public Health from the University of Boston, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton in Health, Education and School Health Administration. Gabe obtained his certification as a nursing assistant from Mid-State Technical College (WI). He enjoys learning languages, having studied five besides English, including Amharic, the language in Ethiopia, and Mandarin Chinese.
Gabe has lived and worked overseas in several different relief, development and mission organizations for more than 25 combined years in 10 countries, many in Africa. While with the Peace Corps in Kenya from 1984-1986, he worked on water projects. He was the director of two refugee camp hospitals in 1988 with American Refugee Committee. From 1989-1993, Gabe was in Ethiopia with Food for the Hungry International – Ethiopia. He also did some development consulting in Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, South Africa and Peru.
Gabe was the volunteer coordinator of the Volunteer Missionary Movement in El Salvador for almost four years. After that, he worked for Association for International Teaching, Educational and Curriculum Exchange (AITECE Ltd) in China as an English Professor in three different institutions. In 1998, Gabe was offered a dual position in Rome, Italy, with the international men (USG) and women religious (UISG ) office of the Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and the Solidarity with South Sudan office as secretariat. Gabe also served in South Africa with the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference for six months.
Gabe returned to the U.S. in 2010 and for the next seven years served as the Coordinator of Religious Education at St. Stephen Parish in Stevens Point, WI. From June to August of 2016, he volunteered as a professor in South Sudan at the Solidarity Teacher Training College in Yambio. At one point, STTC was the only functioning Teacher Training College during a period of violence and insecurity.