Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Journey continues through October and November

The past five weeks have been busy ones and I’m thoroughly enjoying the chance to sleep in my own bed this week and clean up my desk.  Here’s a glimpse of what I've been doing over the past month or so. 

  • Cush Consultation ~ this is an annual conference for people in ministry in South Sudan.  It was good to meet contacts made in years past and be challenged in new ways.  As always the time spent networking and being challenged was helpful. 
  • Kampala International University ~ A two and a half week safari (this is what we call a trip in Africa, it does not mean we were stalking lions) began with a stop in Kampala.  In Uganda WGM works with university students ~ some who come from Sudan.  Our team was able to meet with a dozen students and we discussed their concerns for Sudan.  We learned that MANY Sudanese live in Uganda and Kenya and this may be an avenue for future ministry.  I was elated to see my former Lui Hospital colleague, Anna Yawa, who is now a student at KIU.  
  • Storying Conference in Arua, Northern Uganda ~ our next stop was attending a conference with about 75 other participants from all over Uganda and Kenya.  We learned the technique of preparing and telling stories from the Bible, looking for treasures, and how to ask insightful questions. Reuben and Joseah paid particularly close attention because the next week they would be small group leaders when our colleague Billy Coppedge was to teach a similar seminar in Sudan.  
  • Transitioning to Akot ~ Before flying up to Akot we spent a relaxing weekend with the team in Arua that included a shopping spree into the market to buy mattresses, fruit, rice and beans, water purification tablets, a broom, among many other things!  Not knowing how many would show up for the conference we were thrilled that 21+ out of the 30 who were invited showed up.  It was a learning experience not only for the participants but also for us.  The average educational level of the pastors was fourth grade. 
  • Sunday Sermon ~ it was encouraging then that when we arrived under the tree where one church service was being held the pastor, who had attended the seminar, was telling a Bible story and the congregation were acting it out!   
  • Team meeting ~ After the seminar Billy's family joined us for a few days and we were able to sit together and plan for 2010.  
  • Board meeting ~ Then after a few days at home in Nairobi, with enough time to produce pages of reports and proposals, the Sudan Board had a successful meeting.  

  •  *  One of the fun aspects of having spent a considerable amount of time on the mission field is that missionary kids grow up and sometimes come back to work with us.  Jonny Adkins joined us to film what we're doing. Please pray as he plows through hours of great footage so he can bring the needs of the Sudanese and vision of Mango Ministry alive.  Watch for a late winter dvd release!

As I read back through this I am thinking, "Wow, what a great trip."  And it was a good trip and we saw God at work.  But it was also a hard trip.  Working in Sudan is not easy and everything seems hard.  Not just the logistics of it, although that is certainly true.  But relationships are hard.  Communication is hard.  The heat and lack of variety in the diet is hard.  Things are just hard.  Spiritual warfare is evident.  Reuben was very sick for about a week during the trip and he recovered only to be held at gunpoint two weeks later.  No physical harm was done but Sudan takes an emotional toll on all of us.  

I am so thankful for those of you who are praying for us.  We couldn't do this without you! Thank you for your notes to Reuben and Joseah.  They have been encouraged by the family of God.  

Hanging out in a village during the Sudan seminar reminded me of how comfortable our lives are, how much we focus on eating and food, and how much we take for granted.  

This Thanksgiving season I pray that my heart and yours will break for the people of South Sudan.  

Grateful for His many blessings,


1 comment:

  1. Joy, when you talk about being emotionally spent, my heart and prayers go out to you. It will be awesome to view your crown from the back row of heaven. john lee