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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Confessions from an impatient missionary

I've always been pretty good at getting things done. As I look back at what God has allowed me to do over the past 25 years I'm amazed. God has blessed me!For that reason I'm having a hard time understanding why things are not farther along in Sudan. Things are moving in S-L-O-W-M-O-T-I-O-N. I don't think my organizational, management, leadership skills, or spiritual life have taken a dive. Working in Sudan is quite a different ballgame and this is a very unpredictable time in history. I've been praying, and many of you tell me you're praying, so I keep asking God, "Why aren't things moving faster with Mango Ministries in Sudan?!"

I keep praying that God will give me more patience. But in the past few weeks I've come to the conclusion that what I really need is more humility! I think my impatience comes in part from the fact that I hate feeling out of control, that it's not always as simple as making a plan and carring it out, that I don't really want to wait on the Lord, but I want Him to take his cues from me and my timeline.

In January I attended a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Esther. As Beth shared in the dvd lesson I was convicted that I've been waiting on events and not waiting on Jesus. In the past several years I've been waiting for the right staff, for reconciliation of warring parties in Sudan, for peaceful national elections, and most recently for a peaceful referendum. I've been waiting, but not necessarily for the right things.

My desire is to be able to wait on Jesus, for what He has planned for Mango Ministries, without being impatient because "I" should be able to get things done. I believe God wants to do incredible things in Sudan as I wait for Him to lead!

South Sudan's transition of becoming a new nation in July is not going to be an easy one as there are still many issues of contention. Along the border between North Sudan and South lies the oil rich region of Abyei, pictured below. In recent weeks satellite images from the Satellite Sentinal Project show that villages have been burned.
Please continue praying for Sudan as important decisions are made regarding the demarcation of the border and the Abyei situation. Also there is tension between the North and South as well as continued fighting between rival groups within the South.

What I have been up to since my last update?
In February Pastor Simon and I visited Lui to meet with the church and hospital leaders (pictured above) to discuss WGM's partnership. Continue to pray for a Godly man to be selected as the new BishopWe were able to meet many old friends and make new ones. Pastor Simon enjoys a cold 7-Up in the local market with new friends.
A week of outreach was planned by the church. The ladies above have walked for hours. As they enter the homestretch they are singing, carrying food on their heads that will be cooked for the group.
I've made two trips to Tenwek to meet with my former colleagues at Tenwek Community Health and Development. They are interested in championing our ministry in the town of Akot where Reuben Kirui worked last year. It's been fun being with them again as we embark in a joint ministry project together.

In two weeks I will be headed to Sudan on a prayer tour. Please join me in praying that our small team will have an effective time of ministry. Pray that we will be an encouragement as we visit 4 of our partners, praying with and for the people serving day in and day out in challenging situations.


And lastly
In June I will be hosting the first "hope 4 sudan walkathon" held in Cape May County, NJ. I'd love to see you there. If you're the athletic type, or not, you can help raise money for the work of Mango Ministries in Sudan by registering for this event and getting sponsors. For those of you who are praying I will give prayer praises and updates. And over a picnic lunch I will share a brief overview of how things are going. More details to come soon. I hope to see you there!

In Africa there is a saying that rain brings blessings. Here in Nairobi we are a very blessed people this weekend!! The dry season is over and the rainy season has begun. Soon the rains will head north to Sudan.

Waiting together for God's richest blessings as we join the Sudanese in Kingdom building!

Shalom,
joy

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