Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Weight matters, waiting matters

A question I frequently ask people is how much they weigh, which in American culture is rather rude!  But when you're booking small mission charter airplanes weight matters.  Body weight, personal luggage weight, excess cargo weight.  Even that small backpack with your computer in it weight!  Getting around South Sudan takes a bit more work than traveling from say, Philadelphia to the Jersey shore.  One of my jobs is to help arrange travel for our staff and short term volunteers.

[If you're a detail person looking for some adventure in Africa, boy, do I have the job for you.  We need a logistician.  Contact me if you're interested!]

Speaking of weight.  I'm not only perfecting the activities of a logistician but I'm also coming face to face with the art of waiting.

I'm currently reading a book called, "Sacred Waiting" by David Timms. So far the author has talked about Noah, Abraham, and Moses and how they waited on the Lord, often for many years.  David Timms explains that sacred waiting is about remaining in His presence and our service to Him.

As I read I was thinking, yeah, yeah. . . .  until Friday.

This week I'd been planning to take a surgical team from Tenwek Hospital to one of our partner's hospitals in South Sudan.  Because of several very recent incidences of insecurity (ie - deaths from local tribal fighting) the local population around the hospital have temporarily moved to a larger city for safety and there are practically no patients coming to the hospital.

This and the insecurity have caused us to postpone our trip.  So we wait for the right time, God's time.  It's much easier to accept the fact that God sometimes asks us to wait on Him when things are moving along according to our plans.  I'm praying God will continue to use this time to prepare me, and all those who volunteer with Mango Ministries, to be prepared for the work He has for us, when it's time!  In the meantime I can continue serving those who God leads me to.

Please pray for Dr. Ajak and the staff at Memorial Christian Hospital in Werkok during these insecure and challenging days.

Dr. Ajak examing a patient at Memorial Christian Hospital, Werkok

Also keep the medical staff at the In Deed and Truth Clinic in Tonj in prayer as they have been stretched in caring for a busy out-patient clinic and treating many trauma emergencies due to tribal fighting and vehicle accidents.

These are some of the folks Mango Ministries partners with who also work in South Sudan at a get-together Lindy, my sister, and I hosted over the holiday season. 

Adhanom, Joy, Lucy, Elsie, Joanna, Billy, Sophie and Chloe (counterclockwise)

Last month Adhanom and I were able to travel to Arua, northern Uganda to greet our team-mates (Billy & Joanna Coppedge and family) who just returned from the US.  We were able to meet the newest members of Mango Ministries, Chloe and Sophie (in matching blue outfits!).  We had a great time and enjoyed time to plan and pray together.

Train, train, train
We believe in equipping others for transformational ministry.  That's why Billy Coppedge is on his way to Tenwek.  The Tenwek Eye Team believes it's not enough to give people physical sight.  They want to effectively introduce people to the One who gives sight.  Billy is going to give the staff a refresher course on telling Bible stories as an evangelistic tool.  Please pray that the staff will wise and effective storytellers.

Richard and Leah (Tenwek Eye Team) rejoice with a woman from Akot after her surgery in 2010

Adhanom continues to prepare himself for transformational ministry. He recently completed Community Health Evangelism session 3 and is preparing to help facilitate our first South Sudan CHE training in April.

Pray for Adhanom as he continues to get to know the community in East Rumbek County and models the Kingdom.  There are many challenges!

Adhanom preparing tea for the pastors and Bishop Isaac (on left) before church, with a little help from Joy!

I'm praying I will not see this period of waiting and the disappointment of postponing our surgical clinic as Henri Nouwen writes about the popular concept of waiting.  

"For many people, waiting is an awful desert between where they are and where they want to go."  

Embracing the present!


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