Saturday, March 1, 2014

'tween seasons

Having lived in perennial springtime for basically the past 29 years (in Kenya) with occasional trips made into summer, fall, and winter climates I'm fairly jazzed by the different seasons.

I know that the official start to springtime is still 20 days away, not to be confused by the start of spring training which is already upon us, but I sense that everyone I know wishes spring would hurry up.

It seems that nature might be a bit confused too.  Almost all the trees, bushes, and shrubs in town are bulging with new life.  

Yet the 20 something degree daytime temps discourage those last remnants of snow from melting. 

Frozen puddles on the sidewalk, in my mind, contradict the green bulbs sprouting just inches away.

And of course NO ONE wants to really believe the weather forcast for Sunday and Monday.

snowCloudy with snow. High 27F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. 5 to 8 inches of snow expected.

Can we really be all the way through the alphabet to Winter Storm Titan?   This chaotic storm season of 2013/14 reminds me of last years busy Mango Ministry schedule followed by the outbreak of fighting in South Sudan last December.  Despite a ceasefire signed in February the fighting continues both nationally and in local skirmishes.  As everyone in the US is yearning for spring's arrival we are yearning for the return of true peace to South Sudan.

Adhanom returned to South Sudan a week ago to see for himself how things are.  Despite a lot of military movement he is glad to be back.  I was very encouraged by this report I received from him this week after he reconnected with the pastors and community members we have been trainining and working alongside.

I thank God for our involvement in the County.  The progress, though in baby steps, encourages me.  We might still seem far from achieving what one would ideally expect from a Community Health Evangelism program, but the process of transformation as ushered by CHE trainings and Biblical Storytelling can be witnessed here among the people we have trained.  With the ministry opportunties widening, it would be great if we can get other people to come and join me.

I am glad to hear that you are getting more and more people signing up to pray for Mango Ministries.  For now I have the following prayer requests.
1.  Those trained in CHE would implement what they have learned. 
2.  For 2 pastors, being trained as trainers, as they promote CHE and Biblical Storytelling.
3.  For wisdom as I help start a youth ministry. 
4.  For missionaries to come and work with me in the County. 
5.  For peace in South Sudan and this County.
6.  For wisdom and safety as I travel to villages and do follow up.
7.  For God's grace in my life as I live among the people demonstrating a Christian way of living.
8.  For our family's financial support.  

Thank you for your prayers.  Prayer does change things!  According to Adhanom transformation is happening in the lives of those he is investing in.  He is seeing a new season of spiritual growth.  This only happens through prayer.  Will you join us in praying for continued transformation in the lives of the people of South Sudan.  If so, email me what day of the week you want to commit to pray.  I will then add you to my email list and notify you when I put out a new blog update with prayer praises and requests.  Will you prayerfully consider joining Adhanom and Helen Hidug's ministry team with a financial gift?  As you can see from the report above Adhanom's ministry is bearing fruit.

I am also ready for my next season of ministry.  For some time now I've been sensing that God might be leading me in a new direction, although nothing is very clear at this point!  As I continue catching up with champions this winter and spring please pray with me that He will make His will very clear as I explore what He's laid on my heart and push on doors that appear to be cracked open a bit.

For the time being I'm content to enjoy this inbetween time in ministry.  And of course I'll be putting on my boots, scarf, and gloves on Monday for another wild walk in the snow, embracing whatever God brings my way!  

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