Ministry, oy

22/Feb/2012

As you know, our ministry has been on hold for a while. No diesel makes it difficult to travel. So we had come up with a new plan. I know this is SHOCKING but that plan was pretty much thrown out the window right before we were going to implement it. I know this is the nature of ministry anyway but it is to the NTH degree here in Africa. So, new plan. Diesel is a bit easier to come by, now, and Kaya wants us to resume going out to churches. Great. So Johnson and I talked about it, he put together a schedule and off we went. One thing I wanted to make clear to each church this time is that I want to meet with leaders not children. I LOVED meeting all the kids and teaching them but didn’t feel like I was accomplishing much. One Bible lesson is not necessarily changing someone’s life forever. However, a teacher that can effectively teach more Bible lessons and truths from the Bible is more likely to effect change. This is why we really need to meet with teachers and make sure they know how to put together a lesson.

We were supposed to begin this week. I say supposed to because we haven’t. So far, there was a funeral in one community, lack of communication in another and no vehicle today. This is pretty normal here. However, I’m getting comfortable with it and often hoping that something happens to keep us from “having” to go out. That’s the ugly truth. My laziness is overriding God’s purpose for me being here. It’s so frustrating to me that I feel this way. And I’m only admitting it hoping that telling you guys will help me begin the process of heart change. Also, it’s something for which I’d like prayer.

Johnson is going to head to our scheduled places on his motorbike, today. They are far enough and rough enough that he doesn’t feel comfortable taking me along but was willing to go without me. This is a good thing to get him more experience teaching people. However, am I just saying that as justification for my relief at not having to go? Probably…..

Pray for me and my slacker self. Pray that I will buck up and be an adult. Pray that I will regain my heart for what is to be done here. And pray that my pathetic attitude won’t affect Johnson and the ministry.

 

Back in the ROSS

14/Dec/2011

I have to say, it’s good to be home in the Republic of South Sudan. The new rules make it a long trip home but I’m here. (what should be about 1 1/2 hour flight is now a half a day of travelling) However, once again God provided a friend for the travels. I am consistently blown away by the little ways God shows us His huge love!

I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to post this but we’ve had internet problems pretty much since I’ve been back.

It’s been an odd couple of weeks. Andrew is now winging his way back home for Christmas. Stephanie and Emily have gone for good and the Water Harvest people are slowly dropping (to America) like flies. Soon, I’ll be the only gelletat left. I didn’t think this would bother me too much because Kaya’s girls are here and they keep me pretty busy. However, I don’t mind telling you, I’ve spent a day or so feeling sorry for myself. It doesn’t help that with fuel issues (prices and scarcity) we are having to put the ministry Johnson and I do on hold. You forget just how important it is to have a purpose. So, I’ve been praying that God will reveal His plan for me during this time. He isn’t caught off guard by any of these issues and has a plan for this time. I just have to be patient and see what that is. Don’t I sound so spiritual and Godly? Believe me, I am not as centered as all that. I can just talk a good talk!  =o)

Christmas is coming. I know this is true because my calendar says so. But it does NOT feel like Christmas. I think this is actually a good thing for me. If it felt more like Christmas I think I would miss my family so much more. So far, it’s not too bad.

Oh, I have to apologize to y’all. I went to a wedding yesterday! It was so cool to experience a wedding here. However, I was sitting there as it was starting and realized I had left my camera in the office! Terribly sorry. My description won’t do it justice and no pics. Tragedy!

More on Down-time

15/Aug/2011

13.08.11

Another down-time story for y’all. Last night after dinner with some of the people here, a couple of us went back inside the big room for a little while. I usually call it the dining hall but you learn pretty quickly to eat outside where the Sudanese eat. SO much cooler. =o) But I digress.

As we were sitting there just hanging out, Blessing walked in. Blessing lives up to her name. She is such a sweetheart. She lives not far from Kaya’s and is also one of the students at the vocational school. So I see her pretty often. Anyway, she came bearing one of the hymnals they keep at the church.(Celebration Hymnal, if you’re curious. LOTS of Gaither) She’d borrowed it to learn some new songs  and asked me to help her. So we just started flipping through and I’d sing the ones I knew and teach her the ones she liked the sound of and she would sing the ones she knew. Holy cow! What memories flooded me! Songs I hadn’t sung in years but remembered like the back of my hand because I had sung them so much when I was younger. It took me back to riding in the car with Mom or sitting in the sewing room and just singing these hymns. Wonderful Grace of Jesus, Showers of Blessing, Sweetest Name I Know, etc. (Mom, a couple of weeks ago, I had the STRONGEST memory of singing with you in the sewing room when I realized the church was singing Jesus, Jesus, Jesus in the morning, Jesus in the noontime….I nearly started crying right there under the mango tree!)

These memories are so sweet and I loved thinking about them when suddenly I realized, I’m making a new memory RIGHT NOW to add to them. One of Kaya’s daughters had come in and was singing with us. I was singing these old hymns with new African sisters. Something I don’t ever want to forget. God bless the down-time!

Tuesday was our first day in the field. I think we got broken in pretty well! We went to Lomonga. Um, imagine off-roading. Now imagine that times about a thousand. =o) Juma is a great driver! If it had been someone else, I’m pretty sure we’d still be stuck on the banks of the creek outside Lomonga. =o)

So far, it hasn’t been quite what I was hoping for. I was really hoping to spend time with the adults interested in Children’s Ministry and addressing concerns, etc. and THEN doing CM. But pretty much, it’s been tons of kids waiting for us to do something brilliant. Luckily, our white skin is as interesting as anything else so we don’t have to be too brilliant! =o)

This week, we visited Lomonga, Mere and Litoba. Each one was so different but good. The kids are always so much fun. So far we’ve taught “My God is so big” at each one because Johnson and Cosmos (Cose – mus) love that song! I, on the other hand, am going to have to start teaching a new one because that one has invaded my dreams! =o)

Yesterday was pretty cool because on our way home, we realized we were going to drop Johnson off at his place. He wanted to introduce us to his family. We got almost there and Juma decided he didn’t want to risk the rocks on the creek bank so we stopped. Sarah and I looked at each other and I asked Johnson how far it was. “Can we foot it?” That’s what they call walking here. He said, yes, it’s just there. You can see it. So, off we went. We got to meet his wife, Mary, his son, Johnathon appr 1 year, and his grandmother. He has several fruit trees around his house so we were able to try guava. We PROBABLY shouldn’t have eaten it since it’s not a peel and eat fruit but hey, we haven’t died yet. It was really good! He also, had some citrus trees. The oranges were gone but he gave us a bag of lemons. They are giant and so good! I’m so glad we took the time to meet his family!

Now it’s time to party like rockstars! I’ll try to remember to take pictures of everything as South Sudan becomes it’s own nation. I’ve been pretty forgetful about pics, so far. sorry!

I had a great Sunday at Willott Road Community Church in St. Louis. It was so great to learn, worship and fellowship with this community of believers.

Thank you all for partnering with me in ministry. So many of you said you’d be praying with me as I prepare and go. You have no idea how much that means to me! Thanks for giving me the chance to share about my upcoming trip.

Thanks for such a great Sunday!