Thursday, 28 February 2013

Schools out forever! Maybe.

The past week has been so good and yet it all began quite discouraging. After the first week of school only a  few students showed up, we were told by the end of that week that because of the lack of students the school would be temporally shut. This is obviously very disheartening as we were teaching Bible stories every day in class and it is the main "Work" we do here. I would like to say I handled it well, but to be honest I felt a bit lost, incredibly homesick and had a strong desire for copious amounts of chocolate.

I believe that God is completely sovereign in this and perhaps this is Him pointing us in a new direction. There is still a possibilities of teaching at the school, we will have a meeting this coming monday with the parents to find out why the children are not coming to school. Please pray for this, I believe there is more to them not coming then them just not coming.

Please pray for wisdom in how we ought to spend the next 7 months here in Didinga if school does not resemble. Bible study and Sunday school will still, God willing, be a part of our weekly lives and yet this will still leave our weekdays free. Here are some ideas we have been praying about.

After school program -

This would allow us to continue the Bible stories with our students if school does not continue.

Bible stories in Nepep- 

Nepep is a village around 10 miles from Nagishot, there is 2 very young believers there and we are praying about hiking there once a week to start going through the Bible with these two believers and anyone else willing. This is a huge prayer request, this village has not been open to the gospel in the past, we also want to be wise in timing. We hope to take a vision trip in the next two weeks.

More time with our Bible study members- 

Kim and I spent the whole day yesterday helping harvest a wheat field. Working in field with people is one of the best ways of building relationships here in Didinga. This may give us more time to spend with our Bible group and people in the community being able to build better relationships.


 Kim and I have been praying about having a VBS/ Camp for the end of our Bible stories for when we reach the end of the gospels and as we bring all the stories together around May or June and then another maybe in August focusing on life in Christ.

Something we are not seeing???

We want to be open to anything God leads us to, possibly something we are missing? Pray that God would reveal how he want us to spend our time here and that we would see it.

Thank you for praying!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Who's your Black Momba?!

Arriving at the Nairobi airport at seven was quite useless as we knew we would not be leaving for another SEVERAL hours. After checking in and weighing everything we, wanting to make the most of our time went to the coffee shop down the street ordering some small pastry and coffee. We are American.

Kim was eating a yummy green lettuce with mango salad(Okay she got the salad I got the pastry, go figure)   when I calmly pointed out that there was a worm presently also eating her bit of mango. She simply said, “Oh” putting that piece aside and continued eating. This is Africa.

Because we were afraid we had exceeded our cargo weight limit, Kim and I decided to wear our heaviest things on the plane, namely our jeans. This might not seem to be a big deal when you are going most places, but when you are going into a 115 degree humid desert…It’s dumb and yet with this decision we would save a whole 2 dollars and hey, a “A penny saved is penny earned.” We are American.

Kim and I waited in the tinny airport to be picked up by a man who said, “He is coming.” I think an average African uses their phrase “he/she is coming” the same way we evangelicals use “Jesus is coming” What we mean is “Could be anytime” What is unsaid is that it might be a loooong time. Then when you ask “How long?” we will most certainly say “Soon," for “Sooner is better than later.” What we both mean is, we want him to come soon and he might come soon and in the light of eternity, let’s be honest, it is soon. This is Africa.

Dying of heat and dripping with sweat we decided after an hour that this Africans "Soon" was just simply not soon enough for our trouserd selves.We are American.

 Being in Northern Kenya whist we waited our next day travel to Sudan, I walked down to the nearest duka (Small store) to buy my last delicious coke before I would be deprived of one for who knows how long in Sudan. Walking back, five young girls (Complete strangers) walked up beside me. One girl said, pointing with her chin, “You give me that soda” I smiled and said “No, way hosay!” She gave me a confused look and told me her name. (guess it wasn't Hosay).Also, for those of you who think this was cruel, not giving away my last coke, if I gave away everything asked of me on my way back I  would be empty handed, five years in debt and fully unclothed...Not kidding.  Anyway, One of the girls put her arm around my shoulder while two others grabbed bits of my hair rubbing it between their fingers as we walked along. We talked in broken English, laughed and talked about each others tribes. This is  something I love about Africa.

Arriving in Nagishot, Kim and I moaned as we looked at what had been stolen by lovely neighbors and what the mice had done to our kitchen and hut’s while we had been gone. Kim and I went to work like Martha Steward at a garden party except this was no garden party. With the occasional “Ehhh!” and sporadic gags our kitchen was on its way to being nice and tightly. We are American

Cleaning my hut was a bit of a challenge (That’s the thing about a mud hut, can't seem to get the dirt out) Just beginning my efforts on my mice ridden room I saw a black snake making itself at home and cozy next to my bed. Looking at the nearest weapon next to me,  a small Swiss pocket knife, I grabbed it with one hand and threw it stabbing the black momba right in the head…Just kidding.

 Not desiring to get so close to the little fella I went outside where I saw two teenage Didinga boys just chilling. I asked if they could help me with a snake problem and the boys literally raced to see who could get there first. After repeatedly hitting the snake on the head with a stick, Lobia held up his now mangled prize, heaving his chest into the sky and saying very James Bodishly “This one is very dangerous.” In moments like these I LOVE manly shivery. This is Africa.

Being quite proud of my presence of mind on the snake business, I finished cleaning my hut making sure there were no brothers or sisters snakes hiding somewhere. Just getting ready for bed suddenly something jumped out at me, I did the most practical thing possible…I screamed and hid only to see the back end of a startled cat running out of my room. Really?!  I’m all calm and cool over a snake and I scream at a startled kitten?!!!

Anyway, thought I'd just give you a bit of my life as an American living in Africa.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Insanely blessed!

I’m sitting in the Cheng Mai airport in Thailand waiting for the long journey back to my home in Didinga. With tears in my eyes and my feet curled up under me I cannot stifle the deep emotion of such profound encouragement within me. I feel so greatly blessed!

Six months ago I bought a plane ticket to China in hopes to see my brother, his wife along with my little niece who I had not yet met. After several attempts at getting a visa I finally was able to board the plane and start the journey to China mid-January. I couldn't wait to see my brother, everything in my soul ached for something... For family. My soul felt so tired and thirsty and loneliness ate away at me.

I will never forget those first few hours in China, I arrived in a light skirt and tee-shirt with only a small sweatshirt in my carry-on. The moment I stepped off the plane my lungs went into full shock as I forced myself to breath. It. Was. Freezing!  Coming from the hot, fresh aired small village life that I have been in over a  year to the crowded cold city of my brother’s life was so…Different! Once again I was reminded of how diverse and incredible the world is in which we live.

Then I saw my brother, standing there with hot tea in his hand among with the crowds of people, instantly, my heart was lighter, I felt I had come home.

After changing into warmer clothes and then given even warmer clothes by my brother who looked in dismay at my sandaled feet, We caught a bus taking us to his home city. The next couple weeks were spend by late nights talking, chopsticks, chinese food, delighting in Leah (my niece), playing games and me marveling at the fact that my brother and sister in law speak Chinese!
Great Wall.

Being with my brother and his wife and so many others things the past few weeks have been so encouraging! I can’t even tell you how my soul has been revived, taught, encouraged, challenged and inspired. I am so excited about going back to Sudan, I feel like in some ways I'm going again for the first time with fresh energy and passion, it feels so good!

As an unexpected turn of events my brother had a last minute meeting in Thailand, so I joined the trip!  The last week in Thailand with my brother was amazing…The weather was warm and the colors were bright and I found myself staring into the city just thinking, “There are so many lives I don’t even know about, so many amazing and gifted people, so many opportunities, so much potential…I never even cared about until now.”  I was reminded of something I had forgotten the past few months. I am not alone, I have never been alone and I will never be alone, God, who knows every heart of every hidden and unseen person of the world, is here with me and nothing I can do will ever change that.

I heard a story this past week about an older man who was asked by God “Are you teachable…Are you willing to learn?  His replied, “Have you seen my library? I have a doctorate!” God said,  “I mean are you willing to learn something new, something you don’t already know about?”

 That question has been wandering around in my brain the last few days, am I teachable? Am I willing for God to teach me something new, something unexpected, something I don’t know. Truth is, I am afraid of what God might teach me, afraid I might fail, afraid of looking stupid, unsure of what I am committing to and what it might cost, it’s all too big for me, this radical life! Then I realize, isn't that how it is supposed to be for all of us, too big for us? Isn't HE bigger than our small and frightened lives? Don’t we want him to be?  The radical life isn't meant to be lived just by the "radicals" and the obvious successful Missionaries, no, is meant for you, it is meant for me, it is meant for all the unseen and hidden people who I don’t even know or care about yet, it is meant for the Didinga and IT is the best and most full life beyond imagining. 

Thank you for praying, I know the reason this past month has been so richly encouraging is because some of you were praying it would be. Your prayers have been answered; the devil did not win…HE HAS GOT THE VICTORY! HALIUJAH!  Thank you Father.

Now, back to South Sudan I go…Back to my home in Didinga. 


My  Niece, Leah. 
Seth and Jeanine (they stole my they didn't see this coming!!!:) )

My  brother and me, so cold!