We send you love and good wishes from a little round hut in Southern Sudan! The sun has just gone down on our first full day on this missionfield, and I am currently sitting under its thatched roof, listening to the sounds of the evening – some crickets, an occasional drumming, some soft singing in the distance (Daniel and Natalie having family worship), and the typing on this tiny computer (that last one kinda spoils the night atmosphere, but I’m thankful for it nonetheless!) I have just returned from a nice envigorating shower under the stars, and await another peaceful night’s sleep before another busy day!
So much has happened in the last few days that it would be rather difficult to sum it all up in one small update. However, I thought I would share with you a short snippet from my journal – my faithful companion that has kept a few of the many memories.
On the MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) airplane, somewhere in between Nairobi and Aweil:
“Right now, as my family and friends back in America are just waking up to start a new day, I am getting ready to set foot on a new missionfield. The small white plane is maneuvering through some fluffy white clouds as we head towards Aweil. Below, I can see a sprinkling of brush and some sparse greenery with an occasional dirt road snaking into the distance. Occasionally, a small cluster of thatched or tin roofs appear, but that is the only sign of civilization below. My heart has been singing words from Psalm 108: God, my heart is steadfast, I will sing your praises…Lord, among the peoples [the Dinka, specifically] I will sing your praises. And from among the nations [right now, it’s Sudan] my praise to You will rise. For your lovingkindness extends is above the heavens, Your faithfulness extends into the skies.” Lord, you have been gracious to give me a steadfast heart, and I am learning to let go and lay my burdens down – and just worship with my whole heart. Your lovingkindness and faithfulness go before me into this new land – it is even up here in the skies! May your glory be lifted above all the earth, Jesus!”
Those words were written just a few moments before God, in His faithfulness, brought us safely to the ground and we stepped out to feel the warm sunshine on our faces. Little adorable black children, with brilliant smiles and curious eyes, cautiously crept towards the plane with murmurs of “Kawaja!” (White person!) on their lips. We were met at the landing strip by Scott (one faithful missionary who is heading off for his furlough) and Daniel, the latter of whom whisked us away to our new “home away from home” – a cheery little hut that has been tastefully decorated by its previous occupant (thanks, Heather!) We have now settled in quite nicely, and the Wards are making fast progress to settle into their new home as well.
There are so many new sights, sounds, voices, and experiences that have stretched and grown our souls and senses in the last 24 hours…. like making friends with a few (more like a dozen) local children, finding a donkey in the church building, writing stories with the kids, expanding our Dinka conversational vocabulary (slooowly, but surely!), good long conversations around the dinner table, seeing the amazing stars that light up the night sky. We’ve also christened our resident mouse in the roof with the name “Remi” and have had only one snake sighting so far (and yes, I am quite thankful about that!) I’m sure more words and adventures will follow from this little hut here at Cush4Christ, but for now, I must close. Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support from afar. We have been so blessed by your encouragements and have seen God answer your prayers with His daily grace in ways far beyond what we can express.
Secure in His Grip,
Beth (for the both of us!)