Update 6 - Living Water
The warm evening sun beckoned me out for a brief walk before dinner. In the distance, I could hear the buzz of voices coming from the community well. The small crowd of women looked up as I approached, and curious dark eyes matched my own. I was interested to see more of this daily chore of Dinka life, and they were equally as interested in the strange white girl who found such fascination in an ordinary thing.
I watched for awhile as the women took turns filling their yellow gerry cans with the clear water. Young girls were systematically pumping the long metal handle, using their weight as leverage and jumping up and down along with the motion. One lady laughed and motioned for me to try. I could feel the tension of the water as I pumped, and my inexperienced hands only brought out a rather haphazard trickle from the tap (much to the amusement of my audience.) When the 40 liter cans were topped with water, the women would lift them onto their heads in one swift motion and balance them effortlessly. As I waved goodbye to the newfound friends at the well and continued on my walk, I thought more about this necessity of fresh water that helped the community to thrive. Even more than that, I was reminded of the work of the gospel here that quenches the thirst of the soul. LIVING WATER.
It has been such a blessing to see how the team here has dedicated themselves to this gospel. I have learned so much from them so far, from both watching their daily lives and also hearing the stories of how God has built up this ministry in Sudan. Although we have only been here two weeks, we have been privileged to take part in some small ways – especially seeing the fruit of the team’s long-term labors in our own short-term endeavors. As Laurie mentioned in her update,we had the opportunity to do some English work with two pastors-in-training here on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. We spent an afternoon with Peter and Ajo on Monday, helping them with sermon preparations and discussing several Bible passages to answer their questions. It was tremendously encouraging to talk in our own native language and be part (in a very small way) of the gospel going forth in the surrounding churches. To me, that was a celebration of the Lord’s work thorough the faithful service of the mentors who have invested in these men’s lives for such a long time.
Yesterday (Thursday), we were also privileged to be part of the “Grand Opening” ceremony for Weer Bi, the radio station that transmits a gospel message to thousands of listeners in this area. Cush4Christ has partnered with this ministry since the very beginning, and the majority of it is made possible through the work of Scott, Vince, John (pastor) and Carlo (pastor). Although they have been on the air for several months already, the “official” ceremony took place - complete with dedication speeches, singing, preaching, and a “ribbon” cutting. Quite a day! It was likewise a great celebration of God’s work through the faithful service of these men who have been dedicated to the gospel message.
These two events this week reminded me of the beauty and refreshment of Living Water upon the souls of people. It has also reminded me to be dwelling on this gospel and its glorious meaning for my own life. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support as we settled into a varied schedule here. Every day has seemed to provide us with new experiences, new faces, new encounters, and new grace, while still allowing us to be part of the daily routine of the team here. I have learned so much about missionary life and greatly look forward to what God has in store for the next six weeks. Wherever you are, it is my prayer that you will stay encouraged and treasure this glorious gospel in your daily life as well. It is truly worth everything. “Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14
Rejoicing in Sudan,
Beth (and Laurie)