Dear Family and Friends,
Wek acha mauth erin Jethu Christo!
(We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ!)
God continues to remind us of His goodness each day as we awaken for a new day with His breath and life. Here’s a little update on the happenings and adventures of week #2 in Sudan! Wednesday (14th) – We’ve been doing a lot of praying for rain of late since the work with the compound fence has been somewhat delayed due to hard dry ground. Just as we were closing our 4pm Wed team prayer meeting, huge gusts of wind came ripping through the village followed close behind by billowing grey clouds. We only got a few patters of rain at that time, but it was a good reminder of God’s ever present provision.
Thursday (15th) – While moving bricks at the Wards, I saw and killed my first scorpion—plus eight or so small ones that Beth and I also executed. Our lunch at the Wards was interrupted by Natalie coming over to tell us that a snake killing was going on at their home. Apparently, little2 ½ year old Samuel saw the snake slithering across their porch and alerted them to the “bad snake.” I was quite excited to see my first Black Forrest Adder! Friday (16th) – The Farises took Beth and me out to eat for dinner in Wanjok (the nearest market where we get bread for lunch every day). A few extra dishes appeared in addition to what had been ordered, and after eating from it, we realized it was cow intestines. Now that was interesting! Strangely enough, Beth thought it was rather palatable while I found myself quite disgusted with my first taste and thus if you were to ask us what it tasted like, we would provide two very different descriptions! Saturday (17th) – Project day at the Wards new home found Julie teaching me how to grind rebar and sheets of metal for their new window shutters. My favorite part was learning how to weld! (I mean, have you ever looked through those cool masks—it’s a whole different world!) Beth took care of the children, and if I had the power, I would have bestowed Beth with the reward of #1 Nanny of the Day—especially since by its end, she was not only taking care of the three Ward children, but was reading stories and playing with about a dozen neighborhood children!
The Lord’s Day (18th) – I spent the day in bed due to waking up with a headache, a fever, and sore throat. It was not much of a surprise since the sore throat had already been coming on for several days and the kids have been coming down with it for the past week. I did enjoy listening to the drumming and singing of worship at the church located quite close to our bai. God also sent a refreshing thunderstorm that helped cool me off! (Currently I am feeling much better and only break the sound barrier with a sneeze and the blowing of my nose.) That night, I got a laugh out of Beth sleep-talking and asking me “Are you as snug as a bug in a rug?” [Interjection from Beth: Don’t ask…amusement comes at the strangest times!]
Monday (19th) – We hosted our first visitors in our bai today as we worked with Peter and Ajo with their English while helping them prepare their sermons for this Lord’s Day. Peter and Ajo are two of the three pastors-in-training Vince is working with. It was encouraging to talk on a deeper spiritual level with them since there are so few who know English and thus so few whom we can really connect with.
Tuesday (20th) – I accompanied Julie, Natalie, and Zakari on a walk in the village to visit. We walked through about five different compounds of ladies from the church and some of the women who refill our water and wash our clothes. We even got to peek in on a three-week-old baby boy! It is always helpful learning from about these women’s lives in order to understand the cultural norms and taboos. As Julie and Natalie conversed with them, I wished I knew more Dinka, but had to be content with greetings and introductions. The order of questions we are asked upon greeting is 1) What is your name? 2) Who is your father? 3) What is your clan? and sometimes, 4) What village are you from? And yes, Beth and I have both been given separate names, clans, and villages. (Beth’s village has already requested her to come worship with them on the Lord’s Day!)
Praise and Prayer: · Today (Tuesday) we received a rainstorm in the middle of the night. It was more than we’ve gotten since we’ve been here! Please continue to pray for more rain. · Several of us have been getting colds. Please pray for further protection and healing.
· Please pray that we will be diligent to continue learning Dinka and taking the initiative to go deeper in conversations.
Much love in Jesus,
~ Laurie (and Beth)
“Therefore my beloved brothers,
Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
Knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58