Praise the Lord for He has heard our prayers and has poured on us an abundance of rain over the past few days—in fact, Beth and I still have laundry hanging on the line from Saturday’s washing. As I write, the sun is shining, the breeze is actually cool (which explains the goose bumps on my arms), and the cows are serenading me from their stakeout near our bai.
Here are some highlights and fun memories as we come to the end of week #3 in Sudan!
Wednesday (21st) – We spent the majority of today working with Achol while helping Vince and John prepare the radio station for the big “opening” ceremony tomorrow. We washed the outside wall of the building, and learned the Sudanese interior decorating style of hanging sheets on the walls—which they love!
Thursday (22nd) – The big ceremony was “scheduled” to begin around 10:30am, but of course we run on “African time” here, and didn’t get started until 12:30pm after the Commissioner arrived. The best chef in Wanjok closed down his restaurant to cater this event meaning we ended the celebration with a delicious abundance of food (meat with onions, beans, and delicious bread) and ended up having to send word out to the neighbors to come eat the leftovers!
Friday (23rd) – This morning Beth expanded her sleep-talking by counting to ten in Dinka (I truly appreciated the spontaneous review). Our play-dough skills increased as we expanded our repertoire to exotic animals, trucks, bicycles, and airplanes! We also started to learn the art of origami with Samuel and Zakari. Dinner at the Farises ended with laughter when we realized we were all intently watching the chicken that had walked in and was eating the grains of rice off of the ground. How easy it is to find entertainment here!
Saturday (24th) – Project day at the Wards didn’t go as planned due to the rainy morning and most of our metal being wet. We did get some rebar and sheets of metal sanded, but when we started welding, the generator died. In the afternoon, we were going to meet with Ajo to discuss his sermon and help him with his English, but he didn’t show. Later, we found out that he had been doing some idol burning in several homes in another village. (Praise the Lord!) Tonight at our “internet café” at the Faris home, we celebrated the completion of the compound fence that Daniel has so faithfully worked on with hired help for the past 6 weeks.
The Lord’s Day (25th) – Nearly 70 children and 25 adults (mostly women) were at church today as Carlo opened the Word. The rain pattered on the plastic tarp overhead, and I happened to be seated under a drip that managed to drench my hair and back. There were so many drips in the ceiling, however, that some kids were tempted to shower in it while others stood with their mouths open to catch a drink. My favorite time of worship is before prayer when Alo (the songleader) leads the congregation in singing Psalms that have been translated into Dinka. It’s beautiful.
Monday (26th) – We received the most rain today since we have been here (just under 2.5 inches!). This afternoon we were going to meet with Peter to discuss his sermon and help him with his English, but due to the afternoon downpours, he couldn’t make it. Thus we had an enjoyable afternoon with Achol. She’s been trying to start a school here at the church building. The plan is that she’ll teach Dinka for an hour and we’ll teach English in the following hour. Achol arrived just as the second wave of storms hit and we took shelter in the church building. Before long, we were sitting on the pews (each “pew” branch is held up by forked branches stuck in the ground) with miniature streams flowing around us. Achol gave us our own Dinka lesson in which she taught us the Dinka alphabet by writing in the dirt to show us the letters. Because no one showed up for the class, we invited her to our bai and I was delighted to finally serve a guest a cup of chai! JDuring this time some of the men and children of the village were driving stakes into the ground pretty close to our bai outside our fence and we learned that a herd of cattle were going to be staked there for the next few days. Apparently people will request the neighborhood cows to be staked in the areas they want fertilized for growing crops. We were surprised that they weren’t nearly as loud as we thought they’d be during the night. Now being downwind from them is another issue…but we’ll just pray the breeze remains blowing from the South. JTuesday (27th) – This afternoon, Beth and I helped Julie tie jargonia (grass mats) to the new fence that skirts one side of their yard. This way the dust won’t blow in from the re-routed traffic that now runs around the compound instead of thru it. For dinner the Wards decided we’d all go out to eat in Wanjok. The food was great (the dishes were bean, potato, and beef with lots of bread!)—and no cow intestines graced our table this time. Following dinner we took a walk around the village and even got to watch a football game that was being held between two of the villages. Most of the boys had either blue or red uniforms—just not all of them had shoes.
Prayer & Praise:
Health – As you know from my last update, I was hit slightly with a cold bug last week which resulted in a headache for a day. But praise God, I was feeling bad only that one day and was back to normal in the following days. Praise God, the team’s health has been the best since we arrived!
Friendships – We are aware that our time is limited. Please pray that God will open His doors to form friendships with the women here where we can encourage one another in a deeper relationship with Christ.
We know that your prayers have impacted our time here. Thank you! May God cause His face to shine upon you as you seek Him!
In Jesus’ love,
~Laurie (and Beth)
“I made known to them Your Name,
and I will continue to make it known,
that the love with which You have loved Me
may be in them, and I in them.”