____ Update #9 - Life in Sudan ________
(written Thursday, August 19)
The sun has now set on Day 50 here in the Sudan. Right now, Laurie is lighting our little kerosene stove to brew herself a cup of chai and I am listening to our resident cricket sing his little heart out somewhere in the thatched roof above my head. Life here has been an incredible grace-saturated adventure thus far. I’ve shared a few of the spiritual lessons in some previous emails, but tonight I thought I would just invite you to our little “baai” for a peek into life as we know it here in Sudan.
The C4C compound has become more empty lately, as we waved goodbye to our dear friends Daniel, Natalie, and little Samuel – who are off to Nairobi for the birth of the baby. We’ve missed them here - and Georgie (the dog) does too, but he’s consoling himself by curling up by one of our beds at night. We have been keeping quite busy along with the Ward family and Jan, as we approach our final few weeks.
This week has launched us into fast-forward motion with the various projects to be completed here. One thing I’ve learned about being here in Sudan is that nobody here has just “one” job – and our experience here is giving us a myriad of things to increase our resumes. *smile* The Minion Department (as we are affectionately called) has taken on many different roles: babysitter, dishwasher, chef, farmer, welder, grinder, plumber, tea connoisseur (Laurie), pole digger, photographer, general source of Kowaja amusement… and the list goes on. It has been quite enjoyable, and we go to sleep every night thanking the Lord for the opportunity to use our hands in service here.
Just for fun, I thought you all might enjoy an ongoing list that is being compiled by a few of us (something akin to “you know you live in Sudan when…”) – taking note of the somewhat unusual things that this land offers. Who knows, maybe some of you will end up in Africa someday too and this knowledge might come in handy.
- A common dish served at a local restaurant is cow intestines
- Praying for rain at the dinnertable is a common occurrence
- The currency is a Sudanese pound and there are no coins
- Recreational activities include spear throwing and chasing goats out of groundnut fields
- Kids have little attachment to clothes and even less for “indoor” toilets
- Chickens, goats, and cows are often the welcoming committee on your doorstep (not as much anymore since Daniel constructed the fence though!)
- Digging a new “cho” (outdoor toilet) has many benefits, including a full body toning routine (my muscles are singing volumes right now!), golden sun tanning, and clay mud pedicures.
- Waking up in the morning to an energetic scurry of little feet overhead is no cause for alarm – it is just the lizards having a “good morning” dance on your mosquito netting.
- Waking up at night to the energetic scurry of little feet, however, often means that the resident mouse is having a midnight snack on your granola bars.
- Cameras make instant friends, even if they don’t know to smile until AFTER the picture.
- Land rovers + mud x full night of rain = flexibilityyyy in the schedule! (Or flexibility in footwear when the next day’s jaunt to the market left Jan stuck in the clay!)
- Every night, there is either a gorgeous sunset, a sky full of stars, or a majestic lightening display that you can watch while taking a shower – can’t get much better than that!
- Two boards nailed together make a perfect plane swing, an empty plastic bottle hanging from a string is great for “tetherball”, and countless hours can be spent digging holes in the sand and climbing trees. No need for televisions here!
- Onions and garlic are the staple ingredient for just about any recipe.
- Taking your dirt-christened work skirt out of the laundry for the third time in a week is perfectly fine – it’s just fitting in with the latest fashions!
- Your “tan” often comes off in the shower every night.
- … and much, much, much more!
We are continuing to live every day here to the fullest and are looking forward to our final two weeks here. Thank you for all of your faithful prayers over the past few months – it has certainly been God who had made this trip so profitable. Lord willing, we will have a few more things to share with you all before we return. Please continue to pray for the Kingdom work – that God would “establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90) as we finish up here.
Beth & Laurie
"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus and of the LOVE that you have for all the saints, because of the HOPE laid up for you in heaven." ~ Colossians 1:3-5
"…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of FAITH…Let us hold fast the confession of our HOPE without wavering…let us consider how to stir up one another to LOVE and good works…." ~ Hebrews 10:22-24