Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week 4 update

Week #4 update
Tue 8/3/10
Dear Family and Friends,
This update is quite late in getting out due to full days and tired evenings—plus a spotty internet connection. But I thought I’d send this out anyways if you are interested in getting a feel for what week 4 was like for us.
Wednesday (28th) – I woke up this morning only to find more bug bite designs on my legs, feet, and arms. Thus I allowed God to avenge me by sunning my mattress for a few days and happily imagined those bed bugs getting the fry of their lives.
Beth and I helped Julie put up a new clothes line this afternoon. We had barely begun when we were interrupted by Zakari who found a bat sleeping above the cho – the outdoor toilet! (I must say that little guy was quite cute!) We dug 2 foot deep holes for the poles, and then—with Julie and the kids—mixed cement in a wheel barrow and set the poles. With the leftover cement, we poured a back door slab upon which all of us (plus Vince) placed a footprint. Julie wrote an inscription that says: “Our Dream Home – To God be the glory – Rev 7:12.”
Thursday (29th) – We watched the kids this morning while Daniel and Natalie went to Aweil Town to check up on the baby. Thankfully Natalie will be allowed to fly at 36 weeks in August – when they leave to Nairobi for the birth.
We also had the opportunity to “shadow” Daniel to a deacon training session in Mangar Akuach—which is Beth’s “village” (since she received her Dinka name from Pastor Thomas who lives there.) After parking the Land Rover, we had a 15 min walk to the church. It was such a gorgeous walk—with the afternoon sun light bringing richness to the landscape. It was a lot like what I imagine the new earth will look like. I longed to walk around alone with God. As we neared church, we heard the beating of the drum which is used kind of like church bells to call people when it’s time for an event to start. We were warmly greeted by the people. They have this way of greeting by shaking our hand and then putting their hand over their heart, and repeating the motion several times. This is the first organized RP church here in Sudan, and we sensed a specil maturity in this congregation. It was especially wonderful to see God’s evident relationship in their lives.
Friday (30th) – We had a “fun” day helping Daniel and Lual (our compound guard) build an oval-shaped “tin house” for Jan Buchanan (RP missionary in Senegal ) who is flying into Sudan next Friday. One of my highlights, however, was when Lual picked up one of the metal doors from the pile and a hedgehog stumbled out. I ran over and grabbed the little guy up and could feel him start to try to close up. (Now this little guy was just plain adorable!) Before long, however, he managed to squeeze shut until he was a tight prickly ball. He reminded me that when I cling to Jesus in the scary times, the more protected I am from my Enemy of fear, flesh, temptation and discouragement.
Tonight, after Beth and I had fallen sleep, I awoke hearing Beth talking and heading to the door. Initially I thought she was sleep-talking and walking, but then I heard Julie’s voice, asking for the snake identification book in our hut. A village boy had gotten bit by a snake and his family had brought him for help. She’d sent them back to find the snake and bring it to her so she could determine how bad his bite was. We found out later that it was a Burrowing Asp, but he had not been bitten too badly.
Saturday (31st) – Project day at the Wards went well. Beth learned how to weld and I watched the kids. Julie and Beth hung the first two shutters (out of 18!)!
After lunch Beth and I headed back to our bai for a rest and time alone with God. However, we were quickly interrupted upon our entrance when Beth caught sight of a snake-like head peering at us from above our door that leads into our room. I thought she did a great job reacting, and was proud of her for turning to grab her camera instead of running out of the bai. J So Beth went to get some killing help, and I took video of the 2 plus foot long green snake that slithered up onto the ceiling and stopped above Beth’s bed. It was not venomous, but Asouta (one of the village ladies) helped us get it out of our bai and ended up killing it.
Soon after, Ajo arrived for our discussion time helping him understand his English Bible and helped him prepare his sermon for tomorrow. It is so exciting seeing God raise up men to faithfully preach His Truth here. Praise God!
The Lord’s Day (1st) – Worship at church today was especially alive with a packed building. There must have been 90 children and easily 30 adults. About an hour in, Akec (the lady who works for the Farises and is a really sweet woman) nudged my knee and I looked over to see her balancing two babies on her knee. I took one and cradled her. She did not cry—which was unusual—but lay there languidly and only stirred to cough every once in a while. I wondered if she were sick. Before long she fell asleep and I found myself looking down at her little face marveling at this beautiful creation of God’s. I felt the tears rising as I wondered about this little life. Will she grow up to know Jesus as her Savior? Will she experience the freedom of His grace and the joy of His love? All I could do was pray, knowing that He knows—and I had the joy of feeling Christ’s heartbeat for this child—and yes, for this people.
Monday (2nd) – Keer (Peter) came for our hour of English. We were able to help him understand words in his English Bible and to answer his questions over four different passages (and yes, one of them even stumped us and we had to talk with Vince about it later). It was beautiful to see him reading in so many different places of the Gospels and the Epistles and wrestling to understand Jesus’ meaning so that he could preach it accurately.
Tuesday (3rd) – We washed the inside walls of the “tin house” this morning while watching Sammy and Amina (so that Julie could do school with Samuel and Zakari). Our afternoon project were further prep of shutter materials (measuring, grinding, sanding).
Pray we’ll be able to somehow get all these shutters done before we leave. Right now it looks pretty impossible, but if we don’t get them done, they most likely won’t get finished until next year. We’re trusting God for the time, good weather, and working equipment.
The longer we are here, the more God shows us His reasons for us being here at this time in our lives and in the lives of the Cush4Christ team. God’s faithfulness is great and His mercies are new every morning!

Much love in Jesus,
~Laurie (and Beth)

“I will cause Your Name to be remembered in all generations:
Therefore nations will praise You forever and ever.”
Psalm 45:17

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