Adventure with Jesus
“Make sure you have good walking shoes!”
A good piece of advice for any traveler, yes. Just a few months ago, I was hurriedly throwing a few things into a suitcase in order to catch a plane that was Africa-bound. In went the old familiar brown sandals. The ones that had climbed mountains in India, ran beaches in Mexico, and now would soon be shaking Sudanese dust off of their worn soles.
Now, over two months later, I looked down at those old brown sandals as I walked to some surrounding neighbors to say some final goodbyes. The packed dirt below had bare footprints (along with a random smattering of cow, goat, donkey, and chicken prints) etched into the soil of those who had walked the path before me. The pathway kept going – winding in between compounds and disappearing into fields that were tall with sorghum ready for harvest. Part of me wanted to keep going – to look beyond the next bend in the path, to find more faces, to see new things. The other part of me knew that the sun would be setting soon and it was time to turn back.
Now, I’m turning back … going home.
But the journey doesn’t stop.
Because with every day that passes here in Sudan, the more I realize just how much of this life is truly an adventure with my Jesus. Every step of the way.
Next Wednesday, a certain plane will land in Indianapolis. Lord willing, both Laurie and I will be setting foot into a new chapter and a new adventure back in our homeland.
I just wanted to send you all a heartfelt “thank you” for being faithful prayer warriors during this African leg of the great adventure. It has been so full and so rich with His abundant care and grace. Our time here has drawn to a close, but we go willingly on to the next – knowing that following Him means truly living the abundant life.
The last week with the Cush4Christ team here has been mixed with joy in all that God has done, along with some sadness at the thought of parting. Things like screwing the final screw into the completed shutters at the Ward’s house or topping off our project blitz by the construction of a new latrine (“cho”) this week has given a sense of finality and completion to this trip. Many things still continue, however, and will the time to come within our own hearts. God has blessed us with so many relationships and friendships here that it is difficult to say goodbye. They ask us when we will return, and we can only say “The Lord knows” (and then we think a little less of earth and a little more of heaven.)
A few final prayer requests as we embark on our journey home:
- For safety and protection in travel: Jan, Laurie, and I leave on Friday morning from Aweil, spend the night in Juba, and do the second half of our flight to Nairobi on Saturday. Our flight to America begins on the following Tuesday (September 7).
- For the C4C team: especially the Wards as they remain behind in Sudan and continue on the work here so faithfully. Also, pray for Scott (returning next week) and the Faris family (still, as far as we know, are awaiting the arrival of baby in Nairobi). Being able to live and work alongside these servants for the past few months has been such an encouragement to us – God is in the process of doing great things through the people that He delights in calling His own.
- For our own hearts: as we say goodbye to people we love so dearly and transition back to life in America. Pray for good times of reflection and joy as we remember what God has done and look forward to what He will do in the next chapter of our individual lives.
The words from Psalm 117 (the psalm that we love to sing quite frequently with the Ward family here!) come ringing back into my ears as we say goodbye and look forward to home. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! All you nations, extol Him; Extol Him, all you peoples! For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever!”
His love truly is great toward us – we have seen it in countless ways. His faithfulness has guided us every step of the way and will continue wherever else He may take us on the face of His earth… until we are finally Home.
It is exciting – this life, with Jesus holding on to us!! I’m sure each of you have your own stories of how God is leading you even now. So, from one traveler to another, on this journey with Christ -- make sure you have good walking shoes … because the abundant life with Jesus is always an adventure.
Praising the Lord with you,