Friday, April 29, 2011

A bright patch in April

As many of you know, we've been waiting in Kenya for the whole month of April for our visas to go back to Sudan - but this time to North Sudan. It's been a stretching time of "waiting". And as Eli and I have tried to make the most of our time here, one of the BIGGEST gifts God gave is our new friend Butrus. Butrus is from Darfur and had to flee Sudan a few years ago. He spent a lot of time in Khartoum, the capital city, so he's very familiar with the culture, ways of life, food, and of course language. He comes every day from 1-3 pm while our boys have their rest time to teach us Arabic. We decided to start at the very beginning with learning how to read and write in Arabic script. This is no easy task. Arabic has all kinds of crazy and very unfamiliar sounds! And as I'm learning to write in the Arabic script from the right side of the page to left, I feel like my 5 year old son Evan who is just learning how to write his ABC's too. Even as we're slowly learning how to sound out words in Arabic script, it reminds me of a child first learning how to read. You slowly make each sound out loud and after saying it a few times you realize what word it is! :)
Another reason we're enjoying Butrus so much is all the life stories he shares. We try to only speak Arabic when we're together and he's full of many adventures across Sudan, stories of his family and the beautiful land they lived in, but also some very heartwrenching accounts of war, killing and horrible suffering and torture.
     Meeting with Butrus every day reminds us more and more of why we live and work in Sudan. God has put such a love and great compassion in our hearts for the people of Sudan. We have a love we can't explain. God knew we'd grow restless here in Kenya since our hearts are craving to be back in Sudan so he sent us this wonderful new friend to build a friendship with and still have a part of Sudan in our lives.
   We are working hard trying to study whenever we have a free moment. We are so glad we have a chance to recall the Arabic we learned last term and buff it up before we head into North Sudan. We continue to wait on our visas but as Eli keeps reminding me, "It's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of WHEN."

2 comments:

Lou Woods said...

Bethany, Greetings from the UAE (Abu Dhabi) where I am also trying to learn Arabic. I've been here since last July on indefinate work assignment. It's not easy learning Arabic when you have to learn a new Alphabet and word meanings and pronounciations all at the same time. Learning slowly but surely. It's very different living in a Muslim country in a surreal land of oil wealth and Christian famine! Am enjoying following your family blog. Your boys have grown so much since we met in Yabus. In His grip, Jennifer

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