Monday, January 30, 2012

Boys' Progress Report

 Yesterday I went to visit the boys at school and meet with the principal to hear how they're doing. It was so encouraging to hear very glowing reports about each boy.
Joshua: he has a true Sudanese accent and surprises his teachers with the things he says!
Evan: has really come out of his shell and is actually singing along in music class and participating more.
Isaac: is a true helper and friend. Since he's older than most of the kids he leans over and helps his friends with handwriting or if others are fighting on the playground he tries to break it up.

  In March Isaac and Evan will graduate. Joshua is only in playgroup so if we were to stay in Ktm longer, he would move up to the next class. On graduation day, March 22, there will be a grand celebration and the children are already rehearsing songs and dramas for that day. In the above picture, they sang 2 songs while I spied through the window.


 On Thursdays the children get extra play time on the playground and the boys look forward to that all week.
 This school has been a huge blessing to our family. Not only has it made it possible for me to take Arabic classes, but it has improved the boys' Arabic, their social skills and they've made so many friends. Though they are young I have no doubts that they have made an impact. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This is what we do

 This is what our mornings look like 5 days a week - lots of Arabic grammer, vocab, and conversation.

Eli does a great job making class fun and interesting. We press on, working harder than ever since we only have 3 more months of special Arabic study.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Arabian Nights


We had so much fun at a wedding last night! We got all dressed up and spent most of the time on the dance floor learning how to dance Sudanese style.


Eli sat a table with a bunch of businessmen from Tunisia and Libya.


 The wedding didn't begin until 8 pm so as you can see in this picture, the boys were getting pretty tired by the end of the evening (we left at 11:30). We're thankful today is our day off so we can recuperate from all the partying last night. :)

God answers

If you read my previous blog post, you know that I, Bethany, was struggling with uncertainties in our future and feeling overwhelmed not knowing how to plan and prepare for what is coming. More and more over the past couple of days God is encouraging my heart to take one day at a time and not worry about our future. He called our family of five here and he's not going to just drop us off somewhere and not care for us. So I have been trying to focus on the day I'm living and make the most of each day.
    The wonderful thing is that only a few hours after I wrote the blog, a couple who lives and works in Melut where we hope to move to, called us on skype to talk through some details. They also assured us that whenever we come, there are multiple housing options for us. That was such an answer to prayer. There are still many things up in the air, but God knew we needed a bit of encouragement and He gave it to us when we needed it. I'm so thankful. Thank you to those who are praying and to those who have emailed me to encourage me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wrestling

Bethany here. I know that most of the time we write about places we've visited or events in our family but every now and then I find it beneficial not only for myself but for you, our readers, to get a window into what is going on in our hearts. I don't have to tell you that living overseas in a very different culture and studying one of the most difficult languages in the world is challenging. But lately a new struggle has been going on in my mind and heart - a wrestling match if you will.
    I am the type of person who thrives when my life is organized and planned out, when I know what to expect, when I can make plans and prepare myself and my family for change, etc. Unfortunately I have none of that in Sudan. No matter how hard I try to organize and plan, life is always changing, plans change, weather changes, etc. Lately it's been harder for me than usual, especially since we are anticipating a move back to South Sudan in less than 3 months. Knowing our time in Khartoum is nearing a close, I've already felt myself withdrawing (though very unintentionally.) The difficult part for me is that I don't know what will come next for our family of five. All I know is that we will have a conference in Kenya in April and most likely pack up our Khartoum home and take our things to Nairobi. After that, we don't know for sure. It might work out as we hope and we can move to Melut in Upper Nile to teach at Gideon Theological College. We might end up at a different base. We might end up staying and teaching here in Khartoum. The hard thing is that we can not make any solid decisions at this point and it is almost driving me crazy.
     The other realization that has been hitting me hard is that wherever we move next in South Sudan will require us living in some sort of temporary housing for at least 5 months (a hut or tent) until our own house can be built. Unfortunately June is when the rainy season begins and that will make it extremely hard maybe even impossible to begin building during that season. So how does one homeschool and try to "settle" and make a "home" when you're living temporarily for a period like 6 months? How does a young American mother do this in a rural area of Sudan?
    These questions are daunting. I have to admit that as I've pondered these things, it's become quite overwhelming at times. But the Lord keeps drawing me back to His lap, reminding me that He called us here, called us to this unpredicatable, unplannable life. God knows me inside and out. He knows this is an inner struggle for me. Yet He will not give me more than I can handle and I believe He will settle our family exactly where He wants us.
    Will these next few months be challenging? Yes. Will this be a difficult year? Yes. What should I do about that? Get depressed? Quit? Complain? NO!!!!! Lord, I commit to follow you wherever you take us and however you want to make it happen. Please just give us the grace and strength and JOY we need to take each day at a time.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Palace Museum

 Today Eli and I went to visit the Palace Museum here in Khartoum with our friends Brett and Cathy.
The museum is in an old Anglican church built by the British exactly 100 years ago.

 The President's Palace is directly behind the museum. We accidentally pulled into the driveway when we were looking for parking and were reprimanded 2 separate times!

 Encarved in the door of the church it says, "There is but one God."

 Eli, Brett, and Cathy stand in front of the beautiful stained glass windows and the weapons case.


 A beautiful elaborate coffee tray presented as a gift to the President when he visited Port Sudan.



 The first piano brought to Sudan by General Gordon

 The first organ brought to Sudan after Sudan finally got electricity