When we moved to Melut in June to teach at Gideon Theological College, it didn't take long before God gave me a heavy burden and a deep love for the women on this campus - the wives of the students and faculty at the college. I realized that these 4 years of college life are expected to equip and prepare both the men and their wives for future ministry in South Sudan. I began preparing fervently for each family. During our first Bible study with the ladies after I arrived, I discovered that many of the women are not even able to read yet so studying their Bibles is not an option for them. I asked God for wisdom in how to first address these issues but also knew that this was a work only our God can do. He has to put the desire and hunger in their hearts to learn about Him. They won't want to join their husbands in ministry unless God puts a calling on their hearts and pulls their hearts closer to Him.
Yesterday's Bible study was a huge encouragement to me. In these 2 months that I've been here, my teammate Claire and I have been challenging each woman to take turns leading our weekly Bible study through the book of John. At first they were aghast and said they were not able. After a bit of encouragement Mary, one of our Dinka student's wives, agreed to lead yesterday. I had been praying for her through the week and wondering how it would turn out. It was amazing! After going through the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and sharing from her heart, we all affirmed and thanked her for leading. She said she'd been really nervous but was glad she did it. She realized it's not as hard as she thought it was! Claire brought up a point at the end: Just as the little boy brought his small lunch of bread and fish, offered it to Jesus, and God worked miracles with it, we can offer the little we have and as weak as we are, God can use us for big things. I could see it registering on each of the ladies' faces and then another lady agreed to lead this coming week! Praise the Lord!
Another beautiful answer to prayer was when we shared prayer requests and Mary, the very woman who led us this week, asked us to pray that she would start reading her Bible every day. After having to prepare for this week, she's "tasted" and seen how sweet God's Word is for our daily lives. And glory to God that she now has a greater hunger to learn from Him and His Truth.
I came home glowing and in awe of our God. What a blessing to see God working so powerfully in their lives! Please continue to pray for each of our student wives: Mary, Julia, Miriam, Martha, Lydia, Tabitha, Rhoda, Rebecca, Monica, and Elizabeth.