Monday, September 01, 2014

News from Melut, South Sudan

A view of Gideon Theological College 
I can't express to you the emotions Eli and I felt this week as we received photos and news from teammates in Melut. Our South Sudan director and fellow teammate flew in to Melut to spend a week assessing the situation in Melut, checking out the markets, and meeting with workers who are currently present
in Melut. We soaked up every tidbit of news and gazed longingly at every photo, remembering a life that seems a universe away and an eternity ago.

GTC staff housing is now housing other relief workers who needed a place to call "base"

The rains have come so it is green again!

Isn't this a picture of peace and beauty?
How can this be a place of war?!

With the rains, comes the mud

One of the sweet boys living on campus

To me this picture represents God holding Melut in His embrace

Boats are back up and running to and fro on the Nile River 
Our front yard
 I know that things change when you're gone. It's just a fact. But there was something in my heart that squeezed with pain when I saw this picture. This is our front yard. This is the view from the porch of our house. What is now tall, uncontrolled grass used to be a large flower garden that I'd planted last rainy season. That area used to be a space where our boys played. The grass was kept short and last year our boys even planted their own vegetable garden.

There is nothing wrong with the fact that it looks different this year. This is not where the Fader Five live this year. This is not where Isaac, Evan and Joshua play every day. Of course it wouldn't remain the same. But I guess this photo reminds me of the memories in that same spot. This photo reminds me that that life will never be the way it was. And that is OK. You know why?
GOD IS STILL THERE.
We are not. But He is.

Samuel, the GTC boat driver
 I wrote an article about Samuel sometime late in 2013. I wrote about Samuel because he is a remarkable fellow that has surprised us in many ways. God brought him to us at GTC in July 2013 when we desperately needed a trustworthy boat driver to run the "ministry" of using the college's boat  to bring in revenue for the college as it shuttled people around the Nile River. Samuel has gone above and beyond our expectations! And we heard this week that Samuel is still there, working hard on the GTC boat, continuing his service to the Lord and to Gideon Theological College. What faithfulness!

Faithful Samuel

Our teammate in the market

Seeing this bounty that is available now in Melut just blew me away!

I know my thoughts and feelings have been all over the place in this blog post. I think the main point I want to get across is:
- God is so faithful. 
- He is working in Melut. 
- And we are thrilled and encouraged.

Do we know what 2015 holds for our family? Not yet.
Are we ready to make a decision? No. Not yet.
Are we at peace and confident that God has a beautiful plan for Gideon Theological College? YES!
For the Fader Five? YES!

Thank you for going on this journey with us. We would so appreciate your prayers for continued peace and stability not only in Melut but in the whole region and the whole country. And we would also covet your prayers for our family as we are homesick for Melut and as we wait on the Lord.