Saturday, May 30, 2015

An Afternoon of Reunions

We had a little crowd of children following us as we walked out to the camps
 I want to tell you about a special day that happened 10 days ago. Our family and teammate were flown from our base in Melut to another SIM base in an area called Mabaan County because of the fighting in our town. Mabaan County is where 135,000 refugees and 23,000 internally displaced people live. Ever since we left Yabus in Blue Nile State in 2010, we have wanted to re-connect with many friends who live in these refugee camps. God gave us a special opportunity during our short stay in Mabaan County to go out and find them in the camps.

Having tea

Reunited with their best friend German.

With my friend Martha
 Yuna and Martha were some of our first friends in South Sudan. They were our neighbors in Yabus and then they came to study at Gideon Theological College in Melut for two years. We have been so thankful for our friendship with them through many different changes. On this day we got to visit them in their new home built in the refugee camp by their church family.

Joshua and little Isaac

You might remember that our friends Yuna and Martha named their youngest son Isaac after our Isaac. He was born in Melut and Bethany was the first person to hold him. It was so fun to see how much he'd grown.
With Yuna and Martha's family

Everywhere we walked children followed. They rarely or never have seen kwadja (white) children. At this point in our walk, Joshua had stopped to shake a little boy's hand and soon everyone wanted to shake his hand too!

With other friends who lived in Melut at Gideon Theological College with us
We hadn't seen them since 2013. 
Eli and the men enjoyed tea inside the hut

Bethany with some of the ladies
 The woman to the left of me in this picture is Miriam. She and her husband graduated from Gideon Theological College in Melut in 2013. I have always had a special admiration and respect for this young lady. It warmed my heart to see her place of ministry among her people in the camps and to see that same sweet smile. (They don't smile in photos unfortunately.)

The boys were happy to find their buddy Samuel

Yuna, Eli and Yoel
Both of these men have been special friends so it meant a lot to Eli to spend a few hours catching up and praying with them.  It was so encouraging to see and hear how God is using these men, graduates of the Bible college in Melut, to teach and disciple believers and preach the gospel to other tribes who haven't heard about Jesus before.

Although we were very heartbroken by what was happening in our beloved town of Melut and sad that we had to leave South Sudan the next day, God gave us this very meaningful afternoon reuniting and mutually encouraging each other, to provide good closure for us.

1 comment:

Abby Scott said...

God is so good! Even in the midst of struggle and pain He gives us gifts of encouragement to sustain us along the sometimes rocky path we are walking. "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him." Nahum 1:7 We love and are praying for you all, especially Eli as he travels.