Tuesday, June 30, 2015
This is such a fantastic song, I can hardly sing it without crying! I have copied it down and am learning how to play it on the guitar but here are the lyrics in case you couldn't see them properly in the video I've copied to this post.
TRUST IN YOU By Lauren Daigle
Letting go of every single dream, I lay each one down at your feet. Every moment of my wandering,
Never changes what you see.
I've tried to win this war, I confess. My hands are weary, I need your rest.
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight, no matter what I face you're by my side.
When you don't move the mountains, I'm needing you to move.
When you don't part the waters, I wish I could walk through.
When you don't give the answers as I cry out to you.
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.
Truth is you know what tomorrow brings. There's not a day ahead you have not seen.
So in all things be my life and breath. I want what you want Lord and nothing less.
You are my strength and comfort, you are my steady hand.
You are my firm foundation, the Rock on which I stand.
Your ways are always higher, your plans are always good.
There's not a place where I'll go you've not already stood.
Friday, June 26, 2015
|Our Family Devotions this year|
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Last week we went to the Kenyan coast to meet up with Eli's younger brother and his family. After a full and chaotic 6 weeks in Melut, followed by a very sad evacuation and Eli's survey trip back into Melut, we needed some time away. We didn't even take our computer and we shut our phones off. It was just what we needed to spend time with family and relax and play on the beach.
We returned to Nairobi on Sunday evening, refreshed and ready for this next month ahead. Due to needs in our admin/leadership for the SIM South Sudan team, we will continue helping out in the office here in Nairobi through July. During this time we are investigating our options for future ministry, praying, seeking advice, and slowly accumulating/replacing our household things that we lost from our home in Melut.
|Behind our teammates' house|
|The Kids' Room|
|The college library|
|Student housing - the roof was burned off|
|A bullet that went right through our front door!|
Sunday, June 14, 2015
|My friend Atong with baby Elizabeth|
Now almost two years later the Lord has blessed her with a beautiful daughter she named Elizabeth after Atong's mother. Her Dinka name is Achol, which means "replacement" because Atong lost 2 babies before little Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a miracle baby herself. She was born with spina bifida and had to have two major surgeries at a very young age. She is now a thriving, healthy 4-month old baby girl! God is amazing!
|We all think Elizabeth looks like her aunt, Rejoice|
|Another of Atong's sisters, Akuot|
We shared a beautiful day together, eating and drinking Sudanese coffee and catching up on the last year and a half since we've seen each other. I had a bunch of pictures and videos on my camera from our last weeks in Melut so I shared those with them. It was neat to see them recognize friends in the pictures and I think it was very meaningful for all of us to look through those memories together.
|With my sweet Sudanese sisters, Apach on the far left and Atong|
|With little Elizabeth|
|Apach with their live doll|
|Auntie Claire snuggles Elizabeth|
|Eli figured Elizabeth needed some "Baba" time since her daddy lives far away in America.|
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Eli arrived back in Nairobi safe and sound yesterday afternoon. The boys and I were waiting to hug and welcome him "home". We are so so happy and relieved to have him home. (My mouth is full of mouth sores which only happens when I'm under a lot of stress.) But now we can all relax, knowing he is safe and well.
We did have a very difficult time as a team last night after the kids were in bed. Claire came to our apartment and Eli shared all the news and showed 188 photos he'd taken from all over the campus. They are heart breaking photos and yet healing in a way too. I will share more in the coming days and weeks. We need time to debrief together and will be going to professionals today for that. Next week we are getting away as a family for the whole week. It was not easy to be separated this past 10 days.
Thank you so much for praying for Eli during his journey and for the kids and I while we held the fort down here in Kenya. We will continue to appreciate your prayers.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The encouraging thing for Eli and Principal Kur is that the buildings are all in tact. They are just empty. It will take a lot of resources and PEACE in order to get the college back up and running and we are praying about what is next for the school.
Today Eli will fly from Paloich, where he's been staying with friends of a friend, to Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. And tomorrow he will fly the rest of the way to us here in Nairobi, Kenya. The boys and I will be waiting anxiously at the airport to hug that man again! It has been a difficult week, being separated, while he experiences such difficult sights and experiences. Please pray for Eli as he returns, that he will be able to process and deal with the grief and sorrow of what has happened to our town, our beloved friends, and our ministry - Gideon Theological College. It is a lot of loss!
I was so amazed at God's loving timing this weekend. While Eli was in South Sudan, my best friend from high school, Emily Greene, flew from her home in Uganda, to spend 3 nights. She was with me when I got the phone call from Eli with all the bad news from Melut. She has been a comfort, a shoulder to cry on, a friend to process with, and loving ear to listen. I truly don't know how I would have gotten through this weekend without her!
God is good - that truth never changes! Even in these difficult circumstances we are amazed at God's power and how He works. We fix our eyes on Him and don't lose hope.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
I have been reading Deuteronomy 8 this morning. There is so much about the Israelites that reminds me of myself. Reading this chapter in The Message paraphrase gave fresh meaning. Allow me to share the tidbits I pulled out:
"Remember every road that God led you on, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that He would know what you're made of (prove your character). He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry, then He fed you with manna - so that you would learn you can't depend on yourself. He wants to provide for you."
I've always pondered all the tests God gave His people as they wandered. He wanted to see if they'd believe He would take care of them. All through the Old Testament, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joshua, they were all pushed to have faith and step out into the great abyss trusting that God had led them that far and He would not leave them now. He would be faithful. He would fight the battle. He would provide. He would be victorious.
In Deut. 8, Moses challenged the people to REMEMBER. Remember every road, even the roads in the wilderness. God made them go hungry so that He could be the one to feed them. I have been thinking about this. Losing our home, belongings, dreams and hopes for our ministry and losing track of our friends, has definitely focused our eyes on the Lord more than ever. We choose not to look anywhere else, but to Him. In the void, we wait, we expect, and we hope. And so far God has provided in such miraculous and unbelievable ways that all we can do is recognize it is from HIM. I wonder if God gives generously, over and above what we expect, so that the glory cannot go to anyone but Him.
Verse 6 continues: so... "it's paramount you keep obeying - walk down the roads He shows you and reverently respect Him." In light of all this. In all the tests and struggles and in His provision, it is of utmost importance that we keep obeying and honor God above everything else. Keep moving forward.
A few verses later comes a promise, a comfort: "God is about to bring you into a good land." From here God will take us somewhere good. But in the goodness and satisfaction of it all, make sure you don't forget God. Make sure you don't become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God - the God who has brought you through so much.
This has caused me to reflect on our 40 days in Melut. I hope we hadn't become carried away with all the ministry opportunities and taken anything for granted. I know we recognized it as all coming from the Lord. We knew He had brought us to Melut for that time. We knew He was granting us strength and power to serve Him.
The warning Moses closes with in this chapter is that if we forget God, it will lead to our doom and destruction. This leads me to pray:
"Lord, help us keep obeying, following you where you lead. Help us to see you in every provision and step. Help us not to forget where all good things come from. You are King. You are the one and only God. We humbly surrender and bow."
Monday, June 01, 2015
|Friends and college students praying and dedicating our house in Melut to God|
|Hosting friends on our porch|