Saturday, October 17, 2009

Off to Chali

Today Eli and Pastor Joseph drove four hours on the quad bike to an Uduk village called Chali. Eli went to meet with some SIC church leaders about starting discipleship in Yabus. Please pray for his safety and for clear communication and good relationships during his three days there.

Aunt Canberra

Canberra is a special friend and amazing teammate. She has a heart for children and every day you can hear children's laughter and singing coming from her house. Today I couldn't find my boys and when I went looking for them, this is where I found them - eating candy and having a lovely visit with "Aunt Can".

Finding my identity

Me and my girls - sometimes I forget I'm white!
As a missionary kid growing up in Africa, I always struggled a bit with my identity. I knew I was an American, but when I was in the States, I didn't feel like I belonged and it never really felt like home. But I also knew I wasn't Ugandan (where I grew up) because my skin was white and my culture and language were so different. As a child and even into my teen years I tried so hard to be like my African friends - acting like them, doing the types of things they did and even trying to speak with their accent. One day I even went as far as rubbing charcoal all over my body just so I could be black!
As a new missionary to Sudan I again feel the struggle of who I really am. I've tried so hard to learn their language and culture and learn how to do things the way they do (although I've completely failed at carrying large jerricans of water on my head!) But I'm learning something. I will never be Sudanese. I'm an American and that means it's OK to act like an American, as long as I'm not offending anyone. My Sudanese friends know I'm not Sudanese and they love me just the way I am. As I grow more comfortable with my own "culture", I'm learning to glean the good things I admire from each culture and mix them into my life. The result? A little bit of everything. But isn't that what heaven will be like?
I've learned how to make coffee Sudanese style - roasting the beans over a fire, pounding them, then brewing the very strong, black coffee.

Here I am learning to make kisra. I had another lesson today. I still haven't gotten very good at this one. It's like a giant crepe pancake but made of sorghum.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

2 Priceless Pics

I think this picture speaks more than a thousand words. If you study it long enough, you learn a lot about Sudan - the animals, the homes, the dirt, the poverty. Take a minute and look at it. My favorite part about this picture is how at home Isaac is. He's relaxed and happy in an environment that most of us would feel uncomfortable and out of place.
After a big rain yesterday the three boys had a great time playing in the mud. What a threesome!

More fun with Mom and Dad

Mom has probably played close to 50 games of Uno with Isaac and Evan. They never tire and neither does she.
Dad is such a good sport, helping Eli out wherever he needs it. The two of them spent most of yesterday out in Gondolo fixing the sorgum grinding mill. They had to pack all their tools and the generator on the quad bike and Eli drove his motorcycle. Their trip home was tricky since it downpoured rain just before they left to come back. So Eli was fishtailing through the mud and Dad had the trip of his life.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Lots of good experiences

During this first week back in Yabus, we've taken Mom and Dad to meet many of our friends. They are greeted very warmly everywhere we go. Some of the new experiences for Mom and Dad:
-Driving to church on a quad bike through grass that's 10 feet tall
-Drinking strong Sudanese coffee
-Eating asida (consistency of playdough) with kudra soup (slimy and green)
-Greeting in Arabic

The men sit under one side of the tree and the women sit on the other

Mom is a big hit everywhere we go. She's lavished hugs on many many people!