Thursday, July 26, 2012

Witnessing God's Healing

    We witnessed such a magnificent answer to our prayer in the last few days, that I just HAVE to share it with all of you! A few days ago I went to visit Elizabeth, one of our students who lives on campus. When I entered her yard I was surprised to see a large group of women gathered. Julia, a neighbor was busy making coffee and tea and there was a plastic tarp on the ground with a mattress and a woman lying on the mattress covered with a bedsheet.
    I greeted everyone and then found out that the woman lying down was Elizabeth's sister who was very very sick with cerebral malaria. I bent down to look into her face and her eyes were open and looking at me but not really seeing. The women explained to me that she'd felt sick earlier in the week and went to the hospital where they said it was malaria but only gave her IV fluids and sent her home. 2 days later the untreated malaria had worsened and gone to her brain (at least I think that's how it works.) So she was acting like a woman out of her mind. My teammate Claire also bent down to greet the woman and the woman looked at her and then jumped to her feet and bolted! She got up and ran like she had seen a ghost. But because she was so weak and sick she collapsed a few feet away and actually went unconscious for a few minutes. Several ladies picked her up and brought her back to her bed on the mat and Elizabeth stayed close to her. She told me that earlier in the day, the sick woman had jumped up and started running so fast Elizabeth couldn't catch her. She headed straight for the river and thankfully another student was digging in his garden, saw her and knew he needed to stop her so he caught her as she came his way.
     Both Claire and I were very disturbed and saddened to hear all the details of her sickness and what the family had been through the last few days. We knelt next to her mat and prayed for her healing, for her family, and for protection over all the people there. We weren't sure if it was truly sickness or something spiritual. But we knew we could pray in Jesus' name and ask for God to intervene.
   Intervene He did! The next day Claire and I went back to check on her and she was sitting up and looked so much better. Elizabeth told us she'd been eating, drinking, and had slept well the night before. We were thrilled to hear how quickly she was recovering and that she hadn't tried to run away again. As I was reflecting on this woman today I was in awe of God's mercy and how He shows His power in such a magnificent way for all to see. There was quite a group of women visiting the sick lady that day when we prayed over her and I hope that they are seeing our God work in a way they've never seen before. And most of all, I'm praying for this woman (forgive me, her name is difficult to remember so I've forgotten it already!). Elizabeth shared that her sister hasn't been living for the Lord so maybe this was a wake up call for her. Elizabeth has already been talking to her about it and I pray the Lord will gently draw her back into His loving arms.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Field Trip to the UN

  Today Isaac, Evan and Joshua got to go on a field trip in lieu of home school and go visit their "uncles" at the UN. Mr. Amit came and picked them up in his special jeep and they got to have rides on the tank and a snack in the commons.

The driver's seat wasn't as roomy as they thought it would be!

Part of the morning activities was to try and pull a large truck out of the mud using the tank. What excitement for the boys to take part in! By the time they got home, they'd had a taste of what a normal morning at the UN in Melut, South Sudan is like.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Potter and the Clay

Here at Gideon Theological College, the student wives gather every weekday afternoon for a class. Some days it's English, other days it's health, and on Fridays we have Bible study. Since school is technically out of session this month, our teammate Claire has been doing some creative classes with the ladies. Last Tuesday she introduced them to puzzles. This week: playdough (or clay.) Claire tied the object lesson beautifully with the nugget of truth from God's Word about God being our Potter and we are the clay that He's fashioning into what He wants us to be.

  I think these ladies enjoy getting together for a brief hour away from their children and work at home to have fun and laugh and be encouraged from God's Word.

"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand O house of Israel" Jeremiah 18:6

Monday, July 16, 2012

Creative Fun in the Mud

  When it rains here in Melut the mud turns into clay. So the day after a big rain you find children shaping all kinds of amazing things out of the mud. These boys had fashioned an entire house with rooms and furniture - even food on the plates on the tables!

 Another favorite game the day after a good rain are mud wars. The boys divide into 2 teams and gather large balls of mud/clay. Then they break off smaller pieces and throw them at each other. The mud usually leaves a mark and a bit of a sting - almost like paint ball! Isaac and Evan will play this game for hours!

 Isaac's got his big ball of mud, ready to use as ammo.

Afternoon Coffee with the ladies

 Several times a week the ladies on campus gather under a tree or at someone's house for afternoon coffee and tea. Conversation is always a fun mixture of Arabic and Dinka and topics range from parenting styles to fashion to prices in town, etc. My teammate Claire caught me in the middle of saying something funny I guess. Life in Sudan has been so serious for many of them so I find myself trying to get ladies to laugh whenever I can. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Starting a new home school year

Last week we started a new school year for the boys. Isaac is in 2nd grade, Evan in 1st grade and Joshua is in preschool. He listens in on all the books and then does a page or two in his special workbook as you see below.

  This is Josh's first time to join us since I was doing homeschool during his afternoon nap while we were in Khartoum. The highlights so far have been reading Charlotte's Web outloud together and memorizing Psalm 1:1-2.

I have to include one of Evan's amazing lego creations. He is always coming up with something new. Today (not pictured) he actually made a huge barge like we see float up and down the river every day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

South Sudan's 1st Birthday Celebration in Melut

     Yesterday, July 9th 2012 was the 1 year anniversary of the new Republic of South Sudan being its own nation! People celebrated all day and all night. This morning at 6 am, I heard the final announcer end the program! Though it was a hot day, we ventured to town to see the tribal dancing and learn how the Dinka celebrate.

 The South Sudan Flag

 This might be hard to tell but Bethany is dancing with an older woman and everyone watching is enjoying the entertainment!

 I couldn't believe this guy! He'd been drumming his drum so hard and for so long that his hand was bleeding. But that didn't stop him! Can you see the blood mark on his drum?

 We were definitely swarmed, especially our boys, as little white-skinned boys are a rare sight! Bus loads of people and youth came from nearby towns to celebrate.
 Many interesting costumes and dances

 This was a special dance done by the men and young boys with shields and spears.

I close with this picture of this precious little face of a young child who looks malnourished and barely clothed. Though there was a lot of singing, dancing, drumming, and ululating yesterday, several Sudanese friends (especially those from areas in South Sudan that still don't truly have peace) commented to me that they weren't really happy on this day because their people are still very much suffering and there is no end in sight of the war crimes being committed against innocent people. Not to mention the thousands and thousands of refugees who live in horrific conditions and are hanging onto life by a thread.
     Don't be discouraged by this last paragraph by rather, PRAY. Pray your heart out and don't stop praying until we see PEACE and JUSTICE come to the Republic of South Sudan. They've had a rough first year but we are hopeful. After all, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH OUR GOD!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Q-Tip, our new addition

On Saturday we brought this cute kitten home. Alas, she's been a whole new kind of pet for us since she's very wild and isn't used to being around people much. We're having to hold the boys back now at the beginning but we're hoping after some good feeding and space, she'll warm up to us. The boys named her Q-Tip since she's white and has an orange tip on her tail. :) The name-choosing game was very entertaining. At least we'll now have something to scare off the scorpions, snakes and rats!