Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How I'm praying for my friends in South Sudan

I find that every morning in my prayer time, the first thing on my heart is South Sudan. I also find that almost every Scripture seems to make me think of our friends in South Sudan and turns into a prayer for them. This morning I want to share a few verses and passages that have been very meaningful to me this last week as I pray them for our beloved brothers and sisters who are daily struggling in South Sudan:

1. Zechariah 2:13 - Be silent before the Lord all humanity for He is springing into action from His holy dwelling.
      This verse immediately stuck out to me because I find myself often thinking to myself, what is the Lord doing? It is easy to wonder where God is and why He isn't coming to the rescue of His children. But this verse reminds me: He isn't just sitting idly by. He is springing into action! I just can't see it and I don't see His plan. I need to trust. The verse says: Be silent. To me that is like saying: Be still. Wait.

2. Isaiah 54:10 - For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
       This is God's promise for the future glory of Jerusalem and yes, we do have this to look forward to.
Verses 13-14 also seem so pertinent to South Sudan: "I will teach all your children and they will enjoy great peace. You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away. You will live in peace and terror will not come near.

I have also begun praying for the soldiers, both government and rebel groups. The verse I prayed this morning was from Isaiah 55:6-7:
     Seek the Lord while you can find him. 
Call on him now while He is near.
Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that He may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for He will forgive generously.

Our recently graduated students from Gideon Theological College

And for our dearly beloved friends who are clinging to the Lord during this time of turmoil:

Isaiah 33:6 - In this day He will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the Lord will be your treasure.

Isaiah 50:10 - If you are walking in darkness without a ray of light, TRUST IN THE LORD AND RELY ON YOUR LORD. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

We're Here - in the US of A!

The day we flew out of Kenya we got to spend the morning visiting some of our closest friends from Melut, South Sudan. They have come to Nairobi to be in a safe place and so all the children can get an education. We are so thankful for good closure before we left to come across the ocean!

We had very smooth travels across the ocean. The boys did amazing on the 4 1/2 hour flight, then 14 hour flight, and the final hour and a half flight!

After a few days of debriefing at SIM Headquarters in Charlotte, NC we are now in Columbia, SC our home base. We're staying with very good friends and enjoying some much needed rest...and fun!

Yes, this is what we need!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Our Next Move

Our house in South Sudan
 By now many of you have heard that we are heading back to the States this morning for an early home assignment. Life in Melut is just not stable enough for our family to return at this point in time so we're going to make the most of this season and come back to the States. As you can imagine there is a mixture of emotions that we are all feeling. We have had time to sit together as a family and discuss why we can't go back to Melut right now and why we're going back to the States and what we will do there. Our boys seem excited to go back and see their cousins and their best friends who live next door to us in SC.

The pictures I've posted here of our two different homes show the great gap between our two "worlds". Though we are excited and eager to reconnect with family and friends and enjoy so many of the wonderful things about America, our hearts are still sad about what has happened in South Sudan over the last two months. We were not able to say proper goodbyes or pack our house. We just have to go.

If you think of us in the next few weeks please pray for our family as we transition back to life in America. Pray that we will be good ambassadors to share with the churches in the States what is happening in South Sudan. Can't wait to see so many of you. See you soon!
Our house in South Carolina

Precious Time with Family

Somehow God coordinated events in our family so that we could be in Kenya at the same time that Eli's brother Caleb, his wife Krista, and their new little baby, William passed through for a week. And not only that but Eli's parents also joined us! Our days have been full - holding baby William, playing in the pool, and catching up.

There is a pool at our guesthouse so we swim almost every afternoon

William: 7 weeks old

Josh got to hold his baby cousin

Time with Uncle Caleb