Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Decision Made

I have shared over the months how Eli and I have prayed, poured over Scripture, read books, talked, questioned and cried over whether we can return to South Sudan where we've been ministering for the last 7 years of our lives. God has taught us so much and grown our faith and relationship with Him and with each other so much more than I could have expected. Though it's been a very hard and challenging season, it has been GOOD.

As the year went by Eli and I set November as a time when we would try to make a decision for our next term on the mission field. We felt we had two main options:
1. Go back to Melut and continue training Sudanese leaders despite continued instability or
2. Switch to a new area of South Sudan or a nearby country where we could work among Sudanese (Uganda, Kenya or Ethiopia).

At the beginning of this month we didn't think we could make this decision. Earlier this year we thought for sure the fighting and unrest would settle down in our area in South Sudan by the end of the year...but it hasn't really. Though there has not been outright fighting or danger in Melut town itself, there is tension  because of the armies and militia in the areas surrounding our peaceful town.

Melut from the air
*photo from the web
And yet Eli and I don't feel God is telling us to move on. Rather our "call" to go has grown and we are moving forward with the decision to head back to Melut in March 2015. There are still a lot of questions that we don't have answers for and still a lot that can happen - either good or bad - between now and then and we continue to look to the Lord and what He has for our family.

We are setting our faces to Melut and praying that God will make a way where there seems to be no way for us to return and re-open the college in order to continue training more Christian leaders for the harvest that is growing in great numbers. Something happens in times of war and hardship - many turn to Christ. So we need more discipleship, more training to meet the needs of the growing church in South Sudan.

                                      * photo by James Briggs