Journey into Sudan
The thing that I have learned this summer, more than anything, is to walk with God closely each day. To walk every single day with God, never assuming that I know what His plan for me for tomorrow is. I have learned to say to God every single day, “Whatever Your plan is for me today I will not question it even if it doesn’t make sense. I will go where You say go.” This is the day the Lord has made specifically for me. Each of us has our own day, though we all share the same day all across the earth. In Psalm 32:8 God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” And so, what I thought I would be doing in Sudan it looks very different. It is so much more. And that is how God is! If He would have told me three months ago what I would be doing in this next season, I probably would have run. His eye is surely upon me!
I have shared this with some of my friends and family and so this is the shortened version, just to let you know where I will be for the next year at least. While I was in Sudan I was able to fellowship with some people from Samaritan’s Purse Ministry, directed and founded by Franklin Graham. They have a base right there in Yei, Sudan, only ten minutes from the Iris base. Through the course of events I was offered the position of Field Accountant for South Sudan. I never pursued this position, even after it was offered to me. It pursued me. At every turn, every turn, I specifically asked God to put the brakes on if this was not from Him. I felt like Joseph when Pharoah handed him his ring and said, “Take care of all the stuff.” Samaritan’s Purse is a wonderful ministry who does so many things to rebuild countries and communities and lives.
I am undone by the goodness of God in my life. I have walked in pure faith all summer, never once doubting, that God would put me in a broad place and my tent stakes would be firmly planted before years end. Every day has been a faith walk and every day I remain in the rest of God, never once worrying where I will go or what I will do. I truly have seen the testimony of Abraham in my own life. Leave your family and your home and I will show you the place you are to go. God didn’t show Abraham until it was time to go to the next place and as he went God showed him. That is exactly how He has shown me. I have never felt so free in all my life, not knowing what is next but knowing my God! I just laugh with the joy of it.
And so I am in Uganda, waiting to go to Sudan on Saturday and am expecting great things. I have already asked God to give me a Muslim language coach because I want to just be a blessing to that person, showing them the love of Jesus just by my actions. Just having Christ in me being the witness to them. I want to watch Jesus reveal Himself in such a profound way that an entire community would be brought into the light of His love!
Today I went shopping and brought back soccer balls and jump ropes and tennis balls and puzzles and yogurt and bananas and baby clothes. I brought a pile of fun which I purchased with the seed you have sown. Your seed has brought smiles to many children here at Iris. There are 350 of them, children, and they are so loved. When I get settled in Sudan I plan on purchasing clothes and shoes for the children at the Iris base there. They too will be overjoyed I am sure. I am so excited about seeing them again! They too are so loved!
I have been thinking a lot about “the call”. I am reminded of Samuel who was called by God at a very young age. The first couple of times that Samuel heard the voice of God he went to his pastor (Eli) and asked, “Did you call me?” The third time Samuel answered God and did not go to his pastor. When God calls you, He will keep calling until you answer. Samuel did the right thing and checked with his pastor (Eli) yet he did not go until he answered God himself. Eli told Samuel the next time he heard God to say, “Here I am God, speak.” I love that. Samuel went because God said go, not because his pastor said go or because his mentor said go or because his mother said go. All of these people knew that one day he would go, but he had to respond to the Lord only. Listen to the voices of wisdom and counsel but do not respond except to the voice of God.
This got me to meditating upon Jeremiah 20:9 “If I say, I will not make mention of the Lord or speak anymore in His Name, in my mind and heart it is as if there were a burning fire shut up in my bones. And I am weary of enduring and holding it in. I cannot contain it any longer.”
When the Lord calls you He puts a fire in you. It cleanses you and burns off every desire that is not of Him. His fire will burn so hot inside of you that you cannot contain it. Once He puts that fire in you, you cannot control it. It controls you! It is a fire pent up in your bones. Has God put a fire in your bones for something He has called you to? Are you controlling it or is it controlling you? What will you let God burn? We are all called and we are all given fire in measure, fire for the assignment ahead. When we answer His call, this is fuel to the fire. Obedience is the fuel. It makes the fire burn hotter. And so I think it is right to say that when we don’t answer His call we will be weary of holding it in, it will either burn us out or we will burn with the passion of releasing it into the call.
Psalm 39:3 “My heart was hot within me. While I was musing, the fire burned.”
This morning I was undone with the thought that I cause God to be more undone and wrecked by my love than I am by His because He loves me more. I asked Him, why do You love me so? Why do I ravish Your heart so? He said so many things to my heart but one thing amazed me. He asked me why I thought He always talked to me in a still small voice. Why doesn’t He speak to me audibly where all can hear? This still small voice is the voice of intimacy. Secrets are shared in a whisper. It is an intimate communication between two. It is a place His whisper goes that no one else can go, deep inside. His voice for me is especially for me. His voice for you is especially for you. Shut down the noise of the world and be still and listen to God’s intimate whisper to you. He will tell you secrets about the love He has for you and you alone!