And so I hopped on a plane bound for London on Monday afternoon, heading back into Sudan’s interior. I ate at the San Antonio Airport Mexican cantina and had a very good enchilada lunch and savored every bite just knowing it would have to last another six months. I got to Dallas and went to the British Airways counter to check in and was handed a first class ticket, no explanation! FAVOR!! Now I know that God knew what would await me once I got here. He does have a huge heart and a great sense of humor!
I flew for two days and got to Nairobi late and slept and was on another plane all the next day, hopping across Sudan, only to spend the night in Kauda. Early the next morning we finally headed home to Akuem. This reminds me that I had an amazing experience on the flight out of Sudan two weeks ago! There were only two of us passengers on the big DC3 Caravan, which is an old WWII cargo plane. We were flying along and all of a sudden the plane just dropped! We literally lifted up completely out of our seats and everything in the seat pockets flew out and was all over the floor and thrown to the back! The pilot said that we did a dead drop of 300 feet because of a wind sheer. The other passenger, a Kenyan lady, gripped her seat arms the rest of the flight and was visibly terrified.
I was almost shocked by my reaction. Always before when I have hit heavy turbulence, I start praying and yes, some fear sets in. This time, I was so calm. I never once had any fear and even felt this tremendous sense of peace. My life didn’t flash before my eyes. I just said Jesus’ name softly a few times and I knew, really knew where I was going if it was time for me to die. I have never been sure, until that moment when it might be a possibility, how I would react when faced with the possibility of dying. I can only say that Jesus enveloped me with His peace and I experienced this peace as we dropped 300 feet, no kidding. So, after we were stable again I got up and started cleaning up the place. My juice bottle ended up at the back of the plane. My eyeglass case ended up three seats over across the aisle. It was the craziest thing.
Now, back to Sudan. I was amazed at what two weeks could do to change the entire look of the land. Everywhere we flew it was green and lush and there was so much water. Lakes sprung up out of nowhere and rivers were running in the desert. Just 10 minutes ago I hopped in the truck to drive to the Akuem “sand wash” to see the raging river that took its place. People were bathing and playing and washing clothes and it was a real river, stretching at least 40 yards across. And so it is very beautiful now, although there is still a lot of dirt stretching for miles. I can see why people stay here now.
As we drove up to the compound kids were coming from all around to greet me. It was crazy. Now I go into the market place and hear my name, Kalowina, everywhere. It makes me smile because the kids are the best part about being here. They are so happy and friendly and never get tired of coming to see me. They are all asking when I will run again. I haven’t run yet as I am letting my hand heal from surgery. So, we arrived Thursday morning and that afternoon I was already on my first mission to pray for one of our guard’s baby who was suffering from malaria and pneumonia, a double killer here for infants. I asked today how the baby is and he replied, “Very good thanks be to God”. That is truly good news here where infants die almost as fast as another is born.
I did my unpacking and organizing on Friday and found that I had left my iPod charger cord in the USA. I also learned that my contract with my current organization was officially going to end three months earlier than I thought and that they had already hired another person. Then I plugged in my brand new, never been used, DVD player that night to charge it and it blew the power cord. My computer eats my DVDs and won’t spit them out until after 15-20 tries. And on top of all this I had two of my biggest monthly finance reports due by the next day. I tell you, I was definitely chasing after peace, pursuing it wildly and passionately! I chased it down and held on tightly, refusing to let peace go.
And so, I am embracing change because I know that God orchestrates my life and He always has a good plan. I have been in touch with another ministry here in Sudan and have been welcomed with open arms and so I will know by weeks end if I am to stay here until December or move to this next place in September. Pray for God to make it plain to me and for His will to be done concerning my immediate future here in Sudan. Either place will be fine with me because God will always use us no matter where we are right?
One of our workers was really sick on Friday and so I told her she needed to go home and rest. She is also pregnant and she looked like she was going to pass out. Yesterday I decided to walk to her hut to pray for her. I asked four of the local kids to show me the way to her place. And I took one of our other workers with me. We ended up walking for a good half hour into the bush before we finally got to her place. She was so amazed that I would walk all that way just to pray for her. Well this morning she was at the Sudanese Pentecostal Church (SPC) and she gave her life to the Lord this day! She said that she had been going to another denomination and had never received Jesus as Lord. It was cool and she was the only soul saved today and it wasn’t by invitation. She just came forward and asked to be saved! Praise God and hallelujah!
As we were walking back from her hut to the compound, we came across a lady who had a huge load of firewood on her head. She asked us to help load a sack of sourgum on top of that! My friend told her he would carry it. She was amazed because men don’t do that here. He is the young ex SPLA turned preacher that I told you about many updates back. He told her that he was a man of God and that he wanted to help her. She told me that she knew me as the lady who runs. Haha. Seems all these people know me as that crazy kawaja who runs. She said that she was walking to market to sell the wood. The market was still a long way off. I told her that I was going to buy these four boys a soda for helping to find my friends hut and that I would take her and her firewood the rest of the way.
Again, she was amazed that we would help her. We loaded the wood and she was going to climb in back with the wood and I told her, “No, you ride up front with me”. She sat there just looking at me and smiling. When we got to the market and started to unload her wood, a small crowd had formed. I am sure they were wondering why this lady got a ride into market by this kawaja lady. I love doing the unthinkable. I love changing the way people think. I love letting Jesus be Jesus through me. He is so easy to be around and so much fun!