Another week has raced by and seems to have run right past me in its haste. The days go so quickly here with so much activity. This week started with a really bad ear infection for me. For three nights I had very little sleep and much pain. There’s not much I can do as I don’t want any “doctor” here looking into my health because I don’t trust them. So, I have been using bottled water and trying to flush it out with a hypodermic syringe, and taking antibiotics. And foremost, I have been praying a whole lot. It has been seven days and it still remains but not as painful. I have been praying and interceding for a church that we just spent the week ministering to and so I believe this is also a spiritual attack.
There is a team here whom I went with this week and they are teaching the church about the Father’s heart, repentance, generational curses, soul ties, deliverance and hearing God’s voice and intimacy with Him. There is a high degree of religiousness and traditionalism here and not a lot of relationship, true intimacy with God. And so we have been teaching a lot about hearing the Father’s voice and spending time with Him. My job was mostly praying for the different alter calls and anointing the children and praying for them at the end. It was a good conference and we believe that many we set free from things that have held them back from walking in the true freedom of the Lord.
There is so much to be done here in Sudan and so we just take a small chunk at a time and minister where and when we can. Friday night I broke out the glow bracelets for the children and of course there was so much joy as they ran and sang and tossed their glowing circle bracelets in the air and a good time was had by all. Even the old guards and mama’s had bracelets and enjoyed them. Last night, 24 hours later, the bracelets were still soflty glowing and so the children were wearing them again. Earlier this week we watched our weekly movie, on a computer with speakers attached, inside the new dining area. It was the Jesus Movie for children, which is really good. I had a resting on each of my legs and one sitting at my feet against me and so I literally could not move the entire time.
It has been two weeks now that I have been here at the Children’s Center and it has been the difference of night and day compared to where I have been the last year. It is so peaceful waking up to the quiet singing of the children as they go about their chores. I do the same thing every morning. I get up and wash my face and brush my teeth, using a bucket of water around the outside of my tent area. Then I grab my coffee cup and walk down to the kitchen hugging and kissing so many children all along the way. As I wait for the water to boil, I play with the little ones who are nearby. One morning I did not come down for coffee and so the children did not see me until the late afternoon when we came back from ministry. The other missionary here said that the toddlers were asking where was I? They are just the cutest.
Then I go and spend some quiet time with the Lord. It has just been a time of refreshing and rest for me, even with all the activity. I feel like the Lord is going to open my ears even more to hear His heartbeat for His people and that I will receive much revelation while here. I feel like it is a season for the body of Christ to receive the same, refreshing and revelation if we have ears to hear and a heart to understand. Ask Him and He will answer. This is a season where the seeds we have sown will come to a rich harvest and it will produce even more seed than we can sow. It is a season where the plowman will overtake the reaper because there is so much seed. Our God is a generous God and He sows generously right? Let us sow generously back into His harvest field, yes?
I am not bored by any means as there are always children to do things with. One day I blew up 15 balloons and tied elastic string to them with loops on the end. Then I walked out of my tent with all these beautiful balloons and the toddlers went crazy, running and laughing and jumping in their excitement. I danced with them and ran after them and just had fun. There is a small two hour window where the other children are in school and no one is around to interrupt this time with the little ones and so it is very special to them.
Today, myself and another missionary from here, are going to a UN meeting and then on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will be going to the Lasu Congo Refugee camp near the Congo Sudan border to help them do an assessment. There are nearly 7,000 refugees there and almost half of them are children. I am so very excited because this is part of the word the Lord gave me two years ago when I asked Him where He wanted me to go. He said Congo-Sudan. If you look at my blog from two years back, you will see where He called me to this. And at that time when I looked it up on the internet, I found this refugee camp. And now a door is being opened for me to go and see it. I will be listening for God to tell me why. It may be a door opening for Iris to do ministry or a one time visit for me or something else. And so I am keeping my ears and eyes opened as I go and I am very excited to be going.
I just think that God is so amazing. He never forgets a thing and He always makes arrangements for things to happen so perfectly and His timing is so precise. I actually forgot about the Congo until the moment this other missionary mentioned it. God never forgets, even if we do, He never does.
Later this week I am also going to go and buy some goats for the children to raise and care for. First I will give them goat training and tell them that they have to be watered and moved around the compound so that they have good grass and to keep them away from the agriculture. And to also tell them that goats like to play and jump on each other sometimes and it’s okay. I can’t really say they are making babies so it will be a delicate issue (lol). I figure if this doesn’t work out, well we can always have a goat BBQ. Seriously, it will be a great thing for them. Everyday we go for walks and there are some local boys who have goats and they walk them on long ropes and the kids are just fascinated by them. I am excited to see how it all goes.
Again, I have to say that these children just amaze me because of their sweetness and their servant hearts. They are always so helpful and offering to carry things for me and pump water for me and I let them sometimes, but I also help them. I am amazed that the boys hand wash their own laundry and that all the children wash their shoes every morning before school, even the smallest ones. They take great care in tending to the small children at the beginning and end of every day, bathing them, putting lotion on them, getting their plates of food. It is so beautiful to see this. I so wish that children in the west could see this and be a part of it.
There are still the fun parts of rattling the plywood lid on the latrine hole to scare the roaches every time you enter. They all go fleeing and you make quick work of it to finish before they return! Last night I felt something crawl across my foot and it was not small. I learned later that it was one of those big lizards! I really thought it was a snake! And at least every few days I pick up a toddler before realizing I just got poo down my arm or hand – eewwww! And in the mornings you have to be real careful where you walk near the latrines because over 100 children are all trying to make it through at once and it gets crazy and the little ones won’t wait. The mama’s are ever busy using shovels to scoop and clean where these littlest ones left their little presents. This is just part of life here and it all gets worked out in the end (no pun intended).
We just got three little girls from Juba, a larger city 100 miles north of here, the day after I arrived. One is about three years old. They were living on the street, sleeping in a graveyard. Their mother went to prison for a life sentence and so the girls were left on their own. The little one I think has been through a lot of physical abuse. She has so much anger and throws tantrums and needs so much love. And so we hold her a lot and love on her tons. We also love on the other two who have had to be so strong to defend themselves on the streets. Day by day the little one does a little better. All three are fitting in nicely but still tend to stay together and are a little distant at times from the rest of the children. It will just take time and the other children are so wonderful to help them feel loved. Just pray that these three precious girls will be so loved by Jesus and the people here that all past hurts will fade away. They are all so precious in His sight.
The week ahead promises to be filled with adventure and excitement (Congo and goats) and so pray for us to get good and healthy goats and for my ear to be healed and for the three girls to continue to receive the love of Jesus in rich measure and for their hearts to feel His love as they settle in here in this beautiful place called home.