I love being back in Sudan for sure! Last Saturday I returned to a chorus of beautiful voices singing and welcoming me home, along with knock me down hugs all around. The children won’t even let me out of the car before I get mobbed by a hundred pairs of arms, all wanting a hug at once. Simply wonderful. I spent the afternoon unpacking my room and setting things back up.
The rainy season is here again and the roads are muddy rivers and the river crossings are higher. My motorbike almost needs swim fins! The sorghum is taller than me and the bush closes in in its abundance. Everything is green and muddy brown. The scripture about the latter rains is so true. They are greater than the former. The rain comes nearly every day or every other, mostly in the evening hours to cool things off. I love this time of year because of this. Monday I dove back into my role as Base Director and talk about busy! The week before I returned to Sudan the children were sick with malaria and typhoid. So I returned to all 123 children being medicated twice a day. I was just a helper and the young lady who spearheaded the entire operation did an amazing job of keeping everyone organized and perfect records kept on each child. Amazing!
Later in the day, toward evening, an old man came into our compound carrying a tiny little girl. When he pulled back the cloth her shoulder bones were almost poking through her loose wrinkled skin. Her skin above her thighs was just hanging in wrinkled folds. She was extremely malnourished and this grandpa needed help. The parents were dead, there was no other family, just him and his little granddaughter. She was about two years old. Last year she was on our milk program because he brought her here in the same condition. We learned that this girl only ate rice and maize flour posho, each having zero nutrients. It filled her belly and nothing else. She refused to eat anything else.
We tried to get him to let us place her in a center that could care for her but he didn’t want to be parted from her and so we had no choice. We gave him a months worth of fortified baby porridge, with the promise of paying him a visit at the end to see how she is doing. If she isn’t improved we might have to insist on placing her or she dies. It was a very sad situation to see her sitting on the ground eating rice only and green water coming out of her bowels, not even a firm stool. My heart ached for her. I took them to the taxi park so that he could have a ride back to his village and not walk as it would have taken him all night to get home.
Tuesday morning I woke up with crud in my lungs and I suspected it was mold. With everything being damp from the rains, all my things smelled moldy upon my return. My day was too busy to do anything about it until later. That night I spent an hour chasing a rat out of my room. I finally caught up to him after moving every single thing I owned up off of the floor. He was hiding under my bookcase. I shot a plume of hairspray in his face and off he scampered into the bush. This is when I discovered the mold problem. Behind the bookcase the wall was covered in green. The next day I again moved everything out of my room and washed the entire room with bleach.
Mercy is doing much better. She still has a few mental problems but I am learning that love reaches her. All she understood when she came here was people raising their hands to hit her or shoo her away. The children threw rocks at her and hit her and kicked her. Our children her are very patient with her for the most part. We are teaching her about love. Whenever I see her I tell her she is beautiful. She loves to help me with my laundry and she loves to be needed and to feel useful. Again, she is still mentally not all there but it is amazing how much love reaches into that darkness. I see it in her eyes and her ever present smile. She smiles and giggles all the time. She doesn’t know many words, mostly saying, “What is this?” in Arabic and some of her gibberish words. Slowly we are working with her and slowly she is coming to life. This one would have been left on the streets to grow up in the dark world of the demonic. Jesus led her to us and love stepped in. Makes me smile.
Today we go to market and buy 123 new pairs of shoes. How would you like to go shoe shopping for all your kids, all 123 of them? An all day venture for sure! Bless you all for your prayers and thoughts toward the least of these.