The rains are still here in full force. Not typical for this time of year so I think our rainy season has been extended. This is not good for our roads, creating bigger holes and crevices in the already holey dirt. We have actually had to repair the road in our neck of the woods because it has gotten so bad with all the rain. Even our big tipper truck was having problems getting through. Here, you can’t just call the city and complain about a pothole. If one needs to use a certain stretch of road, one has to maintain it. We have to go and actually buy dirt and rocks from other people to add more dirt and rocks to our road. The neighbors will fuss and fume because it goes by their huts, creating muddy ponds where there once was a dirt path. So, part of my job is village road repair crew inspector – lol! Ah, just one of my many hats.
I also traveled back to Juba for the continuing saga of my internet modem. This time I took my computer to the phone service office. I handed the man my modem, told him my problem. He did a few things, handed it back and said it is good and dismissed me. Not so fast… I stuck the modem in my computer and, you guessed it, still no service. Good thing I brought my computer! He took it back, did a few other things. It is now fixed and I am surfing the net like no ones business. Thank You Jesus!
Near this phone service office, there is a tarp tent lean to where all these old people live on the street, I usually see about eight of them. Every single time I go to Juba, I go and visit with these precious people. Some have no hands or feet. I don’t know if it is diabetes or leprosy or what. I shake and hold the hands of those I meet and pray with them and leave them with some money for that night’s food. They are the sweetest little bunch. I get many looks from passerby, usually smiles, yet no one else stops. It is so sad that they have to live on a street corner with no sons or daughters who will care for them. I don’t speak Arabic well enough to ask them their stories but they know that I care for them and will stop every time I am in town.
We then stopped once again to encourage our pastors in Dar Jebel, which is part of Juba. They are so encouraged that we have been through their city as often as we have lately and that we stop each time to sit and fellowship, to help with their houses or church and to pray with them and encourage them in their ministry.
Here at our Yei base all has been going extremely well. Since we had the prayer walk around our base and communion two weeks ago, none of our children have been sick except two, and those didn’t need to go to the clinic. Everyone has been sleeping peacefully at night and there has been no fighting or running away. The enemy has been routed in Jesus Name and we are once again enjoying peace and good health.
This week I was able to purchase 150 oranges for the children. They came flying from all directions when the big bag was offloaded! Haha! What joy on their faces, and mine. I love giving, just giving to people. I get so excited to see how happy people are when they receive just the little things in life like oranges and sugar cane and small tokens of love. I can imagine how the Father feels when He gives to us. Can you imagine how much joy He receives just by giving? If it makes us this happy to give, how much more our Father?
I have learned to see, to really see how wonderful the smallest things in life are. Today I went for a run and then a long walk with the children. When we returned, we pumped water from the earth and drank deeply of the cool refreshing treat. I was so thankful and happy to taste this water, a gift from the Father. When it rains, I set out two large basins to catch the water as it falls in sheets from the tin roof. I am so thankful for this gift because it saves me from having to carry water about 400 yards.
Yesterday I was carrying one of the babies on our walk, she is only one year and five months old. She started to sing in perfect English, “Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me” over and over and over and over in the sweetest little voice. I could have walked ten miles just listening to her innocent little voice sing as she waved a little elephant grass frond in front of her. My heart was so happy to receive this gift.
These last weeks have been very hard on me. I have been physically very tired and was fighting a stomach virus last week and still have problems at home that find me even here. I find this the hardest, being here when my heart and mind are back home wanting to help solve these problems. I have almost felt overwhelmed with everything. This is the reason for my physical body being tired and sick I think. Stress literally weighs a person down.
Yet every morning, I rise from my bed with renewed hope and faith in God. I press on toward the goal. That goal is “knowing” Jesus Christ and His life in me. His LIFE in me. Without this I am dead. I am defeated. I am deflated. I am overwhelmed. His LIFE in me is the fuel I need to keep my head lifted and my faith held high. And so each day I am filled with this hope, this LIFE in me. How amazing that the King of Glory LIVES in me! I pray about the problems on the home front and I do what I can from here. Mostly we have to trust God to help us all, my family, your families, through it.
I look at the lives of these children here and how much they have been through and they have lost everything, everything. No parents, no siblings, no homes, just the clothes on their very backs, and yet they still have such hope and joy. We are surrounded by the Presence of God when we focus on Him. IN Him there is hope. IN Him there is life and peace. My biggest encouragement to those who read my updates has to be to find your peace IN Him.