This week I got to eat my first South Sudan grown jalepeno peppers, grown by me in my little plot of land. So nice. Hmmmm, might be mixing up some salsa sooner than I know it…..
This morning in church our Sunday School worship crew came dancing and singing in like they do every week. This is a group of about 25-30 kids ranging in age from six to fourteen. This week we made history. The youngest person to ever be in the Sunday School dance team, keeping rhythm and doing all the little hand moves, was none other than our two year old Peacey!!! Oh my gosh was she ever the cutest thing. Next week I am definitely bringing my camera/video. Can you imagine the look on Jesus’ face? Haha, so good.
On Wednesday night I talked with my older girls about being Proverbs 31 women. I wasn’t sure how it would go because I planned to challenge them to willingly do their chores and even more. These girls are just like any other girls in the world. They have drama and they complain and moan and groan just like any other teenager around the globe. When I finished my talk they actually clapped and told me they really enjoyed it. I was very surprised and happy. My goal with this group of 26 girls is to raise them to be righteous and holy and pure and totally sold out to Jesus and His ways.
We missionaries go to the nations and we tell the good news of the gospels and of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And most of us really put our hearts into what we are doing here. We have left everything to come and it would be tragic to then not give our whole hearts. The same applies to those who are in full time “ministry” positions. And then I thought, we all are full time missionaries and ministers if we are truly living the life Jesus wants us to enjoy. When people look at us do they see the resurrection? Do they see the gospel in full living color? I want to be the resurrection and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want people to look at us, the body of Christ, and truly see His body, not a church separated by things and denominations and such. So my goal remains, be the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people.
It was broadcast on our local radio station this week that those men who don’t have jobs and are just sitting around playing cards and dominoes all day, they better get to the village and start digging. All men need to be planting crops or the end result for those just sitting around is to be forced into the South Sudanese Army and they will be sent to the front lines. Wow, try getting away with that in the USA! It’s like, you better work or you will be used as shields for those in the war zone. It will be interesting to see how this goes.
Last week one of the surgeons at our local hospital was killed, along with a lady nurse, as they made their way home on a motorbike. It was only 7:30 p.m. and they were overtaken by another motorbike, shot dead, robbed and left. Everyone tells us that it is not safe to go anywhere after 6:30 p.m. I’m believing it and staying in. So sad.
Here at Iris, we are struggling a bit to make ends meet. Our director is traveling around the UK and USA speaking at churches and such, and with the economy being so bad these days, the funds are just not coming in. So I gathered all the children on the compound and we brought the drums from the church and set up a praise and worship and prayer vigil in the center of our compound. All I did was gather them. I let the young people lead it and these kids sang and danced and prayed violently for over two hours. The older boy who was running things said that it was time to end and the kids were actually disappointed. Can you imagine children being dissappointed that prayer time is over? Ahhhhhh my heart.
We do believe that God will take care of all our needs so please, I am not asking for money. I want these children to remember how God always came through for them when we first started Iris over five years ago, back when they used to lay their hands on the food and believe for multiplication and actually see it. We want to and need to get back to that kind of radical faith and prayer. In church on Sunday I preached about caring for the things that the Lord gives us and being good stewards of all that He blesses us with. I told them that Jesus will never forsake them and will always see that they get what they need, but wouldn’t they like to receive many added blessings? So we are going to work together as a very large family to carefully care for our houses and clothes and our compound and plants and such and believe God for so many amazing things.
I am so enjoying all of the ministry that I am doing this time in. It’s a refreshing change from being an Admin desk jockey. Also working on my garden and keeping the grass trimmed with a machete keeps me fairly busy (hehe). I did manage to break my finger this week. I was fixing my door and I smashed my finger with a hammer. I thought it was just bruised but here I am four days later still with a swollen crooked finger. So I have a little splint and I continue on with things.
Since I have returned to South Sudan this trip every night I wake throughout the night and my hands are completely numb, painfully numb. I have no clue as to why this is happening. Even throughout the day my hands will go numb and pain will shoot up my arm. I didn’t tell anyone or consult any doctor. I just prayed and declared the Word every day. Even before this happened, whenever I rode my motorbike, my hands would go numb as I drove. I would have to shake my hands to get feeling back, sometimes even stopping to do this.
Well, I received my miracle this weekend! Saturday I rode into town and as I was returning home I realized that for the first time EVER in the last three years that my hands did not go numb while riding my motorbike! That has NEVER happened, EVER!!! AND, for the last three nights and days I have not experienced a single bout of numbness, even in my sleep. I wake up every morning praising Jesus for healing me. I just smile when I think about it. He really is so faithful to us.
Tonight as I was saying goodnight to the kids after dinner, some little ones told me to go inside their house, “Carolina, ita jua!”. They all pointed at the ceiling and there hanging was a large white bat. It was actually quite cool looking. So one of our oldest boys climbed on one bunk and another older girl climbed on another and I stood in the bathing shelter inside the house and we were swinging blankets and towels and waving our arms and making a lot of noise trying to chase this bat out. It was hilarious and the bat finally did leave. Ahhh the things we have to deal with here. And by the way, I never go to the latrine at night anymore without my machete. I killed yet another snake this week sneaking around the latrine door. I don’t even close the door anymore. I sit/squat while holding my machete. I am sure it is a funny sight!!
And that is my week in the news folks! God bless you and keep you. Bless Him for all He gives to you and all He does for you. He is so wonderfully good!