I bring you greetings from the city of Juba, South Sudan. I left Yei today to start my journey back to Aweil for one last visit this year, before I make my move in January. The rain has been relentless these last two weeks and I feared that it would destroy the road even more and I wouldn’t be able to get to Juba at all. Every time it rained I would worry even more. Then I heard the Lord say, as He always does to me lately, “Do you trust Me?” And you know, every time I answer, “Yes Lord I trust You”, I feel immediate peace. It’s like I take the load off of me and put it on Him. I trust Him and He will take care of things when I pray. So, the last three days have been rain free and the roads were dry all the way! I would like to say that it was the roughest ride I ever had though. The ruts are so deep and pitted that when one is in the middle of a cheap minivan with these bench like seats with about one inch of foam, well, it’s a very long ride.
Normally the drivers want to get straight to their destination and you practically have to beg them to stop for a short call, checking tires, you know, use the bathroom. This driver today stopped so much that we were begging him not to anymore. Here’s a scary story. When I am traveling with a large amount of US dollars I put it in a small ziplock bag and put that in my underwear, the ones I am wearing, in the front for safekeeping. The men here are so against exposing or even mentioning that part of the body and that is the safest place to carry valuables.
Well, we stopped so many times that the last stop I decided to use the latrine. The pit latrines in South Sudan are usually about 20-30 feet deep and covered in concrete with a 3” by 6” hole to handle your business. As I pulled my pants to go quickly, in slow motion I saw $1,000 wrapped in a ziplock fall down the hole! My heart almost literally stopped. My money only fell about one foot because as unusual as it is, this latrine was just that shallow!! Talk about God watching out for me. Yes I had to reach my hand in and retrieve my money, ummm, and I left the bag there. Needless to say, I think I need a new place to stash my stash!
Not much to write about this week, just ordinary orphanage life, well, children’s center life. I did manage to bring a ton of sweaters and hand knitted blankets from Cathy’s place here in Juba to Yei when I was here two weeks ago. I spent all afternoon plowing through bags and bags trying to find sizes and such. The children were so happy to receive them and strut around proudly with their cute hand knitted sweaters from the UK. During the rainy season it does get a teensy bit chilly for the little ones. We are not acclimated to cold like the west and so just a little chill is a lot for us. So, all are happy with their warm sweaters and blankets.
Oh and here’s another great story. There is a young missionary couple from the USA at another ministry here in Yei, not at Iris. The husband is African American and the wife is Caucasian. They are pregnant and the baby is due in December and they are scheduled to fly home in November to have the baby. Well, baby came early. Last week he was born in South Sudan. I think it highly prophetic, a black and white couple having the first American baby born on this soil since South Sudan became a new nation. The family was flown out to Kenya where all are doing fine. Just two days before he was born, the Harvesters Hospital run by an American couple from Texas just received the first incubator in South Sudan. Talk about timing! That’s just like God to set everything up before the big event! He is so way cool!
Tomorrow, our youth pastor, Kizitu, who is a Nuban from Nuba Mountain, South Sudan, and myself leave on an airplane from Juba to Aweil. Just two days ago, this same airline’s flight to Aweil lost power in an engine while high in the sky. The plane started dropping quickly and people were screaming and praying loudly and the engine just started back up again. When they landed the pilots never explained, just said it was a technical difficulty. How do I know all this? One of my Samaritan’s Purse friends was on that flight! So, pray for a safe journey. Yes I do trust God! It’s going to be another exciting week. God bless you all.