Yep, I am back in South Sudan. I arrived last Saturday and I feel like it has been at least a couple of weeks already. God’s favor has been upon me in such a rich amount this last week concerning all things Aweil! Truly miraculous and amazing favor.
I arrived on Saturday, as usual, to throngs of children almost knocking me over to come and greet and hug me, mamas too! I spent the day playing with the children while intermittently unpacking and sorting, handing out treats from America, and catching up with my friends, the mamas. That night I showed a movie to the kids and it was so nice to sit once again, holding babies under the stars and listening to the tinkling laughter of the children. Off in the distance the fires were burning as they do every year at this time as the people prepare their fields for spring planting, like bright orange lanterns dotting the horizon. It was good to be back.
On Monday morning I met with my team, the four of us, sitting on a mat next to my friends tukel (mud hut), and worshipped with each other and prayed for God’s hand to keep us united and walking with Him always on this new journey.
God’s amazing favor then went before me as I went about the work of preparing for the journey. Here in South Sudan, it always takes twice as long to accomplish things as it does in the west, sometimes three or four times as long. Nothing happens quickly here. That’s just the way it is. I set out with an attitude that what I needed to get done would be a “quick work” and so it was!
On Monday alone I managed to order all of my solar equipment, actually purchased and brought home the new three wheeler motorcycle wagon, got reservations for our hotels in both Juba and Aweil, met with my friend who hired a truck to haul our stuff to Aweil, and managed to intermittently hug kids and hand out toys!! That is truly amazing for here. Things just don’t happen that fast. Just the three wheeler alone, I was supposed to have ordered it and then wait for it to come from Uganda. The guy remembered me and ordered it already and had it waiting for me!! That also never happens. And to boot I got it for less than originally quoted. THAT, my friends, really never happens – hahaha! But God!
And then on Tuesday I had to go and register the motorcycle. Registering the bike would normally take two or three days. This time it took four hours! There was not a single person in any line and I had three different offices to go to. This is just so crazy because there are always people crowding to get their stuff done, no one wanting to wait in lines, causing everyone to be a bit aggressive to get their paperwork to the guy at the desk. I almost say that I can’t believe all this favor, but I just do because I know God, His ways – hahaha! Makes me smile.
That night was spent with the older children as I showed them the movie, Ruth. I had been teaching on this before I left for America and they were happy to see it. So I have mostly been preparing for the trip north, which happens this coming Thursday, the 7th. My team and I meet daily and we pray and worship together almost as often. My room is crowded with luggage as we don’t have boxes here to pack things in. I have things stacked all around with very little moving around space, including the new things I had to purchase for Aweil. God really has been so awesome in preparing me to go. He really does work all things for good toward those who love Him and do His most perfect will. And better yet, He loves us even when we don’t! That’s the character of our God.
Since being in America, God has been speaking to me over and over again about drinking deeply of His cup. Jesus suffered the cross FOR the joy set before Him. Right before the cross, Jesus asked for that cup to be taken from Him, YET not His will but His Father’s. He has asked the same of us. Will we drink His cup? There is joy unspeakable set before us when we drink of His cup. The Lord also spoke to me this week about “Our times being in His hands” Psalm 31:15. This is what I have been listening to as I get a bit nervous or apprehensive about the journey ahead. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Yes it is a little scary but like my spiritual mom says, do it afraid if you have to. I just keep saying these few small words, “My times are in Your hands Lord.”
Tomorrow I will be moving to my new home in Aweil. God bless you and keep you in His Presence as you walk this week with Him.