I am sitting in my room listening to the wonderful sound of rain pelting my tin roof, oh, and dripping into seven basins placed strategically around my room and storeroom! I love the rain and all these leaks certainly won’t dishearten me. When it finally stops I will go to market and get some caulking and fix it all. I am just so happy that the days of 125+ are coming to an end for this season. I’ve been saying, “Thank You God” all morning even as I continuously mopped up water from my floor.
It has been an exciting week with good news abounding. Where to begin? On Monday we talked to one of our older boys, Deng, the friend of Joseph’s who was sniffing glue and drinking. He agreed that he wanted to go home. On Tuesday morning we bought a new set of clothes for him and took him to his uncle’s house about 50 kilometers down the road. When his uncle saw him he was so happy and he took him into his arms and welcomed Deng home. The uncle kept saying that he was worried and didn’t know where Deng had gone and now he is full of joy to have his “son” back. Here in South Sudan there are no aunties or uncles. They are all father or mother if they are old enough to be such.
Next week we shall register Deng into school and purchase him a uniform and school supplies. This story is so much like the prodigal son of the Bible. Deng didn’t want to be a shepherd, he wanted to go to school, and that is why he left. Once here in the town he realized that his life was going nowhere fast. Buying him the new set of clothes literally took away his shame, This culture is very much about appearances and he did not want to arrive home looking like a street boy. Another happy ending and family reconciliation in the Name of Jesus and because of Him.
Also on Monday I met with the Director of the Ministry of Child Welfare and he had a story to tell me. There is a young girl, aged sixteen, who has elephantitus and has a crippled arm. She was living here with her parents. One day three months ago she was cooking and accidentally set fire to their home. This is not unusual here where homes are made of grass matting. The fire then spread to the neighbor’s house and burned both to the ground. The neighbors demanded that the parents pay for a new house. The parents left in the night and left the girl on her own, not telling her where they left to. She had been abandoned by her own parents.
The Ministry of Child Welfare was able to track her heritage and find her auntie who lives at the border of South Darfur. The auntie wanted her and she wanted to go. The only problem was the lack of funds for transportation as the government has very little money so most departments have no funding. I talked with the director and I paid for her and a social worker to go. They left on Tuesday morning. Another family reunited, a loving home for an abandoned child. God is so merciful and kind and He does care for His children through us, His hands and feet sent to find these lost treasures. Amen!
This week we also made many trips to the hospital with children. There is some kind of skin sore which many, many people living here get. I have never seen a foreigner get this skin infection so I am thinking it must be genetically related or maybe even a vitamin deficiency, although I am no expert. Even when tiny it is very painful. As it grows it starts eating away at the flesh and flies continuously cling to these sores. They also smell extremely rotten and sometimes it is so overpowering that I almost gag. Every single day we clean these sores, squeezing out puss and wrapping them with gauze wraps. The children with deep infections we take to the hospital for a thorough treatment. I will say that overall the children are showing up with less big sores since we started caring for them.
This week we began our discipleship training for our staff and for any others who would like to join us twice a week. On our first day we had seventeen men show for the teaching of the Word and for equipping to walk in it. We are very encouraged and pray that this will be something that they keep showing up to and use in their daily lives.
Remember last week I told you about David, the man who is caring for nine orphan boys? The youngest one is five years old. We are helping to support them now with food. I also stated that the property that he is living on belongs to the church and they want him to leave so he has been wondering what he is to do. He will not abandon these boys under any circumstances and he does not ask me for help. This week the Lord has moved on my heart to fund the building of a mud hut for him and his boys. He has been such a huge blessing to us in our street boy ministry and so faithful and all this with no salary, just coming on a volunteer basis.
So we are now the cheerful givers into what I am calling, David’s House of Refuge. If you would like to help with the cost of this building project (totaling about $3,000) just send a check or money order to the address at the bottom of this email, annotating “David” in the remarks section). It is especially difficult these days with the rains coming. Many people will find themselves living along the street literally because everything floods. We bless you in advance for your kindness to the poor, as you too are caring for the orphans.
Yesterday as I was preparing to leave to go into town there was standing at our gate a young boy about eleven years old. At his feet laid his mattress and on his back was a backpack containing all of his belongings. He was a clean cut boy with clean clothes and he was obviously not living on the streets. Through a lot of interpretation I learned his story. I do want to interject here that just that very morning I had asked the Lord specifically to show me the one I was to help that day.
The boy’s mother and father had both died and he had been living with his uncle, his sister’s husband. Not related, it’s just what they call brother-in-laws, especially when they are a lot older. This uncle would beat him all the time and that morning was the last beating before tossing him out and telling him not to come back. This boy, Bol, was afraid and it showed on his face. I asked him how he knew to come to me. He said that he had seen me driving the three wheeler and decided to come and ask for my help. I couldn’t just let him go to the streets as he had never been in that environment. Finally I thought of David.
I called David and he agreed for me to bring him. When we arrived at David’s house and the two began to talk it was soon discovered that they were related! They were from the same clan and tribe! If I had not prayed that prayer and if that boy had not seen me driving by, what would have become of Bol? I love how God intercedes on our behalf even when we don’t know it, working all things for the good to those who love Him and call upon His Name!
As we prepare to launch into another week we are praying for more families to be reunited through our efforts, more children to know Father’s love, more bellies to have food, more healing to come to those who are sick and downcast and more intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord!