Last week the whole Sudan packed up and moved from our rental property to the houses we built on the church land a few kilometers outside of Mundri town. We have been anticipating this move for months. Our goal was to move before Karen's birthday, and to accomplish this we pushed hard for a few days working on the last minutes details to get the houses ready. We painted, sanded, worked on the electrical wiring, and finished the essential plumbing jobs. Michael installed temporary covers on the roof vents to keep the rain out, and the work crew finished one side of the latrine/shower structure. There is still work to be done, but with the essentials done, we moved!
We moved to an active construction site with a lot of work still to be done on Bethany and Kim's dukul, the second half of our latrine, and the Bishop's house. It will take some getting used to a new rhythm of life since going into town requires a 15 minute bike ride and you have to be home before dark, but there many blessings in this new rhythm of life as well.
More space for our team has been one of the biggest blessings. The Masso family finally has their own living space. Larissa and I have desks in our rooms which you can comfortably sit at during the day without overheating. I am also thankful for walls to lean against while reading at night. My first night in the dukul was the best night's sleep I have had since I arrived in Sudan, which is a huge praise considering the many sleepless nights I have had! I woke up to the sound of birds singing instead of the sounds of our neighbors and roosters.
Over the last two days I have also felt a sense of permanence for our team's presence in Sudan. We now have permanent structures built on the church land, which is of high value our Sudanese friends. I live in a room with real walls that doesn't feel like it will blow away or collapse in a strong wind like the tent that Larissa and I were living in until last week. A few days ago I was even introduced to a visitor from Juba as a resident of Mundri and as an honorary Moru woman so to speak. I have a VERY limited Moru vocabulary and VOLUMES more to learn about Moru culture. I have not yet lived in Mundri for one year, and I don't know God's plans for me in 2011. Despite all these things, the long term commitment of our team to Mundri amidst uncertainty surrounding the upcoming elections and referendum has brought a sense of permanence to our relationships with the Moru church and community.
Many of your who know me well know that I am slow to let people and places into my heart. I have moved quite a bit over the last 25 years, and don't consider any particular place to be my hometown. After 11 months in Mundri, I am so thankful for the sense of permanence in my ties to Mundri and the Moru people that God has slowly fostered.
Please join us in praying for peace in Sudan as we continue to build with the expectation that the partnership of WHM with the Moru church will continue for years beyond the referendum.