Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
The interns arrived safely and with all their luggage! Phil, John, and Jordan moved into their room yesterday which they are calling "The Bachelor Pad". This morning they are already at work assembling their bikes. Please pray for these men as they transition into life in Mundri.
Thursday the interns will join us in starting the work on the water project in partnership with the water office staff and the community. Please join us in praying for the water project.
- For wisdom as we continue with the water project
- For our relationships with the water office staff and community
- For good communication especially with many cultural and language differences
- For safety in all the work we do this summer
- That God would provide a good translator for the training of the water office staff who is able to understand and communicate engineering and technical concepts
Monday, June 14, 2010
It was a long and hot dry season, but God has brought the rain to Mundri! We returned to a lush, green town. People are out in their gardens digging and planting and we are no exception. Larissa and Scott are hard at work planting fruits, vegetables, flowers, and experimenting to see what will grow in Mundri. Even Liana has her own small garden. Saturday I planted two rows of Moringa trees. I love the taste of Moringa leaves, and it won't be too long before the trees provide some shade. Even the Moringa seeds can be used for water treatment.
Seeing everything growing around me, I realized that in some ways my spiritual life has mirrored the weather in Mundri. During the dry season, I was weary, tired, and spiritually dry. In God's providence, I then had the opportunity to travel in Europe and be blessed by nice hot showers, comfortable beds, and great food. As the rains started in Mundri, God placed people in my life to pour into me. I had wonderful conversations at the WHM conference with older women who have walked through many desserts and seen God faithful through them all. I was encouraged by other single women serving God in Europe in a completely different context, but facing similar struggles. I laughed a lot with new friends and connected with friends from my sending church in Richmond.
I was even blessed by wonderful conversations with Larissa. I have lived with Larissa for over a year now in tight quarters in Sudan, but during the dry season we hadn't been connecting or encouraging each other in the same ways we had during the last rainy season. Especially after we moved to the new land with more personal space, we each in certain ways retreated to our new spaces.
I came alive as the World Music Mission team poured into us through their worship, especially when they sang "Did you Feel the Mountains Tremble", a song that meant a lot to me after singing it in worship with hundreds of other college students so many times at the CCO Jubilee conferences.
When I returned to Mundri I was greeted with exuberance by friends at the secondary school and the water office. I am so happy to be back home in Mundri, and I am praying for the rains to continue to bless the land and for God to continue to pour into my heart.
As a team, I think we have all noticed that the scripture verses that talk about the blessings of shade, shelter, and rain mean so much more to us now. And I can identify a whole lot more with Jonah's response when God took away his shade plant.
Isaiah 32:1-2 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
"When you think your well has run dry and you send it down for one last try and you raise it up to find it full the overflow so beautiful..." - Jason Gray, When the Stars Fall from the Sky
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
It had been over a year since I had seen my parents, when I met them in Madrid. We spent two weeks touring Spain and Portugal by bus with a group of people from around the world, a funny and knowledgeable tour guide, and a driver that got us through narrow streets that I probably couldn't drive my old Civic through.
I was immediately struck by all the intricate decorations on buildings and statues. Sudan is recovering from decades of civil war and new buildings are built strong so they will last, but with little artistic expression.
We saw many cities, but my favorites were Granada and Salamanca. I got to spend a perfect sunny afternoon walking through the gardens and buildings of the Alhambra. That evening I met up with a friend from Richmond who now lives in Granada. We had a great dinner and even better conversation.
From Madrid I flew to Athens and spent a day seeing the sights before heading to the WHM conference. After two weeks of traveling, never spending more than two nights in one city, I was ready to settle down in one place for seven days.
When I arrived at the WHM conference, I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of people who were ready to talk. People knew who I was and had been reading my blog, but I had no idea who they were. After the initial wave of people subsided, I was incredibly blessed great conversations throughout the week.
In the places where I was feeling empty and weary, I was encouraged and blessed with words of hope and truth.
In the places where I had begun to serve more a development worker and the Gospel had become peripheral, I was challenged and convicted.
The best part of the WHM conference for me personally was worshiping with hundreds of people who love God. As our voices sang out lyrics of praise, hope and truth, I felt that we believed the lyrics and were claiming those truths for the nations. As the conference ended we sand the doxology and tears started streaming down my face. It was truly beautiful.
In Greece I met new friends, had great conversations, laughed, swam, and enjoyed lots of salad (with feta of course). For me personally though, the two weeks in Spain and Portugal followed by the WHM conference was a lot of people time. I am currently still in Uganda, but before I get on a plane to Sudan, I am taking a prayer day. Please pray for me over the next two days as I spend time in the word and in prayer. Pray for good times of processing the last four months in Sudan and processing all the things God showed me during the WHM conference.
God has provided in unexpected and amazing ways! We now have all the funding for the summer water project and the computer lab that I mentioned in a previous blog post and in my last prayer letter. Thank you to all of you who have been partnering with us in prayer.