March 3, 2013
To South Sudan & back!
Friday we spend the morning about 30km outside of Gulu visiting the Four Corners Ministry site. Their project is similar to the Restoration Gateway ministry, although it is in its infancy stage. Presently they are developing a sustainable infrastructure so the work there will be self-sustainable and be a ministry to the surrounding community. Their master plan included having an orphanage, agriculture, discipleship & more. It was great to see the work that has been accomplished & will be to come.
Then it was time to head to South Sudan where we will be helping with a Youth Conference at Far Reaching Ministries (FRM) on Saturday. South Sudan has only been a country for 2 years. Although the 55 year old civil war is “over” there are still areas with ongoing war, not to mention the devastation that follows such a conflict. Side Note….dry season + dusty roads + BIG overloaded semi tractor trailers = ZERO visibility….one minute you are behind a truck, the next all you see is a cloud of dust & you can’t even see the truck any more, or anything else for that matter. FRM has been working in Nimuli for the past 14 years and has an extensive discipleship ministry and Chaplaincy Corp (training) program. Vickie was a humble gracious host & it has been wonderful to spend time with her & Elizabeth, another missionary here.
The Youth Conf was to start about 9am…TIA (this is Africa)…I think we started about 11am. There were over 50 youth plus some of the Chaplaincy Corps students in attendance. The theme of the conference was based on Matthew 16: 15b-18 which is when Jesus asks the disciples “Who do you say I am?” There were different sessions taught by Elizabeth with me reading her scripture references, Keith, Lisa, & Vickie. Jeff was asked to give his testimony. He also felt lead to do the FAITH presentation, a way of sharing your faith & assurance in Christ. The youth soaked everything up & had some very deep questions for the Q&A portion of the conference. It was interesting to note their point of reference, based on their life experiences of having been raised in a war torn country, and how it has shaped their world view. “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt 7: 7-8 (NIV). Their desire to know the one true God & to learn how to fully rely on Him was so sweet & heartfelt.
We decided to leave South Sudan after the conference to head back to Gulu. After all it is just a little cooler in Gulu. Friday night we noted temps of 90 degrees in our room when we went to bed & 86 degrees when we woke up. Saturday it was 125 degrees in the sun & 100 degrees in the shade. So as much as we were enjoying our time at FAR the thought of sleeping somewhere under 85 degrees was just too incising.
Vickie came to Gulu with us in preparation for flying home for a conference. Sunday morning Jeff & Keith headed to town to have some work done on the AC in Vickie’s car & then on the brakes (which started to act up on the trip back from South Sudan) of Keith & Lisa’s car. After a wonderful morning of worship we headed to town to meet them… As to be expected it turned into an all day affair. Not to worry we walked to the Riegers, a wonderful missionary family serving here, visited & ordered in Ethiopian food for lunch. J
Finally back home, Lisa went into baking mode & made a wonderful Birthday cake for Alyssa. Today is her 25th birthday. Maddie Rieger added her talents by bringing a cake as well, so we all feasted on cake for supper & enjoyed fellowshipping together. We also celebrated Lisa, Micah, & Mary's birthday...after all there was plenty of cake :)
Tomorrow, Monday, we are headed to Kitgum to meet with Clayton at Faith Alive Ministries, whom we have worked with over the years, to discuss his vision for his ministry & how we can help to support it with the work God is calling our teams to do in the future.
Time for bed – I pray everyone is doing well, as we are here!