“I was born in a time of war.” the Sudanese representative of Evangelical churches said to my friends and I as we ate dinner at a missionary house in Nairobi.
“I was married during war, my children were born in war. I have only known peace for five years. If the referendum brings war again, I’m not worried, I’m used to it.”
He took another bite of the diner the house had served and smiled. Looking at the a nearest attendant he asked. “This is called what? It is good.”
“The task before the church in Sudan is great. We must monitor elections and speak for those who have no voice. BUT, more importantly we must train the people to understand what is good government. Honest, transparent, protecting the people, so that they don’t fall into the same pit they were in. This is what God wants for all people.”. He looked at us and smiled broadly, his eyes becoming
thin lines of joy. His skin was a glossy ebony and his forehead bore faint scars that betrayed his pastoral youth.
“I am so happy you are here. To come from America to the Sudan, it is a great thing. You would only come here because God told you to come. Why would you leave America when it’s like heaven and come to Sudan…God told you to come, and it makes me so happy to see you.”
Laying in bed staring up at the mosquito netting over my head, trying to puzzle through that encounter. How could three middle class, middle race, middle age guys be a blessing to a man like that?
I kept mulling over his words, “God told you to come and it makes me so happy.”
Then it hit me. If God told us to come to Sudan, it meant that God is aware of the needs in Sudan…that God had not forgotten them…that God cares.
It’s good that we’re here. Dave and Tom and I are getting along. We’ve had a few setbacks in getting all the way to Tonj, but we are here now. It has to be seen and experienced to be fully understood, but it’s amazing. I’m having some trouble getting photos translated to the iPad I’m using…but as soon as I get it figured out, I’ll put some up.
Thanks for your prayers…Saber and Suzy tell you hello!