Monday, May 17, 2010

Beautiful are the feet. . .

One of the different things about living in Sudan is how dirty our feet get.  I mean they get pretty filthy and it is hard to keep them clean when we do clean them. 

It is hard to feel physically beautiful in the bush or to feel pampered in the sense that we westerners feel pampered.  My soul was telling me it needed some pampering.  When we went to Lake Naivasha in Kenya, I stumbled upon a wonderful “spa” by a pool.  I treated myself to a French pedicure and a massage.  It was the best pedicure I have ever had!  I couldn't help but think of the scripture, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"  Isaiah 52:7.  My feet were physically beautiful and I definitely felt pampered, but I felt God speak to me that my feet are even more beautiful in Sudan, even dirty, as we are living out scripture doing Kingdom work!  It is vital to care for our feet in the bush.  Kevin has had an infection on his foot that made walking hard for him until he got some antibiotics and I got a thorn stuck in mine that, if it had gotten infected, would have been hard to care for here.  I also heard of another few missionaries that have injured their feet in the field.  Having a foot problem can slow down or even stop our work.  So, please pray that we are wise and cautious in caring for our feet and that they stay protected!

We were very excited to welcome both of our trucks to Torit carrying life saving supplies, and some supplies to make our lives easier here!  A few highlights of the goods were. . . a Massey Ferguson tractor (I couldn’t contain Kevin!), a wagon, cement, steel, and some personal supplies for us ie. table, night stand, clothes rack, wooden floor length mirror (it made it over many miles of VERY bumpy roads unharmed), and some special food items that aren’t found in Torit.  Abigail and I enjoyed watching the men unload the tractor and trailer down the ramp Romano had made as well as seeing Daddy and the other men get dirty unloading 700 bags of cement.  The black men turned white!

Kevin was very eager to jump on the tractor to drive around the compound!  It was a childhood dream to work on a farm like he did with his Grandfather when he was a little boy.  We will soon have a farm here!
Kevin took a car fan and changed the wiring to make a solar fan.  This helps Abigail sleep inside the tent during the day.  It is TOO hot otherwise!  He was pretty excited when the sun came out and it worked!

Our borehole (well) is finally complete . . . well for now.  We made the decision to install a hand pump, but due to the distant it had to be dug away from our dormitory site to find water; it will eventually need an electric pump.  But for now to keep from continuing to use the river water, we will use the hand pump.  This is very exciting!  We won’t have to filter this water much, if at all, to drink.

Fresh vegetables will grace our compound and our kitchen table soon!  Abraham, one of our workers, started our vegetable seeds germinating a few days ago.  I am so glad to have him taking over our garden project.  I have never planted a garden but have always wanted to!  I think I will learn much from him . . . planting the Sudanese way! 

Abigail continues to surprise us!  I caught her standing, again in the bath, this time very stable and hands free!  She seems to enjoy finding new talents in the bath.  Maybe she is just showing them off.   She also found herself in a parade, of sorts, on the back of the trailer being pulled by Daddy.  She saw Daddy coming on the tractor and almost jumped out of my arms.  She wanted to see it.  We decided to tag along with the cooks and other men from the compound to get water from the river.  It was a sight, 4 women standing in a row all with babies on their backs holding on to the trailer.  I wish I had my camera!  Abigail enjoyed waving and laughing at all the children running from their tukels (houses) yelling,”Jenna Kiwaja” (lit. baby white).  She just eats up the attention!

One of Kevin's favorite cargo items on the trucks was the gicko (grill)!  It had its debut on Saturday.  We bought meat and had Njemochomo (grilled meat) with the cooks and the Kenyan workers.  Then, we had our first BIG rain storm.  It was a happy day!

Abigail says hello as Grace, our cook, holds her and her baby while Daddy cooks the meat.

Our cook's daughter helping Abigail learn to walk.  She is close!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Back Home in Torit

We have arrived back in Torit and are getting settled in.   It is good to be back.  We have transitioned quickly from city life back into bush life.  We arrived Wednesday and the first few days were a bit of a shock as we dove back into the daily tasks of cooking, cleaning, and carrying water.  It was a little disheartening to find the river,our only water source right now, VERY muddy due to the rains.  Thankfully we have packets of powder that help the dirt particles stick together and sink to the bottom of the barrel.  This is one more step we have to do in the filter process for us to have fairly clean water to bath and wash in and pure water to drink.  The locals are even complaining about how dirty the water is, but they still drink it straight from the river with no filtration.  We put it through about 3 and sometimes 4 filtration processes.

Both of our trucks have arrived carrying supplies to continue building.  We are thankful for their safe arrival.  The road is not safe that they traveled.  One of the trucks got stuck in the mud and when the driver and our 3 Kenyan construction workers left to find another vehicle to pull the truck, armed tribal men robbed everything out of the cab (personal belongings of the laborers) and beat the drivers assistants.  No one was killed and the men were able to continue to Torit.  When I was talking with one of our Kenyan laborers about the robbery he said, with a smile on his face, "Well, all I have are the clothes on my back, but God is still with me."  I was amazed by his heart and his faith!  It is wonderful to to be working with such men of faith and who have a vision for helping in the Kingdom of God!

Thank you for your prayers for our travels.

With love,

Kevin, Shalene, and Abigail

Monday, May 3, 2010

Going home to Torit!

After almost a month in Nairobi, we are scheduled to fly back to Torit, Sudan early Wednesday morning (our time).  We are eager to be back and get settled in again. We have word that it is pretty peaceful in Torit since the election.  Thank you for your prayers!

 Please pray for our travels and the continued work in Torit.


Kevin, Shalene, and Abigail