Abigail almost jumped out of my arms as she saw Daddy drive on the compound in the tractor. She wanted to see it and I knew that letting her ride would be a treat. So, we decided to tag along as Kevin and the workers loaded the big 800 liter barrels onto the trailer to go to the river to get water. It was in the evening when the compound cooks were ready to go home. The two of them climbed on the back of the wagon with baby’s on their back. I joined them, with Abigail on my back. We hardly ever drive into town without stopping to pick up more people and market goods along the way. This day was no different. We stopped to pick up two more women with babies on their backs. It was a beautiful sight, 5 women (including me) all standing in a row holding on to the trailer with our baby’s on our backs. My only regret, I didn’t have my camera.
As I have been reflecting on the sacred moments in my life here, this image came to my mind. Those women and myself being from two completely different worlds standing together in the same manner trying to hold on to a trailer traveling down a very bumpy road. When I first boarded the trailer, I felt a little uneasy about how I would secure myself while holding Abigail. I had never ridden standing on the back of a trailer before. I remember sensing the uneasiness in one of the women we picked up. She was unsure of how she would hold on. Even in her world, she had not ridden like that on the back of a tractor. I felt that was a sacred moment. Both of us felt the uneasiness in similar ways, and I being from another world. We smiled at each other as we found ways to hold on and brace our feet over the bumps, intertwining our arms. As we all rode side by side, I wondered what was going on in their hearts and minds. Were they wondering what kind of life I had in
or were they just concerned about getting home to cook a meal for their kids? Even though there was a language barrier and there was silence, I felt a sacredness of just being near these women sharing in the experience of a routine they have probably maintained for many years, and Kevin and I were able to make it a little easier that day by a simple, yet somewhat uneasy ride home. America
We have an oven for our compound!
Kevin designed a BIG oven for our cooks to use. . .the only problem, neither one of them have ever baked. So, that is where I come in. They are eager for me to teach them and our staff wives how to bake. It will be a different experience to hold a baking class in the bush!
The foundation for the oven.
Abigail enjoyed helping Daddy!
The walls are going up.
Building the cover, metal sheet and cement.
. . . and the finished product. For Father's day, I baked Kevin's favorite peanut butter cookies!
Nap time, our cooks' babies
We had a pre-Father's day cookout and invited fellow Torit missionaries for some beef burgers and homemade fries. We had a mixture of people from the UK, US, Sudan, and South Africa. This is a treat for them since some of them do not have a meat grinder or a grill. We can't just go to McDonald's to get a quick burger here.
The men watching the burgers; Kevin, Russ Noble, and Philip Byler
The ladies eagerly waiting for the burgers. . .
The lady guests are missionaries Linda Byler (US), Lyn Noble (England), Catrin Byrne (Britain), Natasha (new missionary from South Africa), and Grace Akot (Sudan)
Abigail loves our new compound dog, Moti (named after our town). Moti thinks he is her guard dog. He follows her and sleeps beside her tent, when we have it outside.
Abigail teaches Michael to play tug-of-war. . . as Moti guards!