Monday, October 4, 2010

For where your treasure is . . .

Many people have wondered how we can leave the comforts of our home in the states (although they are very nice to have) and come to live in the bush. . . . with a baby.   We have continued to feel at home here and God has given us the grace and wisdom we need to weather the storms . . . literally!  Little Abigail has begun to recognize this as her home, even after spending much time in Nairobi, and she LOVES playing with the animals, children, and in our front yard and kitchen sand box!  She has also become the greeter for our compound.

As we have written in our recent blogs, the last few weeks in the rainy season have posed its challenges for the roads and transportation.   We have experienced many mechanical problems with our vehicles as well as "stuck in the mud" problems as we waited patiently for the Land Cruiser. Recently, Kevin, Abigail, and I took a walk to the market.  The 6 mile trek wasn't for pleasure.  With the motorcycle failing to start, the tractor needing maintenance,  and the road being impassible; we had to walk to get food and a battery for the motorcycle.  When I think about comforts of home, I miss good roads and good vehicles the most.  Upon arriving to Sudan in February, I watched people walking long distances with nothing but a piece of plastic in the form of a flip flop hanging from their feet and huge loads of food and firewood on their heads and many a baby on their back.  My soul began to struggle.  I felt sad for them in their "hard life" and had never known what it was like to be without transportation.  I was thankful for the tractor, motorcycle, and beat up truck . . . and then, they failed me.  

As we began to prepare for our walk, I was tempted to whine as I may have months ago.  But, I realized walking that distance was not much different than the many hikes we have been on for pleasure.  I began to even get excited about it.  As we walked, I was able to slow down even more than we do in the tractor, and observe the culture around me.  Through their laughter and stares at these 'white people' walking, I began to get more of a glimpse of their persistence and determination through their "hard" life and struggle.

The people of Sudan have been through MANY difficult times.   It is hard for me to imagine facing what they have as we try to grasp for what physical security we can here in the form of, transportation, good shoes, good rain gear, bringing extra food and supplies from Nairobi as well as our only TRUE source; Jesus for our guide, peace, and comfort. . .

I have read this passage of scripture many times in Matthew 6: 19-22:

19"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22"The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

. . . it has become more real to me as we have begun to make our home in Sudan.

The word in the above passage that stood out to me is CLEAR.  I wondered what the word meant in this context. It means prudent, knowing how to deal with fellow humans in the circumstances of life. . . the circumstances of life. . . that our whole body be full of light.  Through their difficult circumstances, many people of Sudan reflect light and hope in their eyes as they find their security in Jesus.

We are anticipating more transportation problems at the end of the year, this time not from mud but from the government changing the taxation policies and the border being thrown into chaos.  We hope to be able to purchase as many supplies for the construction and get them across the Sudan border before that time.  
Here is an excerpt from Make Way Partners' President, Kimberly Smith, about how you can help in this need . . .

            “To fill the need in both Southern Sudan (Hope for Sudan orphanage) and Darfur (New Life Ministry) we are trying to raise $255,000. There are three ways you can help. First, pray for the orphans, indigenous staff, and the missionaries who serve them. Pray specifically for their focus to remain on God as their provider and source of security. Second, consider what financial contribution you and your family can offer to protect the orphans. Third, there has never been a better time to introduce the work of Make Way Partners to other friends, family members, co-workers and your church and giving them the opportunity to offer tangible love to an orphan.”  Visit for more information.

Thank you for your prayers and generous support through Make Way Partners as we continue building His kingdom to house His precious children.   Please continue to pray for the people of Sudan to have wisdom, hope, and peace as they face a crucial time in their government in the upcoming referendum. 

Through the tough rainy season, the building continues!

Kevin comments on some new technologies he has researched and is now implementing . . .

A picture of the first dormitory receiving it's lid.  What is the shiny stuff between the metal roof sheets and the trusses?  Nothing short of space aged technology right here in Moti.  This is reflective insulation, like what astronauts have in their space suits. It is designed to reduce 'radiant' heat entering through the roof.  What a difference it made!  We laid the insulation before lunch and after the break the
workers didn't want to get out from under it.

One of two latrines under construction.  Where's the pit you ask?  Well these won't have a pit because they're composting latrines. We'll mix the waste with lime and leaf matter to make a rich compost.  This will keep us from filling up a latrine every year; after one year, we'll clean it out and start over (I think we need to take volunteers for this job). Other people using this system say that it almost eliminates flies also.  I sure hope that it lives up to all of the reports I've read. We are working diligently to move children into the Dormitory as quickly as possible.  For this to happen, we must finish the roof, the windows and floor, and two latrines and the bathhouse. 

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