As we read the Old and New Testaments I am always encouraged by God’s people going through times of difficulty and it is the same with us at Iris South Sudan at this time. Our Mama Deya has been looking after one of our mid-teenage girls that is having a difficult time due to much trauma in her life; first when she was about three years old, being abused by her father; then before she became a teenager she was again abused by many men. She has been quite settled whilst she has been with us these last few years until a few months ago when unexpectedly her behaviour changed. Mama Deya has been looking after this girl on a one-to-one basis for about three weeks now to ensure that she is protected from her own actions that include a ban on visiting town. It is a hard task!
The Commissioner of Yei River County is possibly the busiest man in the county, but he has been available to us so much these last few weeks to help us through this season of difficulty. A week ago he came on the Sunday whilst we were still at Church and Irina showed him around the compound, as this was his first actual visit although he knows and loves what we do here for our precious ones and the community at large.
That is a little background to church this morning. We usually have a time of testimony as we did today and I started by telling everyone our Commissioners testimony of how he came from a very poor family and then was in the army for some years. After the army he wanted to go to school to be a doctor, so he started doing some digging to earn a few pounds. To cut a long story short he told us about miracle after miracle of how he got financed through senior school. In senior 5 he held a student position, which he performed so well that the school gave him a scholarship for senior 6 ‘with some spending money’!. He did well in his ‘A’ levels and the the Ugandan government gave him a scholarship to study the sciences t University. He had started the course when the government realised that he was a South sudanese, so did not qualify for a Ugandan scholarship. They talked of taking everything from him saying it was his fault; anyway they just took away the funding and told him if he could get funding he could apply to another university. Several times after this he was amazed at how God provided for him and now he is a man with a thankful heart always seeking to help the under-privileged with his own earnings. The goodness of God was a great encouragement to our children, particularly the older boys and girls , some already in, others approaching senior 4 hoping to go onto ‘A’ levels through senior 5 and 6, that currently can only be taken in boarding school in Uganda – very costly.
The second testimony came from the least expected person – Mama Deya; she first sang a song and then told us all about how she had seen God at work through our difficulties – always there protecting us, watching over us. For her to see the hand of God through some of the things that she has endured these past few weeks is truly amazing; nothing less than a miracle. No wonder everyone clapped and cheered.
The third testimony was from 23 year old Safari (Safari has pastoral responsibilities to our children and Mamas) he had taken Kennedy to Arua in northern Uganda to try and get him into senior 5. He took Kennedy to every senior school in Arua; the first choice was full, but the others without exception said that Kennedy’s O’ level Physics just was not good enough he needed to do senior 4 again, preferably in Arua, as the teaching is far superior to that here in South Sudan. Safari did not give up he thought of going to another town, Koboko; but God intervened in the form of the manager of the small hotel where they were staying. The manager said he knew a Physics teacher who was very well known in Arua, so he introduced him to Safari & Kennedy. After interviewing Kennedy he realised there was more potential in this young man than his O level results indicated. He took them to Arua Academy SS got Kennedy registered; spent the day with them doing shopping for everything that he needed for school to ensure that they did not get overcharged for anything. On settling Kennedy into school he told him that he was going to be his father for the time being if he needed help in any way Kennedy has to call him. If he needs some extra tuition in Physics (which he told him to concentrate most of his efforts) he would tutor him free of charge. Wow another miracle causing us to reflect on first Edward two years ago the Malik last year, both getting into schools way beyond the natural possibilities. Safari returned home mission accomplished only by the hand of God upon their lives at this time.
Psalm 46 NLTSB
1 * God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 * So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
4 * A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
5 * God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
6 * The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!
Gods voice thunders,
and the earth melts!
7 * The Lord of Heavens Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.
Blessings to you all
Pastor David – Iris Harvest Fellowship, Yei Children’s Village
also @ Juba and Chukudum