changes, growth and God’s absolute faithfulness

changes-5Hi friends!  Michele here.

Some of you who have followed along closely this year may have realized it has been a very bumpy year.  I wanted to bring you up to date and share with you a really important introduction.

As of last month, I finalized my permanent move back to the United States.  Seven years on the frontline and 18 bouts of the cerebral strain of malaria have taken a serious toll on my already fairly fragile body.  My health will no longer allow me to travel internationally as I used to or live in Africa.  I continue to trust Jesus for healing and seek Him for greater understanding for this new season I find myself in.

This change comes with a really important announcement.  Iris Global has asked Carolyn Figlioli {there we are together in the photo above, she’s the tall one. 😉 } to step in as the new national director for South Sudan and also serve as the current base director in Yei.

changes-2She has been serving most of this year up along the border with the north in a city called Aweil.  And God is doing astounding things. The power of His love in action can never be underestimated.  She and the Iris team there are seeing Him move heaven and earth to reunite former street boys with their families.

changes-3

These precious boys are being fed spiritually and in the natural as God loves the whole person, and their whole family.  I have served with Carolyn for over three years and I cannot imagine a better person to step into this new role.  {Guess who was behind the camera when these photos were taken on our a scouting trip into Aweil back in 2011?}  I’d trust her with my own life and even more I trust her with the lives of my adopted children and family.  She carries my heart even better than I do and way more importantly, she carries His heart in a way that is uniquely beautiful.

changes-1-2Here we are at a baptism in Yei, Carolyn helping me stand in the silty water.  I am honored in this season to hold her arms up just like she has been so faithful for all these years in holding up mine.

As you might imagine, such a dramatic transition is challenging for everyone.  Change IS hard.  And hard change is even harder. Our family in South Sudan needs your prayers.  I need your prayers.  Carolyn and our base leaders really need you prayers. While I am no longer in direct leadership with Iris in South Sudan, I remain connected in relationship and am honored to serve Carolyn in her new role any way I can.  So you will likely see me from time to time here online sharing some stories and pictures from our history or helping Carolyn get the stories out from what God is doing right now.  Florida usually has better internet than Yei. 😉 And when my health returns, I sure hope to visit from time to time as God allows and as would be helpful.  I miss everyone there more than I have words for.

changes-1I want to thank YOU dear faithful friends for continuing to be part of God’s incredible faithfulness to us.  I ask you to support Carolyn and our base leaders with your love and prayers any way He leads you just like you have stood steadfastly with us for the last seven years.  Truly you are a part of every life touched and changed by His faithfulness. And I remain humbled and amazed by His love you pour out everyday as you join with us in sharing the Bread of Life with the hungry and hurting a world away.  Thank you.

changes-4It is with great joy I introduce you to my dear friend and the new national director for Iris Global in South Sudan.  Thank you for standing with her and our family there just like you have stood with me.  I am so grateful for each and every one of you.  And I am expectant for all the future holds for Iris South Sudan.  As we would say in Yei, “Keli Rabuna baraka intakum kulu.”  May the Lord Jesus bless every one of you.

You are loved,

Michele