Salaam Alekum Family!
I want to tell you about the grace of God. His grace can allow you to accomplish anything in any situation. And if it is His grace you are allowing to work in you, you will have a peace that surpasses all understanding. My two missionaries were supposed to return this last week from their holidays but both were delayed and won’t return until this coming week. It has been a difficult road for me this week having to put aside my family situation back in the USA and my emotions to some extent and continue with the work at hand. So I found myself, at least for these two weeks, handling the administration and daily operations of our base amidst physical and emotional drain. God’s grace……amazing….
The older children and staff were very surprised and somewhat mystified as to why I didn’t go going home for the funeral of my brother-in-law. Believe me, it was a difficult and hard decision as everything in me wanted to be there for my sister. Here when a person dies it is a week long affair, sometimes two. It is very involved and everyone is expected to be there and contribute toward the cost of feeding people and funeral expenses. It’s a huge deal. I told the children that I couldn’t just leave them with no one here at night and run to my personal affairs. The scripture in Matthew 8:21-22 immediately came to mind:
“Another disciple said to Him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
I told the children that being a missionary isn’t always easy and we cannot do what we think we need to do sometimes. It was very hard for me to stay here and carry on. I had no time to even find rest in the Lord as the demands of this ministry do not allow it when there is no help. Making sure 135 children and 20 staff and 30 teachers all have their needs met is a daunting task in itself. God’s grace is amazing and I made it through in one piece, no crying and complaining, just doing what needs to be done with lots of love. I found that I have a reserve tank of that! I am happy to say that my team will be back in action on Monday and Tuesday. Hurray!! Then I will find time for refreshing. God’s grace……amazing…..
Saturday I took a ministry team of twenty children, a pastor and a visiting missionary to a place on Maridi Road, about 10 miles outside of Yei, that is steeped in witchcraft, to carry the gospel there to those sitting in great darkness. The skies had threatened rain before we left and so delayed our going for a small bit. When we pulled off the road next to a little store, more like a small hut shack and the pastor said, “This is it.”, I was like “Huh?” We were literally right next to the roadside with big rigs driving by blowing up clouds of dirt and dust. Okay, so here we go. We sang and danced for an hour and then I preached a message. One man came forward after at least five minutes of us waiting for decisions to be made. Here in the bush one does not have to rush for a decision to be made. We just wait. Someone always comes forward. He smelled of alcohol but didn’t appear drunk. I had noticed that he was listening intently to the word being preached. I assumed he was already saved. He came to give his life to the Lord. Halelujah!
We then started showing the Jesus Movie. About a half hour into it, the heavens opened up and it began to rain. We had to pack up and leave, throwing the equipment and the kids under a huge tarp while me and the driver and an older boy tied everything down. I learned that my rain coat isn’t really a raincoat – hehe!. As we headed home I realized that this night we came for this one soul, this one man, who was lost and is now found. I love nights like that where it really is all about the one sheep.
Today in church so many of our children got up to testify that they became the sermon! One of our boys had an amazingly prophetic dream, very detailed and another of our boys got up and interpreted it!! It was all in Revelation 17-18. He began to actually preach about the interpretation. These two boys, ages 16 and 17, rocked my world. I actually had tears in my eyes I was so proud of where God is leading them. No one makes these kids do anything. They follow the move of Holy Spirit. The boy telling his dream ended by saying, “I don’t know the meaning of this dream but if anyone has an interpretation….?” This is when I usually stand up but I didn’t get to hear it all because of corralling some small children to be quiet. That is when another boy just got up and preached a 15 minute sermon on the interpretation!
There will come a day when they will truly be the directors and administrators of this ministry. I fully believe it. God is doing amazing things with the youth when they are shepherded in righteousness, holiness and most of all, freedom in the Holy Spirit. I never stop them from doing anything, even if it isn’t exactly right doctrinally. I will then find a gentle way to steer them and they are so open to this. I love this part of ministry, raising up this generation in the kingdom of God!
I pray that this week finds you filled with the grace of God to accomplish all that He is calling you to. We love you so much!
Carolyn and the South Sudan Team!