Still working on my work permit. It’s crazy but one would think that if the NGO Board hands you an official certificate to “work” in this country that you could now go get your work permit sticker from Immigration. Right? Not! Immigration wants a letter from the NGO Board giving me permission to get a work permit and the NGO office asked for all the same documents that we submitted to them in May to get our certificate…. Huh? This is what almost every Iris base all over the world in third world countries have to deal with besides all the children stuff and ministry outreaches and officials showing up unannounced wanting to have a meeting or do an inspection or tell you that you will now need more documents costing thousands upon thousands of shillings more. This morning I was on my face at church, literally on the floor, telling God that I put my hope not in my staff, not in my team, not in any man, not in any of these governments, not in the world’s money, just in Him alone. I get help from many people but my HOPE will only be in God Himself. It is to Him that I come with my cries of petition.
One of my children gave a testimony this morning in church and he said that our God is not a failing God, so neither are we a failing people. We are a people whom God will keep us succeeding as long as we keep our hope in him. What smart kids we have!
Another one of our staff mamas gave her testimony for the first time of what really happened to her in South Sudan. For those who followed our story back then when the war came on July 9th 2016, they know the story of Sebit and Betty who had gone the day before to get Sebit his new prosthetic leg. The next day bullets rained down and they were trapped in the epicenter of the conflict. Betty was the only woman there besides a white lay who was probably the NGO leader. They were four days with no food or water, crawling around like dogs. Finally the NGO leader asked Betty to please help her and gave her the key to the storeroom where all the food was and asked her to cook for the lame who came there for a prosthesis.
Betty began to cook meals for these crippled people who came for treatment. They had to crawl and serve food, they had to run back and forth so they wouldn’t be shot at. By the time I could get help to them there were dead bodies all over the streets. Betty left and went to our sister compound in Juba. When we finally got her back to Yei, the war came to us. When everyone else on our compound ran inside for cover when the bullets started flying, Betty would sit in front of her door on the porch, outside, refusing to go in. She said that if they were going to come and shoot then they would have to shoot her first before being allowed to get to the kids. She even slept on a mat outside in the dark in front of the door, when the gunshots were constant all night, refusing to leave her position of protection.
She is our head mama here and she said that she still feels the same way about these children that she will never leave them. They are now ours and how can she go. She was going to go and visit her home in Torit, South Sudan at Christmas but she just couldn’t bring herself to leave these children. I was undone and we held each other and wept and told each other that we loved each other and we are mamas together and we stand together forever if needed.
Never a week goes by where I don’t see such testimonies of laid down lives and people who will walk away from riches, who will leave their wives in the camps while helping us here with the children because the wife feels called to minister to the women, who will give up university because a young man feels a burning in his heart to see people saved and so he voluntarily lives in the camps. This is the fire that burns in my veins, to see these lives laid down and it spurs me on to run even harder every day. There is a song we sing in Arabic and it says, “they are dying, we have to go”. There are dead people walking the earth in every neighborhood, at every office building, and even in the church.
I love how one of our older boys said to our church, We are not our own. Our children are asked in their schools many times why they are not like the other South Sudanese they have met. They say, we are not our own, we belong to God. They are willing to lay down their lives, they actually have by serving the soldiers on our compound during the conflict in our backyard. They carried water and food to them.
I want to encourage people to not be afraid to get out and do something for someone who might be scary. Don’t worry about your life because God has called all of us to something. Go do that something and see what He can do with our little lives, because we are small in such a big world. That was what another mama preached today. Everyone has something new to do. Every day does not show us where to go. We have to hear Gods voice and trust Him alone. I know that there are many people doing way more than I could ever dream of, people who no one has ever heard of. I pray that I get to meet more of these people.
We are not our own. Who do we belong to? I pray that we can all say we are God’s. Let God move mountains in our lives by trusting and following Him. When you see what He alone can do, that is where faith grows. Be blessed with more boldness and faith and trust this week.