Anyways, eventually the drama dies down and what everyone is left with is the waiting. There were a few very violent days, mostly in the capital and some other places, that left people leaving if they could, or running for cover. The peace deal fell apart, and the government no longer had representation from the opposition, as the vice president left, and was replaced. Recently, there have been somewhat promising talks about more African Union troops coming in for peacekeeping, and another start at the peace deal if the vice president feels safe enough to come back. Who knows. At the moment, the increased regulations make it nearly impossible to fly. And even if folks feel safe enough to go back, the supply chains aren't running well enough that people can depend on food. So, waiting, waiting, waiting.
In the meantime, we did have a very special time with our families. (Patrick was very good about telling me every time he landed, so I wouldn't worry.) A huge thank you to all our family members who made it possible. And although it was a personal visit, we were able to fellowship with Rose Hill Friends Church in Kansas, womens Bible study with my friends at First Southern Baptist Church Pratt Kansas, and a special group of prayer warriors from Kenora Bible Church in Ontario. Our first day of school is tomorrow, with Hannah in gr. 4, Charlie in gr. 2, and Caroline starting kindergarten. Thank you for your prayers!
- that our leadership and the powers that be in the S Sudan government could agree on the new rules regarding our working there, so we can start serving again.
- for the pilots as they experience more downtime than usual.
- for safety for our family, especially kids, on a day to day basis. We've had a number of very close calls. I'm not a worrier by nature, but we are nowhere near an emergency room. There was a ton of rain while we were gone, and now the mosquitoes are out in abundance. Praying we don't have to fit malaria into our first few weeks of school.
- We are slowly getting to know more about, and more people in, the local church, especially the Africa Inland Church, with whom AIM has been partnered in the past. There are some frustrating things, but also many encouraging things with village churches growing, and hearing a desire for more Bible study and discipleship from some of the leadership. We want to encourage and pray for them as they lead these young churches, maybe started by missionaries years ago, but now developing on their own, under their own pastors and evangelists. This is exciting to see. We pray for true believers, not just in word but in deed, and for discipleship to take place with new believers. This is difficult in an oral, semi-nomadic culture.
- Patricia is a young woman who works with me for Turkana Beads. She runs around collecting finished products from some of the village ladies, translates, and keeps an eye on things when I'm not here. She has had a difficult life and is now in charge of her children, her sister's children, and her younger siblings, as her parents were killed in tribal fighting. The youngest of her siblings, a 10 yr old boy named Mike Lokai, has run off to the nearest town, Kakuma refugee camp, about an hour away. Street children never have good endings, here or anywhere else. Please pray she can track him down and bring him home.