I cannot condense all of life, but I do think a theme for me has been the ability to be more grateful. I did not post a single day in November, as did many of my friends, on what I am thankful for. But I did pay attention, and mused on it in my own heart quite a bit. I decided that we as a family have just grown in our capacity to be grateful for many things that come our way. (Now Lord knows we still have loads of complaining, from the children AND the adults. But just overall.) I still definitely love all of life's comforts, but we can also be happy with less. For instance, in my past I would not have truly appreciated
- the homemade iced latte I enjoy on many afternoons, made with decaf instant coffee, powdered milk, and maybe even a shot of chocolate syrup on top
- a cool shower at the end of a dusty sweaty day
- chicken (which we rationed so well that we had it twice in one week, before we came downcountry!)
- meat at all, actually. We do have access to a few things, but we eat it much less than we used to.
- cold water. really, cold water is amazing.
- relationships; a heartfelt chat sitting on the porch with a virtual stranger, but united in lifestyle and purpose
- did i say rain?
- electricity! Wow, I love electricity. And what it brings, like fans, ice cubes, internet, and a pump to get water up into our tank and pipes instead of me going out to get it in a bucket.
- seeing a beautiful flower or bird
- during times down country, weather cool enough to enjoy a long sleeved shirt or a hot shower.
- and rain ;-)
I just want to break up our news into prayer requests this time. Thank you for joining with us in these areas. It matters. To be honest, I have no idea how the whole sovereignty of God versus prayers of man works. But I trust that if He commanded us to pray, it must be for a reason. And just as the Bible says "blessed are those who believe even if they have not seen", I really think more blessed are you who pray even though you aren't here! So thank you.
- We have mentioned before what we call the "Kimmatong Team", or the Laarim Team. A new AIM team is working with the unreached Laarim people, and we have been able to support them in various ways. They do need alot of prayer, as they are going through language, cultural adaptations, and other things, with young children in the mix. But most of all we want to be lifting up the people themselves, the potential new recipients of this most glorious of all good news, the Gospel. Please pray that whichever Laarim are to be represented in heaven, worshiping Jesus in that language, will begin to understand His message and receive it. (A few pictures of them below).
- Some of our neighbourhood children are also pictured below. I never felt a real burden for childrens ministry, as I'm completely out of patience with children by, well, 10 am? ;-) But I'm also a practical person, and feel like well, if they're here, then I should be loving on them! I have had some opportunities this past month to really speak into the lives of some of these guys by just being available, instead of shooing them off. Many go to church, and nearly all get some kind of religious education at school; and I've sort of used that as an excuse why they don't need me! But we do have an opportunity, while they are young, to demonstrate a different way of interacting, of discipline, of conflict resolution, and such things. Of trying to live life from a Biblical worldview, instead of just going to church. Please pray for patience, for wisdom, and really for them to see Jesus through our whole family, supernaturally.
- There have been instances of violence all over South Sudan, but in these last months, the particular area where we serve the most has really deteriorated. Trucks of refugees are continually leaving that area, and nearly all foreigners have left. Our folks are trying to make some difficult choices at the moment. We are praying for wisdom for them. Africa Inland Mission is pretty much, it is what it is, we never said it was going to be easy. We don't want to value our physical lives so much that our safety is the most important thing, but we also want to be around to support the local church for a long time! Pray that we can support them in whatever decision they all make, and that Patrick has favour in the eyes of the officials and safety as he flies.
We are so grateful for the AIM Air retreat we just had, and for the super special guests we will be welcoming next week! We will have a few relaxing days as tourists, then celebrate an early Christmas with the Crisps in Lokichoggio.