“Please welcome my brother of a different mother.” – wonderful South Sudanese introduction
Dust on the Bible
“I went into a home one day just to see some friends of mine
Of all their books and magazines, not a Bible could I find
I asked them for the Bible when they brought it, what a shame
For the dust was covered o’er it, not a fingerprint was plain
Dust on the Bible, dust on the Holy Word.”
“Dust on the Bible” by Hank Williams
The congregation at Lokuju Camp met us with joy and singing. These refugees are from the Congolese branch of the Kakwa tribe. We worked closely with them from 2013-2015, watching them grow and reach out.
Many have returned to Congo due to the current military stability. The best news is that they’ve carried the Gospel back to their homeland.
The remaining Kakwa at Lokuju bring out the Bibles and songbooks we’d given them in 2013. I’m instantly drawn to the condition of the Bibles. They were tattered, dog-eared, and falling apart. I wish I’d brought a roll of duct tape.
Yet, these weren’t abused Bibles. They were overused. The Bibles were highlighted, covered in magazine pages for protection. They were dusty. That’s part of life in a refugee camp,
The folks there were so joyful. As my partner, Tyson, said, “They have so little, yet seem so full of joy.” I recalled the quote, “When you’ve lost everything, you’ll realize Jesus is more than enough.”
Moses, a young man, steps forward. I was here in 2015 when he was baptized in a river smack dab in the middle of a Muslim villager. Moses is now pastoring a nearby church.
The next day, I saw Richard. I’d met Richard at Boroli Camp, the most notorious of the area camps. He told of being delivered from an evil spirit, turning his life over to Jesus, and sharing his goal of preaching the Gospel to his Bari Tribe people.
I encountered Richard at Bidi Bidi Camp, the world’s largest refugee camp (over 300,000 inhabitants stretching over thirty-five miles). We were seeing Richard about a large Bible distribution project. My heart was overjoyed by his growth.
Two days later, I saw Adeit in Gulu, Uganda. Many of you will remember Adeit, the young Dinka girl whose club foot was repaired by an American Christian hospital. Adeit is now twelve, attending Mother Teresa School in Gulu, and speaks good English. It was a moving reunion between us. Her life has been changed in so many ways. The Gospel is about the perfect balance of meeting human needs while introducing the Lord Jesus, the healer of hearts.
The highlight of our visit was a footrace in the schoolyard between Adeit and me. She joyfully beat me by two lengths. I left there reminded that miracles come in all sizes and shapes and often surprise us.
There’s so much more I could tell of our trip.
What a privilege.
Thank you for holding the rope and praying.
I catch a plane tonight back to the U.S.
I return with a heart full of memories and joy.