Scroll down to see our current prayer needs.
Heartbroken . . . but still in love
You remember her (0r him). That person you fell in love with as a teenager.
And I bet you remember how it felt when he/she jilted you.
It was heart-breaking. And I bet if you’re honest, you feel a twinge in your soul when you remember it.
That word best describes how we feel about our country, South Sudan.
It’s the dry season.
African has rigid seasons. Dry season when it never rains. Wet seasons when it rains nearly daily at the same time in the afternoon.
My friends here are amazed when I try to explain seasons at our latitude of 30 degrees north in Louisiana. “It can rain anyday in the year.” I know this well: I’ve seen GA Camp swamped by a tropical storm as well as the fates of Friday night high school football games changed by a fast moving Ocotober cold front and a wet pigskin. I’ve experienced August heat and humidity on the Gulf that I’d match against any African heat I’ve felt here.
I laughed last year in Zambia when a late rain surprised everyone settling into the Dry Season. A friend smiled. “Oh, it was just the rain saying goodbye.”
This morning, a thunderstorm nosily made its way through Entebbe. Only a few drops fell, settling the thick dust, but the wind whispered. “Get ready. The rains are coming and all of this dust will happily revert back to mud.”
A banana tree made me homesick. The storm’s winds set the thick leaves talking.
It made me miss my pines.
I’ve always loved the sound of the wind in our Louisiana longleaf pines. It’s hard to describe.
The banana (plaintain) leaves make a rough noise.
The pines whisper.
In the pines
In the pines
where the sun never shines
and you shiver when the cold wind blows.
I’ve always loved the sound of a cold north wind in the pines.
It’s been over a year since I heard it.
I’m coming home for Christmas 2014. There’s lots of things I want to see and hear.
I hope there’s a good cold front where I can stand under the pines and hear them whisper.
Kira Receiving Camp
South Sudan/Uganda border
“Meet the new boss,
Same as the old boss.”
-“Won’t get fooled again” The Who
They had such hope calling their country “New Sudan.”
He sat on a reed mat on one of the few shady spots in the bare yard.
Up until a month ago it was a school yard. Now it is the first stop in Uganda for hundreds of South Sudanese.
His facial markings identified him as Dinka. I asked where he was from.
“I’m Dinka Bor.”
“How did you get here?”
“When the fighting began in my village, we fled to the Nile and came across on a barge.” He kicked at a dirt clod. “We came down this side of the river and ended up here.”
“Who was doing the fighting.”
“I’m not sure. There were soldiers in uniform and civilians shooting.”
He looked up. “The same one that tried to kill us in ’91 did it again.”
I knew exactly who was talking about. Riek Machar led a Nuer army into Bor in 1991 and killed several thousand Dinka. Machar is the de facto leader of the rebel army that stormed Bor last month.
“Did you flee in 91?”
“No. I’d never left during any of the past trouble. But this time I did. We just wanted to be left alone. My family cuts trees and makes charcoal. We’d take it into Bor to sell.”
He sighed. “We just wanted to be left alone.”
I took his name. I hope to locate him in Rhino Camp where refugees on this side of the Nile are being located.
I wonder if he’ll ever go home again or will he be in exile for the rest of his life.
And he just wanted to be left alone.
I’ll call him the Ilippi Flipper. I don’t have his photo. That might’ve taken away his dignity.
Ilippi is a bump in the road in northern Uganda’s West Nile District. He’s an older teen who lays on the road shoulder. When traffic passes, he begins spinning wildly in a dizzyingly circle all on the support of his strong arms.
I didn’t notice it the first time I passed. His legs are shrivelled and useless. But man can he spin! It’s as if his strong arms and upper body have taken on any of the muscle his legs never had.
We stopped last week and gave him a gift. I thanked him for showing his talent and inspiring me. I’m not sure he understood my words. I hope he saw it in my eyes and face.
Like Helen Keller and millions of others with handicaps, he’s used his to become stronger, and in his own way offer his talent and skill to the world.
When you come to Africa and travel with me to West Nile we’ll stop in and meet him. Give him a gift as he shares his gift. Learn his name and more on his story.
Thanks Ilippi Flipper for inspiring me and allowing your story to travel across a vast ocean to my friends back home.
These are our current prayer needs as seen through the prism of a Biblical Story:
Setting: A great crowd pressing around a man
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God
- Woman—sick for 12 years—poor spent all her money on physicians and no better-weak from losing blood for 12 years
- Essential detail-“She had heard reports about Jesus” Mark 5:26 ESV
- Climax-she makes a decision to risk touching God
- Solution-immediate and complete healing
On our recent trip to northern Uganda we saw hundreds of refugees in deep need and hopeless situations.
That is only a small portion of the story; there are thousands.
They are fleeing people from their own country and leaving everything behind. As you know there are many physical needs. However the most urgent need is for God to walk among them and give the complete healing that only He can give.
Notice the essential detail in the plot. This is the part of the story where it ends for people from an unreached unengaged people group.
In the Chadan cluster there are 118 such people groups. Strategies were underway, people were planning (and some are) to live in the country and then war broke out.
We, the Chadan Cluster in Sub-Saharan Africa, are in desperate need for desperate prayer.
Our cluster leader asked us to commit to a weekly time of prayer and fasting for a movement of God is South Sudan.
We are asking individuals, prayer groups, Bible study groups, and families to join us in this serious and urgent need. Please set aside a meal each Wednesday to focus prayer on South Sudan.
Pray for your IMB personnel:
David and Renee Crane-Cluster leaders
Echelon Team-Leader-Jeremy and Susan Taliaferro and their children: Victory, Memphis, and Ember. They live in NE Uganda.
- Robert and Maridith Lane, son Shepherd-living in the country
- Selvin and Laurel Jeremiadoss, and children: Abigail and Daniella-living in the country.
- Jonathon and Holly Lesley-on stateside but will return to Kenya soon
Echelon Team members also in Uganda: Ervin and Connie Andy (Ready Reserve); and Jeff and Elaine Johnson (long term volunteers)
Logistics Coordinators-Cameron and Kelly Lewis and children: Noah, Anna, and Steven-presently not living in their home in Juba.
Engagement Team-Bob and Nancy Calvert, Team Leaders
- Curt and DeDe Iles
Toposa Team- Shannon and Carrie Lewis-Benton, Davis, and Walker-living in country
Pray for South Sudan
- Local Pastors
- Work in refugee camps
- Wisdom in travel to the country
Pray for you and your church:
- What would God have you do so that these tribes will hear reports about Jesus?