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Thoughts on Getting it Done

The Dinka Cattle Culture is a key part of South Sudan.
The Dinka Cattle Culture is a key part of South Sudan.

“They can be got” 

 

We’re on the road today.  Dave, Sel, Rob, Scott, and me. 10 hour (or more) drive from Juba, South Sudan’s capital to Rumbek.  Pray for traveling mercies.

 

Today, I thought about Kenny.

Like me, he’s a country philosopher.

A fellow son of the piney woods.

He’s a lover of cattle, cow dogs, and our open range history and culture.

 

Tomorrow, I’m traveling to Dinka country.

This tribe loves their cattle a lot like Kenny loves his.

Dinka babies derive their names from the names of their cows. They will fight . . . even kill . . . to protect their livestock.

 

Today’s story concerns Kenny and cattle. It was told to me by a mutual friend named Chip.

Chip lives along the edge of our Louisiana marshland.

The livestock there, known as “marsh cattle” are tough.  They endure unending swarm of mosquitoes, swampy ground, and tropical storms and hurricanes.

 

Marsh cattle have a deservedly reputation as difficult to round up. Chip had such a herd.  No one could corner them.

 

Chip contacted his college buddy Kenny, asking for his help on corralling the wild herd.

 

There was a long silence on Kenny’s end before he replied.

 

“Chip, I don’t know if I can get them, but they can be got.”

 

I first heard this story about twenty years ago.  As I’ve come up against rough patches on my life road, I’ve recalled Kenny’s statement.

 

They can be got.

 

There’s a lot said in four short words. It may not be the best English but anyone can understand it: It may be tough, but it can be done.

 

People in Uganda and the Equatoria states of South Sudan have winced when told we’re going to the Dinka.

 

A Dinka tribesman
A Dinka tribesman

“Don’t go up there.  They’re bad people.”

“Stay away from that tribe.”

“Those Dinka are proud and stubborn and won’t listen.”

 

I’m riding into Dinka country with three young men.

Selvin, Robert, and Scott.

They’re moving to the heart of the Dinka.

 

In a week, their wives and babies will join them.

They are going to share the best news in the world.

The good news of Jesus Christ.

 

Those naysayers remark,  “The Dinka can’t be reached.”

 

But I know better.

They can be got.

 

We cannot do it but we serve a powerful God who is able.

 

This morning I feasted on Jesus’ words in Mark 10*.  As the Rich Young Ruler sadly walks away from Jesus, the Savior comments on how difficult it is for a rich man to be saved.

 

Peter, always the first to speak, asks, “Well then, who can be saved.”

 

Jesus’ answer is short.  “With man it is impossible . . . but with God all things are possible. “

 

God can do it when human schemes and plans fail completely.

 

Those Dinka.

We love them already.

And let me remind you of one thing.

We may not can get them, but they can be got.

 

      * Mark 10 is one of the richest chapters in the Gospels.  I encourage you to study it this week.

The Dinka are this month’s people group prayer focus.  Learn more at

 


 [CI1]Blogged  8 November 2013

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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