A Selfie: Adeit, Margaret, and Mzee
“My Father is always working, and so am I.”
–Jesus in John 5:17
We stand amazed daily.
Amazed at the creative ways God is working all around us.
He can even use a deck of cards to draw a family to him.
We learned years ago that two things are good bridge builders across cultures and languages.
A deck of UNO cards and a box of dominoes.
Dominoes. I’ve played Chicken Foot all over the world. I’ll never forget playing dominoes among Sumatran tsunami survivors. “Kaki Ayam” (Chicken Foot in Achnese) was a bridge builder and friend maker for our team.
Dominoes and UNO are great because you only need to recognize colors and numbers, and that is pretty universal.
Ed and Becky O’Neal sent a dozen decks of UNO over.
And one of those decks became the cement between a relationship that will stand the test of time.
I’ve been trying to notice and record all of these “coincidences”* and events. I tell DeDe that we’re two old people stumbling and bumbling around Africa, and in the midst of our shortcomings, God keeps linking up us with the right people in the right places.
Coincidence is a cuss word in the Believer’s vocabulary. This “Amazing Bubble” shows why.
The numbered bubbles above illustrate how God is always at work.
Bubble 1: Our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. It gets us to the difficult places where the unreached are. It was bought with gifts of love through folks like you through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Thank you! Learn more at www.imb.org
Our Land Cruiser “loaded for bear” at the Nile River ferry crossing. Laropi, Uganda
Your giving through Baptist Global Response allowed a Kentucky Baptist Disaster Team to visit and assess the needs of the South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda. You can give directly to BGR’s South Sudan Projects.
Adeit with friends in Alere Camp, Uganda on the day of our original visit
Bubble 2: Adeit. The gifts (Lottie Moon and Baptist Global Response) led us to a young girl named Adeit. We met her at Alere Refugee Camp near the Nile River.
Coy Webb, director of Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief, and I were visiting PSNs of the Adjumani refugee camps.
PSNs are the People with Special Needs. They are the vulnerable. The young child, the elderly women, the infirm, blind, the orphan.
Alere Camp was the last of the dozen we’d visited during agruelling week.
The last visit at the last camp. I nearly suggested that we not visit any more homes. We’d seen enough to break any heart. It’d been easy to skip this last visit. If we had, I’d have been a much poor man.
I’d have been a much poorer man if we’d turned back.
A refugee led us up a steep path to a ring of huts. “There’s a young girl named Adeit with a bad foot.”
The girl, who looked to be about eight or nine, was cutting onions. Her large Dinka smile made me instantly like her.
Our guide pointed to her left foot which faced backwards. Adeit just shrugged and smiled.
I gave her a deck of Uno cards and took her photo.
We trudged back to our vehicle. I didn’t really expect to see her again.
But Adeit took up residence in my heart.
I found myself glancing at that photo daily.
Shortly afterwards is when God began moving.
Bubbles 3, 4, and 5; Local church leaders Joseph, Savior and Margaret began ministering to Adeit and her family.
We met with these leaders and shared about the opportunity to help Adeit. Margaret raised her hand. “I will go with her and the mother to the hospital in Entebbe.”
They are sharing Jesus in word and deed as they built a bridge of friendship and concern for Adeit’s handicap.
Pastor Joseph Anyovi, shown praying at a borehole site, has been a key in Adeit’s story.
Bubble 6; Our Uganda Baptist Seminary is where Joseph, Savior,
and hundreds of other national church leaders are being trained. Once again, your support of our organization makes this possible.
Uganda Baptist Seminary in Jinja,Uganda
Bubble 7. Alere Refugee Bapist Church, where Adeit and her family now attend, is a melting pot of Dinka (Adeit’s family), Nuer, Madi, Kuku (Margaret) and more people groups.
Bubble 8, 9, and 10: Joel V is an American doctor with Samaritan’s Purse. He’s an alumnus of our organization’s refugee camp work a decade ago. During a recent visit, he me told about CoRSU hospital near our home in Entebbe.
I asked, “What do they do there?”
“Rehab work on children.”
“What kind?”“Things like club foot and deformities.”
“What does it cost?”
He explained that the cost was for transportation and lodging only and any surgery was free.
Dr. Joel Vanderford with Samaritan’s Purse Kampala, Uganda
I couldn’t get Adeit off my mind.
Every time I opened my computer, her smile seemed to pop up.
Because of the work of Pastors Joseph and Savior, a miracle began: Adeit, her mother Rebecca, and Guardian Angel Margaret (who served as translator) traveled by bus to the hospital.
Three surgeries later, Adeit’s foot is facing forward.
I believe her Dinka resilience (and stubbornness) will serve her well during her long rehab.
We fully expect to see her running footraces.
We visited her Camp last week and were thrilled to see how her journey is touching the entire community for the Gospel.
Adeit, her mother Rebecca, and Margaret
All this is possible through our Chadan Team (Facebook @ANileApart)
We use Twitter Hashtag #UpCountry on our travels
whose focus is on the Unreached Peoples of South Sudan and southern Chad.
Due to the war in South Sudan, we’re going to where thousands of South
Sudanese have fled: the refugee camps along the country’s borderlands.
Adeit’s Dinka tribe is one of our priority groups.
We really do stand amazed at how God weaves things together to bring
glory to his name as well as good in the life of a girl with a straight smile
and crooked foot.
Her name is Adeit.
God is changing her life, the lives of her family (kin from South Sudan came
down to see her “miracle foot”) and even the spiritual temperature of Alere
He’s the one doing it.
We have the privilege of simply telling what we see.
And we stand amazed.
Lord, help us see how You are always at work around us.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
Adeit on the road
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said,
“Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Adeit with her UNO cards from WalMart in DeRidder, LA. Thanks O’Neals!