Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
What do river pirates, demon possesed predator men, and Jesus have in common?.... They all live in the Sudan. :)
About 3 weeks ago i had a wonderful chance to take a 3 day trip south up the Nile. Up being because the Nile runs north to Egypt. :) I was a short trip to a village called Atar Cheui. In Atar SIM has a ALP school (accelerated learning program.) We call them BELCs. (basic education learning centers) I know what you're thinking... Whats with all the acronyms? I know right?! I don't get it either. But anyways. I went down to Atar with a young guy from California named Ryan who works with SIM and has been in Sudan for 10 months. We went down to do some repairs on our bases water purification system. And to encourage the family that lives full time there.
It was a good trip. Pretty restfull. Travelling along the river was a blast. There are all kinds of crazy birds along the river. And it was super pretty. I was fairly uneventfully as a whole. But i've been warned that we have to be careful travelling along the river. Because there are essentially pirates that will flag you down and rob you. But we never encountered any problems.
Right before i went to Atar we had a couple come from the states who had been long term missionaries in Kenya for many years. They are doing research and investigating the possibilities of SIM starting up a English teaching program/school here in Malakal. It has been good having them around. But we had a very awkward situation arise last week because of there being here.
One day they went out to go into town. And when they stepped out of our fenced in area to go to the street, they were confronted by a man. At first meeting it seemed harmless. This man was wondering where his wife was. And if we knew where his wife was... We told him we didn't know her. And that she did not live with us.
But... this did Not solve things. Because he kept coming back. Saying, "my wife lives here," "she is a doctor," "she is American," and all kinds of stuff which were obviously not true. This went on for several days. Him coming around bugging us. And us telling him we did not know her. Until finally things quickly became much worse. He started coming onto our compound thru the back way and coming right into our houses. Then he changed his story and started saying that Gale the missionary here to do ESL research was his wife. And he was very persistent. It would take a very long time to decribe all the ways we tried to explain the truth to him. But he still persisted that Gale was his wife. It even got to the point where i took him over to the church. Sat him down. And grilled him. I'm talkin, smoked him. I wanted to know everything about this guy. Who he was, where he was from, what he believed. I tested him with everything i knew about spiritual things, and psychological things and everything (which isn't really much mind you.) But i wanted to figure out a few "things" about this guy. Namely was he really capable of real harm. Or was he just a litle crazy.
The whole situation eventually had to be resolved by getting the police involved. I determined that his intentions were peaceful. But that he wasen't going to stop coming and trespassing until he took his "wife" home. He was a very troubled person. I have no doubt that he was suffering from some kind of mental health problems. And most certainly some demonic influences. I will not go into details of our conversation. Because that would take to much time. Nor do i think it is honoring to him as a image bearer of God to just talk about his struggles openly without his permission. But the whole situation really taught me some interesting lessons about life. That i have no doubt i will look to in the future. I would encourage you as you read this you would pray for this man. His name is Gabriel. Pray that the Kingdom of Heaven would break into his life.
But also last week i had a wonderful encounter with Gods Kingdom here in Malakal. I got the chance to go to the Upper Nile University. Which is kinda like UAA around here. I was invited to go to a bible study with a christian group of students that meets there on Saturdays nights. It was the most fun, most alive moments i've had since being here in Sudan. It was so awesome to see the passion and hunger in the students. I've been in Sudan for over 2 months now and never seen anything like them.
It's not really unexpected that these guys really made me feel alive. If you know me then you know that my passion in life is to see my generation rise up like no generation has ever done before. To be a people willing to cry out like Jesus talks about in Matthew 25. A generation calling out in the darkest time of human history that the bridegroom (Jesus) is coming.... :) Well i won't go on forever about this, although i could. But you get my point. It was pretty fantastical to see young Sudanese radically pursuing God. Even in America i rarely meet young people like them. They have something special.
I was able to go again yesterday. They asked if i would talk. It went well. I haven't taught in a while. And it was certainly a challenge. One because our cultures are sooooo different. Bringing a message that is relevant takes a steep learning curve. Two, the subject they asked me to teach on was well... awkward. :D Because they asked me to teach on sexual failure. Which was kinda like pulling on a scab for me. But, God is good. And things went really well. The holy spirit led me to talk about some good stuff. And i'm sure God will do his work thru it. It was really awesome too. Because after the study we went out to diner with serveral of the young men (which were all older than me by the way.) They were talking to me about there desire to see revival break out. And a new wave of the Holy Spirit in Sudan. I got to share with them some words from the book of Joel. And urged them to consider a lifestyle of fasting and prayer to bring forth the "new wine and oil" of God. It's just super cool to see their desire for God!
I'm sad that i met this group only two weeks before i leave here. And now i know i probably won't see them again. But meeting them restores hope in my heart for this country. And i will continue to pray for them.
So yeah, thats some of the news of what i've been doing this past month. In between these events i've still been doing construction work. I finished a kitchen, tiled a bathroom and lots of other stuff. My health has been pretty good. I've been avoiding local foods a bit more. I think that seems to help. I've only gotten sick once in the last month for like a day.
It's still hot as the sun here. The dry season is in full swing. We're talkin at least 100deg fh in the shade in the afternoon. 120+ in the sun of course. :) But, i seem to be much more used to it. I'm barely sweating if at all at 100deg. Which is kinda wierd. But nice.
I'm excited to head up to Doro. And i'm really hoping to be able to have time to learn the local langauge. Which is called Mabaan. It's a local tribal language. Should be way hard! But fun.
Well... thats enough writing for me. Hope this blog post finds you well.
And as Paul would say, "the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you."
Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
But you all can let me know... i should have room for like at least 4 people. So... it might be fun to take a group. And goof off... eat lots of caffeine and sugar. And listen to loud music. You know... the typical road trip stuff.
Anyone is invited. All are welcome. Let me know. I'll be planning the whole thing out well in advance.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Well i don't have much to say right now. A lot of work was done here last week. Andrew and i finally had a slightly peacefull week with no guests.
I want to say that i'm super stoked that my friends called me this morning. It ment a lot. You all know who you are...
My gut is bugging me right now. And that has me grumpy so i will say no more. :)
Here are a few pics of me on my quest for the perfect cup of joe. I'm roasting coffee. Sudanese style.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
To stare and not fight
While broken nations dream
Open up our eyes, so blind
That we might find
The Mercy for the need
Singing, Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
As we hold to our confession
It is not too far a cry
To much to try
To help the least of these
Politics will not decide
If we should rise
And be your hands and feet
Singing, Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
As we hold to our confession
God be the solution
We will be Your hands and be Your feet.
Higher than a circumstance
Your promise stands
Your love for all to see
Higher than uh protest line and dollar signs
Your love is all we need
Only You can mend the broken heart
And cause the blind to see
Erase complete the sinners past
And set the captives free
Only You can take the widows cry
And cause her heart to sing
Be a Father to the fatherless
Our Savior and our King
We will be Your hands, we will be Your feet
We will run this race
On the darkest place, we will be Your light
We will be Your light
We will be Your hands , we will be Your feet
We will run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place, we will be your light
We will be your light
God be the solution
We will be Your hands and be Your feet.
God be the solution
We will be Your hands and be Your feet.
We will run we will run
We will run with the solution [2x]
We will be Your hands we will be Your feet
We will run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place we will be Your light
We will be Your light
There is a solution to all this mess. His name is Jesus.
When you see a homeless kid. Picking thru rotten onion to eat like this. you start to understand why this Jesus is needed so badly. But when you equate success with excess. Like the "american dream." Well... then Jesus turns into... religion.
I don't know if anyone is following me on this.
The world is tired of hearing about people just highlighting the darkness.
They wanna see the light...
And how can they?
By people being his hands and feet. By caring for the least of these. By getting out. By moving beyond thoughts of helping. By moving into action. By being the light. In the darkness.
Ok. So i'm sure i'll say this again a hundred more times. And yes i'm stealing some of this from Joel Houston. But he's a man after my own heart. And i'm sure Gods too. And us Joels if no one else are going to stand and say enough is enough... Plus at least one Dustin Peterson. :)
Don't be cheap. Buy the song. It rocks!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
1) Whats the most fun?
Hard to say. Probably riding in the back of the truck standing up (with the breeze across my face) from samaritans purse (that we borrow.) Thats a blast. Also... talking to old sudanese pastors and men. Who all have been thru the war. And listening to their struggles. But seeing how much they love God inspite of it all. Its trully amazing!
2) Whats the most challenging?
Well... the HEAT. I live in a pool of my own sweat many a day. 95deg is a cool afternoon latley. The other day i checked the thermometer and it said 116deg. And it wasen't even the heat of the day yet. So that is real hard to get used to. Then the stomach issues. And being lonely. Since most of the time its just me and andrew here. And he's a pretty intraverted fellow. I miss laughing and being stupid with nick and jesse. And goofing off on the guitar with dustin (aka watching him play) :)
well yeah... i could go on. But i will later. Hope that answers your questions Neil.
I'll be the fix it man there. Right now they only have female staff, consisting of nurses and teachers. They would like me to go to be a male presence there. As well as cheaf snake killer. Also i hear that Doro is a possible place to do a water project. So i may work on that some. I'll be headed there in mid to late november.
I've recently had a interesting revelation of just how remote a place south sudan really is. This place has been very serperated from the rest of the world for a very long time. I have been hanging out with a pastor from the mabbann area in upper nile state. He is staying with us here in malakal with he passes thru. And we were talking about my home in alaska. He did not understand how we are able to keep the snow out of our houses in the winter. Cuse you see... they dont use windows here in the houses... If the people have houses at all. And then he asked if we have snow so much then how do the cows eat? and where do they live? "do they come into the house with you" he says. You see, he thought that everywhere in the world people are nilotic and have cows. Cows are a huge part of the culture here. I had to explain to him all about how we survive off the global economy. And get our food from other places.
I enjoyed sitting down with him for a while tonight and showed him pictures of wild animals from AK. He was blown away. :) But very excited. I find it amazing that he is in his sixtees and still hasen't quite grasped that there is more to the world than hot sudani style living. But he is a very faithful, joyful, and holy man. I have much to learn from him. It's amazing how diverse Gods people are.
My health is much better. But when i have to go numba two. Its ON! haha. like... no waiting. So i still have some adjusting to local foods.
Now that the vsat is up and runnig i'll have more internet time to write people and things. So you all should email me. and i'll write you back.
Monday, September 29, 2008
c/o Joel Beckett
P.O. Box 79252
00200 City Square
Instructions for mailing:
- Nothing expensive! (i'll have to pay customes)
- Under 4pds in total weight
- I hear the best packages that come thru are padded envelopes no more than 4pds.
- If you have questions if something is good to send ask me.
Ok... Ok. Enough business.
Nick. You are welcome to come to sudan. You just have to kill the president first. Or brib the department of the army. :) But your outstanding sense of humor would be greatly appreciated. Since the sudanese don't have one like mine.
Life here in Malakal is becoming more and more comfortable. It's still quite an interesting place to be sure. The small creatures are everywhere. The other night i went out to use the outhouse And when i got to the door the was a fatty spider about face level across the door, a scorpian at the door sill, and when i went out the door there was a frog on the door step. :) Needless to say you have to watch where you're walking around here.
But the creatures are the easy parts to get used to. The hard part has been just being comfortable in my spirit. I've had a real hard time adjusting to being here. One reason maybe is because i know when i'm going home again. But i really think that ever since i've gotten to Africa. And especially Sudan, i've pretty much been in like a sort of greaving process. Greaving one because i miss home and my friends and family and my electric guitar. But also because of all the poverty and destruction from the war here. Everywhere you look there is intense amounts of poverty that you just don't see very many places in the world. From women gathering water out of the ditch (that certainly isn't any good for drinking) too some little kid squatting next the road taking a dump because he has diarea and no bathroom. The whole town is just starting to recover from the years of war. Only now in the last 2 years are people starting to work on infrastructure and develpment thats been neglected for the last 30 years.
But i'm starting to adjust to these types of things. And see God through it all. I'm learning to abide in him no matter the setting. It's certainly been an interesting last few days.
Also i haven't been feeling very well. The medical book i have says i have amebic dysintary. :) I flash from diareea to constapation and throwing up. At first i thought it was just some food not agreeing with me. But now i think it must be something a little worse. I'll be talking to the SIM doctor about it soon. Last night was pretty miserable. You all can pray that i can get this diagnosed and treated soon.
Well anyways, I also have a local cell phone number from a sudanese cell network. The network only works some of the time. But it's still not bad. I've even been able to make some international phone calls. The rates are much cheaper than the SAT phone. Although the SAT phone will be handy to have when i travel in the bush. My number is +249919194614 It's about .50$ a minute to call home and .12$ a text. Although i don't think the international texting is working. Also i'm pretty sure it doesn't cost me anything to recieve calls. Since that's the way it works in most of the world. It only charges me to make a call. Not recieve one. So yeah, if you want to talk maybe just email me and we can set up a time to talk. Or just randomly call me. That works too. Remember that Sudan is 11 hours i think off of Alaska standard time.
I'll write more later. Hopefully put up some pics when the VSAT works.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
My daily routine is varied. Somtimes it's going to the market with andrew to get supplies and sometimes it's working on the houses. The sun comes up at around 7am. And set about 7pm. That's pretty cool. I just finished installing a solar panel power system on one of the houses im working on. It's to power i hopefully soon coming sattelite powered internet system.
Last week there was a bunch of guys with SIM staying here at the houses in Malekal. They were here to try and get a hold of some land to start the moving process from nairobi to malekal for the SIMsudan admin office. Things went ok. There are still a lot of things that need worked out. And alot of things need to happen. You can pray that the local government will give SIM favor in this process.
Well i'm done talking for now.
I have a Satellite phone! Curtesy of Nick the gnome Gliem! And here is the number(+8821643335141). In case you Must get a hold of me. *WARNING* it's $1.49 a minute cuse the rates just went up. But SMS is only .25$ So try that if you need to. But email is still the best way to contact me. Especially when the V-SAT is up and running.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I'm ready for Sudan. But my heart and mind have been there for so long that it's hardly very exciting. I'm just ready to settle in somewhere. I've been in transit for about a month now. And it's a little frusterating knowing that i'm waiting to go somewhere. It wouldn't be so bad if i were travelling for the heck of it. But when i am, just to get somewhere. Then i just want to get there already! Maybe some of you know what i mean...
I wanna shout out to my Kairos peeps. You know who you are! I think about you all alot. I know that most of you are in school. And there is all kinds of stuff happening there. Good... and bad. Joys and pains. Broken relationships... and good ones. But i want you all to know that i'm thinking and praying for you all. And that i have a feeling God is going to do something truly new/unexpected for you all this year.
I came across a passage the other day that reminded me of your group. And the heart behind it. Phillipians 2:15 talks about a "crooked and depraved generation" and that you will "shine like stars in the universe as you hold out (or form) the word of life." It just reminded me of this idea of working out your salvation. Which i know is a daily struggle for so many of you young adults. (me included!) Basically though Jesus had me read Philipians just for you guys i know. Because the whole book spoke to me about you all. You should definatly read it. But you guys to me are definatly stars that shine! Seriously...
Things i miss most... if anyone wants to know. :) Fatty cheese burgers, pretty white girls, my electric guitar and most excellent VOX amp, and worshipping with you Kairos guys! In no particular order.
I'll take my leave now. Asante
Friday, September 5, 2008
I'll be going up there to help Andrew make contacts, minister, teach, build, and whatever else. I've been told that i'll probably end up preaching some. :) And also leading worship. Especially since i have my guitar with me. Soo.... i have my work cut out for me. I'm sure God is going to stretch the heck outa me.
I'm not sure what malakal is like since i've never been there. But i've heard its much better than living in a bush station. They have markets, some reterants, an internet cafe (sometimes works). And a few other things. But i've also been told that compaired to the USA it'll be really basic. It should be a blast!
You all can pray that God will help me open up some. Because i'm probably going to be doing alot of things out of my comfort zone. Which is not entirely unexpected. And also pray for my health. I have pretty bad allergies here in Nairobi. I had to go pick up some presription strength antihistamines. It must be something in the air here.
A praise is that i had a lost bag when i arrived in Nairobi on wednesday. But amazingly enough it has shown up already! STHWEET!! Because that's rare. A couple here has been waiting on a bag for 2 weeks already. And they have no clue when it will show up.
Anyways. I'm going to get mailing information to you all soon. Things happen very slowly here. So i'm just taking my time settling in.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Getting to toronto wasent all that bad. Although it was about 20hrs. of train travelling.
I don't have tons of time to write out things that have happened since i last wrote.
When i came on this trip i brought my guitar thinking it would be a great tool to use to interact with people. At least that was one of my reasons. Little did i know i would be using it while i'm travelling. I was sitting in the bus station a couple days ago. And this guy who totally didn't know english came up to me and asked to use my guitar with me. He began playing, and singing in spanish. It was super fun. I'm pretty sure the guy was homeless. It was just one of those rare really makes you think moments.
There i was. In Richmond VA. In a bus station. I hadn't slept in probably 30 hr's. Playing and singing guitar with a mexican homeless man. Thinking... God... what am i doing here!?
It's was fun though... Well anyways. I'll write more later.
You all can pray that all my travel stuff works out. There is still alot more i have left. And pray that nick makes it here without getting hosed my the world.
Oh, and pray that whatever God wants to do in my life while i'm here will happen. And that my subburness doesn't get in the way. :)
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I couldn't hit on all the things that have happened. But i'll hit on two of them. It's been an interesting time here because i'm the only short termer going out of SIM this month. So i've been here with the staff at their headquarters doing classes meant for multiple people one on one with the instructors. The staff here is full of wonderful people. They probably have at least 40 people on permanent staff.
It's bee quite interesting because i've been the youngest person around. The staff is made up mostly of former missionaries and i'm much younger than most of them. I was sitting in chapel on Wednesday morning and i had kind of an epiphany. I'm kind of a "hybrid" christian. Sounds wierd i know. What i mean by this is that i feel comfortable in tons of christian community settings. There i was with like 40 older people. Singing hymns and praying with them. And i felt totally ok with it. I'm sure i can contribute this to the fact that ive been raised in a fairly conservative setting. But it just became clear to me at that moment that God has been preparing me over my life to comfortably handle lots of differant christian copmmunites and worship styles. So that was cool.
Number two. And i'm sure any of you who know me very well will not be surprised by this....
I'm a cryer.... Period. Any time the Holy Spirit is in the room in a tangible way, i cry. End of story. I'm like a gauge or something for the presense of God i think. This was totally confirmed again to me because every morning here the SIM staff join together at chapel and pray for a particular region or country. And the other day i was totally crying with all these old people around. At first it was unsettling because i'm not used to it happening around strangers. But whatev.
Anyways, i'm done training here. I'm going to ride the bus up to Philadelphia this evening to visit my grandparents. I'm not really sure what you all can pray for specifically right now. It has been kind of weird lately because i've had a real sense of loss leaving everyone up in Alaska. I haven't had this feeling since i was in the Marine Corps. Basically it sucks. The feeling of not really having a home to settle in to is kind of weird too. So those are some things that bug me... that and snakes. But i'll get over that i'm sure.
I'll post more when i can. Probably in Toronto.
Monday, August 18, 2008
- Hosanna&For all who are to come-Hillsong United-all the above
- Inside out-hillsong united- united we stand
- Came to my rescue&Reprise-hillsong united- united we stand
- Fire Fall Down-Hillsong United-United We Stand
- Where the Love Lasts Forever-Hillsong United-More Than Life
- All I Need Is You-Hillsong United-Look to You
- I will Waste My Life-Misty Edwards-Relentless
- See The Way-Misty Edwards-Always on His Mind
- More Of You And Less Of Me-Brian&Jenn Johnson-We Believe
- A Little Longer-Brian&Jenn Johnson-We Believe
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Oh, it was so scary!
-and I yelled. I said, "What do you want from us, monster?!" And the monster bent down and said, "…Uh I need about tree-fitty."
Monday, July 21, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I hope you all find my posts encouraging, exciting and full of stories of Gods crazy cool ways of doing stuff. And of course crazy funny will farrell and south park quotes. (apology if you're offended) :)
So... i now now commit this blog to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To be used only for his purposes. I command the ears and eyes of the devil and all his emisaries closed, never to use or even know the comings and goings of the king described on this blog. And I declare this blog Holy and set apart for the glory of God.
Swank. Peace out.