Friday, November 21, 2008

What do river pirates, demon possesed predator men, and Jesus have in common?.... They all live in the Sudan. :)

Well, its been a good while since i last posted anything useful or interesting on here. I've been pretty busy. Working and working and working. But since i last wrote on here quite a few things have happened worth mentioning. Some of which are good and some mighty strange. I certainly won't be able to cover everything that has gone on in the last month. But i will hit the highlights.

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."

I'm out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Coming blog post

OK, ok everyone. stop nagging me for a new blog post. i don't have a computer of my own to use. nor do i have power half the time to run someone elses. and i'm super busy. plus not very motivated to write anything. so be patient. i promise i'll write something juicy for you all to read before i go to Doro on the 28th.