It was a hot day, 104 degrees of heat rippled across the dry grass as Mimi with her head hung low walked toward her home. There were little tears streaming down her dusty face leaving little trails as she dragged a torn pillowcase behind her. If you peeked behind her you could see a small wift of smoke rising up from where she had departed from.
The kids had all worked together to build a citadel of grass huts where they set up “home” and played during the day. After a few snake sightings it had to be burned down for their safety. Mimi had come from gathering her things. A sigh escaped from her lips and she said, “now we are all of us refugees, Kawaijja (white skinned), Dinka, Shilluk, Mabaan, and Uduk. All of us kids are refugees together.”
The image of Mimi and her words have been haunting me the last few days as we’ve been praying, crying, and praying some more. It tells the story of loss, rebuilding, and loss again. It tells the story of children who know what it is like to be driven from home, the effects of losing everything and the uncertainty of rebuilding. It tells a story that I cannot put into words well through my limited exposure, experience and griefs. It tells the story of South Sudan.
Often we obey God and as we obey we walk through graveyards of failed expectations and fields of surprise joys and blessings. Often when things don’t go as planned we trust in blind obedience that God has a plan as we grieve, at times he gives us clarity as he whispers, “for such a time as this I have brought you here”. It doesn’t make any of the griefs or tears shed go away but it is a gift of clarity of action and purpose.
Dear friends as we reflect on 2013 we see a landscape of graveyards and fields of unspeakable joys. In this time many questions remain but God has been whispering to us that he brought us here for this time and that even though we are sad and grieving in our graveyard of buried hopes He has a reason for each puzzle piece this past year. Our hearts are so burdened for our second home, our second family and the faces, the friends, the people that make up this country. Our beloved South Sudan is in a battle, a battle where fear and hatred are strong contenders against hope, peace and love. Will you join us in passionate prayer for the Prince of Peace to reign in South Sudan?
I am writing because I believe that you are a part of our South Sudan team for such a time as this. I believe God has softened your heart and love for this country over the years so right now you could stand alongside this nation in prayer. We know we pray to the Prince of Peace who can change a nations history, and redeem even this in a powerful way. Stand with us?
-The C- Family
1) Please pray for those that know God and are seeking God in South Sudan that as they are faced with a difficult crisis of who they will pledge their allegiance to, family, tribe, politically and personally that their obedience to God will first and foremost guide both their actions and allegiances.
2) Please pray for the Sudanese church and leaders, especially this Sunday these leaders have the ability to really set the tone for the church’s response in conflict. Pray they will take this responsibility seriously and use the authority God has given them to lead the church in a way that honors Christ.
3) We love this African Proverb; Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight. Please pray that Satan will not use the history of South Sudan to hurt the people and the church and to blind judgement or suspend morals. Pray that the past sins and hurts will not be used to stir up conflict among people.
4) Finally pray for the Southern Sudanese, as they deal with grief, fear, and for many needing to flee or seek refuge yet again from violence. As is often the case the action of a few affects the response and lives of the many.