The trees have leaves

Melut 062

I left my glasses in the wrong country. When we left to board the plane with our sick boy we were sure we’d be back in a few weeks and I had my husband grab the computer and a set of clothes for the kids and we left almost everything else behind, including my glasses. It has taken me a long time to come to grips with the fact that we would not be returning to Melut as planned, and that my glasses were not going to grow legs and walk along with other more sentimental items to find us in Nairobi. So yesterday I looked up a local optometrist, walked in and by the end of the day walked out literally overwhelmed that the trees had leaves.

My vision is pretty good up close, but put anything in the distance and it becomes a blurry mass for me, still beautiful (or ugly depending on the object) but not distinct and unique just a blur of massed colors. I am wearing my glasses this morning and folks I am still amazed to report that all the tress around block B1 have leaves on them as well.

I feel I must do a brief write up on some of the leaves regarding our evacuation because sometimes if your eyesight isn’t great you cannot see the detail that was orchestrated in an event until you put on glasses and  there is nothing that brings greater clarity then time to see all the grace.
When Daniel was medi-vaced we were devastated, there were blessings in the moment but we were so looking forward to Christmas with friends, to focused language, to delving into sweet friendships in town and it was quite the disruption to our plans. As time continued on we saw that God, in His amazing grace decided to use roto-virus to bless our family.

J and I would have been there in Melut when things started happening in the South, we would have most probably moved to Malakal to join our teammates for easier extraction arriving just in time for fighting in the streets. The reports that came from our teammates who were unable for a week to get out are devestating, we are so glad we are not walking our kids through processing trauma they have witnessed.

Our logistics team didn’t have to try and find a plane to extract six more people. Our kids left under the “known” stress of a medi-vac instead of the unknown stress of a civil unrest evacuation.

Eli, took me to the airport, while there he found out his family of five might be able to get a free ride to Uganda where they were spending Christmas so they bumped up their departure date in order to try and make that happen, when it fell through they decided to go early anyway. Just a few days later fighting broke out in Juba, they would have either been unable to get out, or been stuck in the fray. So trips to the airport that seem like an inconvenience become a blessing in disguise.

Because we were already out when everyone else was evacuated we could help prepare homes for folks to relieve burdens on the CMT team, make meals and organize Christmas for 30…all because a little boy got sick.

If anything these things (and so many others) tell me a story of God who is present in the details, the little things of life and is using these little things to orchestrate something bigger. It doesn’t make the medi-vac “ok” or feel less traumatic but it does deepen my faith in the God of the details. The God who places leaves on trees instead of just a mass of color, and individually paints them so the entire image is one of beauty, details and in life, grace. Often we don’t get to see His hand in the details, but when we do I think we ought to praise Him for it….because there are times where we cannot see why things are happening, where the trees look like green blobs of color but because we’ve seen his hand in the past we  can know that He is there, we can know from experience that all tress have leaves and no act is beyond the love or ability of God to take the unexpected, the sad, the hard and redeem it into something that fits beautifully into the bigger picture.

The trees have leaves, it doesn’t make hard items go away, or even feel better sometimes but it makes them bearable knowing God is the God of the details and is in the business of redemption of each detail for His glory. The tress have leaves.


5 thoughts on “The trees have leaves

  • 8 January, 2014 at 7:58 am

    So beautifully put Abuk! As soon as you started reporting about the fighting in South Sudan I thought how amazing our God is to have orchestrated your families evacuation to safety through what seemed like such horrible cruelty for your family to go through the sickness of another one of your little ones. He knows way better than us why we go through certain trials. I love reading your testimonials of faith through trials.

  • 8 January, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I love reading your posts. Continuing to pray for your work there. God Bless you and your Family. He is truly amazing.

  • 8 January, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Such a good read and I couldn’t help but pay special attention to your comment that we do not always get to see the details, but when we do the understanding of His character keeps us in a place of trust. Even if we cannot discern each individual leaf–we can celebrate the mass of color and know that our God is good. Praying for you this morning and asking for you to feel a God hug from us to you. We love you.

  • 8 January, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Your words and thoughts are so profound to me. Because you explain your experiences so well and relate them to the goodness of God, I feel like I am there with your family, experiencing in a small part what you are experiencing. Thank you for keeping us informed of your life–I know it can’t be easy to take the time to write, but I think I can speak for others that you speak to our hearts. These same kind of miracles occur in each of our lives, but we often just take them for granted or call them coincidences when in fact they really are the working of God for our protection and/or guidance. I was reading “My Utmost for His Highest” on January 5 about ” “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22)–the idea is that of invasion. There is now only One who directs the course of your life, The Lord Jesus Christ.”–rather than yourself. Some days I question where I have allowed God to totally invade my life, but I believe that you have. Thank you for your teaching words and your sacrifices to forward the gospel for His glory.

  • 12 January, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you for so beautifully sharing your perspective and helping us see more clearly God’s sovereign work in and and through you all. We’re thankful for the ways God has protected and provided for you. It appears that He also is continuing to increase your empathy for your friends in South Sudan. You not only have experienced the death of a baby and the life-threatening illnesses faced by your other children, but it seems you now know more of what it is like to be a refugee. We’re thankful for God’s plan for you these next 4 months, and we’ll keep praying for you, as well as for South Sudan. We love you all!


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