Kithaoi Montrose Zion,
Thank you for all of your support, love, and encouragement; I think the team of people receiving this email, that includes you, is awesome! Today I am writing my 365th poem, marking 1 year since I flew from Nairobi's Wilson Airport to our small dirt runway in the Boya Hills. Wow! "Yah-kiin!" (as the Laarim might translate it).
Our thermometer finally hit 40 degrees celcius, and Dan and I have officially termed dry season, "juice season". Juice mix, water, and salt is my new favorite and necessary drink.
In some recent times of prayer, I have been encouraged/convicted press into the incarnational-living aspect of ministry here. The last handful of months have brought more and more emphasis on proclaiming God's word through Discovery Bible Studies, the Jesus Film, and our gathering for worship on Sunday mornings. But these times of prayer have been helping shape my way forward.
Matthew's gospel is packed with stories about Jesus being approached by countless people as he was walking from place to place, visiting friends' homes, taking boat rides across lakes, being visited by blind men, walking in the fields, sitting by a lake, mourning the loss of a friend, going to new places, sitting on a mountainside, going for walks, climbing a mountain with his friends, being with little children, answering peoples' questions, stopping to talk to people on the road, looking for food on his way to town, sharing a table with friends and strangers, and while they're not in Matthew's gospel, Jesus is recorded drinking at a well and having breakfast with his disciples.
Surely Jesus taught in synagogues, but in almost every chapter between the Sermon on the Mount and his arrest, he is ministering in totally normal contexts.
Please join me in praying for continued opportunities to minister in the totally normal contexts of life here. A couple stories:
A Neighbor's Death
When we came back from our break to Rwanda, we attended the funeral of a neighbor, Lomua, who had been killed a few days earlier. While we sat at the funeral, his closest brother asked us something like, "if God gives us eternal life, why do people still die?" I shared about the hope we have in Jesus for a future resurrection, and the conversation continued for a little while as the other men joined in. We were able to bring some food for the women and offer chai and cookies to the now orphaned boy and his "sisters", but there is no greater thing we can offer than the name of Jesus. Being in a land where people have not heard the Gospel can bring heavy theological questions, but we continue to trust God as we share the great hope for a world that is free from brokenness.
The Long Dirt Road
As I walked the 7km to Yei, I enjoyed some conversation with a boy and a neighbor-woman before parting ways. On the way back, I was joined by another two boys who were heading to our house. When Kema, one of the boys, asked about our friends who visited from Torit some months ago, I told him that they may come back as they are deciding where they will move for their next term with AIM. He asked, "if they come and the place is good, will they move here?" I shared that they are also praying and asking God what he thinks. Kema knows some Bible stories, the songs, and I've heard him pray, but this threw him for a loop. "Like they are talking with God?!" It turned into a sweet conversation about how God communicates with us and hears us. I'm not sure if Kema is leaving for Uganda for school soon or not, but we trust that God will continue to work in his life.
The two boys, Lokorai and Logemet, who Noblesse has been discipling, many people have been praying for, and who have been leading a Bible study in the Cauwa community recently left for school in Kenya. This was and is pretty devastating news for Noblesse and our team. Their friendship with Noblesse and lives as disciples of Jesus in this land will be very missed. Pray for them as they go and pray for Noblesse as he wrestles through this and continues ministering here. Thanks!
I have begun sending monthly prayer calendars (here's this months) as well. If you are not receiving those and want to be, email me and I will add you to that list!
To the ends of the earth,