One Year Later – A Pathfinder’s Reflections of Serving Alongside Mobile Messengers in Lui, South Sudan
Last year about this time was the death of the teenage mother (I believe she was 14) whose child survived the birth. The mother died during an emergency C-section that she needed due to her age. She lost too much blood and passed. Sosthen and I had met with her that morning and prayed with her. She died later that afternoon, but her daughter lived.
A few days later, Sosthen and I visited the child and performed the dedication ceremony (a part of Moru culture, very similar to the Jewish dedication in the temple). During this time the deceased had little family around. Her parents were about 100 miles away at the time of her death. We held an early morning ceremony around their home, I think Sosthen had been up all night with them. We brought the child out and began praying. I remember Sosthen speaking from 1 Peter. We prayed for the woman (a relative I believe), who though sick herself, would take over as caretaker and parent for the child. She began to speak about mercy. She talked about the unrelenting pain and devastation of death, and at the same time praised God for His great mercy in allowing this new child to live. We prayed that God would guide her, protect, raise her up to be strong in Spirit and a minister of the Lord; that through her life we may all remember the mercy our Father has had on us all. With that they made the decision to name her Mercy.
The birth of Mercy was a turning point for me as I’m fairly sure it was for Sosthen. Sosthen has the greatest heart out of any man I have ever come across. It’s one thing to work among the lost in Western countries, it’s another to go the 3rd world and minister there. But it is entirely another thing altogether to wade rivers, cross streams, blaze trails to the deepest recesses of the African bush to those few souls who are all but forgotten by their own people, much less the rest of the world. But that is what Sosthen does. He searches high and low for the lost sheep of the Good Shepard to offer them the Bread of Life when there is very little bread around. He tries to bring healing to the souls and bodies of the children of our Healer. And he seeks to bring them peace and life from Him who is the Prince of Peace and the Resurrection and the Life.
Within that small circle, that down trodden group of God’s children…are orphans. In a society that lacks so much, already deeply disadvantaged, orphans are even more disadvantaged. The Prophets speak repeatedly about our sublime mission to the poor, widows and orphans. After the birth of Mercy began mine and Sosthen’s discussions that lasted past sundown sometimes about how God intended to glorify himself through this. About how God might use us, us whom He chose as His witnesses to these events. And about how God could further the ministry and mission of With Open Eyes. From these discussions have grown the planted seeds of what y’all have started in The James 27 project. Your ideas and goals are more than Sosthen and I could dream of.