June 20, 2012 WOE Staff

Pathfinder Update from South Sudan #3

The last couple of days have been intense. Saturday was our first day of traveling, We traveled to Buagyi. We got stuck in the rain and had to pull over and find shelter for about 3 hours. We were also supposed to go to Doroh, but they met us in Buagyi in the afternoon by the time we got there. I received an amazing welcome. I said a few words and then I met with the mobile messengers there. All were on foot, the churches they traveled to were within 12 miles of the village. But it is hard for them because they take time out of working on their farms to travel on foot to these villages. We discussed challenges. The main concern was education. There is nothing else there to do except farm. The youth want more education and training for certain trades. A mobile messenger pointed out that more education would help because it would enable them to better expand and plant new churches since some places they cannot go because they don’t have a translator for places that speak other languages.
Yesterday was indescribable. I got up early to prepare for my sermon at the English service in Lui that morning, when we found out that the son of the dean of the church in Lui died early that morning. Apparently he had epilepsy and had a bad seizure that ended up taking his life. It was very very sad, 22 years old. After the service we went as a congregation and prayed for the family with many of the people of Lui present. I have never seen death rituals so happy and yet so sad at the same time.  There were incredible songs and drums, women wailing, its hard to put into words. After that we left for Delewa, which is close to Lui. We had service with members of that church and 2 other churches (Motho and Udu). The welcome by the children was incredible. Children did another dance to welcome me before I spoke. I gave my sermon and then Sosthen asked how many people felt the Word of God had reached their hearts and a number of people stood up and said yes and wished for us to pray for them, it was very powerful. We concluded the service and ate lunch with them.
After lunch we met with the Mobile Messengers of the area. There are 11 in the Delewa area total. Only 1 has a bicycle, the rest are on foot. Out of the 11, 4 still need more training. Again the problem is with funding. Sosthen says for a 21 day phase of training they need about 10 pounds per day, which is hard for many people to come up with. Funds are gathered from churches to try to help out but it is often not enough. All the churches that these Mobile Messengers travel to are within 10 miles of Delewa. Of great concern are the current churches in the Delewa area. Services are held under mango trees, which are beautiful, but they are very concerned for the children. Especially after it rains, the children are more prone to getting malaria. More and more children are attending their services so they are trying to build a church. They have laid a foundation (at least in Delewa) and are starting to raise funds for zinc sheets and other materials. We prayed for the mobile messengers and all received With Open Eyes bracelets.  They were very thankful for what we do and they look forward to being able to expand.
We hurried back after the meeting to beat the rain. We got back to the compound just in time and spent the rest of the afternoon talking. After the rain stopped Sosthen and I and some Mobile Messengers traveled down to visit the family of the boy who died. On the way down Sosthen and I were talking about a 14 year old girl who needed to have an emergency C-section. Not long after being with this family we got word that the girl died during the c-section (the baby was ok). We walked back up to the hospital and some quickly carried the body back to someones house and tons of people gathered. The women were so distraught it was heart breaking. It was very very very sad. We stayed with them for a long time.  She had little family around at the time. Her mother was about 100 miles away and her father was a ways away as well, people were trying to contact them. Eventually an aunt and some other family members arrived. They are burying the boy this morning and then we are heading to Kadii, which is not that far down the road. It was quite an emotional day.”

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