Hello – my first post!

Hello, my lovely friends! Or, as Jedi would say, “Hewwo, my wuvwy fwendsh!”


*Sigh* In case you haven’t heard, I miss you guys. Of course, that isn’t because I dislike being here – on the contrary, I love it! You’ll just have to take my word for it, and believe that my heart is big enough for both my love for you and my love for Sudan.


I genuinely love it here – I’ve long had a love for Africa, but now I have a separate affection for this specific country. You have probably heard a little bit about it, since it’s been on the world stage for quite some time; and if you haven’t, you should read about it. I will resist the urge to give you a lecture… oooh, it’s hard, but I’ll resist.


This is a harsh land, both here in Tonj, and throughout Sudan. I went out for an afternoon fishing trip and a group of men strolled by – smiling, laughing, staring at the odd woman who looks African but… not? Just regular guys, sporting the AK-47s slung over their backs. Status symbols.


Harsh… we get patients in here every now and then who have been damaged in a drunken brawl or two. A man who was still drunk and didn’t notice the blood running down his face and caked on his neck, or the huge IV needle we pushed in his arm… the woman who got struck in the chest and basically became paralyzed – we couldn’t even help her, but had to refer her to another hospital and pray she made it there… the man who had a plastic plug to cover the hole through his skull (a bullet wound from the war), and pushed the plug up too far into his nasal septum. He got dragged into the clinic by his drinking buddies – who also happened to be his military subordinates.


Harsh… it is SO Hot here. Hotter than Jamaica on the flat. The soil is so dry that some stretches of land have no grass, which is crazy to me. I suppose that’s why they call it a desert. The rains will turn all this dust into mud, I hear; but the majority of my stay will be during the hot months, before the rainy season brings many mosquitoes to truly test my faith in not taking anti-malarials. Malaria is relatively easy to detect and treat, and we prescribe malaria medicine as often as we do antibiotics. We did for Nyenkyau, but malaria only distracted us from the real killer; it may have been yellow fever, it may have been pneumonia. Her husband saw her die, right there in our clinic. If you aren’t praying for Barnaba and his family yet, please do. And they are just a snapshot, one example of them many families that have lost mothers, fathers, children, to this harsh land.


But what really gets me, is that God isn’t intimidated by the harshness of Sudan. I find that instead, His light shines brighter, because the darkness is so great here. Children of His – and here I mean disciples, not just professors of the faith – look completely different from everyone else. In the western world, where cultural norms are often based on Christian principles, lots of people look good, and I have to remind myself that only God is good. Here, I can tell within moments of meeting a new person, whether they are saved or not, because the goodness of God, servanthood, love for others, care for their wives and children, genuine interest in people, without mercenary intentions – these fruits of the Spirit are not the norm here.


I love being one of them, I love being able to love in deed and in truth, and not just in words or talk… I love it here, and I think this blog will show you why. There’s so much beauty here too, and God has been showing it to me… but you’ll have to keep reading!