A Day of Rest

My first Sunday in Sudan… I did not know what to expect.  I had been asked a few days ago to help Suzy with the children in Sunday school since I will be teaching next week.  I was looking forward to it, but was also somewhat disappointed to find out that I could not hear Sabet teach.  I have only heard him speak one time 2 years ago.  That was when I knew I wanted to come serve at In Deed and Truth, but I never thought I would be helping teach Sunday school with his wife here in Sudan.

It sprinkled a little this morning, which often keeps people indoors due to the lack of cars here.  Anywhere from 5-50 children were expected.  The rain did little to keep them away, praise the Lord!  Around 40 children arrived to hear the story of Jesus healing Jerus’ daughter.  We then did crafts and sang songs, like any typical Sunday school.  But something was special about this one…I was in Africa!  The looks of the kids’ faces were priceless.  It was as if they had never seen a white person.  I felt bad, thinking that my presence was keeping the children distracted from the lesson.  I just pray now that that was not so, that something that was said or sung sunk deeper into their hearts and minds.

After church was a much anticipated picnic.  We had been told that we would go to a cooler place under a nice big tree, but I never expected it to be as cool as it was.  We set up our blankets, tables, and chairs and enjoyed a nice afternoon in the middle of the “swamp” (flat land with few trees).  It was so relaxing.  I had found myself becoming tense throughout the week when I would spend time in the clinic, so this calm afternoon was much needed.  I was even surprised as how quickly I had become used to the sounds of the compound and only noticed in their absence.  Serenity.  I was reminded of a verse that I read recently.  Psalm 12:5 “‘Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,’ says the Lord. ‘I will place him in the safety for which he longs.’”  Being in that “swamp” on our picnic was exactly like that:  God had placed me in a state of safety far greater than I realized I longed for.   He knew our need for rest and fulfilled it.  It was a day a rest that I will not forget for a long time.  Calm.  Restful.