We had a glorious end to 2012 – Christmas spent with Sabet’s Mum in Nairobi. This was her first time to Kenya and a special treat to all of us to have her with us. I love Christmas and making a fuss, so it was an extra blessing to be able to bring Bodo and Aman, two of the four orphan children living with Mama Sabet. We had so much fun with them, and in true African style, we fellowshipped and feasted!! Thank you Jesus for the joy of having these precious ones with us to celebrate your humble birth.
Then we headed off to a missionary retreat at Brackenhurst, to be refueled spiritually for the year ahead, uplifted and united as a team and while there we celebrated Hannah’s 11th birthday having afternoon tea at a local tea plantation.
The speaker at the conference, a Kenyan Pastor called Ken from Emmanuel Baptist in Nairobi, shared two themes. In the morning he spoke from Joshua about leadership and in the evening from 1 Peter on suffering. These two areas are always crossing the missionaries’ path, leadership and suffering. It’s almost like the one can not exist without the other when you are serving the Lord.
But there is great encouragement found in the Word as scripture gives us God’s promises and reminds us HE can be trusted no matter what is going on around us in the world. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. And 1 Peter reminds us that HE is our living hope, we are to be holy as HE IS HOLY. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, the end is near, let us focus on the things above and not on the things of this world. Pain is inevitable but being miserable is optional. I felt like I got a good ticking off and then a loving shove in the right direction by God’s own hand as he launched us into 2013.
2013 didn’t quite start the way I had scripted it to, but God in His infinite wisdom and plan for us, prepared us divinely for such a time as this as the past 2 weeks were very difficult as we faced seemingly impossible challenges and decisions. What I can say is, HE was with us, giving encouragement and wisdom and this morning as I read Galatians He reminded me again, to NOT grow weary in doing good for we SHALL reap if we do not give up. The message was clear, You’re doing great, I’m with you, keep going, I’ve got your back, don’t quit!!
So thank you for your prayers. We took an extended time in Nairobi and took advantage of our team all being in the same place for once. This was not an easy decision with the clinic closed but a necessary one to prepare ourselves spiritually, mentally, emotionally and to get the physical rest before going back. The constant demands and spiritual depravity of the people we serve in Tonj drains all our reserves quite quickly, so your prayers for our wellbeing are greatly appreciated. We feel this time has been worth it, we are one with each other and one with our Lord Jesus. We are ready, armored and strong for battle. We are willing to count it all joy and to lay down our lives. Thanks for standing in the gap through your prayers and financial offerings. They are not taken for granted but are the very seeds the Lord uses to bring new life to the people of South Sudan. Here’s to a NEW life in 2013, we want to always be learning, growing, reaping and sowing. The harvest is coming, if anyone feels called to help us please let us know!!
Much love in Him.
Suzy for the Kuj’s and the Tonj IDAT team