Goings-on

I’ve only been in Juba four nights but it feels like a month and I mean that in a good way. It is such a wonderful feeling to have been welcomed so warmly into this school community simply of the basis of my standing as a fellow Episcopal seminarian.

Some moments worth remembering:

Sitting around and listening to students tell me more about their lives. Some are evangelists who have spent years traveling village to village preaching the Gospel and, by necessity, following Jesus’ commands in Luke 9:2-5 (and other places) almost to the letter. Others have been priests for many years and are only now being educated. Some lived in refugee camps during the war, some stayed here. Each story is fascinating. I want to listen but I also don’t want to interrupt their studies. They all spend a lot of time in the library, poring over the small collection of books and working on their assignments.

Church on Sunday morning at the local Dinka congregation. We had to get there 45 minutes early to ensure we could get a seat. There were 1300+ people in attendance that morning, spilling out the doorways.

(For interested Anglicans, there’s no Sudanese prayer book – the church has had other priorities during decades of war – so they use a translated version of the Anglican Service Book, which is moderately familiar to me. Because Sudan was evangelized by the Church Missionary Society, it is low church, especially in contrast to my experience in South Africa – no smells, no bells, very little ceremony.)

After church, I went with five Dinka students to visit friends from their home village. It turned into an all-afternoon expedition around Juba, which really needs a separate post to explain but won’t get it now.

Teaching students how to play the guitar and playing for them during some of the chapel services. Seeing the look of surprise on one student’s face when he realized he could play several of the songs in their song book with the three chords I had just taught him (and which he mastered quickly).

And lots more like this…

There are some pictures in an album on Facebook. You don’t even have to be on Facebook to view them.

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