So I am feeling quite overwhelmed by the number of things I want to write about and the lack of computer time I have to write about them. So here come some assorted notes. Maybe some day I’ll be able to write more about them or you’ll be able to ask me in person.
I went to church yesterday at the cathedral in Yei, a town south and west of Juba. We went to the 7:30 (am!) service. There were at least 1000 people in attendance – in a not very big place. The job of the ushers is to pack people into pews so not a seat is wasted. How do I explain to Sudanese Christians that in the U.S. I can often expect to have an entire pew to myself?
While in Yei, I had the opportunity to visit a clinic run by the diocese. I couldn’t help compare it with my own experience working in a clinic in South Africa. The HIV prevalence rate is still quite low but they encounter malaria all the time.
I’ve been struck by the prayers the students offer at daily chapel services. The upcoming referendum is on everyone’s mind and that shows in the deeply heartfelt prayers for peace that are offered several times each day.
Without any prompting from me – or even mention of my family – my family is frequently a topic of prayer. Here’s one I heard on Thursday night.
We pray for our brother Jesse’s family that they know he is alright and healthy. We pray for all the white people in the other countries who believe what they hear about Sudan. We pray that they know our brother will return healthy and free from sickness and that Sudan is not different from the other countries.
That concern was reflected in the welcome I received when I returned “home” to Bishop Gwynne College on Sunday evening. EVERYONE wanted to personally welcome me back and hear all about the journey, even though most of them have never been to Yei and likely never will be. The transportation infrastructure is so poor here that it is a major trek for each student just to make it to Juba from his home town, let alone visit another town.