Greetings from Africa!
So far, my short time in Africa have been filled with a lot of praises! There were some complications getting a flight into South Sudan, so I actually spent more time in Uganda and some time in Kenya! Here are some of the ways God has been so gracious to me in the past two and a half weeks:
On my flight I was still feeling a little sad about leaving home, but I ended up sitting next to a pastor! His name was David and he was on his way to Uganda to speak at a pastors conference. We had a really good talk about missions and he reminded me of so many passages where God talks about his love for the nations. That conversation left me feeling so encouraged and excited!
I also got to spend Thanksgiving with Kim! We had a huge thanksgiving dinner with the other GSF missionaries and I got to meet all the kiddos at Good Shepherd’s Fold and see her ministry there! After that, Kim came back to Kampala with me and showed me around the city a little bit. Someone suggested we go visit a mosque, and that was definitely an eye opening experience for both of us and definitely deepened our prayers for those who don’t yet know Christ as their savior. I was so thankful to get to spend time with Kim and I think we both left feeling encouraged and blessed!
After spending time with Kim, it worked out that I was able to attend a Short Term Retreat for the Eastern Region with Seb and Danielle (they are the Central Region Short Term Coordinator and Administrator). It was really awesome to meet other short termers and hear about their experiences so far. It was also a great way for me to be more thoughtful about particular things for my time in South Sudan. One of my favorite parts was sitting in on a meeting (yes, I voluntarily sat in on a 3 hour meeting because it was so interesting!) with Seb, Danielle, and the coordinator for the Eastern Region. As they were asking each other questions and strategizing new plans, it was so evident how much they really care for not just the short term program as a whole, but for each individual short termers’ spiritual growth. And it was really great getting to know Seb and Danielle better…they’re hilarious! Despite the 15-16 hour bus ride from Kampala to Nairobi and then back again, they still agreed to drag me along.
After two weeks of trying to figure out how to get me to South Sudan, we finally had a plan! (Thanks Danielle!) I admit, I was getting kind of antsy to get there. I loved my time in Nairobi and Kampala, but a big part of me just wished to be settled in at Nagishot. But God used his word and people to remind me to trust in His sovereign plan. And after an 8 hour car drive to a new city, spending the night for 7 hours, and then a 1 hour flight…I made it to Nagishot!!
Thank you all so much for covering me in your prayers! Already in my time in Africa, God has been teaching me to be flexible, challenging me to trust and rely on Him fully, showing me the idols of my heart, and reminding me of his power, might, and steadfast love for me and His people. A few prayer requests for now…
- For God’s grace in adjusting to a new place, getting used to a new culture, trying to learn a new language, etc. For God to show me how to love selflessly and to fully invest in the people I meet.
- For boldness for the sake of the gospel, that no fear would hinder me from sharing Christ’s love
- I’ll be doing a homestay and living with a Didinga family for a week. Please pray for God to open my eyes to how I can love the Didinga better and for new relationships to grow with this family.
- For wisdom and discernment for Abbi and me as we pray about what our discipleship ministry will look like
- Pat and Geoff as they are on home assignment until April. Please pray for a blessed time with their daughters during Christmas and good rest amidst a lot of travel.