Next morning a bee stung me as I was taking my shower. Keew is an extremely dry place which means that for miles around there is no other source of water other than what people use for their water source e.g. the well or in my case, the shower head. We stocked up our bags with pancakes and peanut butter and we were off to Panyang. It was a shorter trip 1hr 40 minutes, and we tackled it at a friendly pace. The village was really cool to see. It was the first village I have seen in Sudan that has been arranged on a sort of Main Street. The day before I had noticed that the homesteads were very far apart. I wondered is the people did not like each other…these guys however were all neatly spread out next to each other on opposite sides of the street. We went to Michael’s home, met his brother and wife. By Sudanese village standards this guy was doing pretty well, he had his luak (place they keep their cows), a few huts, a few chicken and several bags of sorghum for his family.
After praying together and resting our feet we went around the village inviting people to a church service. This had never been the plan but I let Michael take the lead here since this was going to be his mission field. Two kids took drums, started thumping them to alert the village that a church service was about to go down. It took them close to an hour to get to the tree that we had identified as the location of the new church. They had actually taken time to clean up, put on their best clothes and then come to church. I preached to them for about an hour. They listened fairly well. The people were excited to hear that Michael was going to be coming in every Sunday to lead the church. There weren’t many men in the congregation. Most of them were carrying spears as they walked past us. I’m yet to know what part of their understanding of church makes it predominantly a ladies affair. My hope and encouragement to Michael was to make sure that he does not end up gathering a crowd under the name of a church. He needs to invest in disciple making if a church was going to be established.
We had lunch (I had a pancake and water while the guys had sorghum and milk) then entertained a number of guests who all wanted to meet us personally and express their gratitude for the new work. As we ate a choir if young people gathered outside our tukul singing for their visitors. It was a great hospitality that they extended to us. They then proceeded to escort us to the outskirts of the village, the whole time they were beating their drums and singing with a sound of great joy. We then bade them farewell and started our journey. It was to be a two-hour walk back to Juaibor. As we got going Michael informed us that we would be walking right by the witch doctors place. This was not casual news. This man exercises some power in this region. Last season round he asked for cows to be brought to him for blessings so as to protect them from the perils of the cattle camp. Thousands of cows were brought in. Many in the area will take their sick there for healing, many will take to him their disputes for him to resolve. We decided to pay him a visit and share with him the Gospel.
Michael went up front to set the pace…the man can walk. In a few minutes we were speeding through the villages on our way home. We stopped after an hour to snack; pancakes and peanut butter. Before we started off again we prayed for the remaining journey and for grace as we shared the Gospel with the witch doctor. We started off again on our journey at a slow pace but before long we were back to Olympian speeds. My legs by this time had started hurting. My right knee and my left ankle were killing me, but by God’s grace I managed to keep up with the rest of the pack. 50 minutes after lunch we were at the witch doctors place.