We had a great weekend. The long awaited Saturday, the day we were to start off for Keew (a village 4hrs walk away) came. We were to start off at 5:00am so as to avoid walking in the scotching sun. Our two Sudanese comrades however did not show up till 6:40am. I suspect it is because they do not have any other way of telling what time it is other than the sun rising, problem was, the season we were currently in had sunrise set at 6:30am. We started off at a quick pace. I had been amply warned time and again that I would not manage to keep up the Sudanese pace, I was however feeling pretty good as we got started. In 10 minutes however our speed had literally doubled, any faster and we would be running. We were walking fast enough to keep up with a guy who was jogging. These men looked so comfortable…its like they were taking a stroll yet their strides were very wide and their pace deceivingly quick. I was enjoying it however and keeping up with the pack. We took a break an hour and a half into the walk. We ate some githeri and peanut butter for breakfast. Must say it was the first time I’d had that. Started off again at a quick pace and before long it was back to supper speeds. A lady recognized James Koang in one of the homesteads we were racing by. She stopped him and asked if he could come in and pray for her sick grandson. They were just about to start off for the clinic. We went in and James and I prayed then in a short while we were back to our trip. It’s hard not to think about how rough these people have it. They struggle on just about all quarters. I’m glad they at least have a clinic to go to even it’s hours away.
The main purpose for our trip was to do a church planting survey…really exciting stuff. The thought had crossed my mind earlier when I’d heard that one of our students was being transferred to Keew to work at the clinic there. I inquired if there was a church meeting there and was only told of the Catholic church. I pitched the idea to him and he was not opposed to it nor particularly excited about it. So I figured I would invite him to come for this as I pray that God would burden him with the work whilst we were on the trip.
3hrs after we had started off, we got to Keew. I had felt pretty strong for the better part of the trip but as we neared our destination my feet were killing me. It was the pace that had got to them. We arrived to an empty camp but quickly made ourselves at home. This was CMA. Two of the guys took showers, got back to the mess and we begun to talk business. The initial idea had been that we come in to do evangelism in Keew and two other villages 30 minutes walk away but as we talked it came to my knowledge that there were very few people in Keew. During the dry season most of the villagers move to locations where they can access water. Michael’s village Pajang was one of the places people went, thus it was pretty much populated all through the year. So I asked him “why then not plant the church in your village?”, “you have to go there to see your family, the people know you and it’s more populated than Keew”. At this suggestion Michael got fairly excited and shared that there had been a church that he’d led there years ago but it had died off after he had gone off to school and after he got back there had been no effort to re-start it. He was willing to go and re-start the work again.
We attended a leaders meeting after our meeting. I shared from 1 Peter 5. We established what the task of elders was (Shepherding), saw how it was to be done and what the reward would be. They have a great challenge here in that their flock is a migrating flock so every year there comes the time when your congregants will up and move to the next town in search of food and water. The leaders all expressed their greatest need as that of education. They regretted that they had not been informed about the training. We promised to invite them for the April module.
Later that evening after talking a nap to recover from the walk I attended a meeting for mid wives. CMA has trainied ladies to help deliver children in villages that are far away from where their clinics are. They come in to give a report of how their work is going on and take supplies for their work. These ladies were a great example of the need for intensive Gospel ministry in this area. Most of them said they did not have any churches in their villages, some said they had heard of Jesus but when I tried to ask what they knew about Jesus all they could tell me was that He was supposedly God’s Son. As to why Jesus came to earth they had no clue. They were running out of time and had to start off in their journey given that they had a few hours of walking to do. I did not have time to share with them the Gospel.