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Sunday, April 01, 2012

You know you're in South Sudan when . . . .

You return to a familiar spot but enter a new country.

The moonlight is Warm enough to dry a load of dripping clothes from an evening wash.

You enter church and are seated on a narrow round log suspended from forked sticks in the ground at either end--the pew. Then you note the entire bulding construction requires no manufactured materials, not even a nail, all is done with mud, logs, bamboo, grass, and twine. Resourceful.

You look out at night to see a blazing inferno a few yards from the homes but no panic- it is actually a fire prevention measure to burn a perimeter around a new tukul prior to putting on the grass thatch roof.

The town has doubled in two years since the last visit, the once dusty market is now a colorful patchwork of food and goods, the team dispersed to 5 nearby church services, the once useless English is now the official language of instruction in schools, a new country where everything is changing and growing.

You comment that it has cooled off quite a bit and check the thermometer : 96 inside at dinner time. Who knew there was such a tangible comfort distinction between 106 and 96??

You spend your sabbath rest submerged in the tepid waters of the Yei river, preferring future tropical disease risk to immediate sunstroke.

The splash of pink bougainvillea by the latrine makes it the prettiest building on the compound.

You have the privilege of listening to and praying for a dozen courageous souls who are spreading their lives out in this parched land to drill boreholes, lay pipes, teach teachers and pastors, plant gardens and improve agricultural techniques, counsel the war-weary and wounded, treat the sick, encourage and inspire, and even develop a volleyball league for the youth. This team grapples with two new languages (Moru and Arabic), loneliness, harsh conditions, and the inevitable spiritual attack that meets the coming of the Kingdom. God put them here at just the right time.

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