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A Week Of Extremes

Salaam (peace),
This week has been one of extremes in about everyway imaginable, but I am beginning to realize that this is going to be a recurring theme here in Sudan.  For example one night it was about 85 degrees at night the next night it was 60 degrees.  To begin this email I do not want to alarm anyone but I had one of the most challenging nights of my life last night. Last night Liz and I were informed that a young boy have been found on the compound who was suspected to be an LRA spy.  The LRA is known for child abduction and is an evil rebel group from northern Uganda.  The boy was taken to the closest SPLA (south Sudan’s army) checkpoint.

The SPLA then sent soldiers to our compound to guard it.  Liz and I prayed for a long time together last night and read many Psalms before we went to bed.  I have never sought the Lord in the way that I did last night.  I am writing to let you know that I am completely safe along with the many faculty and students that are here in Goli but I would ask you to please pray for our continued safety here in Goli, the nearby villages and especially their children, and also please pray for an end to LRA.  Thank you for your prayers, they are invaluable.
This week I have been getting used to life here in Goli, my home for the next 9 months.  I cannot express to you what a joy it is to teach these women daily in my literacy class.  This week we played “Jen says”- like Simon Says, as we learned the body parts.  The women loved it, they would laugh so hard anytime anyone would point to a body part when “Jen didn’t say” to.  It is such an experience to watch these women play together, they take such joy in simple games.  In  Sudanese culture often by the age of 5 young girls have a younger sibling strapped to their backs, they help cook, gather wood, and draw water.  They are not given time to simply play.  These women amaze me, all that they have seen an experienced, their faith, their beauty, and their willingness to learn.  Being with them and seeing them smile is one of my very favorite things.
Along the line of extremes here I was able to make cinnamon rolls tonight – I can hardly believe it.  We are having them tomorrow morning with the staff – many of the staff (Germans, Kenyan, Sudanese, South Africans) have never ever had them before.  So needless to say the Lord is good, and is providing the simplest encouragements here.  Also there is a couple here, Ron and Char, who have really taken us under their wings and helped us with all of the adjustments of living here.  Also Liz and I evicted out third roommate this afternoon, a rather large mouse – so funny, I can handle mice, praise the Lord there have not been any snakes. And for the record Liz has received 2 marriage proposals, I am still batting zero!
Again, thank you all for your continued prayers, I would like to ask you to pray for:

Our safety here in Goli, both for staff and students
Our continued language learning – which is going slowly but surely
Our teaching effectively – my classes are going well, that I would have ideas that would really help these women learn
Our unified friendship
Our health

Thank you for your prayers.  I am doing well here and confident that this is where the Lord wants me, so I will continue to learn to live in the shadow of His wings.  I would love to hear from you about how you are doing, emails mean more than you know out here in the bush!
Love,
In His Grip,
Jen