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From Home to Home

Greetings to all of you – i have not written in a very long time, i hope that this email finds you all well. i just returned home from a 9 day stay in the US – which was a completely unexpected blessing. My dear friend Angela Ruth Ylitalo, now Carlson flew me home to be in her wedding. I cannot describe in few words what it was like to leave Sudan and then spend a whirlwind time in the US surrounded by family and friends, as well as a beautiful wedding and the birth of my nephew Ethan. It was such a gift of time to be back there. I was good to return to Sudan as well, good to be with the kids, the community, at the Bible school, good to be welcomed and have a place in Sudan that you are a part of.

On Monday when I was waiting for students to arrive at the place where we play soccer, there were only about 2 kids, so I decided to walk down the road for a bit and see if anyone was coming. I walked about 1 minute and saw 10 of my students. I waved excitedly, and they waved back, and then they ran! I do not deserve this kind of love but those moments are so powerful. I do believe that the Lord is using Liz and myself in this community.

Another thing that makes me excited was what happened yesterday with a boy named Charlis. I was working with the younger kids and Charlis, one of the older boys came up to me and showed me an Easter book about Jesus that my mom had sent from the States, that he was looking at. He said to me in English, “I want to know this story.” I looked at him, then opened the book and in my broken Arabic tried to explain the story through the pictures on the pages of the book. He kept on saying, “yes, yes” then he said, “Jesus loves me.” Held the book to his heart and said, “Thank you.” We only talked for about 3 minutes,
then he went back to his work in the other classroom. Incredible, I don’t know how much he understood, what he knew already, but it is exciting to be able to communicate about Jesus and share stories in the Bible with the kids. I pray that they would all come to know Him and that He will work powerfully in each of their lives.

I returned to Sudan Saturday and began teaching the kids again on Monday – but this time in the afternoons. There were 40 kids that came back the first day and around 60 today. We are in an unfinished building that has no doors, an unfinished floor, and no window frames. We pretty much move in and out of it everyday and keep all of our supplies in a locked trailer and inside my already small tukul. It is such a blessing to have what we have, some days are frustrating, but at the same time it brings our students together as I NEED THEM to help me otherwise I could not do it. Liz has been struggling with
stomach sickness so I have been teaching the students alone for the past few days. It has been all right, today a friend of mine who works doing another job in Goli offered to help me, and then the older students are really stepping up and leading the younger kids. Thank you all so much for the school supplies that you have sent to the kids, they love them and are so grateful, things like crayons, glue, puzzles, games, are things that you cannot even find in Sudan and from what I have heard are only in the most expensive school in Uganda.

Thank you all for your continued prayers:
Please pray for Liz she is flying out to Nairobi to get her stomach issues checked out by a doctor there.
Please pray for the kids and also for the women who will return on Saturday. Thank you all so much. HOpe to hear from you soon.
In HIs Grip,