One thing we have learned about life here in Mundri is that it is unpredictable. Everything always seems to be changing. Rhythms seem to be nearly impossible due to the inconsistencies life here brings. This week has not been an exception to this reality. Let me give you a picture of what the week has held.
One week ago today, the Wallace family flew to Kenya for medical care. Shawn, our team leader, has had kidney/stomach issues for about two months and needed medical attention that was not available here in South Sudan. We are grateful they are able to get the medical attention needed, but their absence has made for a quiet compound. They will be in Kenya for the next several weeks getting medical care and we will meet them there in about a month when we go for an East Africa Serge Retreat.
Our teammate, Larissa, is currently in the US for two months. Therefore, our team in South Sudan currently is Justin, Will and myself. On Wednesday, Justin threw his back out while trying to lift a generator into the back of the truck. He has had limited mobility and has needed to rest and recover for the past few days (and for a while to come).
When anything changes here, we have to reassess what we are doing and re-prioritize what needs to be accomplished. This has been a week of figuring out what those priorities are now and how to best serve and love our team. Our hearts have been torn between concerns for the Wallace family, concern for Justin’s back and recovery process and perseverance in our own language learning and workloads.
A friend sent me a quote from Graham Cooke yesterday that I found to be very timely. The quote is, “You can tell the quality of someone’s inner life by the amount of opposition it takes to discourage them”. We are not being “opposed” right now necessarily, but we seem to be in a season containing a lot of hurdles. I have been a person in the past that is easily discouraged. I remember my dad telling me in high school that I could be having a fabulous day with everything going wonderfully and then one bad thing happened and all the sudden I deemed it, “The worst day EVER!”. Now, some of that was just being a dramatic teenage girl, however, this tendency has continued in my life.
If we truly believe, as Christians, God is who He says He is, then it will take a lot to get us down. If we trust in God’s character and believe He is in all things and has power over all things, then we will be people who are unshakable and hard to discourage. I want these beliefs to be evident in my life. I want to be a person who is not easily discouraged by what goes on around me because I am fully aware of the power of the One inside of me. I want to be someone who can laugh in the midst of opposition and difficult weeks because I am aware of the One who has the power and control over life itself. I am on a journey towards this through the grace of God. I am by no means at this point and know that to get there, it takes a deep awareness of God’s character and power. In this, I do not want to beat myself up when I allow things to get under my skin (like the obnoxious goats that are currently roaming our compound with loud groans), but rather have a heightened acknowledgement of God’s strength. Despite what next week brings, I pray that we are able to trust in the power and strength of God and rest in the inner strength that brings.