We are currently with my family in Cincinnati. We have been enjoying all of my favorite things, things I have longed to do and eat for a long time. We have enjoyed a lot of time with our nieces and nephews, eaten home-made BBQ ribs (my all-time favorite!), and enjoyed Graeter's Ice Cream (the best ice cream in the world in my humble opinion). These are things we have been longing for, foods we have craved for months and people we have been excited to hug and be with in person.
This morning we woke up to e-mails and news articles about more fighting in Mundri. Government soldiers raided several towns and Mundri was one of them. They came in and stole what they could and everyone fled to the bush to hide. My friend Mary told me her compound was looted and the soldiers "only spared their lives". The went to the bush empty-handed- with no food or water for the days ahead of hiding.
For those of you who are thinking, "wait, didn't this already happen?". Yes. This is happening again. In May our friends fled to the bush for several days (and some for weeks) to escape the violence. And here they are, 4 months later, fleeing for safety again.
And I find myself here again as well, with a heart divided and my focus split. I'm thrilled to be with family and thankful to be safe. I'm overjoyed to hold my nieces and nephews and eat home-cooked family recipes again. But my heart aches. My heart longs to be able to help my friends in a practical way. I want to be useful to my friends who are without food in the bush right now. My heart longs to have the ability to do something when Mary tells me on the phone that her children are suffering and hungry. But instead, I sit in a comfortable house with a full tummy and have nothing to say except "I'm with you in prayer" and "I'm praying for a miracle".
I am praying for a miracle and we are with them in prayer, but my heart longs for more.
|Children in Mundri, South Sudan|
(photo taken in February 2015)
My current prayer for the people of Mundri is from Psalm 5:11-12. Please join me in praying this prayer over Mary, Emmanuel, Ralie, Francis Peter, Wajo, and everyone else in Mundri, South Sudan.
"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield."
We are grateful for our friends and family who have been embracing our divided hearts. We cannot fully communicate how we are doing yet or what our year has been like, but we're grateful for those who have asked questions anyway and given us grace as we've stumbled through answers. For now, all we know is God IS able to do "immeasurable more than all we can ask or imagine" (Eph. 3:20) and we are hoping and clinging to that truth. Please join us in prayer that God will surround our friends in Mundri "with His favor as with a shield". And please pray also that we will entrust our divided hearts to the only One who can unify them and make sense of the division.