Monday, October 26, 2015

Latest Awesome Read

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons inspired and encouraged me. Here is what stood out:
1) I can always be close with my son. Without doubt, I will one day have to let him go, probably somewhere in his teen years, but I can still have a lasting relationship with him for years to come. The key is to let go and let him be the man God has called him to be. Check my ego, step aside some, and let him do his thing. I was encouraged because I've seen so few examples of healthy grown - up mother-son relationships, but she believes that this really is achievable.
2) Any mother can be a good mother. Single moms, married moms, stay at home moms, working moms, poor, rich, etc. can all be great moms. She gives so many examples of moms who undergo intense tragedy - they've lost their husband, their job, were abandoned, or their child was abused, but they are still able to be a good mother and love their children. In fact, you often saw how the tragedy when the mother didn't give up, but faced it with love and endurance could bring fruit in the lives of the family.
3) It confirmed something that I know is true, but often forget: Motherhood is a holy and esteemed vocation. It is God's work and it is damn important - so don't get too dispirited on all those challenging days. Sometimes I need a reminder not to be a lazy, grumbling mother, but to thankful and aware that this is good thing I'm doing and God is pleased.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Further Update and Call to Pray

In my last post, I touched on the faith of South Sudanese refugees, but to go a bit deeper, and provide more context, here is an update on the current situation in South Sudan from Rev. John Chol Daau in his own words:

South Sudan is currently facing numerous post-independence challenges. Although, government structures are established and functioning gradually there are still greater challenges straining efforts for nation building. These challenges hindering progress include but not limited to poor governance, rampant corruption, violation of human rights or injustices, and protracted inter-communal conflicts and the ongoing war between government and rebels. Efforts for peace negotiations between the government and rebels to end the more than one and half year war have not yet bear fruits to reach peace agreement. Many civilians are vulnerable to preventable diseases and with no access to basic services.
I know how many of you are committed to prayer and John has asked us to pray. Lets pray that peace, reconciliation, and justice will reign for the future of Sudan, the people in refugee camps or displaced camps, and the ministers of the gospel who are faced with enormous challenges, nothing is too great for our Lord.
Lets pray that our own faith will be emboldened to stand alongside our brothers and sisters. Remembering, we never have to travel far to find the poor and needy. They are always with us. In our neighborhoods, churches, and schools. They need advocates. Men and women who are willing to stand along with them.
Personally, I am praying to do my small portion to the best of my ability. I don't think I'm some great leader or savior to the poor and the oppressed, but I would like to do a little more for my neighbor in need. Ill let you know how that goes.
Thanks friends for all your support.
It is as Mother Theresa said,
"In this life, we cannot do great things. Only little things with great love."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

God's Word Alive and Active: a Pastor's Report from South Sudanese Refugee Camps

Here in the West, knowledge is everywhere, easy to find. It only requires a quick google search. If you are Christ follower, you have your choice of churches to attend, ministry opportunities, Christian programs for your marriage, teenager, or child. There are books, blogs, and materials to strengthen your faith. For my friend, Rev. John Chol Daau and his brothers and sisters in the refugee camps along East Africa, such opportunities for theological advancement are a holy privelege, one that he and his colleagues are working tirelessly to bring to his people. When you are a refugee or displaced person, life in the camp is closed. Access to programs, libraries, the internet is often impossible. Knowledge, wisdom, training, the opportunity to attend classes, or visits from friends are precious indeed. 

In that we are saturated with information, we often take it for granted. John's ministry reminds us how the revelation of Christ and the wisdom he brings is something that changes lives. Something that people live and die for. Something that builds and restores cultures. John is working to bring theological training to teachers and pastors in various refugee camps, where computers, and electricity are scarce.

God's Word is alive and active...

Ayilo 11 Refugee Camp South Sudan

Traditional "Prayer Synagogue" South Sudanese Anglican Church

I am proud of the work he is doing and excited to see how God always meets his people, whether they are learning God's Word in a Anglican style cathedral or South Sudanese style synagogue, whether they are learning through dance, word of mouth, or their smart phone, Jesus always finds a way to reach us and his Word is always the same, "I have come so that you may have life and have to it the full," (John 10:10). 

How can we share the wisdom we have been given? Who can we reach? Who, in all the dribble of information we receive, is still longing for the life-giving truth of God? The person of Jesus is alive and active, working through all mediums and cultures to rescue his people. If we know him, lets share him with others. If we've been blessed with the wisdom of God pass it on.