If you get the chance, take it!Tuesday 30 October 2012
Our team’s visit to Maridi diocese in South Sudan has been a very special one for all of us. As the MAF aircraft took off from the small airstrip my emotions looking down at the country below were so very different compared to our flight in. It was hard to leave our friends behind, knowing the hardships they bear with such joy and good grace and realising how much we had shared together in that threefold cord of fellowship.
I think I speak for all of us when I thank God for blessing the team with a united heart and vision as well as the ability to laugh together. What else but good humour could help you travel 17 miles in two and a half hours along dreadful ‘roads’ and then make the journey back along the same tortuous route?
Yet this is the challenge facing Bishop Justin when he wants to visit the parishes in his diocese. He appreciated us ‘walking in his shoes’ and it has helped us understand better the enormity of the task of establishing a strong Christian witness in outlying areas.
There are so many things to say and process but let me end with this;
No matter how much you hear others talk about it, nothing quite compares to going there and seeing for yourself. I lived in East Africa for 5 years and had a good idea of what to expect, but still my heart was captured by this new country and its determination to build a bright future for its children.
So if you get the chance to go to Maridi diocese, take it. Maybe you have skills or expertise that could make all the difference to the people’s lives. Maybe you will have the privilege of partnering with the church there as they evangelise, disciple and care practically for their friends and neighbours. Maybe God will call you to be a supporter from home.
Whatever the result, I have no doubt that you will be humbled and encouraged by the love and welcome of these special people.