I couldn’t express it better than my colleague. Here is what she wrote concerning our joys and griefs surrounding South Sudan…
It was a hot day, 104 degrees of heat rippled across the dry grass as Mimi, with her head hung low, walked toward her home. There were tears streaming down her dusty face leaving little trails as she dragged a torn pillowcase. If you peeked behind her you could see a small wift of smoke rising up from where she had just departed. The kids had all worked together to build a citadel of grass huts where they set up “home” and played during the day. After a few snake sightings it was burned down for their safety. Mimi had come from gathering her things. A sigh escaped from her lips and she said:
Now we are all of us refugees, Kawaijja (white skinned), Dinka, Shilluk, Mabaan, and Uduk. All of us kids are refugees together. We will rebuild but it won’t be the same.
The image of Mimi and her words have haunted me the last few days as we’ve prayed, cried, and prayed some more. It tells the story of loss, rebuilding, and loss again. It tells the story of children who know what it is like to be driven from home, the effects of losing everything and the uncertainty of rebuilding. It tells a story that I cannot put into words well through my limited exposure, experience and griefs. It tells the story of South Sudan.
Often we obey God and as we obey we walk through graveyards of failed expectations and fields of surprise joys and blessings. Often when things don’t go as planned we trust in blind obedience that God has a plan as we grieve, at times he gives us clarity as he whispers, “for such a time as this I have brought you here”. It doesn’t make any of the griefs or tears shed go away but it is a gift of clarity of action and purpose.
As we reflect on 2013 we see a landscape of graveyards and fields of unspeakable joys. In this time many questions remain but God has been whispering to us that he brought us here for this time and that even though we are sad and grieving in our graveyard of buried hopes He has a reason for each puzzle piece this past year. Our hearts are so burdened for our second home, our second family and the faces, the friends, the people that make up this country.
Our beloved South Sudan is in a battle, a battle where fear and hatred are strong contenders against hope, peace and love. Will you join us in passionate prayer for the Prince of Peace to reign in South Sudan?
~Written by Abook (To read more of her writings check out her blog!)