The Lord’s Day.
It’s time for worship! Our team was invited to join our sisters and brothers from the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SSPEC) for worship in six sites this morning, and that meant some degree of uncertainty and anticipation for each of us as we considered the tasks of crafting a message geared to strangers, preaching with a translator, and entry into a whole new congregational and cultural ethos. Poor Ruth had to preach to a room with a bunch of pastors sitting behind her. Several congregations heard a woman pastor for the first time.
Fortunately, God’s promise about being with us in times of uncertainty is true…and we were blessed in multiple ways. We preached in all kinds of churches, ranging from a smallish gathering of a few dozen to a camp for Displaced Persons which hosted a service for more than two thousand; many people groups were represented, and all ages were present.
Our afternoon was spent swapping stories of our trips and catching up on naps. We were surprised and gratified to discover that Michael Weller, PCUSA Regional Liaison for the Horn of Africa, has checked into our Guest House and able to join us for dinner. We truly benefited from his wise counsel and enjoyed hearing his perspective on some of the recent history in South Sudan.
One of the gifts that Ruth has brought to the group is a passion for all things vegetative. That’s meant trips to the fruit market and fresh pineapple, bananas, oranges, and watermelon. It was a delightful way to end a deep and rich and inspirational day.