Yes, may you come to know his love – although it can never be fully known – and so be completely filled with the very nature of God. Ephesians 3:19
Dear brothers and sisters in the UK churches who support the mission of God in Maridi, South Sudan by sending and keeping me there, with your prayers and giving and encouragement. Hello!
I’m still in Scotland but, God willing, not for much longer. I have a van booked to take the little furniture I bought to storage, a COVID test on 30 October, a seat booked to take me to Juba and another seat on the MAF flight to Maridi on 2 November. I pray for the journey to go smoothly and without incident.
I’m afraid I have been particularly useless to you during this time of pandemic. I have no excuse, it’s just who I seem to be and I’m sorry if you have been feeling discouraged. I had nothing to give but my prayers of thanksgiving to God for you. I told my CMS regional manager Steve Burgess that I thought you might be reluctant to support me during this time of my being locked down in the UK, and he told me that your support is for me wherever I am and I’m very grateful for that. Please know that I am doubly grateful that you kept supporting me during this time of what I feel to have been my complete and utter uselessness to you. It has been wonderful to be useful to my family though. We have had such a loving time of growing our relationships, which have deepened during this time.
While living in Ellon, I noticed a tiny little church opened up in a hut in the carpark next to my daughter’s house. It’s part of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (Fountain of Love). The congregation are mainly from a black and minority ethnic (BAME) background and over the weeks of my attendance I found them to be such an inclusive group and very active in a healthy, socially distanced way. I’m also learning to read the Bible in a new way, feeling enabled to take up more of the joy and the promises of God. Exactly what I need and hopefully will be hearty meat dishes for Maridi rather than milk. Before I found them, the Lord had put on my heart a number of people who were suffering with mental illness and unhealthy coping mechanisms. All things I suffered from myself before the Lord taught me he is trustworthy and can take care of me. I found people thinking they weren’t good enough to go to church and I was wondering what I could do practically to help them as well as pray.
And then I discovered this church who actively disciple people. They even have a cafe in Aberdeen, so people never have to feel they are alone, and this church is active all over the UK! Isn’t God amazing. I might not be able to do anything to help people who were struggling but now I could direct them to others who could. I’m listening to the Lord telling me denominational walls are becoming unimportant and the Church truly is one in him. I’m so happy about that. The Lord has been an endless blessing to me even in my uselessness.
Talking of BAME, I wonder if any of you have got on board with the #BLM movement. I did and it was life-changing for me. If any of you would say “surely all lives matter”, they should, but they don’t in this world. #BLM means black lives should matter just as much as everybody else’s. I, being neither black nor white, had a unique perspective and I am now enjoying being both black and white rather than neither.
Bishop Moses in Maridi wants me to be his administrative assistant and curate of the English service at the cathedral. I have a joyful anticipation of serving in those roles even though I know it’s not going to be plain sailing. But God is with us and I have your faithful prayers to depend on as well as my pleas to the Lord whose kindness never fails.
Prayers for Maridi remain the same, so please do continue as Maridi, despite its hardships, continues to be a green and pleasant land in what is still a volatile country, despite the signing of peace agreements. I look forward to updating you with all we have missed from Maridi while I’ve been away.
With very much love
For this reason I fall on my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its true name. I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves, and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love. Ephesians 3:14