Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1, 2013

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?  Or am I striving to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10

          Hopefully you had a wonderful Christmas season.  We traveled to Columbus, GA to have Thanksgiving with Amy’s parents, then I (Justin) spent two weeks in Sudan, then we visited Amy’s brother and his family in St. Louis.  In the last month I have traveled almost 20,000 miles!
My trip to Sudan was exciting and fruitful.  I learned some great new things about the logistics surrounding our living arrangements and saw the area where we will work and live when we return.  There are still lots of details that we need to work out and decide before we go back, but after this trip I feel like I have a way better handle on what we’re going to encounter when we go back.
           During the trip I went to Terekkeka to visit for a few days.  While I was there I got to know a man named Marino (pictured above).  Marino is a Mondari man from Yari, a village near Terekkeka.  A few years ago Marino went to Kajo Keji to go through our Bible school, but because he couldn’t adequately read and write he could not go through the program.  He started primary school in Kajo Keji and was being disciple by some of the believers there.  Marino accompanied me to Terekkeka to elp me get around, but later informed me that he would not return to Kajo Keji when my stay was over.  He had been there long enough, and his desire was to finish school in Terekkeka so he could start sharing the gospel and working with churches in his home village.
          Yari is a small village near Terekka.  At one time there was a “Baptist” church meeting in Yari, but it hasn’t been around for a while.  Months ago, during a land dispute between clans, the entire village of Yari was burned to the ground.  I met the people who used to attend the church, they told me that they were slowly coming back to rebuild their homes but the only Bible they had was burned in the conflict.  I encouraged them with a story from God’s word and we left so they could continue their work.  Marino hopes to keep working with the handful of believers who are in Yari and start discipling them and raising up men and women who will spread the gospel to the rest of their tribe.  He is anxious for us to return and for me to keep mentoring him and teaching him the Bible.
           Before I left Sudan I was able to get some Bibles in the Bari language (similar to Mondari) and send them to Marino in Terekkeka.  I’m anxious to get back.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support!