October 29, 2015
“Will you teach me about God?” she asked me. I didn’t really know her name; although I was fairly sure I had heard of her and had seen her before. I prayed that God would give me the grace to sufficiently teach her Scripture – in spite of the language barrier and the countless other bridges we would have to cross together.
I had been praying for a woman to invest in for several months. I was getting frustrated and exhausted looking for someone. Everyone that I found was either more interested in what I had to give them, wasn’t interested in Jesus, or they weren’t interested in being discipled (probably because they were much older than me). Finally, I prayed that God would send to me whoever He wanted me to disciple.
That’s when she came, 10 months ago. Her name is Teresa (her Lopit name is Ihuro, meaning ‘Bamboo’). She says she is 14 years old, although she looks more like 11 or 12. Her grandfather is the village ‘landlord,’ which has nothing to do with owning land but means that people in the village go to him before they plant their crops, and he performs magic to ‘bless’ their crops.
Adamantly opposed to the gospel, He told Teresa that if she continued going to church he would burn all of her clothes. He has told all of his family – including Teresa – never to return to his house. She was living with him up to that point. Her father lives in a village several hours away, and the same grandfather had previously attempted to kill her mother and told her not to return to the house. She is now living with her grandmother, who he has also told not to come back to his house.
After a couple of months Teresa started working for us, which gives me an opportunity to disciple her on a daily basis. I tell her a Bible story on Saturdays and have her memorize it throughout the week. It turns out that her English is better than I thought, and I’m able to tell most of it in Lopit but fill in with English when I need to. It also gives me an opportunity to pray for her and teach her about godly parenting, for the day she has children. She is great with Ezekiel. She has really become his best friend.
Over the past few months, through language issues and other barriers, we have discussed the stories from Creation to the 10 Commandments. I’m hoping to go through a few more and then get to the New Testament before we leave for furlough. Teresa has a great attitude about work (hard to find around here), has a hunger for God’s Word that impresses me, and is the most frugal South Sudanese person I’ve ever met. She saves her money from her salary at our house to buy food and pay for school fees for herself and her family.
Sometimes we think she is one of the only true believers in Lohutok, our village. Please pray that God would give Teresa sweet fellowship with the ladies in Lolonga while we are gone, that she would not feel alone and that God would provide for her to keep learning stories and for her other needs.