Greetings once again from South Sudan!
It’s so nice to be “home” again after being “home” in the US. As we expected, work got off to a running start. So, I am writing to let you know a little of what has transpired between the last update and today.
While we were still in the US many refugees from the conflicted areas came to Yei where the UN had set up an Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp. There were lots of children and food was at a minimum. Justus took the children from GRACE Home to the camp where they played with the children, sang to them, gave gifts of sweet potatoes, and ended in prayer. Mandela, a friend of ours, was there and said that the prayer was said by our oldest child (age 14) and it really touched his heart. He said it was very moving and she was even crying as she prayed. I have attached two pictures from that event. It occurred to me when I received the pictures and the report that our children had become missionaries. They took the gospel to those in need and lived out what Christ wants of them. Now it is my heart that is really touched! It was even more special that this happened when we were gone because it was completely from them - not us.
On a sadder note, when we arrived we learned that three of our children were not orphans but children of two of the pastors who had given false information. The fathers admitted what they had done and came to take the children home. It broke our hearts as we had grown to love these three little girls. Justus has now started going to the villages to interview the community to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We pray that no one else has to leave.
Although we grieve the loss of these three children, I am pleased to say that we have brought four more boys to GRACE Home today. Three of them are brothers. I have attached a picture of them waiting to enter the compound. The children were at school so when they broke for breakfast they came to the gate to greet their new brothers. Then they led them to the dining hall with singing and enjoyed breakfast together. The boys seemed a little frightened at first but soon brightened when they got to choose their bed, a few clothes (thanks, Mafair), and were given a prayer shawl (thanks Deanna Howard). Justus took them immediately after breakfast to register for school and I’m not sure they even knew when their guardians left. Their mama had a house of girls previously and now will take care of the boys. She probably needs your prayers!
Our prayer requests are for the three children who left GRACE Home to return to their villages, the family they left behind at GRACE Home, and the new family that has been formed at GRACE Home. God is so good!
GRACE and peace to all,