"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

Update on Sudan

Here is an update from Sudan. I know many of you are praying with me for God to show Himself strong on behalf of those who are weak and for the gospel to turn wicked men back to Jesus. Keep Praying – Pastor Joe

Thursday, June 16, 2011
Kimberly’s Birthday Wish—warning! Contains sensitive pictures.

Today’s my birthday. I want to be able to pray for the ultimate birthday gift of World Peace or something that at least wafts with the scent of heroics. If only it were as easy as offering up a wispy prayer that called down God’s Great Arm to save all the children as beautifully as His Finger stains the Sistine Chapel.

Instead, this day is yet one more rock laid in the Wailing Wall of my life—reminding me that the Wall is one day—one year—closer to Completion, and it would be a caterwauling shame to waste yet another breath on such an empty, clanging-symbols prayer.

I’ve tried to write a report on the ongoing genocide in Sudan for several days. I sit at my computer, stabbing at the keys as if it were their fault for the letters I command them to string into horror. I simply haven’t been able to write down the details of a mounting holocaust.

Lual Atak, Kevin, Romano, Matt, Phillip, and many other on-the-ground sources fill me with daily updates. As the long-awaited July 9th day of Southern independence draws nearer, the northern Islamic regime (GOS) stretches its dark-winged expanse wider across the south. They hope to break the will of the people so that they will not follow through on the southern succession for freedom.

In the last weeks, I’ve written you about the massacres in Abyei, Equatoria, and the Nuba mountains. The GOS has now added a fourth area to their attacks. They have been bombing heavily for days, along with hand- to- hand combat, in Unity state. There are so many orphans being created, abandoned, and fending for themselves that it will take months before we even have an estimated number.

A few days ago, Romano (Hope for Sudan director) sent us pictures he took of a massacre he stumbled upon on the road from Kapeota. He brought home the only five remaining orphans, who he found crying on their mothers’ decaying bodies. We will care for them at Hope for Sudan.

Being an avid reader, I’ve never cared to listen to audio books, especially the Bible. However, my writer’s block has mutated from not being able to write you to even making reflective reading a challenge. So, Whitney suggested I try listening to a free version of the Bible she downloaded on my Droid. I’ve been crying through hours of the lyrics of the Psalms each morning.

The spoken Psalms spread like warm oil across the planes and peaks of my anger, pain, and sadness until its soothing balm seeps deep into the parched crevices of my withered heart—where the hard-set, squared-off, black and while letters of the printed word just can’t seem to reach these days.

As the Psalm oil reaches the most scorched places of me, prayer returns. Prayer is important. Just as we share our hearts with our lover, the Lover of our souls jealously seeks communion with us. But, while prayer is crying out to God, it is so much more. Sometimes prayer is like a holy thunderstorm that we are caught up in unawares, and the best we can do is be washed up in its torrent—allowing the lightening to strike us into action.

The orphans rocked not by a loving mother’s arms, but the deafening rumble of bombs dropping all around them, need more of us to be with them—physically gathering them up from the carnage of their families.

They need us relentlessly sharing their stories—their reality—their need, with every person, group, or church set before us until enough of us stand together to silence the bombs.

The orphans need more of us to give of our finances in the same way that we’d desperately want others to give if it were our flesh-and-blood children who laid splayed atop our decaying bodies on the side of a nameless road.

Although I write you stories from the field once or twice each week, I don’t often ask for money. Many of you are so attune to the atrocities—and know your role in the Kingdom so well—that I don’t need to ask often. You simply give, and I praise God for you from my thunderstorm of prayer.

But, while Winston Churchill said, “War is hell.” I say, “War is expensive.” As you can imagine all costs from food, to security, to medicine, and et al for caring for and protecting our more than 600 orphans in Sudan (and growing daily) is greatly increasing with rising war.The best way you can help us is to, yes—be awash in the thunderstorm of prayer, and let it wash you upon Action’s Shore of giving, going, and shouting from the mountain tops so that others might join us.

At my church on Sunday, we celebrated the end of our version of Vacation Bible School. We watched a beautiful video with hundreds of children singing from the innocence of childhood, “I want to be like Jesus.”

I couldn’t help but think how many unadoptable orphans around our world would give anything for a safe place to sing that very song. Together, you and I have made that possible for hundreds.

In keeping with the continuation of fighting the good fight all the way to Victory, my birthday wish is that just one more person might enter into the thunderstorm of prayer so deeply that they find themselves washed upon the Shore of Action for the world’s most vulnerable orphans.

See you there. Love, your sister along the journey,