A letter from Sharon Curry in South Sudan
The Road Less Traveled…
"I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding" (John O'Donohue).
This quote is perfect for right now. I am living like the river flows. I have been carried along on the river of life, the river of the Spirit, as it flows into new beginnings—again. And I am surprised at its unfolding. I had hoped to return to Akobo by now. It doesn’t seem that is going to happen in the near future.
The tides are changing, the seasons are changing, and it doesn’t look like I am going to be able to return before the rainy season begins. Yes, I am surprised at the unfolding, but happily surprised. I have been carried along the river from a life that I thought would be in Akobo, to a new life in Malakal. I was just getting settled and feeling like I was home, when I was whisked off again to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for my scheduled R&R. Which, it turns out, to be my RR&R—rest, relaxation and relocation.
It appears the security won’t be stable enough for me to return to Akobo in time to get the essentials of life taken care of—building a pad and erecting my tent, along with digging a latrine and building a place for me to shower. So, the river flowed and took me a new direction.
The decision was made this week for me to go to Gambela, Ethiopia. It is across the river from Akobo, about two days by boat, and home to a large Nuer population. I will be able to immerse myself in language and culture learning and hopefully begin to visit with some of the people from Akobo who are living in camps after fleeing the violence in their own areas.
Sometimes we head out on the river and our destination is very certain; sometimes we sit back and go where the current takes us.
Acts 16:13-14 tells us: ”On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”
Those are good words for me; I hope to sit by the river and pray. I hope to sit by the river and talk with the women gathered there, and I hope the women (and men) like Lydia will open their hearts and respond to the message and pick up the torch of the CHE (Community Health Evangelism) programs and carry them forth.
As we go forth, in a new adventure in mission together, I ask for your prayers for God’s guidance as I pray for God’s touch in your lives.
God bless you all and thank you for your continued support.
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 94