A letter from Aliamma George in South Sudan
1 Corinthians 4:20: The kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
June is the month of rain and mud. As we had experienced it last year, it is not a surprise now. We go out of the house prepared whenever there is any sign of rain, though it is not predictable. The raincoat will be too hot and the long umbrella is used to function as a support, but if opened, one cannot see the vehicles and different types of animals. No weather forecast, but generally the rainy season is from June to October each year. The road construction started in some areas and may restart after the rainy season. Then hopefully the drainage system will be done so that the flies and mosquitoes are lessened.
One day we saw two boys bringing a load on a donkey cart, and there was a big puddle. The donkey stopped and the guy hit him harder, and then the animal went into the puddle with the cart and could not get out. We mentioned that it was too heavy for the donkey, and he did not like it much. Then a man who spoke English passed through and asked us what was interesting. Then we told him that we learned a lesson out of this. We should not carry too much of a burden but give it to Jesus. If we try to overburden ourselves, we will collapse at some point. I explained this and said it is a good story. The man explained it to him and we took a picture.
Our next stop was at an eating place where they serve rice and fish soup. There was an older man sitting on the floor with a walking stick as we went in, and he showed by motions that he needs money. Jacob gave him a small amount, thinking he would be going to get something to eat. Slowly the old man started going to each table, asking the customers for more money. After a few minutes one worker came and talked to him in his dialect, telling him to leave, but he did not listen. After a few minutes two workers came to get him out. Jacob asked them to give him some food as he may be hungry. The man did not want food but money only. Both workers together got him out, but the old man got angry and took up his walking stick with the sharp edge to hit one of the workers. Jacob shouted, "Stop it.” Then the old man walked away slowly. One of the customers said, “He wants the money to buy beer, not food.”
Fighting among the male children is a common sight on the streets. We stop the fights very often and somehow they listen to our “clap and stop.”
I talked to four different people about the dangers of smoking this month. In the market one merchant threw the cigarette away then and there and stepped on it and crushed it. The second person said that he had cut back from three packs to one pack and will stop soon. The third person just smiled, and probably stopped later. The fourth person was selling cigarettes at the corner of our street; we advised him to change to some useful items. One of the changed persons, who was selling cigarettes last year, met us today on the street and told us that he is working but forgot his tools today! “Pastor, continue to pray for me.” Sometime back he had told us that he had stopped drinking and left the cigarette-selling business. We encouraged him to stay on a stable job.
Another interesting meeting on the street happened on Monday. One of the pastors from Bam Center met us and told us that we should attend a couple's wedding in his church on Wednesday, and Jacob needed to give the message. So we asked him the details about the couple and the families so that we could pray for two days and prepare. The time that he mentioned was 2 pm, but we will leave by 12 noon and catch a bus. We hope it will start by 5 pm, and we will take our flashlight with us. As it is rainy season, two sets of clothes and mud boots too. We pray that it will be a blessed occasion.
Thank you for the prayers and financial support.
Jacob and Aliamma George