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A letter from Nancy McGaughey in Sudan

March 3, 2012

Greetings from Adol, South Sudan!

Welcome back sign

It has been a long time since I have been able to write that.  Earlier this morning I was lying in bed listening to the morning sounds—birds chirping, roosters crowing, dogs barking, goats bleating (or whatever it is that goats do early in the morning)—and realized how much I had missed these sounds.  All very different, yet all sounds given to these animals by God.  It is so much nicer to wake to this than to an alarm clock.  Of course you can control the time of the alarm clock much better than these sounds (it was 5:30 am when I first became aware of them).

I came from Nairobi almost two weeks ago on a Monday.  I arrived in Rumbek around noon, but was soon caught up in a staff crisis.  It delayed our return to Adol until evening.  Still not resolved, the crisis part has passed, but it reminded me of how often Satan works to cause division and mistrust and thus interferes with the work God has given us to do. 

As we drove through the gate, I was met with big smiles from watchmen, cooks and other staff.  Shouts of “You have come” and “You are so white” greeted me as I came from the vehicle.  The door to my room had a sign saying, Welcome back, signed by many of the staff.  It truly felt like coming home.  And I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I remembered the ways of this world.  Such things as remembering to hide the hand-washing soap under a lid so the goats and vultures would not take it—and remembering to look under the lid for lizards and scorpions before reaching for the soap.  Certainly things I did not think about while in the United States.

Home away from home

Sunday as we were walking to church I met two young girls outside our gate.  They were walking in the opposite direction, but stopped to greet me.  The younger one, about 2 years old, took hold of my hand.  I asked them if they wanted to go to church.  They smiled and walked with me, the younger still holding my hand, the older carrying my bag (I had my chair on my head).  The little girl sat on my lap for the first half of the service (about one hour), but I am still not sure whose children they are, or even where they live!

This past week was the birthday of my Dutch co-worker Lianne.  I had planned a surprise birthday party by inviting our friends from the Baptist mission in Akot—an American doctor, a Canadian/Ethiopian doctor, and a short-term Canadian volunteer (she is 70!).  I was preparing some foods, and our cooks were doing some.  Lianne was very surprised when they arrived—and so was I.  While anticipating three guests, they came in the pickup with six additional guests!  The size of our party had suddenly doubled.  It made for lots of laughter and noise.  Just as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish, after blessing the food, everyone ate their full, and still there was food leftover.

Our annual report is now finished and sent to our donor in Australia.  I need to brag a bit on our staff, as I was very pleased with their accomplishments.  The accepted measure of immunization coverage for children is the number who receive the third dose of DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus).  We had set a target of increasing our coverage by 15 percent, but reached 23 percent.  A total of 1,697 children in our catchment area have now received full immunization!  We had targeted an increase of 20 percent in women of childbearing age who received their second dose of tetanus immunization, but ended up with a 33.6 percent increase!  We were trying to increase the number of women attending the prenatal clinic by 20 percent and achieved a 45 percent increase.  While there is still work to be done, I am proud of their efforts and achievements.

Please praise God with me for:

            Achievements of our medical team this past year

            Safe arrival in Adol

            Friends, of all nationalities

 

I continue to be thankful for all of your support and I covet your continued prayers for us here.

Blessings,

Nanc

The 2012 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 94

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