A letter from Nancy McGaughey in Sudan
September 10, 2012
Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for the harvest John 4:33
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
After a quick trip to Juba, I returned to Adol last Thursday. We were late leaving Rumbek to head to Adol due to heavy rains. We also needed to collect the wife of one of our staff. She had been admitted to the state hospital earlier in the week, six months pregnant, with severe malaria. Twins were born Thursday around noon, neither of them surviving, and then she was dismissed on oral medication an hour later. We were taking them back to their home near Adol. Her husband convinced the driver to take a "road" that would take us closer to the home. The "road" was little more than a footpath! As we were going along, we drove over a stump covered by grass. Our land cruiser was now stuck—couldn’t go forward, couldn’t go in reverse. And it was still raining! What to do??? Then a group of cattle keepers came along. Seeing the Across logo on the side of our vehicle they said, “You Across, you never give anyone a ride in your vehicle.” Then another one said, “But they do treat people who are sick. Maybe we should help them.” They tried pushing the vehicle. Still stuck. Then these angels in disguise decided to lift the rear of the vehicle while we were driving forward. Lift it they could, but not high enough. Then one said if we could get an axe, they would chop down the stump. One of our staff went running off and came back with an axe. Three of them then took turns crawling under the vehicle in the wet grass and hacking away until the stump was removed (the man in striped clothing is holding the stump). We were able to continue on home with no difficulty. God’s angels come in many forms!
The following day (Friday) was my farewell party. I am not leaving here until September 28, but with all the traveling and guests coming and going, it was decided to have it early. The program was to start at 11 a.m. and then be followed by lunch. In typical South Sudanese time, we finally started at 1:30 p.m. The women’s group from church was present, singing and dancing, a representative of the state WHO office, many of the staff, representatives of village health committees, youth and children from Sunday School. The speeches lasted almost two hours! Many memories were shared, stories told (like the time I received my first live chicken). We laughed, but I did not cry! I also received some compliments (even though Dinkas say they can only say nice things about people AFTER they leave, I guess a farewell celebration is also an acceptable time). One person said, “When she visits your house, it is not like having a kawaaja (white person) come. It is just like one of your Dinka neighbors stopped by.” Another turned to my colleague and asked, “How can you let her go? We need her to stay here.” As if Andrew really had any control. They did thank the PC(USA), my mother, and my family for allowing me to be with them these last 3 ½ years.
I received several very nice gifts to remember my time in Adol. One was my very own "peace pipe." I have wanted one of these for some time—it is made from mahogany and bullet casings. Not only did I receive one large one, I also received a couple of smaller ones. Seems several people were aware of my desire to have one of these!
Another very special gift was an 18-inch-tall mahogany cross. I will add it to my collection of crosses from Nepal, Haiti and now Lakes State, South Sudan.
Now I have a few weeks left, to take pictures, to continue saying good-byes, to pack… God has blessed me with many wonderful friends during my time here, and I look forward to what He holds in store for me in Pibor!
“People matter so much to God that every one warrants an all-out search.” —Bill Hybels
The 2012 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 94