A gun is fired. A child cries out in the night. Hunger pangs invade swollen bellies, again. Cattle are herded in camps and will be given to purchase a wife of choice. AIDS runs rampant there. Abrasive sands roll in from the north, drying up the already weary soul. Dust consumes the land, but the dry season is a picture of what’s to come…
Rainy season is desperately anticipated so fresh water can be collected in bins. But her hope is tainted as she covets pollution. A drink now means giardia later. But what choice has she in her lot? Gray clouds fill the sky and the fragrance of the coming rainfall is inhaled all throughout the region. Then four days later, it rolls in from the distance. Slow drips at the onset, then a never ending pour. The local chief whispers into the rain, convinced that its steamy evaporation will take his plea to god. Now, a few weeks in, and a significant portion of the crop is washed away. The village makeshift sewage system begins to flood, and now a new round of illness sets in. This cursed rain is months from its exodus, but this is what she craved, right?
It makes me think: is this what He had in mind when He said rain is sent to fall on the unjust, too? Forgive my indifference.
O, that our presence would promote unsurpassable peace in this war-torn nation. That our arms would be strong to nurture the babies born into many generations’ worth of twisted sin. That our lives would be marked by sacrifice. That our marriage would boldly speak of His love for the redeemed. That our teaching would bring healing. That Truth would penetrate her darkness. That we would lead them Home.
On Saturday, July 9, 2011, the world welcomed its newest nation, South Sudan. History was made and I watched as the southern Sudanese celebrated the freedom that they don’t yet realize is theirs to claim. It’s going to take far more than a drawn border and a new name to loosen these ancient chains draped about her. She’s white unto harvest, and her laborers are few. So with heavy hearts, we go…
You’re 5 days old today, South Sudan. Happy Independence Day, baby girl.