The end of my 1 year Inbound program is near and that means pushing through, saying goodbye and preparing for what’s ahead. It’s been an eventful month with both a highlight and lowlight.
And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me [Jesus] you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’ Luke 17:9-10, NLT
When I read this passage, it really hit me. God has given those who believe in Him a command: tell everyone the Good News of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20) That’s not just a “If you have the time, could you …” kind of task. It is our duty! It is what we are called to do. And because it is our job, we are not to expect a thank you from Jesus or a special reward. It is simply our duty. Wow! I don’t know if you have ever seen it that way, but it definitely struck me again. Now all that to say, Jesus will say “Well done, good and faithful servant”, He will thank us. (Matthew 25:21) But it is not something we have earned, it is simply because of God’s grace and love! So let us be faithful to God and obey what He has commanded us: to share our faith and make disciples.
Back in Lopit
After this one year Inbound program, which is a great introduction into missions, I have decided to continue in missions and move to a tribal village in the mountains. I had the chance to visit again for some days, just to get another feel for it, start building relationships and see what needs to get done before I get there. Before I went, I was kind of unsure about what Lopit (the tribe) really looks like. Last time I was there was in November and I’ve grown and seen a lot in the meantime. But God has really confirmed that this is the place I want to live. I had a great time with my future team mates, enjoyed conversations with my neighbors and was able to help planting peanuts. It’s such a beautiful area with really lovely people and a huge need for the gospel. I’m very excited to move there soon. In the beginning I will focus on learning the tribal language (which I have already started here in town), but then as time goes on, I’m planning to work in 4 main areas: photography/media, teaching literacy, leading bible studies and practical work (e.g. farming, construction, mechanics, …). But things are also not set in stone. We will see what the future holds and where God leads. So stick around and come along side my journey:)
While I was in Lopit, we got a shocking message: Steve, one of our coworkers, had passed away. It was very sudden and felt very unreal, as I had just chatted with him some days before. He died from a heart attack that was unforeseeable according to the hospital. It was simply God’s timing. He called Steve home. We had a funeral service here in South Sudan, which was really touching and honoring. Many people came to mourn and share what Steve had done in their lives. He once told his wife, “If I go home to be with Jesus while I am here in South Sudan, be sure to tell everyone that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.” He had lived his calling. He was at the right place. He lived all in for Jesus and devoted his life to making disciples. It was a sweet reminder of the value of building relationships and also that life is finite. All of us have to die one day. There is no escape. But there is one hope: our faith in Jesus Christ.
As I have only 2 weeks left here in South Sudan, it’s now time to say goodbye. Goodbye to the family I lived with, my neighbors, my church and my friends. It’s not easy to leave, especially because of all the amazing people! I will for sure miss Torit. It also means packing up my stuff and figuring out what I need to buy for my house in the village. A lot of organizing and planning is needed.
I’m also still working on a promo video for the Inbound program in South Sudan, which will be finished soon. We’re planning to have a new program in March next year, but so far, no one has signed up for it. Pray for people to come and pray that this video would reach the right people. It was a great first project and I’m really excited for all the new projects that are to come! In 2 weeks from now, I’m heading back to Germany for a month to spend time with my family and friends and update my church, supporters and organization about the next steps. I’m really looking forward to that. I have a schedule with some free spots here and there. If you would like to meet up, I will send you a list with possible times. It’s not a lot, as this is also my vacation, but I hope we can still see each other. I will have an evening in my church where I will share about my experiences and next steps. If you’re interested, just let me know and I will text you the details. I will record this evening and share the link with you afterwards for those who can’t make it.
Who would have thought?
Who would have thought that I would learn to love the Chinese cuisine in South Sudan? Here's a small collection of my instant noodle variety. Buckle up, I'll start a Chinese restaurant in the village haha!
Thank you for your faithful support and all your encouragements this past year. I could not have done it without you. God bless you,