On Friday afternoon, as I was walking across the compound to do the intake paperwork for a new little blessing (literally, his name is “Blessing”), my mind traveled back to where I was at this time last year… in my dorm room at Indiana Wesleyan University… feeling a specific call to Sudan… having read Michele’s updates… having read what a difficult month March was for her… she sounded like she’d really been through a battle, and suddenly I realized that if I followed God’s call to Sudan, I would be enlisting in that battle.
For several days, the cost weighed heavily upon my mind (Luke 14). I thought about what it would mean to lose a dearly loved one to death… what the war might mean… I thought of sickness and other personal attacks… I considered the danger… I wondered what I would do in the face of an evacuation…
My roommate noticed a change in me. All of my “counting the cost” had caused me to act more somber. One evening, Gail and I sat down and talked through my thoughts. Gail is a great listener. I miss her.
Anyway, on Friday, as I remembered “counting the cost,” I realized that the cost I had counted was not unreasonable. The cost in Sudan is high. Death surrounds us here. I’m especially reminded of that fact today, as my friend lost her husband to a landmine earlier this week, another friend miscarried her baby on Friday, we admitted three children orphaned in the recent LRA attack yesterday, and this morning, two men in a nearby village killed each other over disputed farmland.
Years – decades – of war have stolen dreams and aspirations – exchanging them for fatalism and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. Apathy and passivity steal hope, motivation, and passion. No change will come easily here. There is a high cost.
The destroyer has stolen much from these people, and now he blankets them in lies of hopelessness and impossibility. Under the weight of such an oppressive blanket, they doze into a sleep where nightmares of victimization are the only reality they can see.
AWAKEN THEM, LORD! Make real to them the indefatigable hope of the Gospel! Fill them with the power of Christ – the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead! May dreams as yet undreamed fill them with unbridled passion to achieve the impossible! May the truth of your presence within them echo in their wake as they conquer the dark halls of hopelessness with the LIGHT OF LIFE! Your Kingdom come! Your will be done!