In 2005, my family traveled to Africa to serve the leaders of ALARM (African Leadership & Reconciliation Ministry). We went to each of the countries Alarm worked, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan, to be with their staff and the staff’s families. Steve, Hunter, Hampton, Madison, and I took a nine-hour bus ride to Entebbe, Uganda, where we caught a short flight to South Sudan. A few days after we settled in, we were joined by eleven other Americans whom Steve invited to host conferences for the women of Sudan. One conference taught the Bible while the other taught micro-financing.
South Sudan had just signed their peace treaty, and people were just returning from the bush to their villages. The accommodations were rough. No running water, no electricity, beans and potatoes every night for dinner, etc. But the team never complained. In fact, we had a ball, and God was present in a big way.
We all gathered to hear Bishop Taban and AnnGrace’s story. AnnGrace is Bishop Taban’s wife. Like him, she fought in the army, lived in the bush, and survived extreme situations. After the war she came to Yei where she led a women’s bible study under the tree. The women complained about their lives all the time to the point where AnnGrace said, “Enough.” She decided instead of complaining they would walk the river and pray for God to provide. Finally, they decided they would drag the river for silt and make bricks to build huts. By the time we arrived they had built several small huts. They shared with us how their prayer was to build a restaurant on the compound so women could gain skills, employment and the village would have a place for travelers to come and eat.
Our team joined with them in their dream. Upon returning to the States, we were able to provide the funds for them to design their restaurant. They began building. Nine years later, I’m sitting in that restaurant. It’s beautiful, the food is delicious, and the women are employed. God is good – all the time – God is good.