Our truck spattered and died. I was already running late after trying to find something misplaced. As I hopped on the back of a motor bike in the cold, drizzly morning fuming a bit inside: visions of me AND my bags slipping off the Juba bridge into the Yei River or arriving covered in mud danced across my mind as we picked our way gingerly around mud puddles the size of small lakes on our dash to the air strip.
I am happy to report that did not happen and I DID arrive at the same time as my plane- which they held for me as I checked in. After a cheery conversation with the immigration official in local Arabic, I tried not to face plant in the slippery mud on the way to board.
Now I am sitting cozily in my flat in Kampala. I would be posting this live but the internet connections changed in my absence so I have to sort that tomorrow. A hair cut, a cup of coffee and a day of errands call my name in the morning. Maybe Thursday will be more restful.
As for me, I am hungry. I am hungry for Jesus. I am hungry to eat and eat again of His Bread of Life. I am reminded HEALING is the children’s bread. And David boldly proclaims he has NEVER seen the descendants of the righteous begging bread (Ps 37:5) I am my Papa’s child and part of a beautiful spiritual family with generations of righteousness I somehow got grafted into by grace. I am contemplating putting some withdrawals on that inheritance.
I am very very hungry. Months ago when Papa told me traverse the globe to go to a conference in Canada, I simply felt His weight on it. I still do. I have no idea what the next 2 weeks hold. But I am going expecting to be encountered and to encounter. Surely He is not sending me simply to add to my frequent flier miles!
I am hungry enough for a whole a nation. For a nation on the brink of war again. For a nation where whole regions are starving. We have “hungriest place on earth” nearly in our backyard according to the UN. I plan to be there in September. And we are one of if not the poorest regions on earth as well. War torn, riddled with rebels and instability, stalked by disease- mountains of impossibilities loom over my head even as storms seem to be gathering in the distant horizons behind them.
This is not a news article or a research project. This is my home. These are my sons and daughters. These are people I love. These are my family. These are faces and names and destinies- little arms that wrap themselves around me and won’t let go. These are my children, my friends. I hold this nation in my heart as an inheritance from Jesus. Yes I am hungry- very very very hungry for the only bread that satisfies and the only bread that heals. To eat of Him for my own healing and the healing of my adopted nation.
I can only give away what I have. I will not soon forget, if ever, several years ago when I was with our Iris family at a meeting in the West, Mama Aida looking into my eyes with the fiery intensity of His love and praying: “EAT MORE! EAT of HIM… EAT and drink… EAT enough that a nation may be fed!” And then proceeding to feed me pizza explaining, “God told me to feed you pizza- EAT more of Him. You must eat more.” I was under the weighty heaviness of His love at the time and could barely lift my arm. So there she was feeding me pizza, and so much more.
I have struggled to eat in the natural. Lots of health battles have raged around my eating or not eating in recent years. Doubtful there is a coincidence there! I know what it is like to not to want to eat because it is easier not to, because I don’t want to be sick. I also know what such deep gut gnawing hunger feels like, you can’t think of anything else. And if you don’t eat, you grow weak and can barely function. I have been there on more than one occasion in recent months as well.
And here I am, hungrier than ever. Looking into the beautiful eyes of my Jesus, I am ravenous, hungrier than ever to eat His bread and drink His cup. I want to drink His cup- not just when it is joyful, but when it is painful as well. I want all that He is filling, infusing every cell of me. That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead…
So I am going to Canada- in need of healing. And in need of eating. Eating the Bread of Life and Healing Himself, Who alone is the answer for my nation of Sudan and for my own needs as well.
My then two year old Asa (seen above playing house with a real coal iron with no hot coals in it of course), said it best. I just returned home from those meetings abroad and she climbed up confidently by me and proclaimed after a 5 minute game of trying to feed me: “Mama, AKULU JESUA” Mama Eat Jesus. Any questions?
I pray you too will feast yourself on Him!