Help With Compassion
Mission of God
This morning I got up 4:00 am as I could not sleep for last few hours as inside my mosquito net in my room it was warm. There was not much across wind circulation. I was frustrated for two things. Hot climate is really getting to me with not good sleep most of the days. Second, I have been in Bor since two weeks. I came up with a plan to build two class rooms for Primary school at St. Andrews School.
Three thousand children in this hot weather have no water to drink. For my own shower ladies in St. Andrews Compound bring water from River Niles for me to take shower in the morning and in the afternoon. This water is not very clean as river water is polluted. In a half a bucket of water I drop quarter cup of Dettol liquid to kill germs as I can get skin disease. I had come up with the idea of finding a contractor to dig a bore hole for a well which shall supply clean water for St. Andrews Primary and High School. Also water for those who live in this compound. to bring clean water Dinka ladies have to carry a jerry can outside of St. Andrews Compound across the road and make several trips to carry water on their heads. I had tried to ask staff here at the cathedral to find a contractor to bring clean water in school but in two weeks my efforts bore no result to build two class rooms or dig a well.
Now the best part begins. At 4:00 am I was full of frustration and did know If I shall be able to achieve any of my goal. I sat quietly in my room staring in the dark. Few months back I had read Mother Teresa’s advice: “Spend an hour a day in contemplative prayer and commit no conscious sins.” I was going to commit that sin of contempt and getting mad at clergy whom I had approached to help me at St. Andrews Cathedral. Many years ago while I studied at Virginia Theological seminary, Alexandria, Virginia I learned spiritual discipline of contemplative prayer. Instead of letting frustration and anger to destroy “this is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I needed to be thankful where God has put me in Bor to love and serve people. God is inviting me to become like Jesus, to show compassion, patience and accept circumstances as God has shown for me. I did spend close to an hour being quite in the presence of God contemplating on his goodness. I asked the Lord to show me the way. After my time of being in the presence of God and putting my worries, frustrations at the feet of Jesus. I was filled with peace to give all into God’s hands and let him manage my agenda. I called an Indian Doctor and his wife who serve here at 9:00 am and asked them to help me. At 11:00 a. m. Dr. Anil brought a contractor who will dig a well and build two class rooms. Construction in South Sudan is one of the most expensive in the world. I explained to this Kenyan contractor that I do not have government money or NGO’S from Europe or USA. Our source of money is from churches who have sacrificially given donations. Please give prices we can afford. He is going to bring both estimates on Monday. My prayers were answered. Praise God.
Following this meeting I was so busy for the rest of the day with people, sharing cup of tea and water in my room. Two Bishops from other diocese came to visit me. Bishop of Makuach, came with a gift of money for food. Headmaster of St. Andrews high school had meeting with me about school finances. Wife of the lieutenant Governor came and brought a beautiful set of hand embroidered bed sheets as a gift. She also wanted me to pray for her and her daughter-in-law. The moment she left a lady from Cathedral Vestry came and brought a small bag of mangoes. God through the love of these people was showing me the Way. Right after this we had our community evening prayer. This day has been so busy that I did not get time to eat lunch or come out of room for seven hours. It was a day full of blessings. I am continually learning formation of my episcopal ministry while recognizing the Lord’s voice and face in every circumstances I face and see the face of Christ In every person I interact here in Bor South Sudan. What it means is to give up my control and agenda. I met close to forty people today. With peace of God in my heart I began to look upon people not as an interruption of my space but as the reason God has called me to be servant bishop in Bor, South Sudan. Thank you Lord for giving me this opportunity to love and embrace people in Bor. Alleluia!