Friday, September 02, 2011

Marveling at the Timing of an All-Knowing God

This morning in our team devotions (when we all gather first thing in the morning to read from God's Word and pray together before spreading out to our various ministries for the day), Vicki shared from Psalm 46. A few months ago, in June - just before the South's Independence - I too had shared from Psalm 46 in a morning devotion. Why is that significant? you might ask... well on BOTH occasions, without our previous knowledge, only an hour or two after our devotion time fighting broke out in ares just north and east of us. BOTH times. Let me share Psalm 46 with you:

1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should shake
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

I would like to recount today's events so that you can praise with us, this God of Ours who sees, cares, intervenes, protects, and provides...

7:00-7:30 - team devotions
8:20 - phone call from James Hurun (my Mabaan Dad who is in Renk right now - to tell me that there was fighting in a place called Damazine - in the North, and north of Kurmuk which is about a 1/2 hour flight away from Doro).
8:30 - Nehemiah came to work and confirmed the above information. Vicki and I contacted our office in Nairobi to notify them, and that all was well in Doro.
8:30-9:30 - Christiane Checked email and an Antanov plane flew by (not over us, but close enough to hear it's unmistakable drone) and I updated my FB status with the Damazine News headline from the Sudan Tribune
9:40 - Nehemiah our compound manager came onto the compound looking for me to tell me that he'd just gotten off the phone with someone in Kurmuk who said that the Antanov had dropped bombs there.
9:50 - I contacted our director to give him this news and he then contacted our partners AIM Air to turn around a flight that had just picked up missionaries from 3 organizations in Kurmuk and Yabus to have them return and evacuate the rest of our Yabus personnel (Krumuk and Yabus are very close and often 'share' trouble when it comes).
10:00 - I am 1/2 way through my shower when the AIM Air flight flies overhead to land and re-fuel in Doro... I throw on some clothes and run to the air strip.
10:10 - I, unfortunately, am the first one to inform the people from Kurmuk that their area had been bomed MOMENTS after the flight took them out.
10:15-11:15 - a lot of phone calls and plans being made on the airstrip and discussions of the Lord's provisions. SUCH AS: our mobile networks here in our area have been so patchy and unreliable lately... but for the past 12 hours every text message sent by our friends in Kurmuk to their offices in Nairobi went and was replied to with NO problems - it's hard describe what a miracle this is. Also, they literally were in the air no more than 10 minutes before the Antanov flew over Kurmuk.
11:20 - Plane is unloaded of luggages and the pilots (and our team mate Ryan) fly BACK to Yabus to pick up 2 more SIM missionaries who were not planning on coming out today. We took the rest of our 'visitors' back to the compound to hydrate and feed them a little bit of food.
12:10 - the Plane returns to Doro to pick up original passengers and carry them safely on to Loki and then Nairobi. When the plane re-landed, we were informed that TEN MINUTES after the plane left Yabus the FIRST TIME a plane had flown over and sprayed (bullets) the airstrip. Our pilots were in contact with their base through the whole flight and were only ONE MINUTE on the ground in Yabus, to collect our 2 remaining SIM missionaries, before taking off again.
12:30 - a text back to our office in Nairobi to let our praying team mates there know that all were safe and headed their way, Praise the Lord.

**only a 1/2 hour later HUGE thunder heads rolled into the Doro/Yabus area and unloaded... which would have meant that plane would have been GROUNDED if the timing had been any different**

Another thing we are thankful for, is that, b/c of a bad infection I've had in my leg this past week, I've been here in Doro rather then in Gasmalla as I usually am. My being here today allowed me to be the one communicating with Nairobi, organizing things for our unexpected visitors, etc... allowing Vicki, our other base leadership member to carry on with her special ministry to our local 'Traditional Birth Attendants' that had been planned for today - and would have been delayed otherwise, with Vicki doing all of the above things that I was able to do in stead. Also, only just yesterday did we get more credit put on our Thuraya (Satelite phone) that we have on our base in order to communicate with Nairobi in case of emergencies... had Vicki not noticed we were out and had our office staff not acted quickly to get us more yesterday before our office closed, we would not have been able to communicate with Nairobi during this whole ordeal.

With all this being said, and the evidence of the Lord's Goodness to us and in our circumstances here, we still recognize that for so many of the Sudanese people living in Damazine, Kurmuk, and Yabus the situation feels very different... No airlift is coming for them, they are hiding in the bushes with no belongings and are worried about their children and what has become of their homes. Somehow, the Lord is NO LESS GOOD in their situations, yet it is different. Please join us in the 'prayer battle' for these countries and for the lives of the Sudanese, and South Sudanese in these areas. Please also pray for our friends who are thankful for their safely yet having to deal with the guilt of being safe while people they love are hiding in the bushes... I have no wisdom to give them, no way of understanding even... but I do know "The Lord of hosts is WITH US, the God of Jacob is our STRONGHOLD".


Nate and Amy said...

Thank you Christiane for this post. We only had the sketchy details of what happened until we read it. Praise the Lord for His miracles and we continue to pray for those who are left behind in the peril, that they will see His presence with them too.

Anonymous said...

Praying for our Sudanese Christian brothers and sisters... as well as all of you! Thanks for the update post. Sharon Friesen

Congdons in Sudan said...

Thanks, Christiane. Praying for you all. R & N

Anonymous said...


Praying for those left behind that He will show Himself to them also in miraculous ways

Thank you for sharing with us Christiane :-)

Vicky Lake

Anonymous said...

This makes interesting reading for me sitting n UK as I anticipated flying into Yabus to visit next friday as a member of the CR team. Good to know we are all in the Lord's keeping wherever we are . Looking forward to meeting you.
Every blessing

Faders said...

Chris, thanks for reminder after reminder of God's perfect timing. Reading your blog post moved me to worship our Lord all the more. He is indeed GOOD ALL THE TIME. Praying for our beloved friends and team. Love the Faders

Crsaig said...

Hey Chris thanks for telling me to read this. That is awesome news literally. THe Lord is good!

Anonymous said...

thats Craig not Crsaig :)

Skip & Ruth Sorensen said...

Praising the Living God for His omniscience, omnipotence, and his omnipresence! No one can claim that everything "just happened by chance" there in Sudan! God is soooo awesome! Praying for the Yabus/Doro people!

<3 Bethany Fader's Mom

Shalene Massie said...

I am in tears. I know all too well how all these LITTLE "things", phones working. . . with airtime. . . timing of planes, guilt of leaving those behind. . .that are matters of life and death and God's faithfulness IN THE MOMENT in OUR lives.

My husband, 2 year old, and I evacuated Torit Sudan in June because of fighting near us. Our indigenous staff asked us to leave because our "Kuwaijah" presents made the compound more of a target for possible LRA raids nearby.

We are good friends of the Faders. We were living in Torit, Sudan. My husband is there now for a short time collecting some of our personal things. We are moving back to the US for a time. My daughter and I are in the US now.

I am thankful you and fellow missionary friends can breathe easier now and are in our Fathers arms.


Shalene (the Massie's)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a powerful and specific example of how our awesome God provides! I came across your post while searching for information about current events in eastern Sudan, for I was trying to better understand the email update my cousin Ryan had sent about the situation. It's a double blessing to hear about God's provision from two different perspectives! May God preserve Sudan and its people.

Kaylee P.

becky said...


Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this I would ask you one small favour:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from South Sudan? I understand perfectly that you think that your e-mail is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in South Sudan in order to complete my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and a original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog, where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Anonymous said...

Just wondering these days what the situation is like in Doro, Chali as well as in Kurmuk? We have been following the news as well as we can via the Tribune but it does leave 'gaps'. If you have any information, could you post it? We are wondering about the many Mabaan, Uduks and Dinkas that we met while in Sherkole Refugee camp, visiting our children, Angela and Rolf Kruse, several years ago. Blessings, Sharon Friesen (Angela Kruse's mom)

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وايضا تحت اسم
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وفي هذا الفرع نسعد بتقديم كل الخدمات التي تخص المسابح لاهالي الخبر من خدمات تنظيف او صيانة او تشغيل برك السباحه ،ولاننا قد عملنا في شركة شام علي تغطية المنطقة الشرقيه كافه فقد حرصنا علي ان يكون لنا فرع في مدينة القطيف يختص بتقديم خدمات المسابح لجميع اهالي مدينة القطيف والذي سوف تجدونه علي المتصفح تحت مسمى
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وهنا سوف تجدون كل ما يخص المسابح من خدمات تنظيف المسابح بالقطيف وصيانتها وتشغيلها ‘واما عن مدينة الجبيل فلنا ايضا هناك فرع يختص بتقديم خدمات المسابح لجميع اهالي الجبيل من تنظيف وصيانه وتشغيل وهذا الفرع سوف تجدونه علي المتصفح تحت اسم
شركة صيانة وتنظيف مسابح بالجبيل
بهذا اعزائي نكون في شركة شام قد استطعنا ان نغطي كافة انحاء المنطقة الشرقيه وتقديم كافة خدمات المسابح التي يحتاجها اهالي المنطقه باحدث الاساليب والطرق العلميه وباستخدام افضل مواد التنظيف واحسن اجهزة ومعدات الصيانه والتعقيم ، فلا تقلق عزيزي العميل ولا تحتار فشركة شام هي افضل اختيار .

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