Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sunday's Update from Renk, Sudan

This in from Sara:

More torrential storms and flooding today; Peter was damp and cold as we talked; he "danced between the raindrops" to collect fresh bathing water, in ankle deep puddles. A blessing for the team, but more hardship for the people, already suffering from recent rains.


Today's church service was well attended and rich with drumming (tintabulation), singing and Ellen's wonderful sermon. Peter gave a very brief message derived from Luke 10 (Love thy neighbor as thyself) which was a good lead-in to his invitation for the church women to gather for a talk about public health. Talk is better than lecture; what he hopes to do is to "bear witness" to their concerns about the safety and well-being of their children and families. Obviously they are worried about decent housing, food, clothing, and access to health care. Peter wants to engage them in conversation about what they can do to promote health and disease prevention. They are the "true public health experts."

Ellen and Peter met with Bishop Hillary, up from Malakal (south of the upper Nile region of Sudan) today. They were expecting his plea for divinity bible scholars and a doctor every three months. Caveats understood with student school year schedules. Also, they lost their midwife due to excessive expense, but the cost for a visiting MD every three months could pay a midwife's salary for 2 years! Food for thought. Bishop Daniel arrives tomorrow.

Ellen, Andrew and Peter are healthy. They are thankful, exhausted, challenged, (frustrated) and completely fascinated by all they are experiencing.

Thanks to all of you for your support,

Sara

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