Monday, July 14, 2008

Update on Sudan 2008 Mission

Sudan's president being charged with genocide today reminds me to post some updates on our summer 2008 team in Sudan. I'm about a week behind on the Sudan mission, in part because I was diverted by the buzz about "Gabriel's Revelation."

archival photo: Renk Classroom


Ellen Davis and physician Peter held a seminar with the women of Renk, with Ellen reading from Proverbs on wisdom, making the point that theology and community health are quite interrelated. There was discussion of wisdom and "good sense." Peter Atem struggled to translate "good sense" and to everyone's marvel said that the Dinka word for sense already has a designated word in English: holy. So, in a community of caring, where people are striving to be in the right relationships with each other, community health is more than hand washing, more than not drinking diseased water; it is using the wisdom of the elders (the old) and the good sense (the new) to get your neighbor medical attention when they are ill. Everyone joined in the discussion and talked openly and animatedly.

Our VTS student teacher on the scene, Clarisse has proven to be a superb teacher, loved by her students because of her unswerving diligence in trying to make sure every student gets what they need. From dawn to dusk she has been preparing lessons, teaching, giving special tutoring, grading papers, and just generally being indispensable. She has had a great presence and Peter and Ellen have found a wonderful traveling companion.

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