By Christina Roberts

Recently, God asked me to do a very difficult thing.

I had to say goodbye to the people I had lived with, learned language with, done life with, grown to love, and became like family with for the past year and a half. I knew that one day I would have to say goodbye, but I didn’t think it would be so soon or because of the circumstances.

I wasn’t ready. Tears streamed down my face as I said my last goodbyes and embraced my beautiful Nuer friends. As we drove away towards the airport, I knew that I was leaving a chunk of my heart with them. I questioned God as to why He gave me such a love for the Nuer and such a desire to be with them when I couldn’t stay. I didn’t want new friends from a different tribe. I was perfectly happy with the ones I have among the Nuer.

Back in Uganda, one of my friends reminded me of how fortunate I was to have been able to spend that time among the Nuer. She encouraged me to not be afraid to invest in the new place I am going, and to not forget the power of intercession for my Nuer friends.

God accomplished whatever purpose he had for me among the Nuer. He had me with the Nuer for a season, and maybe I’ll one day be reunited with them. I may never see fruit or know what my particular purpose was other than that He called me to the Nuer for a time. He gave me these people to love for a short while, and I don’t know if I could have loved them any more. He is now giving me others to love, maybe for a short time, or maybe for many years.

If I loved the Nuer more than I ever thought possible, I know that Jesus will provide an even greater overflow of his love for this new tribe. While my heart still hurts when I think about not being with the Nuer, I am filled with hope and expectation as I look forward to what the Lord is going to do during this season in Tonj.