By Christina Roberts

Meet Nyatuok.

She was born to a mother who had been plagued by the heartache of difficulty in childbearing. All of the children before Nyatuok were stillborn or died shortly after birth. Nyatuok’s name means "mud" because her parents expected that she, too, would be put in the ground under the mud.

By God’s grace, however, she lived and now has seven children of her own. Nyatuok is originally from a town in South Sudan near Nasir, but during the war in the 1990s, she fled as a refugee to Ethiopia with her family where she has resided ever since.

During my time in Ethiopia among the Nuer, I met Nyatuok. Our friendship began one day as she observed me attempting to wash clothes. I must have looked pretty pathetic because she quickly pushed me out of the way and began washing. After that, she came faithfully to wash clothes, enabling me to practice my Nuer as well as teaching me Nuer songs as she washed.

Slowly, through many visits to her house and sitting countless hours with her in the hospital due to a sick child, I was able to get to know her and her family very well. Nyatuok now refers to me as her daughter and tells me that she is my mother. Sometimes, she even introduces me to people on the street as her daughter, at times telling people she has eight children instead of seven. Nyatuok is a deaconess in the Presbyterian church and is full of intensity and joy that Jesus brings. 

Please pray for the health of Nyatuok and her family, and for all seven of her children to grow to be godly men and women, standing out in the culture and making disciples.