After a week and a half of staying at Zola’s Lounge a.k.a. “The Nightclub” (see previous post), we were able to move to more peaceful accommodations. We met an American missionary couple who worked with a local church to allow us to stay in their guest quarters. We have been so blessed by their hospitality. The best part is that we are now staying in the middle of the South Sudanese community. I feel more at home going to sleep to the sound of drums rather than Brittany Spears and Justin Bieber.

I am also living in a mud hut for the first time! We were surrounded by mud huts (or “duels”) in Nasir, but our own houses were made from concrete blocks. The huts we are staying in now are really nice – a tarp on the ceiling prevents the bats from roosting in the top, a plastic floor covering makes it easy to sweep, and there are a light and an electrical outlet too. Aside from a couple of encounters with rats and a sweet stray dog that sometimes sleeps in the corner, there haven’t been too many critters.

We have resumed daily language lessons with a tutor and spend time practicing in the community. It’s encouraging to hear less “kawaay” (which means foreigner) and more “Nyewec James” (my Nuer name and my father’s name). We have met many who (like us) have come to Ethiopia due to the conflict in South Sudan.

God answered our prayers this week when Jared bumped into one of our colleagues who had just arrived from Nasir. The phone lines have been shut down since the war started in December, and we haven’t been able to get in touch with our staff. We have been concerned for our friends, and we were glad to hear that for the most part they are okay. We grieve to get reports of those who have sustained gunshot wounds, lost their husbands, or fled to refugee camps.

Please continue to pray with us for a lasting peace to come to South Sudan. We especially lift up those who have been displaced from their homes, have been injured, or have lost loved ones.