Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sharing Life....

...in Mission

“Aaah! Aaaaaah!”  'Who was this tormented person?', we wondered. How could we help? While one of us (who shall remain nameless) fell asleep, Grant stayed awake, praying fervently for the sufferer whose cries pierced the quiet of the night in this Opo village. In the morning we saw who it was. It was a goat. Standing and straining at his tether, he was leaning down and screaming into the ear of the goat next to him. From time to time, the object of this attention, with almost palpable disdain, would - “Pugh!” - spit into his accuser’s face, eliciting even more aggrieved and vocal protest. The goat argument was happily ignored by the women who sat near them, already hard at work preparing morning tea. Finally Grant could stand it no longer. Walking over to the goats, he addressed them directly: “WHAT’S your PROBLEM?”  There was a moment of frozen disbelief as both goats and women stared at the bishop, standing with his arms spread in earnest supplication before...a goat! The women doubled over in incredulous laughter. But the goat, his little head hung down, went humbly to his own patch of dirt, and, for the first time in many hours, sat down quietly.
It must have been the prayers...

... and prayed for...
“Do you live in the woods?”, she had asked us as we emerged out of the small strand of trees separating her property from the one next door. We chatted in the warmth of the complete and instant friendship that only the very young can give. Now a year later, we have learned that every night before she goes to bed, this little girl from South Carolina, folds her small hands and prays to God to bless Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy. We were overwhelmed. 

Teaching....And Taught
There is a little church in western Ethiopia, in a town called Illia. The church’s walls are made of a few bamboo sticks; its roof a UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) tarp . There is nothing inside but a bare, smooth floor of packed mud. The small congregation somehow had found a chair for the bishop to sit in, while they themselves sat on the ground. They listened as Grant taught about the woman who had given Jesus her wealth - her gift of costly ointment worth a year’s wages; had given her pride - in the ancient world only a slave could be required to attend to a person’s feet; and she had given her reputation - she had let down her hair to wash Jesus’ feet. As it came time for this church to give the offering, to the handfuls of grain and little one birr notes (worth six cents) that were laid on the mat, were added the gifts of the women. One laid down her head scarf, the next her necklace of plastic beads, and one by one, women, who from a western perspective had ‘nothing’, came and brought their gifts - ‘costly’, because that was all they had. In the West, because of (or perhaps in spite of) the ‘much’ that we have, we can substitute pleasure for joy. The women of Ilea do not have this option - but they have joy. The poor have something to teach us. 

Back in North America for April and May, as we reconnect with friends and family, we are more grateful than we can express - for you, and for your friendship, your prayers and your support. What a joy to partner with each other and with Jesus in His love for us all!

The Rt Rev Dr Grant LeMarquand and Dr Wendy LeMarquand are missionaries of SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders)
Bishop Grant is Area bishop for the Horn of Africa within the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Praying in Matar

Sharing the Bible
Thank you to those who gave the gift of Anuak and Nuer bibles:
Church of the Incarnation & Shepherd's Heart, PA
Parish of St Helena, SC
St Peter's Church & St Claire of Assisi Church, CA

~ Please pray for the following projects ~

The Nehemiah Project
will provide:
  • much needed security for staff and residents of Gambella Anglican Centre
  • demonstration vertical gardens, an alternative for those who have no land for family gardening
  • teaching eco-friendly brick making from local materials for income generation
See link: Nehemiah project

Rebuilding and Repairing Churches in the Gambella Region
will provide:

  • an on-site church for the future theological college chapel and for use of the local Anuak congregation
  • new churches for those whose churches were destroyed by flooding
see link in future newsletter: Expanding the Gambella Anglican Centre

The Mothers’ Union Community Education and Development Project
will provide:

  • education by “training the trainers” in health, bible, prayer ministry and income generation

If you would like to share in this work, see the following charitable donation links:
In Canada: Devxchange

In the UK: Friends of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia, and Egypt Diocesan Association 
EDA: http://www.eda-egypt.org.uk/pages/contact.html

In the US: SAMS-USA