I Watch I Listened

I watched you and I listened
To each deed and every word
Let Me tell you what I saw in you
Let Me recite just what I heard
When asked about the time of day
The weather, sports and such
You really had a lot to say
Indeed you do know much
But when time came to speak of Me
Your silence screamed so loud
I felt as though I embarrassed you
When I should have made you proud
I watched as you told that joke
They all laughed with such great glee
I waited to hear if any word you spoke
That would reflect that you know Me
So I will watch tomorrow too
Maybe today was just a little ‘off’
If someone asks do you know Me?
Own up, and please don’t scoff

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

Road Kill

What were they doing on the side of the road anyway? Those people in that earthquake worship the devil. They surely got what they deserved. The godless idol worshipers caught in the tsunami were sinners damned by God. Why were those kids out late at night? Why don’t those people take better care of their bodies? They all have it coming, including the alcoholic, the murderers, child abusers, sexual perverts, prostitutes, illegal aliens, terrorists and the whole lot can go to hell before they expect any help from me. They should not be on the side of the road. I stepped over them. Leave them alone as road kill, in the wrong place at the wrong time. They should know better!

The fascinating thing about Jesus and the parable of The Good Samaritan, is that the Savior never explains why the man chose to travel on a dangerous road all by himself. Apparently it was a known bad place. Jesus, however, focused on the response of the ‘good people’ who happened to pass the injured man.

This parable refers not only to the least of these, but also the least worthy these. I must confess that like Paul I am amongst the least worthy of all. But Christ did not ask me why I was on the side of the road. He bent down, and healed me, and said; ‘go and sin no more!’

I, on the other hand walk by the road kill. It is easier of course. I am one of the good people.

Are you like me; one of the ‘good people?’ Do you find yourself asking; ‘what are they doing on the side of the road?’ Are you blaming or bandaging?

Are you bending down, bathing, applying balms, or standing over accusing?

Lu 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Mt 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Never argue with an ass

In our prayer time today, Kay and I learned this lesson in the Bible. It was the example of Balaam in Numbers 22-25 that served to show me the futility and foolishness of arguing with an ass, especially one who speaks for God.

Now if you were the ass in this story, it would be hard to understand why the man riding on your back was being so hard on you. After all the, Bible records the ass’s point of view: Numbers 22:23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field:

Balaam had been tasked with delivering a specific word of truth to Balak the king. However the king sought to entice Balaam to deliver a message that would curse the king’s enemies. God wanted Balaam to deliver a message that would instead, bless the king’s enemies. The enticement offered by the king was gifts of material wealth and career prosperity. Balaam was torn between accepting the offer and doing the right thing. It was the ass that made the difference.

If you choose to read that story, you will find that the ass saw the angel and finally spoke to Balaam saying in essence; ‘lighten up dude! What did I ever do to you?’

Well, I exaggerated a little here, but the ass refused to move further for fear of his own life and spoke up in his own defense.

Suffice it to say, Balaam argued with the ass and at the end of their discourse, the angel appeared and told him that the ass saved his life. Balaam went on to confess his disobedience and completed the task God had before him. He went to king Balak and blessed his enemies as God had commanded him to do. He lost out on the high paying job and the perks, but he pleased God.

The moral of the story is.., never argue with an ass. He might be trying to save your life. Read it for yourself. It is in the Bible.


Our Favorite 1 Percent
Think of the U.S. military as the Other 1%

Keturah is back home. Actually she is in Fort Dix New Jersey, not too far away from us, but much further away from the harm we only read about in between the latest Lindsey Lohan news.

Time Magazine’s November 21st edition has an article on the military costs of this war in which it highlights this in “The Other 1%” “Never has the U.S. public been so separate, so removed from the people it pays to protect it. Over the past generation, the world’s lone superpower has created_and grown accustomed to a permanent military caste, increasingly disconnected from U.S. society, waging decade long wars in its name. Think of the U.S. military as the Other 1%, some 2.4 million troops have fought in and around Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11, exactly 1% of the 240 million Americans over 18. If you remove those who are unlikely to serve because they are too fat or too criminal or in college, only 15% of Americans ages 17-24 are eligible to sign up.”

Keturah has proven herself as one of that other 1%. She went through rigorous mental, physical, psychological and spiritual conditioning. She would write and call us from her base and was frequently interrupted by shouts of ‘incoming’ at which time her voice would and face would disappear from the computer screen or telephone. She would call at odd hours of the night, from a barracks that was pitch black as our mid daytime was her early morning hours. She would whisper. She would assure us she was doing well. She would tell me of her reading her Bible devotions My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. She would send text messages of how she missed and loved us. Our favorite 1 percent is back home and we will soon be reunited as a family with her.

Time magazine goes on to say much of our thanks we give them, free meals at restaurants, front of the line boarding on airlines is a true thank you. That is ‘thank you for doing what I am afraid to or unwilling to commit myself to do.’

Welcome home PFC Keturah Ruth Johnson. We thank God for her protection. We pray for the remaining portion of the valiant 1%.

Unfriend it and End it: Progressive Relationships

After almost 35 years of marriage, I am amazed that my wife has not unfriended me yet. I have given her plenty of reason to do so. She could just unfriend it and end it.

The electronic age has radically changed the ease of ignoring others, including an ever increasing rapidity of meltdown in relationships. We are now able to completely dissolve relationships without even meeting people face to face. We just delete them from our computer screens, our minds, and hearts. That is efficiency! That is progress.

I thank God that He does not work that way. After 59 years of life, I have given Him plenty of reasons to unfriend it and end it. But He does not work that way. There is no body on God’s ‘I am not speaking to you’ list. In fact, God just keeps on talking to me, even when I completely ignore Him.

One way He makes sure to do this is He keeps waking me up in the morning, showering me with health and all of the necessities of life, including many of the gravy items. This is where the wife comes in. God has chosen to take up residence in my wife and use her to show His love for me in the many ways she forgives and forgets. She refuses to unfriend and end. So does God.

Even though they both have good reason to unfriend me, they refuse to do so, I have given them even better ammunition moment by moment from the past to the present and even future. But they don’t. God does call me friend, and He refuses to end it.

John 15:15: Henceforth I CALL YOU not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called YOU friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Give Us This Day Our Monthly Bread: The Lethality of My Luxury

I accumulate things and give God an honorable mention (a shout out to Jesus as it were) as I sit at the table overflowing with food and beverage, much of which I will store in my refrigerator just long enough to let it mold, or go stale. I don’t even have a dog to give it to nowadays. That in summary is the lethality of my luxury.

Pastor Al Jackson of Lakeview Baptist Church, Auburn Alabama sums up the American culture in one word. MORE. Whatever we have, we just want MORE! In this sermon series, my brother is speaking on living as counter cultural Christians. I am not sure I am ready for it. I must admit, I am part of that culture and it seems impossible to escape from some of the clear examples he sets forth. I live in a house with my wife. Just the two of us live in a house big enough to accommodate several families anywhere else in the world, including families here in our home nation. As I count the pairs of shoes I must stuff into the shoe container, the number of Tee shirts into my bottom drawer, I think to myself, I need bigger containers and dresser drawers. Well, maybe I really don’t. Pastor Jackson goes on to quote C.S. Lewis ”I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare…If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us,… they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures excludes them.”

What a radical way to think. You mean I should deny myself so that others can have? Where is my comfort level in that? There is lethality in our luxury as Americans. We have come to accept that having the access to excess is success. We believe that we are entitled to have more because we are in a nation and world that takes greater pride in having than giving. We exalt the people who exhibit their wealth by what they have rather than what they give away. When someone does give something away, it is rarely done privately or without great fanfare, and even less rarely without a tax receipt. I keep very close track of my charitable giving.

There is lethality in this luxury. What dies is our ability to sacrifice. What dies is our desire to do without excess so that others can have just plain access. I will overeat and not think twice about throwing away the scraps I leave behind. It does not matter that I overindulge in eating, or drinking. What really matters is that I am able to make a lot of money to spend on things I don’t really need to impress people who don’t really care, or maybe even jealous. That may be what I want after all.

The lethality of luxury is that my heart grows cold to the heart of what God is telling me. Pastor Jackson quotes Proverbs 30:8-9 ….,give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. The lethality is that I would deny God and become so enamored with my wealth that I forget the source of my wealth. When I forget the source of my wealth, I start to die.

The lethality of not giving thanks for the carbonated beverage is that I begin to take the availability of water for granted. The lethality of not giving thanks for a warm place to sleep is that I neglect to give thanks for being allowed to awaken the next morning. I take God for granted and that is lethal. The prophet wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:8 All things [are] full of labor: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

We find ourselves wanting more, expecting more, telling ourselves we are entitled to more because after all, it is there and we either earned it, or deserve it. Our eyes are never satisfied, our hunger increases and as a result our bodies adapt to encourage our appetites. We want constant entertainment, constant food, constant communication and it must all be in the color and quantity we want (thank you Jesus).

We no longer pray; ‘Give us this day our daily bread’, rather Give us this day our monthly bread. Assure us this month everything we could possibly desire will happen as we want it when we want it. This is lethal luxury. It is evident in our increasing Body Mass Index (Indices) as Americans grow bigger and bigger.

God forgive me for wanting more of it, than wanting more of you. God forgive me for this lethal luxury.

Jesus Had a Fool

It is a common saying; ‘the man who chooses himself as his own attorney has a fool to defend him’.

This describes the Lord of glory. He chose to defend himself. And in doing so, he remained silent before all of His accusers. He knew very well ‘everything He said would be held against Him’ so He chose to just be silent before His accusers. No matter what He said, He would be found guilty.

We live in an era of increasing demands for ‘human rights’. Children demand rights. Husbands and wives demand rights. Citizens demand rights from their governments. All of these are completely antithetical to the Bible as I read it.

There is not a single instance in the Bible that puts our sexual orientation, economic status, color or caste or any other single distinction as something that mandates others, not even God should accept and acknowledge who we are.

What I do see is the demand to be a fool. To be silent before our accusers and let God allow us to be crucified to our agendas so that His agenda will be fulfilled.

Jesus stated his case by His life. Here it is; John 15:25, They hated me without a cause.

Now to be truthful I have given many people many reasons to hate me. I have offended, disappointed, hurt, fallen short of expectations and even intentionally hurt many people. I confess that I did so with what seemed as completely legitimate, justifiable reasons, rational within my rights and I would defend myself even in God’s great court against anyone who would say otherwise.

The problem is, if I am to truly model Jesus, the sinless one (so noted by all who recorded his life, even Pontius Pilate three times) I have no defense that is true. I lie to cover my offense against others. I enjoy my sin so much that I am willing to use my ‘rights’ as a justification for my wrongs against God.

Jesus chose a fool. He defended Himself. He lost His case before men, but won it before God. He had every right to declare Himself innocent of any of the charges against Him. He replied; ‘Suffer it be so, so that the Father’s will be done.’

In this increasing age of addiction to our rights…, Christ would bid us to be addicted to our responsibilities.

I am responsible to minister to those who are hungry, in pain, lonely, naked and the host of things which I know nothing about as I peruse the safety net of family, friends and unlimited resources of prayer.

Get addicted. Get the right addiction. Get addicted to your responsibilities to meet the needs of those around you. Be a fool that is accused rightly of doing things that honor the Father. That pleases the Christ and in pleasing Him, you please His Father, whom you will meet one day soon.

Jesus had such an addiction. Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Greedy Grants

They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. Mark 10:37

We want power. We want to be seen. We want our political objectives met. We want our financial institutions to give us great reward and we want God’s vengeance on anyone or anything that stands in our way. We have left our responsibilities so that we can assume our rights. We want God to grant that we sit on the right or left of Christ. We don’t ask that He would let us sit at His feet. The disciples had this greedy grant mentality.

The thing that makes this discourse so unnerving is that Jesus had just explained how he would soon be tortured and murdered for offending those who were on the right and left. These disciples were men who were close to the Savior. Maybe I should restate that. These were men who were near him in physical proximity, but very far removed from Him spiritually. They had their agendas. They had their aims. They wanted the kingdom to come to crush the Romans, the religious zealots, the unclean gentiles and of course, they wanted to be able to sit on the right and left hands of Jesus and watch it all unfold.

Author Jerry Bridges writes in Respectable Sins of the sin of moral Self-Righteousness. The pride of the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable was what we can call moral self righteousness. It expresses itself in a feeling of moral superiority with respect to other people…., It is found in the political and cultural realms among the liberals and conservatives. Anyone who behaves, for example, that he holds the moral high ground in any area such as politics, economics, or environmental policy is likely indulging in moral self-righteousness. Sadly, however, it is very common among conservative evangelical believers….the sin we fall into is the sin of moral self righteousness toward those who practice those sins (immorality, easy divorce, homosexual lifestyle, drug addiction).

Lest we forget, when Jesus spoke of the The Least of These My brethren, He also meant the Least worthy of these. The pedophile needs Christ just as much as the molested child. The battered woman neeeds Christ just as much as the man who battered her.

The drug addict and the pusher both need Jesus. The Wall Street Baron and the Main Street Bum are in need of the same salvation. The prostitute needs the same Jesus as does the man who uses him or her as an object. These least worthy of these are people like you and me…., all in need of salvation by grace and grace alone. That is neither a left or right issue. That is an at the feet service of surrender. Paul attested to such in his letter to Timothy;1 Timothy 1:15This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I AM chief.

I do believe we need extremists. We need them on the right and the left. As Martin Luther King Jr. said we need Creative Extremists. The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be… The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists

The world needs creative extremists; people willing to create a dialogue that ministers to the poor and powerless without indicting the rich and powerful. Both groups feel entitled. While I do support the notion of human rights, as far as I can tell, it is not a Biblical mandate. The only thing that Christ mandates is that we love one another, care for one another, minister to the needs of one another. That is, we are called to serve. We are called not to sit on the right or left of any particular issue, but at the feet of those who feel left out. We are called to serve, wash the unclean feet of the homeless as well as apply lotion to the well heeled in our society. That is the work of creative extremists.

As long as the church thinks of itself as an organization to support causes, and not an organism to minister to people, we will ask God for our Greedy Grants. Grant that I should have this right, this wealth, this power, this position because after all, I deserve it. It is in the constitution, the UN human rights mandate, encoded in state and federal law and of course since I am a child of God, I deserve it.

Unless and until we surrender in service, until we become the creative extremists on the right and the left, we will never sit at the feet of Christ in surrender. That surrender is service.

No Spit in the Soup

First thing the man did before announcing lunch was to spit at my feet. Of course I am exaggerating. How else to keep your attention? However, it is true that he did manage to expel a big yellow tinged piece of slime from the recesses of his mouth with enough force to fall just a few feet shy of my feet. He then announced in broken English: ‘lunch is ready’. He was the cook and as a grey haired Sudanese in charge of the kitchen the only polite thing I could do after such a colorful invitation was to follow him to the dining area. The food was actually pretty good, or I was very hungry. Either way, I took second helpings of the beans and rice and the other visitors with me did likewise. The dirt floor and plywood walls gave the semblance of rustic décor made surreal by the flowers on the plastic bowls. The spoons and the fresh bread rolls made it clear that we were eating at one of Bor Sudan’s finest establishments.

This was midday of our first day in Sudan. It was the ‘meeting point’ for us and the driver to take us to the hospital. The night before was spent in Lokichogio Kenya. Lokichogio is known for being one of the busiest airports in East Africa as it serves a host of international relief and aid agencies. It is also known for its insecurity as related to me by the cook at the ‘Hotel California’ which is where we stayed that first night. He told me that it was common practice in Lokichogio for boys as young as ten years of age to carry AK47 rifles to defend their cattle and that the purpose of the police in the area was to write down reports of who was most recently killed, not necessarily by whom.

Hotel California had all of the charm of…, well it had no charm. It was really a series of tents with firm mattresses on the beds and electric bulbs and an outside shower and toilet connected via the back of the tent. I chose not to shower under the stars that night as I knew that God had seen all of me already and others would be shocked to see the rest. The water was just above ambient evening temperature of 80 degrees at 7 pm and the soap was new with the picture of the Lux woman on it.

At 6 a.m. that morning two crazy white girls and two crazy black guys got in the car and drove back to the Lokichogio airport. I say the girls are crazy because I can’t for the life of me figure out how they get the daring and guts to do what I shiver doing. I don’t get in little cabs in Philadelphia with two black guys. Here we are in a cab the size of a motorcycle, with potholes, better yet sinkholes filled with water coming one third way up the car doors. When the motor died out I was sure I was going to have to climb through the window to help pull us out. Well, the driver was used to this and after the carburetor rested a few seconds we were on our way to the Lokichogio airport bound for Bor Sudan just two hours on the other side of the southern Sudanese border.

Lokichogio airport is more like a conglomeration of shipping containers, brick buildings and straw huts in various stages of decay and renovation. It is hard to tell which is undergoing which process. It has its share of crashed airplanes on the side of the runways, against fences and in pieces on the ground. I am not sure why they never remove this stuff, except that maybe it serves as guideposts for take-off and landing.

We had arrived in Lokichogio on a flight called ALS which I understands means Airplane Leasing Service, but has since lost this acronym. I dubbed it Always Lands Someplace. The plane we boarded was as wide as a small van, with about the same amount of headroom. You had to bend yourself in half to walk down the aisle to get to your seat. If you were over 5 feet 9 like me, you would probably have to crawl.

We got on an African Inland Mission plane which had two of the seats removed so that we could carry the medical supplies and our personal belongings. It was a good flight as we were not near as high and at times it seemed like we were gliding and not flying. We could see the roads below where trucks were stranded in mud and small villages and vast swaths of green covered earth. It was pretty.

We landed in Bor Sudan at around 9 a.m. We were met as expected by our driver who was to take us to the planned meeting point for heading to Werekok hospital.

We stopped at a guesthouse to have tea and meet a few important people. I assume they were important as they were well dressed, arrived in motorized vehicles and spoke perfect English. If it were not for the nearby pond filled with dirty water, drinking cattle, car and motorcycles being washed, laundered clothing and bathing and playing children, the atmosphere could have been considered less than an experiment in public health challenges. This was no mere Petri-dish of growing microorganisms. This was an experiment of how far one could allow parasitic infestation proceed left unchecked without any significant intervention.

We left the fine establishment just briefly before lunch to tour the town of Bor. It you add an ‘e’ to the name it describes it more accurately. This was once the seat of rebellion against the northern Sudanese government and now serves as a hot seat of political and tribal rivalry. The only peace that exists now is the result of the multiple international oil companies that have come to de-mine the roads, fill in the larger craters on the streets and of course the ever present UN ‘peacekeepers’. The World Food Program has massive trucks, planes and storage facilities here which serve to keep the people in a watching and waiting position rather than a planning and moving posture. Such is development in Sudan. If we wait long enough, maybe another 50 years, someone will stop the Arab north from decimating the indigenous African south. Until then, we need the UN peacekeepers to keep a body count and the World Food Program to delay starvation of the entire populace. I did my fair share of hunger relief. I saw a woman boiling dough like doughnuts in hot oil and I thought I would be nice and purchase some from her to ‘improve her income’ for the day. I thought to myself these are boiled in oil so they can’t harm me if I eat them. I asked for one, only to be informed by sign language they only sold them by the dozen or so. I promptly paid for my dozen or so which were then hand-picked (who knows what else those hands had picked) and placed in a torn piece of local newspaper that was made easier to tear by adding a little spittle to the crease in the corner. Well the two crazy white girls I was walking with decided they would eat. One was a community health nurse and the other a trained laboratory technician whom I assumed both believed in the germ theory. So I ate one after seeing they did not drop dead. Later down the road, I did as most Americans do, give away what I don’t want to some snotty nosed kid who happened to wave at me with a smile. I was glad to give a gift, even if it was not tax season.

We were delayed in Bor because somehow the details of our arrival and departure were not specific enough given the 6 week transmission of precise communications. Hence rather than depart at 10 a.m. as planned, we left right on time at 3 p.m. I always say you can set your watch in Africa.., you just have to re-set it later.

Our trip from Bor to Werekok was a challenge both coming and going. The 30 kilometer or 20 mile trip takes about 90 minutes if you don’t get stuck in mud. We were assured there were no mines as I could see several men walking along the road with one leg and two crutches. I am sure they could point out the bad spots!

I had my sunglasses on as I sat in the back of the pick-up truck with anywhere from 4 to 11 people. The sunglasses served two purposes. The first was to keep the swinging thorn filled branches from eviscerating my eye from its socket. I have kind of grown attached to my eyes. The second was to keep the mud from my eyes. I had no such protection from my mouth as the tires which had the tread of a Rolaids spun in the mud and dug the car deeper, flinging the dark slush everywhere. Of course the mud did not have the minty taste of Rolaids, but more like that of the frogs, insects, snakes and animals who had traversed this path before us. I was glad I had my glasses. We were able to dig, push and pray our way out of many muddy holes. I have had a taste of Sudan literally.

The hospital was a site to behold. It needs a lot of work, but the progress thus far provides great hope and shows great vision and commitment on behalf of the locals and missionaries who have begun the work. Imagine men who have only recently lain down their AK 47 rifles and have taken up shovels, hammers and nails to build rather than kill or be killed. After 20-30 plus years of killing, inspiring people to dream of life is more than just a matter of memorizing a Bible verse.

At present the staff sees at least thirty to fifty people per day. It is the only facility within several snake filled, mosquito infested, swampy land of over 2 hours walk on a sunny day (110-127 degrees in the shade). So this hospital is not only needed for saving lives, but offering hope.

As I sat on the veranda after our brief tour of the facility I wondered again to myself just why God has been so good to me. The hospital staff prepared us a nice meal of beans and some meat. We slept in their quarters, free of scorpions, or snakes. I was assured by one woman that I only needed to worry about snakes in the rainy season. I thought to myself, ‘this is the rainy season’. Africans hate to tell you bad news.

We four visitors talked with the clinical staff that evening about buildings, food, water, medical supplies, community involvement, and oh yes…, how we would get out of there the next morning if it rained heavily. The pilot and I made a brief tour of the alternate landing strip should we be stranded by car and he would have to go into Bor to bring the plane to us in Werekok. This ‘brief tour’ by the two of us required us to wear ‘gum-boots’ or galoshes as I use to know them, that covered our lower legs. I was sure it would keep the snakes out and of course, my one pair of socks that I had brought with me clean. I did not plan well, I admit.

The landing strip was about 700 meters in length (less than half a mile) and was full of thorns and tall grass. I was reminded of the old poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ as I thought if 30 men with thirty grass slashers could cut this grass, fill in the holes and chase off the goats and keep they hyenas away, we could possibly land here in the morning. Oh well. Back to plan A.

It was an uneventful night. We ate well, slapping lots of mosquitoes in spite of the OFF, DEET and other repellants. We took our antimalaria medicines, put down our mosquito nets and I stuck my musty but dry socks inside of my sneakers to keep out the scorpions. I did plan well after all! I hate surprises like that in the morning.

We awakened had banana bread and coffee and retoured the hospital seeing one consult. It was a woman in severe congestive heart failure and I know for sure that if this facility were not here, she would die. I helped examine her, and advise on how we could make the diagnosis without the need for spending thousands of dollars on x-rays. Something I learned a long time ago in medical school was, listen, look, touch, feel, then treat. It still works.

We advised on where clinic offices should be placed, how the operating rooms should be organized and where the medical supplies should be stored. Triaging patients and advising where the waiting room should be placed were just as important. The Sudanese staff was enthusiastic and appreciative.

We made our way back to Bor to discover our small plane was still in place. One fear was the watchman on the dirt air strip might try to escape the rain that night by hiding under the wing and building a fire to keep himself warm. A hole in the wing that carries half the fuel of a small plane could have presented some real problems. Nonetheless, our fears were unfounded and we paid the going rate of $75 for this man to sit and make sure that no one touched our only sure means out of the area that would take fewer than a several days by land.

So he spat on the ground and not in the soup. Maybe it was just a way to say welcome. We took off from Bor, leaving behind many new friends and old wrecked aircraft on the ground. Thankful for the friends and curious about the wrecked aircraft. God has been good to allow us the privilege of seeing and being involved in delivering hope. Thank you for your prayers.