Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gracio the Second!

As I write these words, Gracio the Second*, a small bull stomps outside my window. Every now and again, he knocks the wall in his effort to get the blighted grass, chews it slowly, then stomps on.
Brown with crusty splotches on his legs, he is not the prettiest of beasts, but he’s alive.

I’m told that 2 months ago he lay down sick, and the local tongues started wagging. Everyone had something to say, and none of it was good.

“He’s cursed!” “It’s a sign.” “He’ll never recover.”

But instead of growing thinner and breathing his last, he rallied. Five whole weeks after he was supposed to die, he stood up and ate again. And now, he stomps, chomps, and knocks his horns about.

Somehow, I can relate.

It’s been five months since I left South Sudan. At the time, my heart was broken and my nerves were frayed. All I wanted to do was lie down and cry.

Numb and half-crazed, I did not look like much, and I’m sure more than one tongue wagged on my behalf.

“Maybe she should just leave the field.” “Why does she keep going to these awful places?” “Can’t she just get married and settled down like a normal girl?”

But despite the disapproving crowds, God stirred life back in me, and I was able to stand --then walk --and now dance!

Mozambique is far from what I expected. It feels like what you’d get if you mixed Mexico with Uzbekistan... and then planted it in a modern South Sudan.

Let’s just say, it’s not easy to describe. Suffice it to say, that I’m happy to be here. Very happy.

And much like Gracio the Second --the splotchy bull in my back yard-- I’m alive again... by His grace.

I promise to write of the many things I’m seeing, feeling, and experiencing. (Believe me it’s intense!) But for now, let me just sign off with a happy thank you.

Thank you for praying for safe travels and rest. God has been answering your prayers in beautiful ways.

* Gracio means Grace, so his name actually means Second Grace, or Grace the Second.