Written by cycleguy on November 9th, 2015

I messed up this past weekend. A least here at Cycleguy’s Spin. For some reason I spaced it and blogged over the weekend about my sermon. “Aaaaah wrong week Bill.” The sermon mentioned in this weekend’s blog is not until this coming weekend. We had a guest speaker this past Sunday. Will & Teresa Reed visited with us over a year ago and have since been in South Sudan. Due to the unrest they found themselves home much sooner than expected so we asked Will to speak and bring us up to date. He did a tremendous job. (Teresa was atΒ  another church speaking). I’m going a lot out of memory with this but here some of what he shared:

They were in Mundri, which is aΒ  “city” in the southeast part of Sudan.

Sudan has only known war something like 65 out of the past 80 years. They became the newest country in the world just a few year ago but then started fighting among themselves.

They have found the people of Mundri willing to establish relationships and be friends without expecting handouts.

They had to evacuate Mundri due to the fighting and have found the government forces to be the main culprits of looting and destruction.

The people of Mundri have been living in the bush off leaves, twigs and anything else to sustain life but still say, “God is good.”

They were living in conditions which were not “ideal.” I will spare you the market and bathroom stories.

So much more. But Will & Teresa can’t wait to go back. Their target date is January or February. I have always felt it took a special person to be a missionary. That thought was solidified. I am not ashamed to admit that while I found their story fascinating, even riveting, I have no desire to do that. I will support those who do but do believe being a missionary would fall under spiritual gift.

One other pondering which hits closer to home: I walked away more aware and grateful for what I have. Shame on me when I take God’s blessings for granted. Do you find yourself taking stock from time to time about the blessings you have?


24 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    I rarely take time to focus on the blessings that I have because I am always so focused on what I don’t have.

  2. Not often enough, but we are in a season that encourages that.

  3. Kari Scare says:

    Taking stock more and more lately. Trying to establish a more grateful mindset. Hard to do sometimes because I, too easily focused on myself. Missionaries are my heroes. I’m thankful for the opportunity to support them! Hearing from & about them does a lot for re-establishing a grateful mindset.

  4. Ceil says:

    Hi Bill! I’m with you. I am so grateful for the people who know their mission is outside the United States. And in the Sudan! My mind pictures a very dry and harsh environment. Faith is so needed in a place like that, just as it is in my own life. The faith that they have puts me to shame.
    I do try to be more grateful for what I have, because it helps me see that I am richly blessed no matter what. I suppose that’s what the Sudanese feel too, but I think they have so much less…it would be that much harder for me to be thankful. I’m sure their hope in the face of such hardship is very attractive, and something to really reach for.
    I hope they remain safe and inspiring too,

    • cycleguy says:

      It was a harsh environment Ceil but also some lush green stuff (maybe after the rainy season). But there are only 100 miles of paved roads in all of Sudan and they are in the capital city. I pray for their safety as well.

  5. Linda Stoll says:

    I’m purposefully trying to weave gratitude through the dailyness … looking for the way thankfulness can appear even when things are not going so well.

  6. TC Avey says:

    David Rupert from http://www.patheos.com/
    has been posting about Christian refugees and it’s been humbling and inspiring.
    It makes me realize how “poor” many American Christians are in our faith…at least I know it does me.
    The trials I face pale in comparison to what other Christians endure and yet I complain? God forgive me.

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s encouraging to know that God is good even if we are eating twigs.

  7. Sharon says:

    What a tremendous story. And I have to agree, being a missionary is a special calling, and I think God grants special faith and fortitude to those He calls to the mission field.

    As for counting my blessings, I don’t do that often enough. Seems I get caught up in the problems, and forget to reflect on the many ways that I have been blessed. Shame on me!

    This was a good (and convicting) word to remember to do just that…


  8. floyd says:

    Yep. Guilty as charged, Bill. Around my house we’re trying to put things back into perspective when a little trouble arises. We say, “This is a first world problem”, comparing our circumstances to those who live in third world countries.

  9. I make it a practice to sit back and take stock daily of God’s blessings in my life. I so admire those like your friends who are called to the mission field – it is not one of my gifts to serve God in that way. I pray a lot that God will use my writing to spread His kingdom to the world.
    Blessings, Bill!

  10. Hi Bill,

    How neat to hear about your friends in South Sudan. That region has seen so much unrest, wow.

    Thanking God for his gifts is something I was just doing this morning too. Yes, it brings so much joy, huh? One of those for me today is the warm 60 degree day in a MN November. πŸ™‚

    Re your comment on my post “Shoved and Elbowed by God,” hi Bill,

    Whoa, I wasn’t intending to have me be the focus of this post. Drat. And it wasn’t an audible voice, just a strong nudging/thought. I bet you guys get those too. πŸ™‚

    I liked how God showed that he cared so deeply for this friend of mine. That was what captured my attention.

    Jennifer Dougan

  11. Jeff says:

    What good fortune I have is a matter of luck and hard work. Who I am is a matter of the good fortune of the parents I had. None of it is due to the intervention of an invisible friend in the sky. I can not imagine it any other way.

  12. Pam says:

    I, too, feel being a missionary is a call–one that I have not received. So thankful for those who answer when God puts that tug on their hearts. Your friends personify the strength of character of someone called to this ministry, even in the face of such adversity.