On Wednesday, we went to meet with the leaders of the Moru Christian Fellowship Center in Arua. This church started in 2003 and has had several rebirths over that time as the numbers of refugees in Arua has changed with the fighting in South Sudan. These believers are mostly from the Mundri area in South Sudan and are from the Moru tribe. They are currently meeting in a public school room and are having to pay rent to use the room. They have a maximum of around 600 people and they are meeting in a room designed for 60 students. About 250 of this number are children. They have about 80 orphans who live in the community with other families.
I do not have many pictures from this visit. We met in the home of the lay leader, Penina Samuel. It was a small room and because of the lighting, many of the pictures did not come out well. As with most meetings like this in Africa, we had to eat.
The ladies of the church had prepared a wonderful spread for us with chicken, ugali (something akin to mashed potatoes made from either corn or sorghum), beans, bread, and one other dish I can’t remember!
Before a meal, one of the hosts comes around with a pan, a pitcher of water, and soap. The guests can then wash their hands before eating. The South Sudanese don’t use many utensils, so you sometimes have to eat with your hands. I have finally gotten pretty good at eating beans with a piece of bread or ugali. My mother would be mortified! All I can say is that when in Rome……. After eating, the water and the pan come back around for you to wash your hands again. Two things strike me about this process. One is the servant heart of the one coming around with the water and pan. The second is the cleansing that comes as a gift – not something we can do for ourselves. We need help. That reminds me of how Jesus died on the cross for us. A beautiful picture indeed!
The needs are great here. We heard from several of the leaders of the church. They had each prepared a typed presentation, which was informative and helpful. They only have five Bibles that they must pass around the leadership for Sunday preparation. That means that the general member really has no access to a Bible. They have bought part of a sound system to use on Sundays, but need to complete the system. As you can imagine, it is hard for 600 people to hear with no pa system. They would also like to have a keyboard to use for worship. Music really is a drawing card to bring the unchurched in.
Their mother’s union would like to expand a sewing project. They are already making handbags by hand and selling them to raise funds for the church. With a couple sewing machines, they can branch out into other areas and increase their output. I discussed with Penina the possibility of them making Luopads. She was very excited about this idea.
With Open Eyes (withopeneyes.net) will be starting a fund raising campaign for Bibles in the next week or so. We are still nailing down prices, but hopefully the Bibles will be about $5.00 US apiece. Take a look at their website if you’d like to contribute toward that. These will go not only to the Moru church but also to the churches in the refugee camps.
EDEN will be looking at how we could help facilitate the growth of the sewing project. This would be teaching a life skill to new ladies as well as providing income for the church. The production of the Luopads would also be a blessing to many women in the area. We could also use your help to cover these expenses.
I am going to bring this puppy in for a landing for now. I have a few other thoughts I want to share and I will try to share a couple videos we took if WordPress will cooperate! So stay tuned. I will try to get that up soon!