The Wrong Trousers

Publicity_shot Posted by Nigel and Carol Weallans on Sat, 16 Jan 2016 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

After our farewell service at St. Nic’s in Nottingham, I was approached by someone who said that he thought that the words of John 10:3-4 would be an encouragement to us, especially that the good shepherd went ahead of us to prepare the way. I am sure that this has been the case…

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Arriving at the checking-in office at Juba airport last week (along with our nine companions from CMSI), we were weighed, and then so was our baggage. In South Sudan, what I would regard as massive obstacles are referred to as ‘challenges.’ The challenge became to remove enough from our luggage to permit the plane to take off. This involved packing things into other bags and even repacking the contents of one suitcase into a large plastic sack, as this would reduce the total weight for the team.

Several items ‘missed the cut’ and we keep missing items and saying to each other “It’s in Juba.” I had one pair of trousers, so this seemed like a good excuse to visit the market and main street, in order to buy a pair to wear whilst the others were being washed.

On our previous visit to Ibba, we often visited the marketplace and Sebit’s general store. We were surprised to find that the market had even less traders than previously, and Sebit’s, which had been piled high with everything from a nail to a pair of flip-flops, was now half empty. ‘’That one is not there,’’ was said much more often than before. We bought the last tub of washing powder. I imagine that this is the result of the recent instability in the region, which had hampered the delivery of supplies and passing trade in general.

We searched for a pair of trousers, but found very little choice, apart from a pair of jeans with a slightly larger waist than mine. These were ‘comfort fit,’ so we bought them. They were extremely ‘comfortable,’ but looked as if they had been designed for a clown. They were very cool, because there were very few places where the cloth actually touched my skin!

I have been reflecting on how little we actually need to live. After all, we will have our remaining baggage arriving from Juba on the 18th. I am also aware that many here may have fewer clothes than I have at the moment. I can easily find someone who will be glad to wear a pair of second-hand clown trousers!

It is good to be greeted by old friends and acquaintances from our previous visits. People who were unavailable to meet us on first arrival usually begin with an apology and an explanation for their absence, followed by their appreciation that we have returned. Ibba feels like our second home and it has been great to find that people’s lives have progresses in the meantime, mainly positively.

Our house is everything that we expected and more, with a newly-built shower and toilet block, solar power, two rooms, veranda and rendered walls and ceiling.

Comments

Janet Smith said Fri, 29 Jan 2016 10:26AM
You 2 are amazing! Thanks for making me smile! Keep on with all you are doing! xx

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