South Sudan

Uber Rides

Today’s Uber driver is from Darfur Sudan. He has 7 brothers, 2 sisters & both parents all back in Darfur. This is the place where they had a genocide almost 15years ago so I was fascinated to listen to my driver talk about his circuitous journey to the US. Whenever I uber it, the drivers are always from a distant country: Mali, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam, etc. When I listen to each of these drivers, it’s astounding to hear their stories & think about how they’ve navigated various tragedies, twists & opportunities.
Everyone we meet has had their own journeys, culminating to the moment we meet them & get to hear about their lives. Sometimes when we hear their stories it helps us understand some of their behaviors & choices. Regardless of their backgrounds or experiences, let’s choose to love & be gracious. We don’t have to know people to be loving, kind or gracious 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, South Sudan, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

hot topic: Meriam Ibrahim

_75747908_75742756 I’ve been keeping up a little bit here & there about Meriam Ibrahim, a young woman in Sudan who was sentenced in May to hang for renouncing Islam, as she had married a Christian man.  Earlier this year, she delivered a baby while in prison, awaiting her execution.  Thankfully, the Sudanese government agreed to release Mrs Ibrahim and when she tried to fly out of Sudan yesterday, she was detained along with her husband and two children.  The Sudanese gov’t is saying that she doesn’t have the proper paperwork & it seems that no one has heard from her since being detained yesterday.

My point in bringing Mrs Ibrahim to your attention is to ask you to pray for her & her family – for protection, for favor & safety.  As a follower of Jesus, she’s  part of our family & it’s super important to keep each other in our prayers!

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, South Sudan, travel, values, watch, 2 comments

after Christmas

I wanted to write up a quick post yesterday but I had more work than time – sorry!

I’m particularly fond of the few days immediately following Christmas because they feel like an exhale to me.  The days leading up to Christmas can sometimes be a frenzied collection of meal preparation, last minute wrapping, gifts, holiday bustle and manic hustle.  But the days after Christmas seem to be more peaceful to me.  Everything seems to get more calm, peaceful and manageable.  Let me encourage you to take some time in these days to pause, reflect and rejuvenate.  Drink deeply of God’s presence and nestle into God’s unlimited love for you.  Jesus was born for us out of no other motivation than genuine love 🙂

On a quickie side note, please remember to pray for South Sudan – they’ve had close to 2 weeks of intense conflict and thousands have been killed there in the last 10 days.

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, South Sudan, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

let’s get comfortable

Being comfortable conjures up different things for different people.  For some people, being comfortable can be the experience of sitting by a fireplace in a cozy blanket & reading a book.  For other people, being comfortable is best described as being at a really fun and vibrant party.  For me, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be comfortable and I’ve learned some interesting things to pass along to you:

  • being comfortable can sometimes be an impediment to a deeper relationship with God – discomfort usually makes me do something different
  • I never want my comfort zones to exclude God – indeed, life with God is a more accurate expression of who I really am
  • I’ve learned that I can be extremely comfortable in a variety of external situations because of an internal contentment that comes from some very sweet & rich communion with God
  • when I’m uncomfortable, I tend to lean into God better

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, Ethiopia, family, fasting, Genuine love, Germany, Haiti, Holy Spirit, India, living, missions, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, South Sudan, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

Traveling lots

Sometimes when I travel I feel like I’m in perpetual motion & I just want to pause for some stillness. I’m really feeling like this now: in April, I was in Angola, May was China, June was South Sudan & July has been Cambodia. While this is lots of travel, I’m really grateful to God for such amazing opportunities & experiences to express genuine love. And when I’m home, I want to continue to get better & better at giving genuine love with less Sarah & more Jesus. Anyone eager to join this adventure with me?

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, Cambodia, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, nightcare, prayer, saving moses, South Sudan, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

to make you smile

Happy day to you!  I’ve been back from South Sudan for a week, so I’m happily sleeping through the night, I enjoyed immensely the time with my family last week, with the 4th of July holiday break and I’m happy to say that my digestion is doing well, after having experienced some interesting adventures.  So that’s all really good because on Sun, we fly to Cambodia for 1.5 weeks 🙂

I also want to give you some encouragement today & hopefully make you smile a bit.  Here are few attempts at these goals:

  • seeing the good that’s happening around us is often a choice of focus
  • sometimes we go through good seasons & sometimes we go through some not so good seasons – the good news is that we keep going ,)
  • drink lots of water – it keeps you healthy, chirpy & perky ,)
  • thankfully, God’s still in charge, no matter what’s happening around us
  • what do you call a rabbit with fleas?  Bugs bunny 😀
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Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, South Sudan, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

I don’t care

When I was in high school, I used to like some of the Robbie Nevil songs that praised the glories of apathy & indifference (Wot’s It To Ya’, C’est La Vie).  I think I liked these songs at the time because I didn’t know how to handle my deep feelings of care, concern and connection for people and the world around me.  Sometimes I still feel this way & can get overwhelmed when I think about various situations, Saving Moses, people and events – I’m deeply concerned about what’s happening in Egypt with the instability there.

But just because my feelings can be overwhelming from these various situations, relationships and experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot become apathetic.  In my mind, apathy is just a socially acceptable word for passive violence.  So what do I do with these things that can easily overwhelm me?  Pray.

Prayer is the best immunization against apathy.  Pray often, pray quickly, pray fervently and pray all the time.

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, Ethiopia, Genuine love, Haiti, Holy Spirit, India, living, missions, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, South Sudan, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

mice in the pantry

I’ve been home for 2 days from my Saving Moses trip to South Sudan & we have a mouse in the pantry – probably more than one.  My husband and 2 sons spent the morning clearing everything out to see if they could figure out what the mouse has been eating & they found a few culprits:  peanuts, dried coconut & probably a few other items.  So they’ve resealed everything, put most of it in tupperware & have set out some traps so hopefully the mouse conundrum has been resolved because mice are a nuisance & can become dangerous.

Sometimes, I think that we let little things eat away at us on the inside – small fears, insecurities, negative memories, past failures, . . . . .   While these things can be annoying, if we’re not careful, they can become deadly if we don’t do some soul cleaning from time to time, to get rid of the riff raff.  So let’s take a few moments this day to do a quick inventory & see if there are some parasites & pests who have been gnawing on your soul & then do some prayer to give these things to Jesus & receive His peace and wholeness in exchange 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, South Sudan, spiritual, 0 comments

Lots of thinking

My trip to South Sudan with Saving Moses has been different than what I expected. I had the honor of getting to tag along with some REALLY experienced people who do all kinds of relief work & I was able to watch how they operate, what their priorities are & the importance of teamwork among all of them – so in that sense, the trip was a very good learning experience.
But now I’m on my return home & I’m starting to think about all of the issues that need work at home. I’m grateful to God for the recent pause for me with these issues – getting some fresh perspective & possibly some fresh priorities.
But if I’m not careful, I can get overwhelmed really quickly with all of these things, all on the backdrop of seeing & hearing some difficult things that are happening in S Sudan.
So my conclusion is that God is more than adequate & I am not. God has more provision than I have need & more answers than I have questions. When I run out of wisdom, strength & Sarah, I see that God is continually engaged throughout my life & I only need to lean into God – so I turn my thoughts & focus to my Divine Help 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, South Sudan, travel, 0 comments

South Sudan Journey

I’ve been in South Sudan now for almost a week & have had the honor to travel to many different places, most of which I’d not be able to pronounce nor find on a map – it has all been a very wonderful experience. I’ve met some really great moms & seen some very fabulous babies, looking with Saving Moses for babies who have urgent needs & where the care is least available. South Sudan is an interesting place – it will celebrate its 2nd birthday next week, so in many respects, it is a baby country & it feels fresh from getting to travel around over the last week.
I’ve met beautiful people & seen some difficult situations but I feel hope in my heart for this nation because the people are wonderful. They’re kind, friendly, helpful, beautiful, generous, hospitable & very warm. They are very intelligent & have a confidence & hardiness to them after decades of conflict with their northern neighbors. I love getting to be with them, learn some of their language, culture, values, hopes & dreams. This is a wonderful country & I say, “happy early birthday South Sudan!” May you continue to develop, be strong & be great!
The attached pic is a burned down home from a rebel group who was causing some serious problems in a rural area. We visited this village today & learned that more than 100 people died here at the beginning of the month from the rebels

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, saving moses, South Sudan, travel, 0 comments