Here's the latest posting from CCC's Gary Johnson, on pilgrimage with a team from the DIocese of Missouri to Lui, Sudan. Please keep Gary and the rest of the mission team in your prayers and check back here and at http://luinetwork.diocesemo.org/A few of us were at the market today and ran into Bishop Stephen who invited us to go look at a wood burning stove at Ismael's tukul which is a mud hut with a thatched roof which 99% of the people in Lui live in. So after a 2 mile walk we were at Ismael's home.
The stove is vented and is inside of their tukul and vented to the outside. Crude by are standards but a huge leap for them since it's wood burning, vented and does not use their form of charcoal. The wood is also cheaper than charcoal.
What was most striking about being in the rural areas was the level of poverty. Walking through the market about 85% of the people will have sandals of some type on. Just the opposite is true in the rural areas. The children if they had clothing on it was torn, old and dirty. Most compounds will include the mothers, fathers, and grandmothers.
Sitting here I'm trying to put in words but until you walk it, smell it, touch it, it's hard to explain. Walking pass a family who's living in a mud hut and only owns one pot, one plate and a two cups for six people, they take turns eating. Walking pass a women who's taking a bath behind her hut which also happens to be be next to the path we were on. Seeing several children chewing on 2' piece of rope that's is their pacifier, and only toy. Seeing 5 year old girls carrying their 6 month old sister. I could go on but it's like trying to explain the Ocean to someone who has never seen it. You can talk or write about it for hours but until that person stands in it they won't truly understand it.
But for all of the sadness I saw groups of children who were happy, playing and having fun. Parents who were smiling and eager to invite us into their home. Richness can be measured in many ways and as I left each home the Bishop took us to, I felt that in many ways we will never know the riches they enjoy.