Monday, July 12, 2010

A Summer Prayer for Sarah

In 1995, when our oldest was 15, he informed us that he was going on a summer mission trip to Haiti. Haiti. The same country that had just had a coup d’état and been occupied by American troops (which was a selling point for the church youth minister promoting the trip). We weren’t exactly thrilled with the idea, but we gave our OK. When I took him to a travel agency to get his passport photo taken, the agent there brightly asked, “And where are you going?” With great excitement and pride in his voice, he answered “Haiti.” With a fixed smile and a big nod, she said, “Ah, Haiti,” and took his picture.

It turned out to be one of the best experiences he could have had. He was immersed in a culture totally unlike what he was growing up in. He worked, and he worked hard, on construction projects like a water pipeline from the mountains. And he got to spend some time away from parental oversight.

I bring this up because Sarah Salter, the friend of many of us online, is spending two weeks this summer in Africa, specifically the Sudan and Kenya. Neither country is exactly the top of the charts for typical summer destinations. In the Sudan, she and her fellow team members have to carry all of their food and water with them. And plenty of pre-moistened towelettes, because there will be no showers (the country is experiencing a water shortage). While they rest of us back in the States are enjoying our air-conditioning, Sarah will not be – and in an area that’s four degrees from the equator.

This isn’t a mission trip to Paris or London. It’s to a part of the world that has seen more than its share of upheaval, rebellion, political instability, civil war and death. But for Sarah and her fellow team members, this has been an exciting trip to anticipate and plan for. She’s done mission trips before. And she knows the planning is critical.

If the travel schedule was maintained, she would have flown to London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday and then transferred to Nairobi. From there, she was flying today in a very small airplane (“a flying tuna can”) to Kapoeta, Sudan. She scheduled a post on her blog for today that gives some of the details, and there will be a number of posts over the next 10 days or so.

So hold up Sarah and her team in your prayers. Some of the specific things she’s asked prayer for include:

(1) Finding favor with the Sudanese and Kenyan government officials.
(2) Unity and harmony between the team and the host missionary families.
(3) Safe travel (and all the connections get made) and their baggage makes it with them.
(4) A flexible attitude toward their schedule and “faith to trust the Lord in all unfamiliar paths.”

And I would add this: that their hearts and minds and arms and spirits be used in a mighty way.



To read more blog posts on "Summer," visit the One Word Blog Carnival over at Bridget Chumbley's place.

20 comments:

Anne Lang Bundy said...

I'm praying for Sarah. I'm praying for the people with whom she has divine appointments.

May God bless you, Glynn, for your support here.

Maureen said...

Just today it was reported that the president of Sudan has been charged with genocide. May Sarah and her colleagues travel safely and in grace.

Offering this excerpt from John O'Donohue's blessing "For the Traveler":
". . . May you travel in an awakened way, / Gathered wisely into your inner ground; That you may not waste the invitations / Which wait along the way to transform you. / May you travel safely, arrived refreshed, / And live your time away to its fullest; / Return home more enriched, and free / To balance the gifts of days which call you."

JC Dude said...

Praying for our brave sister!

katdish said...

Praying for Sarah as well.

n. davis rosback said...

thank you, glynn.
this gives perspective and puts my thoughts into prayer.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Thank you Glynn for holding Sarah and her team and mission up to the light so that we may all light their path with our prayers.

Sandra Heska King said...

Praying for sweet Sarah, entrusting her and her team to the arms of the One who goes before them.

~Brenda said...

God bless Sarah, and God bless all missionaries in difficult living situations for the sake of the Gospel - like my friend, Beth, in Afghanistan.

P.S. I tried to comment using my blog, The Broken Quill, but had to use my family blog instead.

Fatha Frank said...

Amen, Glynn. Thank you for taking the time and this space to share this with us. We're all in this battle together, fighting on different fronts.

Lord God, keep Sarah and all whom she's with safe and bless the work they are doing. I pray that through them you bless many and those blessings are multiplied as the Sudanese see their love and generosity and recognize you, Lord, in their work. I pray for all who stand against poverty, disease, famine and war in your name throughout the world. Their efforts are nothing without your grace and the power of your spirit behind them. Lord, help us all to be lights in this dark, fallen world. In Christ's name, Amen.

H. Gillham said...

Adding Sarah to my list....

What a heart she has --- as all of those do who step out in faith on trips like these.

Kathleen Overby said...

Thanks Glynn. A defining moment in time for her, them, and us. Prayer includes....let's us share.

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

Glynn, you're awesome. Thanks for putting this out here; I'd seen a little about her trip, but I wasn't tuned in. Will be thinking of Sarah.

Rebecca on The Homefront said...

Sarah is such a wonderful person of faith...thank you for using your carnival time to highlight what she is doing, Glynn.

香昱信張君林 said...

Words are not living in dictionary. Words are living in mind.............................................................

Water Shack Lady said...

I have prayed with and for Sassy Sarah as long as I have known her.
She is a truly remarkable person and is loved by so many.
An asset to any group and to her mission team in particular. Praying for safety and success.
Kristi

Duane Scott said...

Thanks for the reminder. Praying for Sarah. :)

HisFireFly said...

Yes, let us remember to lift Sarah in prayer, as well as those she is erving and those serving with her.

I know that she will be blessed by her obedience to answer the call of the Lord.

Bridget Chumbley said...

Praying for our Sarah. Thanks for this, Glynn. I know she'd be so touched.

Graceful said...

Your son is a courageous and inspiring boy -- to have that kind of mission-minded spirit so young.

Will pray for Sarah...thanks for reminding us to keep her at the forefront of our thoughts these next two weeks.

JoAnne said...

I will certainly be praying for Sarah; a young woman with a heart of gold. One of my friends just arrived in Kigali, Rwanda with soccer balls for the boys :). Thanks for always leaving such kind comments on my posts. I appreciate your words of wisdom Glynn.