It was late Thursday afternoon, six days into installing solar power, lights, and plugs in the compound. The last problem was fixed and everything was working. One of the team members asked, “Can we have a celebration party?” “Absolutely!” was the answer … and the planning was on! Gabriel talked to all the helpers to make sure they could come, to the cooks, and to the leaders. Friday night was set for the party. He and Samuel drove to a nearby village to get supplies … 2 goats, some flour for bread, and bottles of coke and water.
Friday was a scurry of activity. Rolls to bake, goats to skin, cut-up and cook, sound system to set up. Everyone was so excited! First we thanked God for the food and ate the wonderful dinner our cooks prepared.
As we gathered together for our program of recognition and thanks, it started raining. Now you might think that this rain would damper spirits during our celebration, as everyone had to scurry under the roof of the container building, quickly bring the speakers in, and endure the sound of pounding rain on the metal roof. But this isn’t the way the people of South Sudan see it. “Rain is a blessing from God,” one man put it. “Having it rain during a celebration shows God’s favor.” And indeed, we all felt the favor of God on the successful installation of power in the compound.
We had tools to present to the men charged with maintaining the system, and T-shirts for the eight men who worked with us every day to install the system.
Many of those gathered gave thanks and testimonies of God’s faithfulness and provision during the week. Then we cranked up the music and danced and danced and danced … American and South Sudanese together, as a people united by the blood of Christ.