Our Family trip to the South Sudan
On March 9th , 2013 we set of for the South Sudan with a young man by the name of Jonathan Lueken who is helping us build a Christian center called The Nehemiah Light House on top of Gordon Mountain in Nimule. So we boarded the airplane bound for Amsterdam, Holland from Boston, MA. When we arrived in Holland it was time to board the airplane bound for Entebbe, Uganda. Our youngest sister Yerushah turned 2 on March 10 in Holland and we celebrated her birthday between flights.
When we arrived in Entebbe, Uganda, we were greeted warmly by our older cousins, Timothy, and James who have families of their own, and some others. Timothy Levi is our country director for Operation Nehemiah in the South Sudan. They drove us to a nearby Inn which is our favorite called Central Inn. After a night’s rest Papa and Timothy decided to leave that night for Borongole, our mission compound in the south Sudan. So that evening, we left the hotel we were staying at and spent the night trying to get some sleep bumping down the dirt roads of Uganda. A great trouble kept on happening as we drove down the overly bumpy road in Uganda. As we went farther up Uganda, there started to be what they call police check- points where police simply stopped people and expect money in form of bribery. But Papa, as a godly man, kept on instructing Timothy and James not to give into bribery. One man named James Taban who was driving the dump-truck got into trouble at one of these “check-points” when he misunderstood the police who he had thought told him to go. The police took one of their police vehicles and caught up with him down the highway and then we found them farther down the road dealing with the police. Finally they understood that James Taban didn’t understand the language the police were communicating in. Farther down the road there was another police “Check point” where more police were waiting when our vehicles pulled up they stopped down the road they stopped us again.
This time, we thank them for their work and shared with them the message of the Gospel regarding honesty that John the Baptist told the soldiers not to take more than they should from people. One of the Ugandan police agents got convicted of the message and asked us for a Bible instead. So we unpacked the Bibles and gave him one. But through all these troubles God brought us safely to the South Sudanese border where another trouble awaited us! However, finally the authorities found out that we were citizens, and they let us go.
So we finally arrived at our mission compound in Borongole, South Sudan. We were again warmly welcomed into our extended family. Papa and Mama and Jonathan set up our camping gear inside the house that was built for us two months before we arrived in the middle of the compound. In the course of our stay, another break- through that happened while we were there was the blessing of the clean water which we drilled for the community. For as long as we can remember, since 2009, when Papa first brought us to the south Sudan, the women from all around came to get their family’s water at the hand pump located in side of our compound. This is long hard work, sometimes, taking at least an hour to fill four, 5 gallon [commonly called jerrycans of water]. By the Mercy of God we were able to drill a solar well in the compound before we came down that is equipped with a faucet that takes 2 mins to fill two a 5 gallon jerry can!
While we were there on April 7, 2013, our extended family and the church conducted an AMAZING ORDINATION of Papa as official Overseer of the Beth Israel Messianic Congregation on the Nile! The wives of our cousins Timothy and James Levi; Joyce  and Lillian  oversaw about 20 women who cooked for over 800 people all of whom were either extended family or friends, and the Christian community from all over the region who stayed for 3 days in celebration! On the last Sunday of our mission trip, we baptized 33 people among whom were my sisters Hadassah  and Jemimah  and Jonathan.
On Jemimah’s 6th birthday we went to the Nimule National Park which turned out to be a BIG success! We saw elephants in the road, 11hippos, The Falla- Falls, went to a fisherman camp where they live literally underground ! To end this exciting day we bought a bunch of glucose biscuits which are the Chinese version of vanilla wafers.
The only thing, I dreaded about being there was going to Juba, the over-crowded capital city of South Sudan where you can never get anything done when you want to and it’s HOT. Juba. For two and a half weeks Papa, Uncle Michael, and the rest of us struggled to get us children’s Nationality Cards as we have been granted under the constitution of the South Sudan. When we finally got them, we went to an Indian restaurant to celebrate! On the way home, the most amazing thing happened ! When we are about 25 miles away from Juba, there is a police “check- point” where for the last week the police men had been bothering us more than the Ugandan police had! But as we were slowing down to what we thought to be police harassment, the police said “It’s you, everyone has been talking about the pastor who married a American lady who gave him six children. Now I know that I can do it too! You can go! So we went off thanking God. Another surprise we experience with the police took place at a local police station where Papa and Uncle Michael took us to get a letter for Mama to file for South Sudanese nationality by marriage. As soon as Uncle, Rev. Michael started speaking, the policeman told him to stop and to start our meeting with the Prayer. He said, Government is part of God’s institution and must obey and acknowledge God’s presence in prayer.
We spent the rest of our time there working in the garden, marking the spot where we want to put the Nehemiah Light House, and helping people physically whether it was giving an old lady a pair of glasses, binding a bleeding wound or giving medicine to a mother whose baby was sick ,and spiritually by giving away free bibles or imparting spiritual knowledge. We also went to our grandpapa’s grave and everyone gathered as though he was going to come out. We have never met them , but we know we will see them in Heaven. In the end we were sad to leave and when we arrived in America we were more determined than ever to build a house there and we would like to start building as soon as we have the funds. To my parents: Thank you for wanting to build in us a character that my siblings and I will never forget, and for bringing my brother and I when I was 9 months and Nechemyah was 4 months in the womb to the Ugandan Refugee Camps in 2003 and since then we have grown with the ministry and are looking forward to next year!!!
Blog producers: Abijah Levi at 10 & Nechemyah Levi 9