Friday, January 26, 2007

Still More on Mary, the Dinka Woman.

I have been in email touch with Audrey Walters, the Communications Director for Make Way Partners, and I told her about the visit that Carol, my Mary, and I made to Kijabe Hospital with Mark Buhler, the assistant superintendant of RVA, and his daughter April when we met Mary, the Dinka Woman. Audrey sent me a copy of this email that the MWP home office received from Kimberly L. Smith, the WMP executive director, who is presently in Kenya:

I can think of no more joyful news to begin ’07 than the news of remarkable recovery for our Mary in Nyamlell, Sudan. As you know, in partnership with Voice of the Martyrs and Bethany Kids, we were able to medi-vac Mary to Kijabi, Kenya for surgery on her arms. I went to see her in December. The following link includes new photos of her - post surgery:

James, Stephen (from Voice of the Martyrs) and I rode deep into the Rift Valley winding our way through steep mountain roads on our journey to Kijabi’s hospital to visit Mary. Dr. Dick Bransford of Bethany Kids, had agreed to perform Mary’s surgery without ever having met her. Once Dr. Bransford heard her story and saw her photos, he took her case.

All along the ride to visit Mary, as I took in the breathtaking beauty of God’s handiwork in the Rift Valley of Kenya, I marveled at yet another miracle he had done to get Mary to Kijabi Hospital. Mary has no passport, no birth certificate, and no legal papers of any kind. Stephen confessed how nervous he was putting her on the chartered plane. He had created letters explaining what he was trying to do, but what if the Customs Agent wouldn’t let Mary into Kenya? Stephen knew the Customs Agent well; this agent was a drunkard known to be unreasonable and hot tempered. If there was a problem, Stephen would have to put Mary back on the plane and send her home without an explanation because he couldn’t speak Dinka and Mary couldn’t speak Kiswahili. Stephen prayed the whole way through. This day the Agent offered little resistance, Stephen paid a small fee and Mary was granted a temporary Visa. Praise God!

Many of us have been praying for Mary’s recovery for sometime now. As I rode to Kijabi, I wondered how getting on a plane for the first time, riding on paved roads for the first time, being in a hospital for the first time, and the doctor not being able to explain to her what he was about to do or what she could expect would affect her.

Once in Kijabi, as Mary saw me coming toward her, she jumped up and ran to me raising her arms high into the air. For the first time, Mary was able to truly embrace me; we both cried. She was like a child excited with a long-awaited toy, wasting no time to show me how she could pump her arms up and down and stretch them nearly straight out. With rapid succession, Mary would alternately hug me then raise her arms in joy only to firmly hug me once again.

Finally we sat to talk. She was desperate for news of her children. We assured her that they were doing well in school and were being well cared for. The news was visibly comforting to her.

Through conversation about Mary’s return to Sudan, I asked her what she or her children might need. I wondered if she would ask for clothing or some essential item for her children; they have only one set of rags which they wear every day.

Mary said, "I don’t have a Bible. I couldn’t read it even if I did since I don’t know how to read. Still, I know Jesus has been with me all the way! But I want to know more about Him. Please teach me and the other women more about Jesus."

Mary has become a leader to Christians, Muslims and women who have lost all hope in any religion through this unholy ‘holy war’. Her desire is to start a Bible study with these women.

When I return to Sudan in a couple of weeks, helping Mary to deepen her ministry to the Christians, Muslims and former slave women in her community is one of my goals. You can make a donation for this specific purpose at:

Lastly, thanks to your generous yearend giving, the dormitory construction will continue. Our goal is to have Phase I complete by April and the first children will begin moving in. However, much work is ahead of us and the children need your continued support. Please continue to tell everyone you know how they can help these precious children through Make Way Partners.

Kimberly L.Smith

Executive Director

Update: I fixed the links, but I cannot get the photos on the link to the photo gallery to load on my computer. Maybe they will work for you.

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