Issue 9 Stories

The UN acts, and villages survive, when a nurse moves out of her comfort zone

Do you ever find that you are being stretched and pulled out of your comfort zone?

As a missionary, this seems to happen all the time.

Two weeks ago, 3 Sudanese men came to speak with me at the clinic. The 2 older men were the village leaders from East Pomkay, about 2 hour’s drive away. Their villages had been without water boreholes for many years and had resorted to digging wells by hand into the riverbed. This year, due to the extreme heat and only finding small amounts of water, their cattle were dying. Would I speak to the UN as they had a water drilling rig? They were desperate!

My heart went out to them. However, I felt quite helpless, as I knew no one in the UN, but I felt the Lord pushing me to step out. My first thought was that I would have to see these villages before going to the UN. And so, along with our Kenyan assistant and a Sudanese pastor, we drove these 3 leaders back to their villages.

 My heart sank. We drove past a half constructed church that looked like the workers had simply given up due to the extreme heat (45c). We found women in the dry river bed lowering dirty plastic containers into a deep hand dug well. The water was putrid in this and other wells we inspected. I couldn’t imagine drinking it, never mind giving it to children or animals. I wrote to the UNHCR and met with the UN projects director. He said the UN mandate was only to work with refugees and displaced people. I reminded him that these people had already left their homes in search of water.

I also found out that there was a UN Coordination meeting in 2 days. I felt the Lord pushing me to go. There were many people at this meeting. It was very intimidating. However, I found my hand going up, when the UN director asked if there was any business regarding water. I shared about Pomkay’s water situation. The place went quiet. The UN director’s heart was moved and encouraged every NGO to help. But after the meeting, no one spoke to me, not even the UN projects director. 

As I was scheduled to leave the clinic for R&R, I asked our director to follow up with the UNHCR projects director and heard that the UN was committed to drilling the need wells in Pomkay. What an answer to prayer!

There are times when I feel the Lord is challenging me to step out of my comfort zone. I am a single missionary nurse and I feel that there are some things that are beyond my capabilities. But, the Lord wants to stretch my faith in Him and to use me to be a blessing to those He loves.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, But, whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ John 4:13-14.

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