So In light of this understanding, and firm in the knowledge that in Christ we can do anything required for His work, I will share the account of what the Dinka children have taught me, or perhaps what I have taught them. While living among their villages, I take the opportunity to draw in the dirt and express stories. At times my english language is recognized by some of those that may have more contact with the outside world through the work of NGO's (Non Governmental Organizations ) When all else fails " Charades" tends to bridge the communication gap, or by simple facial expressions.
The Dinka children taught me basic parts of the anatomy by pointing to the palm of their hand and repeating the word " chin, chin" I would do the same and say "hand, hand" this would go on for some time, " Womb, Womb," " Nose, Nose" we all would be in hysterics because some of the words sounded familiar to our own language but identified different things. Phases grew from the raw dialogue and soon common greetings were established. The Dinka children of Northern Bahr El Ghazal taught me the greeting that means " How are you?" The way they expressed it was " Ninya Paul?" and the proper response would be Anna Paul! which means " I am fine". - ( now I realize that some linguistics major will say that I have that all wrong, all I can say is, That is what it sounded like to me, and that is how we were able to communicate). So this exchange went on for days, then the children told me I was saying it wrong. Since I felt I had been saying it the same way for several days, I had asked what exactly was I saying wrong. They explained that it was something to do with MY teaching that made my response wrong. I was perplexed and for a while It did not seem to make sense until I asked " Ninya Paul?" and they responded while laughing with a big smile and said " Anna Paul in Christ Jesus!" - It then occurred to me, that they realized that no one is truly " fine" unless they are in Christ Jesus!
There are many that need to hear about being in Christ Jesus. I never thought that a small donation would make a difference in someones life, but when I tracked a $5.00 donation I found that we were able to buy 2 large boxes of crayons, and split them into 27 separate packs of 4 crayons. Because of the $5.00 donation 27 children learned about Daniels courage in the face of death. - It gave them courage and helped them to trust in God during war. Then there was the time that we cared for 84 sick for $300 us dollars of medicine - That was YOUR 4 dollar contribution that provide health relief for someone with an infection in the name of Christ!
- Tom Kilian, Director of Mercy Partners http://www.mercy-partners.org