All This and Christmas Too!

Publicity_shot Posted by Nigel and Carol Weallans on Tue, 22 Dec 2015 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

One Christmas when I was twelve years old, I remember watching a TV film comedy with this title. I was young enough to relax and enjoy the run-up to Christmas, whilst the adults made sure that things were ready for the big day. Now, Christmas is approaching and I have made three lists of tasks to complete – one to do straightaway, the second to complete before we leave on the 5th January and the third to work on if there is time.

Carol has been away for three weeks on a tropical nursing course in Liverpool and returned last Friday. We are sure that the information gained will be of great use during our time in Ibba. Before receiving the results of her final exam, on the 12th January, she has her last essay to write. Thanks to the Internet, this can, and may have to, wait until we are in South Sudan.

We serve a generous God and have received a donation towards our trip from a local Christian charity shop. We found ourselves in the shop last year at the time when they were deciding how to distribute their profits. We were able to submit a request for some mosquito nets and to send these to South Sudan. It also happened that they received our newsletter at an opportune time and have sent us another donation.

When we first visited Ibba in 2013, the main aim was to test our call and to establish that we were able to cope with the living conditions. As we arrived at the guest house, a compound with several tin-roofed buildings, we were met by a party of people singing ‘We are happy to welcome you.’

It was at this point that I knew that we would be at home, despite the basic living conditions. Carol’s nursing experience meant that she would easily settle into the role of organising and delivering health teaching, but I had no clear idea of how I would be employed. I fell into teaching English to fill a gap left when the existing teacher contracted malaria and the bishop requested that I continued with this when we returned in 2014. I was also happy to utilise my office experience to help the bishop, at his request, to put in place some systems.

A vivid memory of our last visit is of a young mum, who had dropped out of primary education, breastfeeding her baby outside the classroom, but leaning through the window to copy work from the board into her exercise book. On another occasion, she was not satisfied with the work she submitted at the end of the lesson, so re-wrote it and handed in a revised version the next morning.

I did not take many photographs in Ibba. On one occasion, Carol was sitting underneath a mango tree with a group of mothers and children. It would have made a great photograph, but I did not want to spoil the moment by recording it. There seems to be one camera in Ibba, which is owned by the church and passed around to take photographs of ‘programme.’ ‘Programme’ covers the many projects instigated by the church. To use a camera seemed to mark us out as people with large incomes, which, by comparison with the majority of the people we met, was true.

With best wishes for a joyful Christmas,
Nigel and Carol

In January 2016, Nigel and Carol will commence an eight month STEP (Short-Term Experience Placement) in South Sudan, with CMSI’s Global Partners, Ibba Diocese.

Comments

Gillian Maganda said Tue, 22 Dec 2015 03:59PM
Be assured of our heartfelt thoughts and prayers as you embark upon another stint in Ibba after Christmas. May God's protection and power surround you - and we pray that He will use you to be a blessing to the people you meet and minister amongst. Love and prayers, Gillian & Staff Team xo

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