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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan
August 29, 2010 3:54 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Linda is facilitating the LAMP (Language Acquisition Made Practical) course for 6 new missionaries to Uganda, AIM Central Region in Entebbe. The six days of training gives them the tools to activate their language learning program from the local native speakers. It is amazing how a few words in “mother tongue” bursts open doors of relationships.
Here are some of the language helpers with the learners–doing a touch your nose/eye/ear/mouth game. The Fowler’s eight kids all joined in the fun learning exercise!

August 29, 2010 3:43 am
Published in: Uncategorized

We are at the Wolcott’s house in Entebbe these days as Linda leads the LAMP (language acquisition) course for new missionaries to Central Region. And Phil continues in the acting leadership role… only one small crisis last week and a maybe security problem brewing in our state in Sudan, or is it merely rumor?

Meanwhile, we enjoy this second floor balcony off our master bedroom overlooking Lake Victoria for our morning devotions and sometimes other talk/prayer/read/enjoy full moon/listen to music times… a blessing!

August 20, 2010 10:50 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

The fire brigade who are patrolling our airstrip noted some metal fins on the center of the runway. They dug up this unexploded mortar and brought it to show us before taking to the de-mining group for detonation. Oh God, may these things soon remain only in history books for Sudan and not in our future.

August 20, 2010 8:07 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Our 39th wedding anniversary fell the Saturday of our team retreat. After being apart for three weeks we expected it would be some more days before we had time alone. BUT we were kidnapped by our team and sent away to Torit Hotel for a couple of hours of date time. NICE!

August 20, 2010 8:05 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Most of our Sudan team came to Torit for our weekend retreat. Some additional close friend visitors joined us for lots of good food, laughter and games, spiritual input, playing with children, and tent camping. Very refreshing!

August 1, 2010 2:42 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

In Africa, the generic term for leader, boss, executive officer etc is Big Man. In Arabic it is Zol Kabiir. For instance I, Phil, am the Zol Kabiir of AIM-Sudan.

There is a mystique about leaders in Africa that is hard for our western mindsets to embrace. This was vividly thrust upon me in a new way as I traveled Entebbe road last week, the route between the Kampala meetings of the Africa Union and the international airport in Entebbe. The African BIG MEN traveled in large police-escorted motorcades with headlights blazing, horns blaring and often sirens and flashing lights. This was not surprising. What did surprise me was that these “Big Man” motorcades were immune to traffic laws. They commandeered the entire road at reckless speeds regardless of other traffic. In fact they expected all other traffic to pull off onto the shoulder and allow them to careen past. Once I was passing another vehicle in my lane and had not seen them coming over a slight hill. The lead vehicle deliberately and emphatically swerved into my oncoming path to force me off the road.

Months ago I learned that to drive in daylight with headlights on in Africa is only for BIG MEN, not for ordinary people. Sirens in Sudan are not for emergency rescue vehicles but to announce the movement of high ranking government official.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the Big Man being above the law was isolated to driving concerns. Unfortunately it is also the commonly accepted norm in legal, financial, political, military and employment issues also.

Everything rises and falls with leadership! When the BIG MAN is above the law so follow the ordinary.