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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan
August 30, 2012 7:12 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

As we move amidst the Chadians, we are excited by missionary minded nationals who are willing to go cross culturally, we are impressed with the desire to assist their brothers and sisters flooded out in a distant location, and we are filled with joy in the fellowship possible because of JESUS despite the lack of common language!

Details from Sunday’s visit with Musa and his family: We went up to Lake Chad area where there is a Chadian missionary with a passion for the nomadic people there.  He even travelled with this cattle-keeping group for a season in order to win some, and he has been enabled to speak into their lives significantly. Since this is the rainy season, the nomads have taken their cattle further from the lake and we did not see much of them, but we really enjoyed this man, and hearing his vision from now til 2030 (don’t know of any other African with a 20 year plan?!), and visiting the local “sultan” in his carpeted receiving room. This Chadian missionary had worked with this nomadic group in another location in his younger years and realizes lots of mistakes in his methods…now we desire to encourage but not interfere with our influence!

Details from Monday’s visit to the people displaced by the floods:

We travelled with the church leaders (who arranged the flight) and another mission leader on a MAF flight to the southern part of Chad. The rains this year have been particularly heavy and the river has overflowed there and displaced thousands. The land is so very flat, thus overflowing rivers quickly spill for many miles and give little warning. We heard many stories of people walking out to safety in chest-deep water holding their children over their heads! Fortunately no lives were lost, but the mud brick homes with mud roofs are gone, the grain storage is gone, their possessions washed away! The people have been amazingly organized and are now housed in school compounds which have water sources and latrines; the church is encouraging others not affected to share their meagre properties and grain, and asking what else they can do. The people are poor, walking usually, with only a few motorcycles available to transport their guests one by one!

August 11, 2012 5:49 am
Published in: Uncategorized

This is a Sat morning no photo glimpses into our lives entry by Phil (in italics): Part of it (non italics) was written by Linda to our kids this AM.

Linda is filling in for our Kampala Unit Leader for 4-6 mo until the newly assigned UL arrives from South Africa. She is doing a fabulous job in the opinion of this REO while it does challenge her capacity (those of you who know Linda well know that she has a pretty phenomenal capacity). By the end of this month we will have passed off our UL South Sudan role to Hartley’s which will lighten our load considerably.

Yesterday morning Linda arrive at Entebbe airport from Nairobi after spending three nights there on a combined UL/nurse role accompanying one of our Kampala Unit members who needed medical attention.

Dad met me at  the airport and I had a wonderful cup of chai with him “catching up” and enjoying each other for half an hour before the Gibson family arrived on the BA flight!    We then got acquainted as we loaded their 15 pieces of luggage and the family of 5 into the 3 vehicles to travel to Matoke Inn.  They had been ready to come 3 weeks ago with all luggage packed and ready in vehicles for airport when their 7 year old dismounting from the trampoline lost her balance and only dropped about 12 inches but managed to break both bones in her forearm.  So, they had 3 weeks of living out of suitcases and waiting for enough healing in order to fly!

I spent the rest of the morning with them, playing with the kids, answering questions, getting their extra luggage into storage container, etc.  A bit of the afternoon in the office, then got ready and went with dad to Entebbe for the Franklin Graham (Samaritan’s Purse) meeting at an elaborate hotel —SP flew 150 Juba pastors and wives to the resort for two days of encouragement, evangelism training, prayer, etc.  Several of our AIC church friends were there and had hoped to come to AIM CR office, but it was not working with their schedule, so they invited dad to come there and meet them.  …over the phone Bishop was so excited with “this is a new beginning for Sudan as we prepare for the Oct Billy Graham festival in Juba… we are breaking down dividing walls of denominational barriers” We went together, both kinda “bushed” as we traveled, but had a good time with the  group. I enjoyed the meeting with the women, the connection with the SP lady in charge (she had been a guest in our Torit home before), meetings with others, and esp it was good to know how much the South Sudanese brothers valued and wanted us there.   Bishop of AIC and his wife wanted us to stay for supper buffet, so we did!  Coming home exhausted, dad was especially vulnerable to the doubts Satan tried to implant in his mind…but we sang, prayed, and went to bed immediately on arrival home at 9:30 pm !

I (Phil) am happy to report that this morning my faith is strengthened again as I got my eyes off of me and the problems and back onto Jesus! A leisure Sat morning hour of quiet time in “our secret garden” was a big help!

Today I (Linda)  am going with the Gibson family to look for housing for them…praying much.

This pm we have a triple date with one of our single missionaries, her parents visiting from the U.S., and her boyfriend, going to a concert followed by dinner.

August 2, 2012 9:19 am
Published in: Uncategorized

We are enjoying being in Arua with the AIM personnel who are ministering in the West Nile diocese of the Church of Uganda.  We have experienced many side benefits of this trip — the travel time together as a couple, participation in the bishop’s silver jubilee celebration, the renewal of friendships from our first years in Africa when we lived in this area and stirring up multiple memories of God’s faithfulness to us through the years!