Greetings to you all. We hope you find some interesting bit of news of our family and what we are up to. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Remembering...the pain

It has been sixteen months since we left Yei. For sixteen months we have been living here trying our best to fit in to life in the states. A roof over our heads not made of grass, hot and cold RUNNING water, Wal-Mart, ah yes, Wal-Mart everything you need and don't need under one roof. Mangos don't taste quite like they do fresh off the mango tree as compared to straight off the grocery store shelf. Oh to be asleep at night during the end of mango season and be awakened to the sound of falling rotten mangos splatting on someone's head. Or watching the ammunition dump being blown sky high because some careless soldier caught it on fire while trying to harvest honey. All night long those bombs, explosives, grenades, and small arms were popping only about a mile or two away. Life different, and there is no going back.

I know I've made this comment to some before, and I will make it again here, "How can you pick up the threads of an old life, when so much has happened.."? This was Frodo's mussing at the end of Lord of the Rings. Ultimately he wasn't able to pick up that old life and that is why he left for the undying lands to bear away his burden. But what of us who have no undying lands in this life, just the slow drudgery of day to day until that one day when we either cross the river or see His return in the clouds? How do we move on? Can time, the ticking of the hands, really heal all wounds in this life? For all of eternity we will have every tear wiped away by our loving Father. There would be no such need unless the time of this world is not enough to heal all wounds, maybe that is what Frodo learned.

How do I describe the thoughts floating around in my heart? How do I communicate such pain and joy? recently I was talking with a good friend whom i have not had much interaction with in a long time. Upon reading this this friend will know who she is and I am grateful for her asking about Yei. Not many have done so and yet I don't think I would have known how to respond if they had. The beauty and wonder of the work that me and my wife have done and the pain and sorrow that we have endured is not an easy thing to convey.

It is very hard to make understandable the inner ramblings of the heart. they do not come out in nice ordered sentences and paragraphs. My heart was very wounded while serving in Africa. While all are to blame for some actions Satan is the real cause behind all evil. I made many mistakes... many. It has been hard to grasp the forgiveness extended to me by my Father, harder still to extend it to those who hurt me. Have you ever seen the movie Braveheart and looked into the eyes of William Wallace when he discovers Robert the Bruce's betrayal? I know that feeling. It was hard to leave Sudan, almost like I was retreating. But God told me it was time for the sake of my own life, and that of my family. Sudan almost claimed my life physically, spiritually, emotionally, and in the end it would have also been the life of my family. God saved our lives in a very real sense. Was I bitter...yes. Am I bitter...not anymore. Those people were and still are my family. I pray blessing on them and I wish the best for them. But it was not just the arguments, insults, mistrust, accusations, or insults that lead to such pain, I lost something very close, closer to me than I knew it to be at the time.

Some of you have heard of Isaiah, some of you have not. He was a little boy that was introduced very briefly into our lives. He was an HIV positive baby, and he had an older sister named Rose. At the time we(me and Lia) felt that as we stayed in Sudan we would adopt these two kids once we had a house and take care of them. While they were with us another girl visiting the base at the time was taking care of Isaiah and loving him like a son. But she was not to stay and what would happen to him after that. We figured we would take him. It was not to be. While on leave in Uganda all of us as a family were sick our whole week there and that is when we heard God tell us it was time to go. What?! But looking back it was. What of Isaiah? It was time for him to go too. Shortly after our decision we got the news of his passing to be with his Creator. Forever healed of a mistake that was not even of his own doing. And while his sister is now left alone she is in a home where she is loved and free from the burden of a child that was not hers to bear. She took it patiently and may God bless her for the lost years of love spent watching her brother. and from what i have hear He is. But that does not ease the pain of losing one whom I regard as my son.

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Simple, you don't even try, for it is impossible. My life is forever changed and I can either run from the pain, or learn from it. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. I have made my choice....


  1. Ah yes my friend, bond brother, I share that pain,perhaps not to the depth but believe that your testimony will strengthen me as I face a different kind of battle. Some days it feels like a battle against irrelevance but I must be ever conscious that the Strongholds of Fear, Unbelief, Insignificance, and Control cannot re=assert themselves in my life.

    I continue to stand with you and Lia and the growing family, even as I develop family here.

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart! May the God of all hope fill you with peace!
    We will continue to pray for you and you upcoming adventure!!

  3. Oh Bierlys!
    I am encouraged to hear of your struggle, not because of the struggle itself but because of how God is sustaining you through it! His timing is perfect and His love for his children is just as perfect. I'm praying for you guys and also that maybe soon I'll be able to see you!!

    Also, just so you both know, you had a HUGE impact on me while I served with you guys. If you are ever feeling like the work you are doing is insignificant, just be encouraged that God is doing every good work in you!