Surprise Treat in Sudan
By Glenn Mitchell
Living in Sudan was a challenge for a Seventh-day Adventist couple working for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency. Daily temperatures hovered at 102-108 degrees Fahrenheit (39-42 C) from May to September. A cold drink was a treat after a day of work for my wife, Suzanne, and me.
Returning home one day, I followed Suzanne into the kitchen and hopped up onto the counter to chat while she prepared a meal. As I sat on the counter, swinging my feet like a boy, Suzanne asked me what I wanted to drink.
“What do you have?” I asked.
Placing her hands on her hips, she informed me in a haute voice, “I have Orange Fanta, root beer, or Sprite”.
“Hmm, I want Squirt”, I said, referring to a favorite cold drink that I hadn’t seen since leaving our home in the United States.
“I don’t have any Squirt”, Suzanne said, maintaining the same haute voice.
I jumped off the kitchen counter, threw myself on the floor and, in the manner of a child, began to throw a tantrum. Kicking my feet and pounding my fist, I demanded the beverage. “I want Squirt! I want Squirt!” I cried.
It was to no avail. There was no Squirt. Suzanne and I laughed and laughed about our silliness. Moments like these made hard days easier to bear.
Two hours later, a friend pulled into our driveway. She worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and acted as our liaison officer for several ADRA projects funded by USAID. She allowed us to receive mail at her official address, and on this day she was delivering a box with much-awaited hair products from the United States. I tore open the box, knowing our American friends would have included a bag of chocolate-covered raisins for her. Sure enough, the coveted bag of raisins lay right on top. Underneath the raisins were nestled two bottles of hair cream rinse. But wait. Something more seemed to be in the box. Digging under the packing paper, I found, waiting in all its green glory, a big bottle of Squirt!
I had never requested the beverage from anyone in the United States. But on a hot day in Sudan, God provided a special treat. Weeks before I had asked Suzanne for the drink, the bottle was on its way to Khartoum. God cares about even the smallest details of our lives, and He loves to give. “To give is to live” (The Desire of Ages, p. 623). God promises, “Those who
seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalms 34:10, NKJV). When God saw me being silly and throwing my tantrum, He must have smiled and thought, “Wait and see what I have in store for you”.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.
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