Street Livin' in Sudan

28 01 2012

I want to take this opportunity to tell you all a story suiting of my life, yet absolutely ridiculous. First to set the stage…

I had been out pretty late one night because my friend Abdulla was graduating from university and I went to the graduates party which is a whole other story. Anyway, By the time I got back to the flat I was ready to crash to say the least. I walked into the little complex I live in and as I try to get in the building, I am shocked to find that my key will not work. I had been having issues with the lock in the past but this was a different situation. I was tired and there were no other doors to get in and so begins my story.

Well the night guard came from around the corner because he heard me and my slight frustration. For the next 20 minutes he and I stood there calling building managers, landlords, and potential short term visitors among others. Keep in mind this is at just past midnight and apparently none of them were waking up to answer which I can’t say I blame them. After calling every possible solution I began to think of other means of getting inside while the undesirable possibility of finding alternative sleeping arrangements loomed within my thoughts. Needless to say I eventually gave up. I told the night guard that I had another place to sleep which wasn’t a lie. I had already picked out a place right up the road.

He quickly agreed to let me go to my alternative place of rest, although he did want to try continuing calling. I was to tired though, so I bid him good night and made my way just down the road to my decided place of residence for the night, a large pile of rocks at the end of my road. I don’t deny that there were possibly better alternatives but I was tired and that pile of rocks was vacant. I think that seems logical enough. I think the most common question I have gotten from hearers of my story is, “What line of thought lead to the choosing of a pile of rocks for a bed?” I will answer this by explaining the advantages of this particular pile. the back side of the pile had a sort of plateau on its slope and the rocks were smooth. This created what I describe as a “really firm, memory foam mattress.” This “Mattress was formed on the side of the pile blocked from the wind which in Sudan at night is a good thing. Lastly, I would like to say in my decisions defense is that it was not terribly uncomfortable by any stretch of the imagination. There was just one thing I didn’t count on. Apparently that was the coldest night Sudan has had in quite some time.

I did sleep for about three hours before waking up with no feeling in any of my appendages and a desperate need for a bathroom. I climbed the wall to the preschool I live beside in search of a bathroom only to nearly step on a night guard sleeping in there. He woke up to a bearded white guy asking the whereabouts of the bathroom. I am sure people have been terrified by less, but this guy was awesome. He pointed me to the bathroom and upon emerging from there I see him setting up a mat with a pillow and even a blanket in the back of the preschool. I thanked him as much as possible whilst shivering and numb. I slept there the rest of the night and this story has a very happy ending as I awoke early only to be served tea and cake by my savior that was a part of the Family. I thanked him for all of his hospitality frustrated that there wasn’t more that I could do to express my gratitude. He just assured me that was the way the family of God should work. I got in to the building shortly after waking up and all was well.

I love this story not because of its appropriate randomness or the manliness of sleeping on rocks out in the cold streets. I love and will always remember this story because of the brother that exemplified the way we should treat each other within the Body. He will not be forgotten. On top of that blessing this story has blessed many with a lot of laughter. Even if it is somewhat at my expense I am glad it can bless people in anyway. That is my story though. The story of my night on the streets of Khartoum, Sudan. Hope you enjoyed it. Blessing to you all.

Timothy

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