"Kapoeta" by Peter Kuperis

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Missionaries entering into a new context look forward to the day when renewal will be realized, when food security will be obtained, when justice will be delivered. We spread stories of transformation and hope but that doesn’t mean that we don’t often encounter disappointments; sometimes it feels like we have failed. Sometimes it feels like darkness and despair are closing in. Yet even in dark times when we cannot understand God’s plans, we find hope in his infallible Word and the assurance that his promises will prevail.

This poem was written in November of 1990 by Peter Kuperis who was working in Kapoeta, a major town in southern Sudan that came under the control of the SPLA, or Sudanese People’s Liberation Army.

Peter and other CRWRC mission workers had to leave Sudan after working there for just three months.

At times our own hearts echo the cries of Peter’s--broken for the anguish, violence, and injustices we see around the world. Still, we find peace in the knowledge that when things feel like they are falling apart, the Lord’s love is holding his people together.

"Kapoeta"

As I drive down the road to Kenya, I tell myself that I’m glad to be leaving you;

Sudan.

After harassment, threats, insults,

and anger

I feel no love for you anymore.

And then

I pass through you,

Kapoeta.

Ugly, muddy, stinking,

bruised and marked by shells and bombs.

Listless children lie in your doorways,

drunken old men wander your streets.

Kapoeta

ugly and unloved,

like a leper.

But I continue to see you on the screen of my mind;

Kapoeta.

And I remember,

that Jesus could touch, heal, and love

lepers.

And so maybe, just maybe,

I can forgive you;

Sudan.

And maybe, just maybe,

I can love you... Sudan.

 

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