God’s Good Time
Genesis 12 & Genesis 15
February 24, 2013
Africa Bake Auction
Bonnie A. Perry
May the God…
Please be seated.
Have you noticed
how long some things take?
Have you noticed
change is slow-going?
Perhaps God’s promise is worth waiting for
—but seriously when?
God’s own good time—
means what? When?
There are times, nights –
its always at night
especially Saturday nights
when I wonder,
when I find myself
sitting on my window seat
in the front of the house—nights—
when I’m the only one up-
nights when I find myself
wondering when you all
will you tire of something.
When you will say—
Oh God—not that—again…
The bake auction for instance:
this morning’s bake auction
we’ve been doing
one version or another of it
for at least 15 years now.
So when I approach these days
I find myself wondering
if this is what
we should still be doing?
Are we making a difference?
Is what we are doing—does it matter?
For those of you
who may not have the background—
let me give you a bit of history.
About 15 years ago
one of our young people Hilary Waldron,
came up with the idea
that we should have a bake sale.
(Hilary now 27ish Masters Social Work Tulane)
Bake to the bake sale
But not just any bake sale—
a bake sale on steroids—
a bake auction.
She envisioned us
baking cakes and then
auctioning them off
and the church school kids—
her peers would then
give the money to Heifer International:
that gives animals to people
in developing countries.
That’s one version of how this event started.
Time went by—
and the bake sale/auction
became something of a competition.
Particularly when James Mattson
then in 7th grade
made his first Chocolate Granache cake
from scratch a
nd his father Mike
made the mistake of saying
out loud that James
dearly wanted him
to buy it back
so their family could enjoy his labors.
Well that comment cost Mike and Helen about $205.
Then about 10 years ago Connie Wilson
came to me and told me the story of Elizabeth Lueth
who was the niece of a friend of hers
from Seabury-Western Seminary.
Elizabeth was a 12 years old
living in war torn Sudan
and she needed help,
she was sick, needed surgery.
Might we use the bake auction
to raise some money.
We asked the kids
and that year we raised about $7,000. A record.
A couple years after that
there was Morgan Mankowski’s cake.
got into a bidding war with Connie Wilson
and as I recall ,
to everyone’s astonishment in the room,
that cake sold for $1075.
Four years later both Connie and Charlie
were in Sudan filming
and documenting the spirit, faith, and hardships
faced by the people in Southern Sudan.
Who knew buying a cake could get you to Sudan?
In the last five years
we’ve raised more than $100,000 in our bake auctions.
And I think hen its natural to say—
well heck that’s a lot of cake, a lot of money.
Is it helping?
How long are we going to be doing this?
Which reminds me of
God and Abraham.
God calls Abraham,
promises him the world,
or if not the world, then descendants
as numerous as the stars and land—
a promised land.
Yet that was chapters ago—
and in today’s reading Abraham
is still tapping his foot
waiting for God’s promise to be a reality.
Abraham is at this point in time
not particularly overwhelmed with God’s timeliness.
I did what you asked—
packed up my people—
left my home—
had quite the time convincing my wife—
but here we are.
I’m still without one heir much less countless ones.
“I brought you out of the Chaldeans
—I am the Lord.”
That’s nice for you O Lord—
but seriously how am I to know that this will be?”
Twenty four years later—
twenty-four years later—
things began to look up.
After things looked really bad.
Sarah at 90 is pregnant and glowing….
is what I take from this.
God and Abraham
and I hope all of us—
we need to be in it for the long haul.
I’m here to ask you,
all of us,
to keep on going
and slowly moving toward
the vision of what could be.
Much has changed in Sudan.
who we raised money for a surgery,
sadly, she committed suicide a few years ago.
She believed she was too sickly for anyone
to ever want to marry her.
We weren’t able to fix that.
Still strides have been taken,
a new country formed,
schools rebuilt and hopes lifted.
Yet it is a place still afflicted.
In the diocese of Renk,
Bishop Joseph and his people
with the number of returnees
streaming to his city—more than 200,000—
heck these folks
barely had enough resources
to care for themselves
before they were flooded with returnees from the North
and thousands and thousands
of displaced persons from—t
he Nuba mountains, South Kordofan, Abiyah.
Abiyah—a border city—
where the oil is in the soil.
It is a city, not too far from our friends in Renk,
where disputes still roar
they have not yet be allowed to vote—
which of the two countries South Sudan of Republic of Sudan
—they wish to join.
In the meantime the city has been bombed,
clinics, schools and places of worship destroyed.
The inhabitants are fleeing. Many wind up in Renk.
Bishop Joseph needs us.
Our partners in Geiger—
we helped build their restaurant.
We bought the water pump for the garden.
They need money to finish building the fence
to enclose that kick-ass garden of theirs.
$6000 gets them a gorgeous fence
that keeps out the goats and cattle and other hungry critters.
$6000 keeps them fed
and gives them food
to cook with at the restaurant.
$6000 makes it sustainable.
Then there is
$3000 for the mid-wives to continue with their incredibly important work
$ 5000 in scholarships for the scripture union kids Sudanese refugees in Uganda
$3500 for Dr. Paul—the medic in Renktown.
That’s $17,500 for the long-haul. To make a difference.
Bishop Daniel—the Archbishop said this of his new country,
“I dream of people
no longer traumatized,
of children who can go to school,
of mothers who can attend health clinics
and the end of poverty and want.”
That’s a dream and a vision
I want to be a part of.
Let’s make their hopes,
and God’s plan, a reality.
May it come soon
to the hungry
to the weeping
to those who search for your justice,
to those who have waited centuries
for a truly human life.
Grant us the patience
to smooth the way on which your kingdom comes to us.
Grant us hope,
that we may not weary in proclaiming and working for it,
despite so many conflicts, threats and shortcomings.
Grant us a clear vision
that in this hour of our history
we may see the horizon,
and know the way on which your kingdom comes to us. Amen
Copyright Bonnie A. Perry 2013