Between north Sudan and South Sudan lies a region called Abyei. Both sides lay claim to this small parcel of land. In recent weeks the people of Abyei have been forced out of their homeland and they are on the run from air and land assaults. (for more detail check out the Satellite Sentinal Project) Those words sound so sterile, so. . . not my problem. Imagine though, leaving everything behind, not sure where your family is, and running into the bush in order to survive. What to eat, what to drink, where to sleep. Imagine. . . and pray.
Sudan finds itself between the referendum vote held in January 2011 and July 9th when the South officially becomes an independent nation. These are difficult times. Supplies that come from north Sudan are not coming through. No diesel, food prices skyrocketing, supplies in short supply.
You might even say that many people in South Sudan are between a rock and a hard place. This picture shows one of my favorite places in Lui. The trees are literally growing out of the rocks! And seeing life springing forth from rock reminds me of Luke 19:40 that tells us that if man fails to praise God, even the rocks will cry out! I praise God for his plan for the Sudanese. I praise God for allowing me to be a part of his work in this land. I praise God for your participation in what God is doing in Sudan!
You've prayed for the selection of a Bishop for the Episcopal Church of Sudan Diocese of Lui. On May 14th Rev. Stephen Dokolo (pictured above) was selected as the new Bishop. Between the election and the Enthronement being held on June 26th let's continue praying that God will have His way in this Diocese. With a strong foundation laid back in the 1920's by Dr. Kenneth Frasier I believe God wants to continue growing His Church as Jesus meets people's spiritual and physical needs.
The Kuj family who minister with In Deed and Truth in Tonj, South Sudan are taking some much needed R & R in Kenya. Last week I had the pleasure of linking them to some of my friends at Tenwek. It was great that they could meet the Tenwek Eye Team who will be traveling to Tonj in September to perform cataract surgeries.
In between various meetings Sebit had the opportunity to share a devotional with the medical staff. God spoke to several Clinical Officers who have expressed an interest in serving in Tonj to cover for staff on leave.
In May WGM sent a team to Tonj to train pastors about Biblical Storytelling. This is what Suzy Kuj had to say about that:
"We have never before witnessed our pastors involved in such lively discussions and interested in every part of the story, asking questions and eager for their turn to share. They could easily talk and discuss for more than two hours about a ten verse story. Some of the discussions just blessed my heart to see the depth of understanding they have reached, making observations and comments that everybody in the group was blessed to hear and sometimes tearing from laughter.
In the last two years we have spent discipling these pastors it was always clear to us we are desiring them to increase in knowledge of the Word for their own growth and spiritual maturity. Some of the churches they pastor have as many as 500 people and as high as 99% are illiterate, so this has been a challenge. We have now brought an effective tool that the pastors can use and is suitable for their congregations. They have bible stories in their pockets that can be pulled out and used at any given moment. It’s brilliant!"
Thanks for praying!
To the naked eye it would appear that our work in Akot has come to a standstill since we haven't had any staff there for a year now. We have been praying and strategizing about the way forward. My prayer is that during this time between prayer and implementation God will be at work preparing the way forward. Preparing the right people to respond to His call on their lives. Preparing the hearts of the community, the leaders, and even smoothing over the logistical aspects of working in a challenging place.
Bishop Isaac is the Bishop of the Diocese of Akot and is very exited about partnering with World Gospel Mission.
Join me for the Hope4Sudan Walkathon at the Cape May County Park on Saturday, June 11th at 10am. If you don't care to walk, bring a picnic lunch at noon and I'll be sharing an update about Mango Ministries. Funds raised from the Walkathon will help different aspects of the ministry. See my previous blog for more details and how to give.
I hope to see you there!
Between now and my next update keep praying for the the Prince of Peace to reign in Sudan.