Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hope in action

Hope 4 Sudan 
is really 
Hope in Jesus

Here's a glimpse of hope. . . .

Thoughts from Roger Sharland, a friend, who returned to South Sudan for the Independence Day celebrations.  

"The overall impression we bring home is one of great hope and potential in the new nation of South Sudan.  It has been so uplifting to return to a land of peace and to see the way things are moving forward.  There are many challenges but in many ways the experience of returning to Mundri and Juba after a time of peace is of a country that must be developing faster than any other, given that the material development was so far behind.  In conclusion I would like to share the image from Job 14:7 that I shared at the independence day celebrations in Mundri.  In the 1980s I planted a number of teak trees behind our home.  These were harvested by someone during the war, but they have sprouted from the roots, and I spent time pruning and sorting them out.  The new shoots from the stumps grow much faster than new seedlings and I believe this is a marvellous image for South Sudan.  Although a new nation, it is not starting from nothing.  There are many years of experience and a heritage to sprout from and this means a very different scenario from starting from scratch."

Isn't that a great word picture for Sudan!  Although I don't have teak trees growing in my backyard this blue gum tree exhibits the concept Roger Sharland was explaining.  

I'm thankful for the chance we've recently had to bless one of our partners at In Deed and Truth as they see growth in their ministry that includes a clinic and a pastors training school in Tonj.  

Hillary Langat (holding syringe below) and Emily Serem, both Clinical Officers, are each spending a month in Tonj this summer.  Pray that the burden for the Sudanese that was on Hillary's heart when he returned to Kenya will ignite a 'missions' awareness & involvement among the staff at Tenwek.  
Pray for Emily who is there now as she sees many patients with severe malaria.  
This is an incredibly neat story!  Recently the staff at In Deed and Truth felt the need to be more intentional about sharing the gospel message with their patients.  They see a minimum of 100 patients daily ~ what an opportunity, although also a challenge with so many sick patients and few staff.  This week as the message of Jesus' love was shared with this woman, who had brought her 2 children to the clinic to be treated for pneumonia, she felt led to ask Jesus into her life!  She was convicted to get rid of the charms that hung around her children's necks and personally cut the charms loose.
 A charm is something carried or worn because it is believed to bring good luck or ward off evil.
This is why we want to help people know what the Bible teaches.   James 1:17 says that, "every good and perfect gift is from above."  Amen.

Suzy Kuj, Emily, and the rest of the staff need our prayers as they share about Jesus' love in both word and deed.  Spiritual battles are being fought - let's do our part on our knees.  Also consider giving towards the expenses of sending Hillary and Emily to Tonj.  

Read more about how WGM and Tenwek Hospital have blessed the ministries of In Deed and Truth

You may have caught the international news about the drought in Africa.  My colleague Billy Coppedge preached a sermon entitled, "Bring on the rain," last Sunday at Loudanville Community Church in NY.   It's well worth your time.  Where is your umbrella?

The hope of a free nation was realized on July 9th.
Now let's pray that the hope we have of transformation through Jesus Christ will be a reality to all men, women, and children in the Republic of South Sudan.  



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hope 4 Sudan

When I look into these eyes I see hope.  Lots of it.  Hope for a future. I see the Kingdom of God in Sudan.  

I see young boys and girls, mom's, dad's and grandparents all living lives at the fullest of their potential with access to preventive and curative health care.  

I see a church that really knows God, is able to study his Word - even if they don't know how to read, and as a church body they are in the process of figuring out how they are to bless and transform their communities.  

I see communities with thriving markets, full of useful things to people's lives - like fruits and vegetables and healthy food.  People who are able to earn a living in order to meet the needs of their families. 
I see families growing enough food to have strong families that don't need to rely on relief food.  Farmers who innovate and try drought resistent crops and can weather the variable rainy season successfully.  

I see communities with functioning boreholes and pumps.  Where water is near home and never runs out with responsible usage for bathing, cleaning, irrigation of kitchen gardens, and of course drinking.  
And I see schools with well trained teachers who are challenging students to learn more and more to be prepared for life.  I see adults who never had the opportnitity to attend school learning to read their own language for the first time.  
Join with me in praying for a smooth transition as South Sudan becomes the world's newest country this Saturday, July 9th.  There will be hurdles . . . there are hurdles, and fighting continues along the border with North Sudan.  We can claim the promises of His Word in Jeremiah 29:11.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

May God have his hand on this new nation.  

Check out what my colleague, Whitney Smith, a new missionary on her Homeland Ministry Assignment, has written about South Sudan's first Independence Day.  

On June 11th the first Hope4Sudan Walkathon was held.  A BIG thank you to the walkers and sponsors.   We'll do this again next time I am in the U.S.
Early arrivals in Cape May Court House:  My Mother - Carol Phillips, Anne Sudol, Harriet Reardon-Bailey, my No. 1 Champion and sister - Linda Phillips, and my Father - Bruce Phillips.  

We also had a satellite walkathon in Florida.  Thanks Cindy!

My colleages in Uganda, Billy Coppedge and Scott Rambo (far left and right) were able to attend the Bishop's enthronement in Lui last month.  Please be in prayer for Bishop Stephen Dokolo and his family (pictured center). 

Last month I joined other WGM field leaders for two weeks of meetings.  Pictured below are the leaders in Africa.  
Alice and Jim Vanderhoof, Karen and Terry Duncan, Lisa and Jon Mayo, and me - Joy Phillips

While in Marion, Indiana at WGM's Headquarters for these meetings I was able to connect with my brother and his family.  I was even able to witness my nephew's baptism where this family picture was taken.  Since they are missionaries in Bolivia, South America family get-togethers like this don't happen very often.  

Anna, Betsy, Luke, Len and Abby Phillips - missionaries in Bolivia with WGM

More news on the world's newest nation soon.