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.