Long Lost Friends

While many workers have partnered with them, for the past six years, one SIM Ethiopian couple has remained constant, pouring into people in Doro through evangelistic efforts. They have shared Jesus and discipled new believers, yet with the influx of refugees the needs and challenges have grown immensely.  They continue to lead Bible studies with groups in the refugee camp and show evangelistic films, like the Jesus Film. However, more workers are needed.

Showing the Jesus Film

Earlier this year SIM organized an Ethiopian team scheduling them to come for six weeks. On November 12 they arrived in Doro! The team leader, Sebsibe, came early to finalize plans and meet the Sudanese translators. As he approached  Pastor Abraham, the leader in charge of the Uduk refugee churches, warm greetings broke out between the two. Thirteen years earlier, Sebsibe was Pastor Abraham’s mentor in the faith at a refugee camp in Ethiopia! Both were overjoyed to meet again and to work together among many desperate for the Truth.

The Lord is doing a mighty work. Even now, some have already committed their lives to Christ. We look forward to hearing more from our teammates in the coming weeks as they recount salvation stories and witness the Lord working and moving in many hearts at this time. We are also lifting the team in prayer as this is a spiritual battle. Prayer is powerful, effective support that we can lend from afar. Join with us!

High School Program

Education opens doors, widens a person’s world view, gives the opportunity for a better life, and most importantly unlocks Scripture.  Education is also one of the largest needs in South Sudan. The literacy rate in South Sudan is 27% and women’s literacy is only 16% (CIA Factbook). Only one in four South Sudanese over the age of 15 can read and write and only one in six women can read and write. While there are a few primary schools in the area, there isn’t a high school in Mabaan County. Nevertheless the need is huge, especially with the recent influx of refugees.

Singing lessons from an SIM missionary.

Last year, SIM closed the only high school in the Yabus area (now part of Sudan) because of insecurity. This school is reopening in Doro. Many former Yabus students are among the incoming refugees. These students easily obtained jobs for Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the area, reinforcing the value of education. They have seen firsthand the opportunities that education can afford.

Students help rebuild their school.

An SIM couple from India serves as project manager for the school. Their team includes a builder and head teacher from Kenya as well as teachers from Australia and India. Recently authorities finalized the necessary paperwork registering the school with the South Sudanese government. The first stage of construction should be finished in the next couple months. The students are excited to continue their studies when the school reopens in February 2013. SIM is excited to play a part in training and educating future leaders of this country.

Women’s Discipleship

How did Jesus make disciples? He taught the twelve while He ate with them, worshipped with them. Walked, talked, and lived with them.

The purpose of the Gospel is to transform lives, to be personal rather than institutional. Discipleship is the key; training people of the church, formally and informally, to have a deep, meaningful, life-changing relationship with God.

Mabaan Village Women ©Briggs

Our co-worker is doing just that among women of the church in South Sudan. As the Lord opens doors she walks through them, gradually learning more about culture, language, and relationships. As she puts it, “Jesus needs to ‘get into their lives,’ not in a dress-up-go-to-church sort of way but in a moment by moment basis.”

So after three years of language learning and cultural immersion, she is starting to see small seeds of change. One woman asked if they could read their Bibles together. Another wants to learn how to pray. As she invests in relationship building through literacy, she is making inroads toward discipleship opportunities!