Easter just two years ago found us celebrating in South Sudan with teammates from 5 different countries and South Sudanese from many tribes. We cooked all morning over charcoal, went to church where there was much dancing and then feasted on lamb stew and rice from disposable plates under flame trees while sitting on plastic chairs. We shared the Gospel story through song, translated it into Arabic and some heard it for the first time. Our house was a place to hear of Jesus’ sacrifice and His love.
This year we celebrated in the comfort of our new home with friends and teammates who work in 3 different countries. A big bang from the night before meant the electricity was out through the night and into the morning disrupting my plans to throw a roast in the crockpot (not even an option in South Sudan). Instead we cooked with the gas oven and stove top to make the meal, a much easier medium to work with than charcoal. After church we gathered around our wooden dining table to eat off of matching ceramic plates and metal cutlery, our conversation focused more on encouragement for tired teammates while the meal was a taste of home, something not normally served in the countries they work. Our house is a place of refuge and a place to be refreshed.
Sometimes I wonder why God brought us to South Sudan and back again. I’m not sure I’ll ever know the answer for sure. Sometimes it feels like we were pulled out of the front lines only to be placed on the back burner; always hearing exciting stories but not quite able to participate in them. Yet both roles are important; that of evangelist and that of encourager to other Believers. There are many examples in the New Testament of both.
For now we are certain this is where God has placed us. Pray for us that in the role he now has us we will be effective in spreading the Gospel by supporting our teammates well and that if there is opportunity we will embrace it.
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!
We want to give you snapshots of life and ministry in Doro, South Sudan. By now I hope that you have read my take on some of the various aspects associated with village living. If not check these out:
Plastic Chairs and Tents
Plastic Chairs cont…
Epic Canoe Camping
SIM’s ministry in Doro focuses on healthcare, clean water, education, evangelism and discipleship. We are highlighting these programs to give you a better understanding of the ministries our team is involved in. Check out the links below.
Take a look at the video below for a brief history of SIM in Southern Sudan and first hand accounts from Sudanese who have participated in services offered.