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Mission News

For the most current news report, please visit our home page

2014

June/July, 2014 Update

The SSAM Board of Directors has invited Yournew to come to the United States for a visit September - November of this year. Currently Yournew is in Nairobi beginning the process of applying for his Visa. If the Visa is granted, Yournew will participate in training classes, visit as many churches as possible and also visit with Paul and Marilyn. Since we are early in the process, we are asking for prayers for what could be a difficult, long process and in the end Yournew's Visa will be issued.

NOTE FROM YOURNEW

Greetings to you from Nairobi. I came to Juba yesterday and Saturday I left Juba and I have now arrived in Nairobi. The trip was very good.

I will start the Visa process next Tuesday the 10th of June 2014. I will be updating you with each step which it will take for the visa. I will be here for one to two weeks before returning to Aweil.

I visited the car company yesterday with Dr. John and saw the car. The car is good.

Pray for me and my Visa.

MOBILE MEDICAL CLINIC PURCHASED
--Received from Dr. John June 12, 2014

I am glad, along with the congregations and communities, to know we have the Mobile Medical Clinic now.

I came to Juba on Tuesday and immediately I met the manager of Global Links Auto. I was shown the unit taken in the pictures attached to this email.


Dr. John in front of the Mobile Medical Unit

I will send you the documents of the Mobile Clinic Unit after I receive everything from the company. We should finally have the unit with us tomorrow after lunch according to the manager at Global Links Auto Company.

There is an urgent need to build the store so that we can set up the mobile clinic unit and go the villages. The store construction at the compound will costs about $9,800 including the cost of labor. Attached is the itemized budget for the store. I am praying that we will be able to get basic medical equipment for the time being and medicine (Anti-malaria, Anti-diarrheal diseases, skin diseases and respiratory infections). (Note: The "store" Dr. John is referring to would be a secure structure which would house the medicine and equipment used in the Mobile Medical Clinic).

We are very pleased to know that Yournew has been invited to come to the USA to meet SSAM Board of Directors and Paul and Marilyn. We are praying that Yournew will be able to go through with the visit.

Security wise, the streets in Juba town are calm but the fear to be in our sleeping areas before seven p.m. is still the issue. I need to do everything and still be in the compound by 6:00PM.

We are thankful for the Mobile Clinic Unit which has been donated to the South Sudanese Congregation in Aweil in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State.

WHERE WILL SSAM BE?

June 24 - 19 - Ore. Christian Convention, Turner, OR
July 20 a.m. - Gates Community Church, Gates, OR
July 27 - August 1 - Winema Week of Missions, Oregon Coast
August 17 a.m. - Church of Christ, Austin, MN
August 24 a.m. - Church of Christ, Faribault, MN
Sept. 7 - First Christian Church Mission Fair, El Centro, CA
Sept. 18 - 7:30 p.m. - Orleans Church of Christ, Moulton, IA
Sept. 21 a.m. - Church of Christ, Superior, NE
Sept. 21 p.m. - Church of Christ, Grand Island, NE
Sept. 28 a.m. - Northland Christian Church, Kansas City, MO
Oct. 5 a.m. - 5th & Gibbs Church of Christ, Cottage Grove, OR
Nov. 2 a.m. - Sunrise Church of Christ, Spokane, WA
Nov. 2 p.m.- Christ's Church of Mt. Spokane, Mead, WA
Nov. 13 -16 - International Conference on Missions (ICOM), Columbus, OH

 

PRAYER REQUESTS & PRAISES

  • Peace will be realized in South Sudan. South Sudan will celebrate their 3rd anniversary of independence of July 9th. Pray that the celebrations will be peaceful and there will be no further outbreaks of violence.
  • Yournew's visa application process.
  • Santino and his family's move to Juba.
  • Wisdom and strength for Dr. John as he establishes the ministry of the Mobile Medical Clinic.
  • Health and safety of SSAM's students and evangelists

REPORT FROM SANTINO

Greetings, and thanks for your concern which I appreciate. God is on our side and He is our protector. I hope that you and our Christian brothers and sisters are doing well in the Lord.

Our local congregation is doing well and I want to inform the South Sudan African Mission board on the situation on the ground. Of course our country is big and some parts of it has been occupied by the rebels.

There are many challenges facing our local congregations. This time around there is much hunger because the community did not get a chance to harvest their crops last year when the fighting erupted in the capital city of Juba. Only those who's crops ripened early got a chance to harvest them.

You may have heard about the disease outbreak of cholera in Juba which has spread to many parts in South Sudan, even in Jonglei which includes Bor town and the Atar area.

In this area the challenges is educating the Internal Displaced People on hygiene promotion, telling them about boiling their water before drinking, washing their hands after visiting the latrines, to cook their food properly and to avoid eating uncooked food. These guidelines we have given the community has helped to prevent the diseases. In the Upper Nile of Jonglei States which are located along Nile River means there is a lots of mosquitoes and many children and adult are getting malaria. There is no any relief operation in the area and the rainy season and mosquitoes are spreading malaria.

I hope this would may be the right time for me to purchase medicines and reliefs supplies to take when I go back.

There was a small school where children were learning, but this war has affected the school performance and the school is not operating any more. Therefore I have asked the South Sudan African Mission board to bring Tabitha and my children to Juba for the children to go to school. I will still be in Atar and will back to Juba as we still do not have any internet in Malakal town, What is your opinion on bringing my children to Juba to study? (The SSAM Board approved $1200 for Santino to move his family to Juba where they will be safer and there is also a school for his children.)

Below are the expenditures for allowance amounting to 2700 ssp (South Sudanese Pounds) or 900 US dollars.

Transportation to and from -- 1000 ssp
2 Bags of sorghum @ 500 -- 1000 ssp
Sunday school children biscuits' box -- 300 ssp
Half bag of beans -- 200 ssp
Transport while in Paloch and Juba -- 100 ssp
Food in Paloch while I waited the flight -- 100 ssp
Total -- 2700 ssp

And thanks
May God bless you all
Santino

 

May, 2014 Update

REPORT FROM YOURNEW

The following is an email we recently received from Yournew reporting what is happening in Malek and Aweil.

It has been a long since you have come to Aweil for a mission visits. We pray that God will provide a good time to come together and make future plans for South Sudanese in Church of Christ.

I am very grateful for what Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Marilyn Douglass did for me and the rest of my brothers. They provided us with an opportunity to know the Christ as our Lord the Savior for our lives. I am glad and happy to tell you that the work of the kingdom in Aweil is active and growing every day. It has been a blessing for our people to know Christ and receive him as their Savior. We are praying for Paul and Marilyn that God will give them more years to see the fruits of their work.

Church work in Aweil
The ministry in Aweil is going well because our evangelists are committed to God's work in their churches. There has been growth in churches this year. This shows that our pastors are working hard to bring lost souls to our Lord Jesus Christ. This year we have some new churches which were planted by our new evangelists in their own villages. I am thanking SSAM and our supporting churches in USA.


Church service at the Malek Church of Christ

ABC (Aweil Bible College)
I am glad to report to you that ABC classes are going well. The twenty students are happy with their classes.


Classes being conducted at the Aweil Bible College

Food for Life
Ox plow for Food for Life is requested. We are praying that there will be funds for ox plows so that we can buy a few oxen and hoes so we can plant food during the rainy season. Four teams will be a good start. Each bulls costs 350 USD and eight bulls will cost around 2800 USD. We are praying that this year will be a blessed season for all the farmers. The time is short for South Sudan to receive rain. There will be a need to buy seeds to get to farmers.

Although there were some security problems during the conflicts in South Sudan between Sudan People Liberation Army and Dr. Riak Machar in some areas, we are grateful now that the situation in the South is peaceful and things are back to normal. We are kindly asking SSAM to pray for South Sudan government and the people to have final peace and the love of God to come to their hearts and bring peace to the country.

--Sincerely in Christ, Yournew Wol

Lesson Learned by Joseph Wel

As a church, we have learned that the current situation with the current war in South Sudan needs only God to answer it with peace. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I gives to you; not as the world give, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27

PRAYER REQUESTS & PRAISES

  • Safe travel of the Mobile Medical Clinic from Juba to Aweil.
  • SSAM has not heard from Santino who is in the area of conflict in South Sudan. Please pray for his safety and the safety of his family.
  • The rainy season is beginning in South Sudan. Please pray that the crops will be spared and there will be a plentiful harvest.
  • Our evangelists and workers in South Sudan.

MALEK CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL

--Dr. Philip Garang
March 2014 Reports: In this month we have admitted 51 patients with no deaths recorded throughout the month. All were discharged cured! We are thanking God for the mercy and blessing He has for the work of our hands. The patient record books has 674 patients in the month of March as a treated number of patients with medical follow up. Now we are still programming to visit IDPs (Internally Displaced People) at their houses and teach them Primary Health Care.

April 2014 Reports: There have already been 375 patients, 34 admissions and two exhausted patients were brought who died instantly.

Drug Store and Medicine Supply: The store is well stocked and equipped with essential drugs and medicine. The only problem is the population we have in Malek and sometimes people come from the other sites of Aweil state and therefore we run short of medicine. Some of the far villages need to be reached by the Mobile Clinic if the mission is successfully purchasing the vehicle for the church to use it for outreach.


Delivering medicine and supplies to Malek


Treating a child at the Malek Christian Hospital

MOBILE MEDICAL CLINIC

Because of violence in and around Juba, South Sudan the Mobile Medical Clinic purchase was delayed. Yournew and Dr. John had concerns that the vehicle would be carjacked or looted while in transit to Aweil. Recently it was decided that it was safe to bring the vehicle to Aweil so the money has been wired and will be in service soon. Thank you to so many who sent money for the clinic, and this dream of Dr. John's will soon be realized. Watch for pictures in future newsletters.

WHERE WE WILL BE

If we are going to be in your area, please contact us and we will try to fit you into our open dates.
June 24-28 - OR Christian Convention, Turner, OR
July 20 - Gates Community Church, Gates, OR
July 27- Aug 1 - Winema Week of Missions
August 25 - Faribault Church of Christ, Faribault, MN
Sept. 7 - El Centro Christian Church, El Centro, CA
Sept. 21 - Superior Church of Christ, Superior, NE

 

April, 2014 Update

SSAM DESIGNATES APRIL 2 AS NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING

The South Sudan African Mission is designating Wednesday, April 2 as a national day of prayer and fasting for the country of South Sudan. SSAM is calling on individuals and congregations to band together and pray for this fragile nation. Hopefully with us sending the newsletter a little earlier this month it will give churches and individuals time to put this in their bulletins or other publications.

Yournew reports that the Aweil Bible College and the Malek Christian Hospital have not been affected to date by the war. However, Santino Makol works in the Malakal area and Peter Gadet works in the Bentiu area of South Sudan. Both of these areas as you can see in the map below are in the war zone.

Even in the midst of violence the church in South Sudan is thriving and souls are being saved. Warlai Church of Christ reports 49 baptisms, Malek Church of Christ reports 18 baptisms, Matuic Church of Christ reports 12 baptisms, Majak-Ajuong reports 120 baptisms and Uyoon Church of Christ reports 62 baptisms

To quote in part an Associated Press article, February 28, 2014 with Malakal, South Sudan as the dateline.

"House after house has been burned to the ground. Hospital patients have been shot by armed rebels while lying in their beds. Dozens of corpses litter the streets.

"This is about revenge now. There is no humanity here," said Col. Jan Hoff an officer in Norway's army who has served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

South Sudan, he said, is the worst he's seen.

"It is absolutely horrific," Hoff said this week as he led a heavily armed U.N. convoy through the streets of Malakal, the capital of oil-producing Upper Nile state. "This is tribe against tribe. In Syria, it was foreign fighters against the government. Here I don't think it is about government.

"Armed forces from both sides have extensively looted and destroyed civilian property, including desperately needed aid facilities, targeted civilians, and carried out extrajudicial executions, often based on ethnicity," said Human Rights Watch, which called the destruction and violence against civilians "shocking."

The U.N. has classified South Sudan as a level 3 emergency that puts in on par with Syria's crisis. As South Sudan's rainy season approaches there are fears that the hundreds of thousands displaced by fighting will not be able to plant crops, an event that the U.N. aid chief here says could precipitate a famine."

PRAYER REQUESTS & PRAISES

  • The South Sudanese to change from tribes to one Tribe of Jesus Christ.
  • Fair, just and peaceful governance amongst the South Sudanese leaders.
  • Safety and wisdom for Santino Makol and Peter Gadet and the churches they lead in the war zone.
  • The conflict will not spread into Malek and Aweil in North Bahr al-Ghazal or other areas not already affected by the ongoing war.
  • The conflict would cease so the Mobile Medical Clinic can be safely put into use.

BRIEF NOTE FROM SANTINO

Greetings, I therefore hope that you are doing well. The congregation and my family are doing okay. I came to Juba on 27th, Feb, 2014, and I'm now compiling the three month report. I will send it this week.

The attached photos were of the new church plant and of Malakal's market which was burned and looted

.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. What better way is there than pictures to drive home the magnitude of the devastation and ongoing crisis in South Sudan than with first hand pictures from Santino?


Santino in front of the church building in Malakal

 

March, 2014 Update

This month's newsletter contains reports from several of our evangelists working in South Sudan. Despite the war, the church is thriving in that country, the gospel continues to be proclaimed and souls saved. Please keep the Republic of South Sudan in your prayers especially those who are connected with the South Sudan African Mission. There are several individuals and churches who faithfully send funds each month to support these evangelists. After reading these reports, we pray you feel your money is being put to good use for the Kingdom. What better use of your funds is there? If you don't see a report from the evangelist you support please look for next month's newsletter as there are several more to come. If you would like information on sponsoring one of the evangelists or students, please contact SSAM.

YOURNEW'S AWEIL REPORT

Our country needs prayers that God may give wisdom to the South Sudanese leaders, IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) and the African Union to come up with good results so that the country will have peace again and stop the death of children and women.

Church in Aweil
The work of the ministry is progressing well. Evangelists are busy and are reaching the villages across the state with the gospel of Christ. We are thankful to God for guidance to administer His work to His people in South Sudan.

Bread for Life
We thank God for the Ox-Plough project we introduced to our Christian community. We are thankful for the funds that were sent by SSAM last year. Aweil Mission bought two teams, and trained them. The plantation was amazing but unfortunately the heavy rainfall destroyed the harvest. This year is going to be different. We are appealing to USA churches to keep purchasing for us more teams of ox-plough so that we will have four to six more. By doing so, the Christian can be self reliant by producing their own food rather than waiting in line at the market.

The funds which were sent by SSAM was used to buy 120 sacks of sorghum which was given to widows, orphans, disabled and poor. Sixty five sacks of groundnuts were distributed with the food as well. Joseph Wel and Lino Agou did the registration criterion by going door to door and evaluating the severity of need in each family since the funds we had were not enough for all of them. Some of those poor families came from Northern Sudan last year. We are praying for more funds for Bread for Life.


Church elders organize the distribution of food

MATHUIC CHURCH OF CHRIST
-- Daniel Deng

Receive my warm greetings with hope that you are doing well as I'm also doing here.

All the Christians of Mathuic Church of Christ greet you. Among all Christians here there is fear because of the war which broke out in Juba 15th December 2013.

Paul Achier and I encouraged our people to not run away when there was fighting but to keep praying as always. We have gone door to door to encourage those to continue to pray. We are praying with families who have lost members of their family in the fighting that broke out. The war intensified when it reached Unity and Jonglei State.

We are praying for the lost and for their salvation which is the only way we can help. On December 26th 2013, Paul Achier and I baptized twelve people, four men and eight women. We continue to teach the gospel of Christ. We are preaching in their languages the Word of God so that they may know what God needs them to do to be saved from their sins.

DARFUR, SOUTH SUDAN

Our evangelists have established a new church in the village of Amet Weer, just south of Darfur in an area where two rivers come together.

Arriving at Amet Weer requires a three hour drive off-road through the bush plus a one kilometer walk through a swamp. There have been 79 baptisms there in the last month. Praise
God that the gospel is reaching the "uttermost parts" of the earth!

PRAYER REQUESTS & PRAISES

  • Peace to prevail for the nation of South Sudan.
  • The new converts in each of the villages, the congregations and their evangelists.
  • Angelo Atak who is still suffering from a wound as a result of an incident in September 2013.
  • Wisdom and guidance for the SSAM Board of Directors as they consider the many projects and needs of the people of South Sudan with the funds which have been entrusted to them by our faithful donors.

SOUTH SUDAN CHURCH OF CHRIST
-- Joseph Wel, South Sudan Church of Christ Administrator

Receive my best greeting in Jesus Christ's name.

I've been engaged in Door to Door Evangelism, Bible Studies, Counseling at MCH (Malek Christian Hospital) and Christian's Fellowship. The other exciting news is the opening ceremony of the new church ministry in the remote area of Amet Weer Ayai in Aweil South on 5th Jan 2014 the first Sunday of the New Year. As a result, 15 people were baptized into Christ that Sunday to mark the opening of the new church.

At the Christmas celebration, the three Churches of Christ were gathered at the Malek church on 24th -25th Dec 2013. The churches which gathered there for the birth of Christ the savior were: Malek, Warlai & Makuac Amiir Churches of Christ. More bulls and goats lost their lives as Christians thirsted and hungered during prayers and dancing. It was estimated over 1500 Christians from the three churches were in attendance. On January 1, 2014, the above three ministries again gathered in Warlai Church North West of Malek Church for fellowship and prayer for national peace and Christian's growth and strength in 2014. At least one bull and one goat were slaughtered for the gathered of about 1000+ adults and children.

Lastly, the classes of Aweil Bible College are scheduled to resume in January 2014 as funds have been received from our SSAM/Donors/Christians in USA. All teachers and workers are ready to begin work. The twenty students are ready to resume their studies. The biggest challenge we face is the health of the flock in remote areas where it is worse.

MALEK CHURCH OF CHRIST
-- James Akok

Dear SSAM and Supporting Christian Churches in USA,

The church is growing and making headway through the wise planning and strategy which SSAM laid as a foundation by implementing the great commission in South Sudan. In November, we trained about thirty believers and within the thirty believers eighteen have been baptized. In December eight other converts were baptized into Christ.

Church distirbutes food South Sudan
Young mother with twin children in line to receive food

**Did you know that 33% of the South Sudanese population walk more that 30 minutes one way to collect safe drinking water?

**Did you know that only 55% of South Sudanese have access to improved sources of drinking water?

** Did you know that in 2009, there were 129 student per classroom?

 

January, 2014 Update

UPDATE ON SOUTH SUDAN'S POLITICAL UNREST

South Sudan has been in the news quite a bit lately. Vice President Riek Machar is in a power struggle with President Salva Kiir. The Dinka tribe, to which President Kiir belongs, is in conflict with the Nuer tribe, which Vice President Machar is from. South Sudan erupted into war on December 15 when a small skirmish among the presidential guard gave birth to tribal conflict. Because of these news headlines, SSAM felt it important to update our supporters and friends of the current situation in South Sudan.

"At least 121,600 people have fled their home, and thousands are feared dead since fighting broke out Dec. 15, according to the United Nations. Some 63,000 civilians have sought shelter inside U.N. bases. While the conflict in South Sudan began as a political battle between Kiir and Machar, it has taken on an added tribal element with clashes between the Dinka and Nuer people." Chicago Tribune, December 28, 2013.

All involved with the South Sudan African Mission request your prayers for peace. Looking at the map below, Malek and Aweil are located in the North Bahr al-Ghazal region, but Santino and others are in the area of conflict. SSAM has worked in adverse situations for most of its 25 years, but this is the worst experience we have seen in recent years.

 

Received from Dr. John, Christmas Day, 2013

Merry Christmas to you all.
Due to crisis and fear of insecurity, it wasn't an easy task to sit down and write any mail while I was in Juba for three days and two nights. There was no such thing as open war but fear of death was everybody's concern.

I booked a ticket from Kampala (Ethiopia) to Wau via Juba on Saturday, Dec. 21st. Unfortunately the flight was cancelled at Entebbe International Airport due to Juba's crisis that evening. Our heartbeat doubled and tension escalated within us. Countrymen and women from Juba told us to wait for it to be calm in Juba before we returned home but I trusted God that He would deliver us back home. We were able to board the second day to Juba. The transition to Wau was however aborted and my ticket redirected to the Aweil Airport. The domestic flight check in was done outside the boarding lounge. There were more tickets than boarding tickets probably as I was one of tens of passengers who missed Sunday flight. By God's grace I boarded my flight to Aweil yesterday Tuesday Dec. 24th. I didn't reach Malek but I celebrated the 24th/25th night here at the Aweil Church. There were thousands of brethren who unconditionally turned out to celebrate the birth of Christ throughout the night of the 24th and morning of 25th. Every Christian was engaged in praying to Jesus for peace. The peace He said He is leaving with us.

South Sudanese people are requesting our brothers and sisters in USA and in this country to reach God in prayer so that peace be upon everyone. By speaking to God in prayer, we will get the answer. We pray for peace at home, in our minds and peace in our hearts. But most of all, peace for those innocent brothers and sisters who lost their precious kin during the recent and ongoing violence in South Sudan state of Central Equatoria, Jonglei and Unity state.

Northern Bahr al-Ghazal is at peace like the rest of other seven states with an exception of Juba, Bor and Bentiu.

Yournew and the team are fine and in good health. Some central churches across the villages we visited with Steve, Tom and Peter have joined in prayer. From last night until this morning you could hear the drums beating to mark the birthday of Christ Jesus.

Every business in Aweil is running well. People can work day and night if they want to. Police are on the main street to notify the public of any suspicious groups.

 

PRAYER REQUESTS (from Dr. John)

  • Growth of the Churches of Christ in the hearts of people of South Sudan.
  • The South Sudanese to change from tribes to one Tribe of Jesus Christ.
  • Fair, just and peaceful governance amongst South Sudanese leaders.
  • SSAM to have enough funds to sustain and open doors for more aid projects. For Christian leaders in South Sudan to expand the kingdom of God in this land.
  • Provide us with wisdom so that we can do God's work without worldly obstacles. That we may have faith in Christ and the Almighty Father God forever.
  • Myself that God may give me wisdom so that I know specific
    dreams that will keep me in union with Christ.

Yournew was busy during my few days of absence. We have ordered the metal poles for the office structure. We have contracted a truck to lift the brick from the Malek church to our new compound in Aweil to construct the office. Sending us water well funds to drill the well as construction continues is of greater help.

Dr JohnComplications come when neighboring countries like Uganda and Kenya have fear of crossing borders with goods. The people from Northern Sudan lack basic needs. Hunger is striking. Diseases due to overcrowding are higher than before. Fear and worry of tomorrows and today are traumatizing the civilians of this country.

The town of Bor is now under full control of SPLA forces as the spokesperson announced yesterday on national TV. The national forces said they will advance their victory to Unity state (Bentiu) in a few days. Join us by praying that no more deaths arise, and that the President and the Vice President are willing to come to dialogue. Our church is one of a peace building institution. Christians need Christ's love. This is the only choice left when what you call home is becoming a battle ground and pool of a bloodshed.

Steve, Bev and Tom and other SSAM leaders need not to fear purchasing the Christian Mobile Medical Clinic immediately after the border of Kenya and Uganda normalize. We can arrange this within the month of January. However the ongoing crisis will dictate. We will first wait for stability of security in South Sudan and soon after Yournew and I will request the resumption of the mobile medical van. As soon as I am able to write back I will provide some photos about the work going on in Aweil Compound.

Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year in 2014.
Yours in Christ, John

Giving Statements for 2013 will be in the mail no later than January 20, 2014. If you do not receive yours by January 27th, please notify our office. We thank God for every dollar which was given to SSAM in 2013!

 

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