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Co-Founder of South Sudan African Mission, Marilyn Douglass passes away
February 24, 2015
On January 14, 2015, Marilyn Douglass suffered a massive heart attack which resulted in two stents being put in her heart. After twelve days in the hospital she was released to a
rehabilitation facility in Gresham. While still in the care facility on February 20th, Marilyn suffered a severe stroke which left her unresponsive.
She passed away on Tuesday, February 24th while her daughter, Bev Douglass Campbell and grandson, Nick Campbell were en route home from South Sudan after attending the Aweil Bible College graduation.
Because of her impact on the South Sudan African Mission, we are dedicating this newsletter to Marilyn Douglass. Her celebration of life was held Wednesday, March 4 with Steve Holsinger officiating.
Please honor Marilyn with a gift to the South Sudan African Mission. Memorial funds donated in honor of Marilyn will be used to further the education of young women in South Sudan at the Aweil Bible College in Malek.
Tribute to "Mama Marilyn"
--Yournew Wol Kuot
The following was written by Yournew and read at Marilyn's Celebration of Life.
I know that Marilyn was as well loved and respected in the United States as here in South Sudan. It will take time; days, weeks, months and years for me and my people in South Sudan to accept her passing. It will be hard to say bye to Mama Marilyn. I hope that father Paul will get stronger to stand this loss with us all.
Marilyn was a loving mother not only to me but to my people. She did a great job for the people of South Sudan. She has shown us love and how to love. She has shown us how to bring even our own relatives who haven’t heard of Christ before to Christ. Her work with father Paul brings us closer to Jesus Christ. We are bringing Christ's news right now which without Marilyn's efforts together with father Paul we would have never returned to the villages we abandoned during war time.
I will miss mother Marilyn but I will never forget her in my heart. Paul and Marilyn brought me out of oppression in Khartoum, sent me to Zimbabwe Christian College whereby I was able to interpret the Bible to my people which without Paul and Marilyn I would have not been where I am today as well as my people. Many didn't make it back to Malek village and through the church and Marilyn and Paul I was able to return to my homeland with ease.
I will not be able to count all the clothes she made to clothe the poor, orphans and elderly nor the counseling she gave me to commit myself to serving my people through the word of God. Marilyn is godly and God's chosen woman for me and to the people of South Sudan.
No phrases of words are fit to praise Paul and Marilyn and their support to me and the people of South Sudan as a whole. Since 1988 until this day in 2015, their commitment to finish and support what they started has made a difference in our community. The team that Marilyn and Paul raised has reached places no one has preached before. Marilyn is a godly mother to me and to the people of South Sudan.
Yournew speaking at Mama Marilyn's funeral service in Malek
Marilyn may have gone and left Paul too soon but she will forever live in our hearts.
We are praying for Paul, Bev and Marilyn’s grand children that they take heart and complete for Marilyn whatever she might have left behind to be accomplished.
Christians are mourning in joy that Marilyn has gone to the Almighty God that she has been serving throughout each single day and night that she spent on earth.
Even on her sick bed Marilyn sent Bev, her son Nick and Steve to reach down to us in Malek to let go to harvest the servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. What touched my heart is her passing while her grandson Nick and daughter Bev were on their mission back to the states.
Mama Marilyn, you will always live in us and always be remembered, may Almighty God rest your soul in peace.
I may not be at the ceremonial services but I am sharing with you in spirit. All our Christian leaders will be attending with the congregation in Malek to have a funeral for mother Marilyn and for the blessings to the Godly family she left behind with us.
Yours faithfully, in Christ Jesus, Yournew
PRAYERS & PRAISES
- Paul Douglass and family as they adjust to life without Marilyn.
- New graduates of Aweil Bible College and their future with SSAM.
- Incoming class of students at Aweil Bible College and the teachers
as they begin a new school year.
- Praise that the trip to Malek, South Sudan went flawlessly with all
connections made, our health remained good, we remained safe
and the graduation was a testimony to the goodness of God in
Graduating class of 2015 at Aweil Bible College
Aweil Bible College Graduation Held February 20th
The graduation ceremony at Aweil Bible College is a tribute to the in-country leadership team of South Sudan African Mission. In addition to the responsibility our preachers have for their home churches and the evangelists who work with them, they take turns teaching ABC courses under the direction of ABC principal Angelo Atak. This class marked the reinstatement of the Bible college after some local flooding followed by the collapse of the student dormitory. This year marked another milestone: our first woman- Regina- graduated. These young graduates will be serving in their home areas doing evangelism as well as opening schools in the villages as a means of blessing the community and earning a living. It was very encouraging to see the graduates in their brilliant blue gowns marching in while singing in unison, “I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back, no turning back!” Pray for these fine young people as they begin their ministries.
We will have more on the trip in future newsletters.
Regina, the first woman to graduate from Aweil Bible College
SOUTH SUDAN FOES AGREE TO END CONFLICT
The BBC News reported on February 2, 2015, "South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and rebel commander, Riek Machar have signed a deal, committing to end the conflict that has devastated the country.
The ceasefire agreement was signed at talks in Ethiopia. But consultations will continue on the contentious issue of a future government and power sharing. The conflict which erupted in December 2013, has displaced about 1.5 million people and earlier ceasefire deals have not lasted.
Complete cessation of hostilities in South Sudan is expected as of this morning (Monday). It is proposed that Mr. Kiir would remain president in a new administration, while Mr. Machar would be appointed vice president.
But the talks have now been adjurned until mid-February to allow the parties involved to consider the power-sharing arrangement. A final agreement should be concluded by March 5.
Some 10,000 people are estimated to have died in the fighting, which has mainly been between President Kiir's Dinka ethnic group and the Nuer group of Mr. Machar. "
TEAM TRIP TO SOUTH SUDAN, FEBRUARY 2015
By the time most read this newsletter, Steve Holsinger, Bev Campbell and Nick Campbell will be traveling to South Sudan for the graduation of the Aweil Bible College. The 2015 graduating class consists of seventeen students.
Please pray for the team as they travel. The peace negotiations will be on going while they are in the country and they could be put into compromised situations. With that being said, we are confident God is going before us on this trip and every detail of the trip will go on flawlessly as planned.
UPDATE ON MARILYN DOUGLASS
January 14, Marilyn Douglass suffered a massive heart attack which resulted in two stents put in her heart. After 12 days in the hospital she was released to a rehab facility in Gresham, OR and her hope is that she will be able to return to their home. If you would like to send a card of encouragement, please do so to PO Box 2432, Gresham OR 97030.
AYOLO CAMP ON THE UGANDA BORDER
Greetings, I therefore hope that you are doing well in the Lord, I reached the location called Ayolo camp on the border of Uganda. It is six hours from Juba, the capital city to Ayolo camp.
I wanted to send my appreciation and give thanks to almighty God and Sudan African Mission for granting me this opportunity to reach those who have been crying and seeking for the word of God.
The people have committed themselves to build church of Christ at the refugee camp.
Every Sunday they meet for prayer under a tree with a total number of 537 people which I saw during my December 2014 visit.
Church benches made for the Ayola camp church on the border of Uganda
WHERE WILL SSAM BE?
April 29-May 1 - International Wholistic Conference in Peoria, AZ
May 31- a.m. - Tyler Street Church of Christ, Sacramento, CA
June 30-July 5 - Oregon Christian Convention, Turner, OR
July 26 - 31 - Winema Week of Mission, Oregon Coast
If you are interested in a SSAM coming to give an update, please contact us.
PRAYERS & PRAISES
- Ceasefire agreement will be honored and the peace nogotions will
- Travelling safety and health for the SSAM team as they are in South
- Aweil Bible College's seventeen graduates.
- Graduation celebration will show the citizens of South Sudan that
SSAM is concerned for the well being of their country.
- Discernment as the team discusses the future plans with the SSAM
leaders in South Sudan.
- Marilyn Douglass' health.
BEV VISITS NUER SUDANESE CONGREGATION IN ANCHORAGE
I had the opportunity to go to Anchorage, AK and visit with the Christians at Faith Christian Community, January 10-13. Faith Christian is home to a Nuer Sudanese Congregation which is a part of Faith's congregation. Because of work conflicts, one group meets on Saturday afternoon and another one on Sunday afternoon with approximately 50-75 at each service.
I was humbled as I listened to the congregation sing with such conviction "Blessed Assurance" and "Trust and Obey" out of the Nuer hymn books in their native Nuer language. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!" If you haven't sang these songs in awhile find a hymn book and read the words to these hymns! "Trust and obey for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey." The South Sudanese have been through so much but they know that blessed assurance comes by trusting and obeying.
In my presentation is a picture of tukals. 83% of the rural population of South Sudan live in tukals but they also informed me that most of them had been born in one..
Spending the weekend with the Christians in Anchorage was definitely a highlight and one I will not soon forget.
Part of the Saturday afternoon Sudanese Congregation at Faith Christian
Typical South Sudanese housing
A few members of the Sunday afternoon congregation at Faith Christian
SSAM TEAM TO GO TO SOUTH SUDAN IN FEBRUARY
Steve Holsinger, Bev Campbell and Bev's son, Nick will be traveling to South Sudan February 14-26. While there they will attend the third Aweil Bible College graduation of seventeen students. The graduation is an important event for the Aweil Bible College and the village of Malek with government officials and community leaders invited. This will be an opportunity to affirm to South Sudan that South Sudan African Mission is concerned for their country and their well being.
Please pray for the SSAM team as they go into a county of unrest. There is currently a travel advisory for anyone going into Juba which means we must be aware of our surroundings, maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance personal security.
Luggage is very limited but if you wish to send a note to one of the graduates or to one of the evangelists, we will make room in our luggage for them. We do not have the names of the graduates but several of you support one of the evangelists and this would be a good opportunity for you to communicate with them. If you, your church, your Sunday School class or family would care to send a card or note please send it to SSAM, PO Box 187, Gresham, OR 97030. Please do not enclose any money. Correspondence must be received prior to February 4th.
Graduating class of 2009. Graduates are in the blue gown and the teachers are in red.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015
May Almighty God bless you all in USA.
The work of Christ is progressing well here in Aweil. Aweil Mission is encouraging expanding. More new churches are ascending from far villages.
Because of flood and bad roads we have difficulties collecting reports. Attached here are few of the reports that we were
able to reach from our evangelists from various churches in Aweil area.
The intake of ABC (Aweil Bible College) for 2015-2017 will start in January 2015. We have written to our local churches to send the new students.
ABC has been acknowledged at state level.
There are seventeen (16 boys and 1 girl) in the graduating class. Our next classes will start one week after the graduation.
We are praying that Bev will be able to send us the funds early because the hunger is striking our state of Aweil and things are difficult with our evangelists. This is a national crisis since there was a bad harvest last season and the war had an effect on some of the states in the country.
We so grateful for all the help you are offering to people of South Sudan.
Over $100,000 was sent to Yournew Jan. 7, 2015 to distribute per their four month budget
If you have donated to SSAM in 2014, look for your giving statement to be in the mail by the middle of January. On behalf of the entire SSAM team, we continually thank God for your contributions.
LUKA'S EYE SURGERY SUCCESSFUL
I send the greeting of myself, my family and the church congregation.
Because of my eye treatment I am thankful to SSAM. My family, friends and the church members are all happy and thankful for what the mission has done for me to make a priority for my eye treatment.
The Church is functioning well. Priorities are evangelism. We baptized seven. The Sunday School children are continuing to learn.
WHERE WILL SSAM BE?
January 25 - 6 p.m. Turner, OR Christian Church
We have several other locations scheduled for later in the year and if you are interested in SSAM coming to give an updated presentation, please contact us. After our trip we will have new pictures and information to share.
PRAYERS & PRAISES
- SSAM team while in South Sudan February 14-26. Pray especially
for their health and for safety while traveling to and from South
Sudan and while in the country. The team flies to Dubai, UAE, on
to Addis Ababa Ethiopia and Juba, South Sudan before arriving in
Aweil. We will then drive to Malek for the graduation festivities.
- Churches of South Sudan and their evangelists.
- Leaders of South Sudan. Solution to the on going conflict.
- Paul Douglass will celebrate his 88th birthday on January 22nd.
Send him a card if you wish. PO Box 2432, Gresham, OR 97030
MATUIC CHURCH OF CHRIST
Receive my greeting with hope that you are doing well as I am doing here.
Church activities: Matuic Church of Christ is always busy with church activities. All the ministries are doing their work. We have Bible study groups which meet two days a week in order to prepare them for baptism. Women groups also go door to door to pray for the families, peace in South Sudan, the sick and the needy. Youth are also busy making bricks for the church construction and building the office. They are working very hard to replace the benches for sitting in the church because some of the seats are getting old.
REPORT FROM MALUALBALI, AWANGTHOU AND
MANGAR-TONG-ADHAR CHURCH OF CHRIST
--Ezra Lual Wieu
Greetings from the three church congregations. We praise God for giving us brothers and sisters who have committed themselves to support us in the mission. May God bless and keep them safe.
Last week I prayed with the congregation at the newly founded church of Mangartong-Adhar Church of Christ. I preached the Good News and the congregation was very grateful and received the Biblical message. They were very encouraged in the Lord and gained spiritual growth. They extend their greeting to the brothers and sisters in the USA.
I recently was at Awangthou Church of Christ and after the service we discussed Bible schools, Sunday classes, preparation of Lord's Supper, arranging contributions, Sunday services and house to house visitations.
I praise God for my new motorbike. It will ease my transportation from ABC (Aweil Bible College) and the three churches because they are a far distance apart. It is a great achievement for my field work. Since I received the motorbike, I was able to meet every congregation any time as needed.
It has been SSAM's policy to not furnish motorbikes for the evangelists because of the added expense. Ezra's US sponsor contributed additional funds for the motorbike which enables him considerably with visiting churches and continuing his work with the Aweil Bible College
MALEK CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL
Malek Christian Hospital continues to see hundreds of patents for the usual illnesses; malaria, dysentery, pneumonia and pre and post natal care. Education regarding good sanitary practices continues to be a high priority, as most of the disease experienced is preventable. Dr. John Kuat is in Malawi for some specialized training sponsored by the South Sudanese government. The mobile medical clinic continues to serve remote villages, staffed by people Dr. John has trained.