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It is unusual for SSAM to combine our monthly newsletters but because of travel schedules and time constraints, we have done so for May and June.
How do you achieve a balance between responding to pressing human need and being aggressive in planting churches and preaching the gospel in a nation devastated by war and wracked by poverty? Other than the oil industry, there is no viable economy. There are encouraging signs in farming, but progress is slow.
On our recent trip we taught the Sudanese evangelists an acronym that describes the approach SSAM wants to take in the ministry in South Sudan. The word is RAISE.
The “R” is for relationship. The love between our leadership team in South Sudan, the Douglass family, the board of directors and you, our donors, gives the ministry great strength.
“A” is for accountability. Paul and Bev have worked hard to teach and require accountability for every dollar donated to SSAM. In a cash economy receipts often are not provided, but our men have been insisting on it.
The “I” and the “S” stand of indigenously sustainable. This stirred up a lot of discussion, but the men are confident that they can teach their congregations to take more financial ownership of the ministry. It is obvious to everyone that there is a great dependency that we cannot allow to grow. The first step toward an indigenously sustainable mission is the leadership team on the field embracing the idea and setting achievable goals. Our South Sudanese friends have done just that!
The “E” is equitable. Often on the mission field those who speak English well have an inequitable amount of influence and authority. It takes concerted effort on the part of both American and South Sudanese leaders to keep things balanced.
One reason we traveled for many hours over rough roads to visit every church location on our 2013 visit was to emphasize our concern for, and partnership with, each church, every evangelist and all of the elders in each village. We are making progress! Thank you for sharing with us in the process of helping to RAISE up leaders and churches in South Sudan.
Meeting with the evangelists to discuss future plans of SSAM
MAKUAC AMIIR CHURCH OF CHRIST
--Simon Kuac, Paul Dut & George Deng
Receive my warm greetings in Jesus Christ‘s name. I hope you are fine all over there.
Dear All, the church at Makuac Amiir has been busy with its normal activities such as; Bible study, Sunday services, Evangelism and Sunday school. Meanwhile, we have newly baptized (41) people in the last three months.
Thanksgiving, we thank SSAM for their generous support, both financial, materials, prayers, and medicines which we received through mobile clinic vehicle. May God bless our USA donors, SSAM Board and Christians who work day and night to raise funds for our SSCOC (South Sudanese Church of Christ) Mission programs.
God Bless You all
WHERE WILL SSAM BE?
May 31 - Tyler Street Church - Sacramento, CA
June 14 - Jackson Church of Christ, Jackson, CA
June 29 - July 5 - Ore. Christian Convention, Turner, OR
July 19 - Bear Creek Christian Church, Rochester, MN
July 26-31 - Winema Week of Missions, Oregon Coast
Sept 20 - Siletz Church of Christ, Siletz, OR
Oct. 18 - New Testament Christian Church, Keokuk, IA
Oct. 25 - Mountain View Church of Christ, Winchester, VA
Oct. 29- Nov. 1 - International Conference on Missions
PRAYERS REQUESTS FROM YOURNEW
- Almighty God to continue blessing our church to develop and
- My health and health of my family.
- Peace for South Sudan to find its way inside the hearts of our
leaders and politicians--many people will starve this year
because of war displacement; many families cannot plant crops
because they are displaced from their homeland.
- Pray for the people receiving medicine in Malek Christian Hospital that they may be cured with the medicines we are able
MY MEDICAL REPORT, THANKS TO SSAM
I am glad to have this opportunity to report to you the work of the church ministry in the five counties of Aweil and how my treatment went in Khartoum.
I spent twenty one days outside Aweil, the ministry continued well with lots of teaching by the evangelists in their local villages.
My treatment went very well. After doing all the predictive test values, the doctor came up with different diagnoses which includes (1) High blood pressure, (2) Suggestive Enteric Fever (Typhoid Fever) and (3) High Cholesterol Level. Thanks be to God that I have been improving thereafter. There is not as much pain in my left arm like before. I hope after I complete the medicines that I was given I will be better than this.
I have no words that best express how grateful I am to Sister Bev and to SSAM board of directors for the quickest response possible that resulted into prompt arrest of my illness in Khartoum. Without medical funds raised by SSAM I would have not gotten help as quick as this from any other source. You have been standing with me during the good and worst times in my life. Thank you!
Christians across our churches are calling me and saying a lot of praises to SSAM for finding funds for medical aid to Yournew (to me). Malek Church members are overwhelmed of my return well and strong to resumed serving the church. Thank you!
SSAM appreciates the contributors who have helped with Yournew's medical expenses. We sent $6,500 and to date we have received $2,905 to help with Yournew's medical treatment.
DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS TO REBUILD SCHOOL IN MALEK
After receiving the email from Bev that IDES was able to grant us the funds for the school which was burned down by a wildfire, I informed the community and the Christians that they can now prepare themselves with local resources and manpower so that when the funds reach our account in Aweil we could immediately begin construction on the school.
Meanwhile the caretakers of those poor children were left without a single classroom – it is God answering their prayers through Church of Christ in Malek, SSAM and IDES in USA. They are and will be celebrating when the Malek Christians present to them the materials they need for rebuilding their school back to a better classroom for the children. I have no words to express what myself and my fellow congregational members have in our heart to thank IDES for the funds for St. Paul Primary School.
Thanks to IDES again for this important input to our community and our Christian members in the village of Malek.
$9,500 from IDES has been sent to Yournew to be used to rebuild the village school.
The village school which recently burnt
MEDICAL TREATMENT REQUEST FROM YOURNEW
For two weeks I have been suffering from difficulties with my left hand and it continues to grow worse each day. I cannot move it well or hold something with it. I have tried our local clinics thinking it will get better but it continues to grow worse every day. I am kindly asking you to help me with some funds which will enable me to go for better tests and determine the cause of the pain. This is the same hand which I had a problem with and had operated on three years ago.
The estimated cost for the treatment is 6500 US dollars. I will need to go to Nairobi for my treatment and to see the doctor there since that is where my surgery was done before.
I know you have other expenses, but I have nowhere else to turn.
Yours in Christ, Yournew
Yournew is a vital part of the South Sudan African Mission and it is important to keep him well. $6500 has been wired to Yournew for his treatment in Nairobi. If you would like to help with expense, please send your check to SSAM, PO Box 187, Gresham, OR 97030.
Commissioner of Aweil South County, Deng Akol Ateng with Yournew
THANK YOU FROM THE DOUGLASS FAMILY
Thank you for the outpouring of sympathy to our family with the loss of Marilyn Douglass. We received over 100 cards from all over the United States affirming the fact that Marilyn had an huge impact on lives both here and in South Sudan. To date $3,565 has been given in Marilyn's memory to be used to further the education of young women at the Aweil Bible College in the village of Malek, South Sudan.
Greetings to you all. It has been sad news to hear of the loss of our founder mother Marilyn. I met our mama Marilyn in Nairobi capital city of Kenya, when I had been chosen from my congregation in Kakuma refugee camp to go and study in Nairobi at the Great Commission School.
I do remember many scriptural advises that Mama Marilyn gave us. Mama Marilyn has been a caring and loving mother to the people of South Sudan. She will be in our memory forever for the good things that she did for our great nation of South Sudan.
It was 17th Feb. 2015, when Peter (Gadet) and I received Steve, Bev and Nick at the airport in Juba and we took them to where they could wait until the next morning for the flight to Aweil for the graduation ceremony.
My visit to Malek Village and the congregation was my second visit since 2009, when South Sudan African Mission board of directors came and opened the Malek Christian Hospital. It was my privilege to go and meet my colleagues who had studied with me and the Aweil Bible College graduates.
We shared a lot of experiences and our challenges in spreading the gospel in South Sudan. On Saturday in our meeting with Steve, Bev, Nick, Steve gave us a special message and used the word RAISE. Relationship, Accountability, Indigenous, Sustainability, Equitable. I think this word RAISE will keep us going and we will remember in our history
Thank you very much may God bless you all.
We will have more of our trip in future newsletters.
PRAYERS & PRAISES
- Wisdom for the doctors to diagnose Yournew's medical problems.
- The new students at Aweil Bible College as they adjust to school.
- Santino and the new church plant in Ayolo camp on the Uganda
- The village school across the road from the Malek Compound burnt
while the team was there. Please pray for the teachers and the
students as the school is being rebuilt.
Bev spoke to the graduates and those in attendance at the Aweil Bible College Graduation.
"On behalf of my father and mother, Paul and Marilyn Douglass, the South Sudan African Mission Board of Directors, churches and the many Christians in America, I extend our warmest greetings, prayers, love, God's blessings and congratulations to the Aweil Bible College 2015 graduates.
Bev speaking at the graduation with Paulino interpreting
I first visited your village of Malek in 2009 and fell in love with your people and country. I now represent the South Sudan African Mission to the churches and people of America. I travel many miles each year telling of the mission and the good things God is doing in South Sudan.
It is because of the contributions of the churches and Christians in America, we are able to send funds to South Sudan.
It is my pleasure to have my son, Nick with us on our trip. He was just three years old when his Grandpa Paul first came to Sudan so he has heard most of his life about the South Sudan African Mission. Now he is able to visit your country and meet those he has heard so much about.
Thank you for your hospitality by making our team feel welcome and a part of you. Although our skin may be a different color, we consider it an honor to be here and accepted as a part of Malek, South Sudan. You are our Brothers and Sisters. We love you and we will continue to pray for you every day. God Bless each of you."
Nick with some of the children in the village of Malek
On February 14th I set out on an adventure with my mom and Steve. I have been on multiple trips to Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. None of those trips could prepare me for the culture shock of South Sudan.
I have been listening to my grandpa tell of his trips and his time in Sudan for the majority of my life. When I stepped off the plane in Aweil I immediately recognized Yournew. During the next five days I would meet more people than I can ever remember. Luckily I have hundreds of pictures I can look back at and remember the people and the trip.
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.