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August/September 2019 Update
REPORT FROM DR. JOHN
Dear Steve, Bev and Christians in the USA
,We have faith that you have been well in the Lord.
Please pass on our most cordial greetings to the congregations and families that havebeen supporting our churches and have giventhecompassion of Christ to the people of SouthSudan.
The monthsof June and July have not been so good for the people in South Sudan. The long-awaited hope for peace had almost disappearedafter the oppositionleader rejected his return toJuba, which he postponed to November. The roadsto and from Khartoum are partially shutdown because of the insecurity in Sudan, after the removal in power of PresidentOmar Al Bashir in the Republic of the Sudan.
In the month of May, we reported to you about thewildfire that burned down houses that have affected some of our evangelists includingrelatives of Pastor Angelo Atak where three of his immediate relatives were burn to death. At thetime after the fire incident, we afforded to have some food items collected, used clothes andshoes were donatedto those who lost their clothes and other belonging to wildfire.
Santino and Peter
FROM SANTINO AND PETER GADET WORKING IN JUBA
The Church of Christ in Juba send their greetings to USA churches of Christ. We are very happy withthe contributionswe are receivingin the name of ourLord Jesus Christ.
We have been progressing well with church activities. Weare encouragedand we are still prayingin the school building hoping we shall get our own place for worship.
We conducteddoor todoorevangelism and tennon-members have believed inChrist and joined Juba Church of Christ.
The church is happy with the BiblesDr.John brought us. There is still a need for additional Bibles, if funds areavailable.
Santino & Peter
Some of the church members in Juba with Peter and his family
THE AWEIL BIBLE COLLEGE IN MALEK, SOUTH SUDAN
Churches intheAweilareaprovided the manpower to makethe bricks for the building which will house the Aweil Bible College. Throughthe generous donations of somein the U.S.,the metal roof and the trusses were provided to complete the building.
PEACE AGREEMENT FOR TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT
This news article appeared after Dr. John’s report. Keep on praying!
South Sudan's PresidentSalva Kiirand rebel leaderRiek Macharagreed to form a transitional government by the middle of November as originally planned, an official said on Wednesday.
The two men signed a pact a year ago to end a civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced one-third of the population, and wrecked the economy.
Machar's rare visit to the capital Juba -the first this year -comes beforea November deadline to form a power-sharing administration, a key part of the deal agreed on by the rivals to end the ruinous conflict.
"The parties agreed to establish the government in time. When I said 'in time' it means on the 12th of November," Information MinisterMichael Makuei told journalists after Kiir and Machar met over three days.
PRAYERS REQUESTS & PRAISES
- Continued prayer for government leaders as they meet in November.
- Santino and Peter as they minister in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
- Dr. John and the in-country Board of Directors.
- The Aweil Bible College students.
WHERE WILL SSAM BE?
Sept. 22 –Ridge Chapel, Kansas, OK
Sept. 29 –Christ’s Church, River Road, Ottumwa, IAOct.6 –Faith Christian, Anchorage, AK
Oct. 13 –Concord, MN Church of Christ
Nov. 3 –LaCrosse, IN Christian Church
Nov. 8, 9 –IDES Board of Directors meeting, Noblesville, IN
Nov. 14-17 –Int’l Conference on Missions, Kansas City, MOBooth #944 Kansas City Convention Center
Articles from this newsletter have been gleaned from a recent report from Dr. John.
AWEIL BIBLE COLLEGE (ABC)
Since its inception in the year 2003, ABC has graduated evangelists who by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ return to their home villages. Many converts are turning to the Lord on daily basis. The evangelists continue to provide basic education to their churches where most of them are praying and training Sunday school children as well as elementary education under a tree. The needs are in much demand. South Sudan African Mission works to alleviate their conditions by providing safe drinking water, shelters, clothing, food and medicine to the ones in most need. By doing this, the community is touched by the work of our trained evangelists who work directly with the members of their community. In so doing; they are bringing lives to Christ.
2019 Aweil Bible College Graduating Class
The ABC campus at Malek Mission compound is under construction. The Ministry of Higher Education needs the facility to be semi-permanent if they are to recommend Aweil Bible College as one of the national operating colleges in South Sudan. So far, leaders are being trained, and appointed into public, political and community posts in their hometowns, states and in the capitol of Juba. We are proud to say that we are contributing to building a nation by producing God-fearing leaders. We are looking for funds to complete the roofing of three-room block of ABC classes. An estimated amount of about $25,000 is needed to complete the classes (roofing and furnishings). The ABC classes are due to start the first week of June.We have been in touch with the team in Kenya from Nairobi Great Commission. We see this as a good partnership as far as Bible School is concern.
MALEK CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL UPGRADED TO AJAK COUNTY HOPSITAL ON MERIT BY THE GOVERNMENT
Malek Christian hospital is an evangelist run clinic in the village of Malek. The clinic has been operating as a missionary hospital since 2003. The hospital is fenced, has a 40-bed capacity and works seven days a week now. We have recorded about thirty thousand cases between January and April. Because of this high number of cases and being the only functioning hospital in the area of former Aweil South, we have signed a partnership agreement with the government for the improvement and development of Malek Christian Hospital as community hospital. Both the government and the Malek Church of Christ will be operating the hospital and raising resources. This agreement has been signed between the Malek Church of Christ representative, Aweil SSAM Coordination office representative, State Minister of Health and Malek County Health Department. The government has registered and recognized Malek Christian Hospital as a County Hospital and we are both looking forward to combining resources to improve the condition of the community. This allows the community and the government to put more effort and support in more services like immunization and delivery rooms for the mother. We await to see what this partnership will bring to the services we offer at Malek. Philip was in Juba to further his studies and he came back to help in the month of February.
The challenges that we are facing includes measles outbreak in the months of March and April. We have been busy with emergency admissions at the hospital in an isolated room.
We monitor the situation before the patient is discharged. Malaria and typhoid are very common and are the leading diseases in our hospital. We currently have the highest number of patents ever admitted. We are expecting more patients in the wet season to come.
Lastly, we would like to express our thanks to South Sudan African Mission for their great support. May God bless you all for extending your compassion to the people of South Sudan through medical supplies!
PRAYERS REQUESTS & PRAISES
- Health of the Christians during the rainy season which brings malaria and other diseases.
- Aweil Bible College as it begins classes in June.
- Smooth transition partnering with Malek Christian Hospital and the South Sudan government.
Outside the Malek Christian Hospital waiting for treatment
WHERE WILL SSAM BE?
June 1 & 2 – New Testament Church, Keokuk, IA 50th Anniversary celebration
June 7-9 - Bev participating at the Ladies Retreat at Pine Haven Christian Assembly near Park Rapids, MN
June 22 – Ladies Brunch, Northland Christian Church, Kansas City, MO
June 23 a.m. – SSAM presentation at Northland Christian Church, Kansas City, MO
July 28 – Aug. 2 – Winema Week of Missions, Oregon Coast (Steve, Deanna, Bev and Dale will be attending)
Aug. 4 a.m. – Cedar Ridge Church of Christ, Renton, WA
Aug. 11 a.m. – Concord Church of Christ, West Concord, MN
OBSERVATIONS FROM JANUARY 2019 SSAM TRIP TO AWEIL
Leadership: The transfer from Yournew to Dr. john seems to be very successful. Dr John has set a standard of excellence for each step he has initiated. He seems to be achieving a good balance between his medical responsibilities and leadership of the mission. Yournew is proving to be a valuable mentor and elder. His ongoing role will be defined as time goes along.
Yournew wishing Paul Douglass “Happy 92nd Birthday”
We are still working primarily with the 8 men trained by Victor in Kakuma Refugee camp and Nairobi Great Commission Bible College (NGCBC). They have each established one or two churches in their home village and region; most are relatively small and continue to meet in buildings made with “local materials”. Most have been in existence for several years. The majority of the ABC graduates are working with/under the original 8 as local teachers and evangelists.
I challenged the men to adopt a new vision for discipling the nation, beginning in population centers. Plans are being made for churches in Wau, Bor, and Malakal; churches have been planted in Juba and Bentiu, although Bentiu has been affected by the latest fighting. I asked them to begin by planting a church at the office compound in Aweil that will minister to students, government officials and business people from the town. This will be a “model church” for the others.
Aweil Bible College: I initiated contact with NGCBC (Nairobi Great Commission Bible College) a year ago, asking them to consider making ABC a satellite school. Three people visited for the week of graduation, observing, interviewing and evaluating.
SSAM paid for housing and airfare. This partnership will result in better academic standards and a more consistent curriculum. Student Dean and teacher Tom will serve as the main connection as the partnership progresses.
Women: Dr. John’s wife Victoria is setting a great example by choosing to be with her husband in Aweil, rather than living in Nairobi. She is a nurse and wants to be a partner in ministry with her husband.
Two women graduated from ABC; Asunta and Elizabeth. Both have stable marriages and the confidence of SSAM leaders.
The Children: These kids have never known war or the kind of grinding poverty their parents have known. They have grown up as a central part of church worship and have been consistently taught the word of God. The future is bright because these children are the church. (Not “the church of the future”) They are bright, thirsty for knowledge, and have an insatiable appetite for worship and praise.
$$$: We “opened the books” to an “in country board of directors” four years ago with the goal of better balance to spending and budgets. Our stated mission is to “Plant New Testament Churches, Equip Leaders and Extend Compassion in South Sudan.” Over the years we have gotten out of balance with a majority of our effort and funding going toward compassion. We are making progress, but have a way to go. I told the men, “The world is on the sideline willing and able to help if a lasting peace is put in place. You can’t do everything- you shouldn’t do everything!” Money freed up from food and medicine can provide better transportation for our pastors and evangelists, teaching materials, Bibles, etc.
The festival: We moved graduation from Malek village to “Freedom Square” the parade ground and soccer stadium in Aweil Town. I estimate that we quadrupled attendance, (about 2000) we got radio and TV coverage and according to reports the whole town was abuzz about the gospel message I presented. The first time is always a learning experience, but overall the day was a big win!
Conclusion: Are we making progress? Definitely! Is it worth doing? Absolutely! Is improvement needed? Certainly! Can we persist? We must for Jesus’ sake! We must pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on us!
CHANGES FOR SSAM
You have probably noticed with this newsletter that we have made a few changes to the our “look”. We have automated the mailing which will make for less time involved producing each one.
Our apologies to our contributors who have not gotten their receipts in a timely manner. We have been switching our accounting software and all of this takes time. We should be back on track now.
Another big change is Bev is moving back to Rochester, MN and will be getting married March 30th to Dale Meyer. Everything with SSAM will stay the same except the work will be done from Rochester. Bev plans to continue traveling and promoting SSAM with little or no interruption.
There is a reception planned from 1-4 p.m. March 30th at Hope Summit Christian Church, 1315 6th Ave SE, Rochester.
For our Northwest friends, you are welcome to a reception at Mountianview Christian Church, 1890 NE Cleveland Ave., Gresham, Or on May 4th from 2-4 p.m. If you would like to send well wishes to Bev and Dale you may do so at 1623 Marvale Ave. SE, Rochester, MN 55904. We wish Bev and Dale the best.
PRAYERS REQUESTS & PRAISES
- Praise for the profitable, fruitful trip to South Sudan. More details will be in future newsletters.
- Prayer for Dr. John and the evangelists
- Prayer for Bev and Dale as they begin their life together
Dr. John and his wife, Victoria
WHERE WILL SSAM BE?
March 17 a.m. – Sunrise Church of Christ, Spokane, WA
April 12,13 – IDES Board of Directors meeting, Noblesville, IN
April 14 a.m. – La Crosse, IN Christian Church
January/February 2019 Update
LOOKING TOWARD 2019 AND BEYOND
Years of praying, planning, waiting, repeated disappointments, waiting, and more praying are coming together in South Sudan. Because of the instability of the environment and the uncertainty of the future, our church planting efforts have been confined to the home villages of our lead evangelists. The few exceptions to this rule are the home villages of strong members of the churches within the Kakuma Kenya refugee camp. The bush villages are not generally prime war targets.
Prior to Christmas Day Services at Malek Church of Christ
We began talking to our in-country leaders a few years ago about someday making Aweil Town our “headquarters” and establishing a strong church in the state capital of Aweil, the national capital, Juba, and eventually other population centers such as Wau, Malakol, Bentiu and Bor. Churches in the population centers can wield more influence and become financially stable more quickly, becoming “church planting churches”
Our January 2019 trip will mark the official “grand opening” of the offices, which will be the headquarters for the mobile medical unit, South Sudan African Mission, and a new church in Aweil Town. Hopefully, this will be a great step in aggressively obeying Jesus’ commission to disciple the nation. It is amazing to see what God has already done through the perseverance of a retired couple and a group of “lost boys”!
I (Steve Holsinger), Bev Douglass Campbell and David and Vicky Barber will be attending a gospel festival in Aweil Town’s Freedom Square that will combine the graduation ceremony of Aweil Bible College, evangelistic gospel outreach and giving Christians the opportunity to become the nucleus of a non-denominational church of Christ (a “church without walls”). We anticipate thousands of people gathering in Freedom Square and the local soccer stadium for this great event hosted by two former governors, Yournew Wol and Ronald Ruay Deng.
Please set aside time to pray for and on Saturday January 19th, 2019. May this be a “red letter day” in the development and growth of the kingdom of God in South Sudan!
If you would like to contribute financially toward the expenses of the festival, mark your gift “festival”. Thank you for your concern for and support of, South Sudan African Mission. We always thank God for you and pray for His blessing and favor in your life.
ABC GRADUATION CEREMONY FOR 2018
The team is excited to arrange the upcoming graduation in the heart of Aweil State City. This will mean that we are targeting a larger audience where the Good News will spread and will be taken by individuals, children, youth, men, women, organization heads from the governments and non-governmental organization and other churches from different denominations. We are hoping for the best shot with so little.
This graduation challenges us and motivates us. The challenge is that we want to become the best Bible School in the area. We are doing everything we can to be organized and thrive to be recognized at the standards of private schools in accordance to South Sudan Laws and Protocols of the National Ministry of General and Higher Education in Juba. We have invited the leaders of Nairobi Great Commission Schools to graduation. They will share the expectations and requirements with the local team and the team coming from the USA so that we have a common understand of the requirements of the development of Aweil Bible College.
With prayers for a peaceful South Sudan, we are tasked to develop the college at a professional standard so that young people may connect with God’s grace and compassion for humanity.
PRAYERS REQUESTS & PRAISES
- Pray for every aspect of the upcoming trip to South Sudan
- Long time SSAM Board member Herb Oxenrider passed away on
Dec. 2nd. Cards of sympathy can be sent to his wife Noma at
1054 SE Acacia Place, Gresham, OR 97080
WHERE ARE PAST ABC GRADUATES NOW?
-- Dr. John
Four of our men from Aweil have occupied top seats in the Government under the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit. This includes: list of the alumni leaders from SSAM in South Sudan that have risen as men of God to the government top positions are:
Victor Deng Ngor – served in the state government in 2008 as a deputy governor. He is a graduate of Nairobi Great Commission School and served in the Youth Ministry in Kenya and at Malek-Alel.
Kuach Wek Wol – has served as a member of Aweil State Transitional Legislative Assembly since 2010, and serves also as the State Ministry of Finance in Aweil. Kuach is a graduate of Zimbabwe Christian College.
Ronald Ruay Deng – served as governor of Aweil State after being the minister of Finance and Minister of Commerce and Industry. Ruay graduated from Nairobi Great Commission School and served as principal of Aweil Bible College from 2003 until 2009.
Yournew Wol Kuot Deng – served as governor of Aweil State from 2017 – 2018. Yournew is co-founder with Paul and Yournew graduated from Zimbabwe Christian College and later the congregation in Kakuma refugee camp with the support of Paul and Marilyn and SSAM. Yournew was the first trainee in Bible and mission and has led many to Christ.
These men motivate us to teach and make the college a place for building the hearts of men and women of God. for South Sudan and beyond. Yournew, Ronald, Kuach pledged to meet with the team in Aweil town during graduation. Victor may attend as well.
South Sudan African Mission will be the first Christian group to occupy Freedom Square in Aweil Town. The ABC graduation will be combined with an evangelistic festival and we will share the gospel with many people. The message will change lives by bringing people back to God through his only begotten Son. These converts will form a nucleus of a new congregation in Aweil Town.
Dr. John with two friends in Malek Village
WHERE WILL SSAM BE?
Feb. 17 am. -Christian Church of Yucca Valley, CA
If your congregation would like an update of SSAM please contact Bev at 503.729.4631. A new presentation will be developed after the 2019 trip and we are excited to share with you!