Friday, September 9, 2011

Pioneering across South Sudan (and the many challenges)...

Over the past few weeks I have been amazed to learn how much YWAM is at the frontlines of Frontiers ministry and planting churches among the unreached and unengaged peoples of the world (precisely what our current school aims for!). What follows are recent updates from YWAMers pioneering Kingdom ministries just around the new nation of South Sudan:

Our team visiting Natalie and Paremmi 2008 as they began to pioneer YWAM in Malakal, South Sudan. They now have a primary school running near the base.

There is a YWAM family who has been pioneering a ministry in Malakal, South Sudan for the past few years. Malakal is the capital city of of Upper Nile state, located on the banks of the White Nile river near to the border with northern Sudan. Here are some excerpts from their recent update...

"...The border between northern Sudan and southern Sudan is still closed to goods. In the past, Malakal received virtually all food and supplies from Khartoum and the stores are more and more empty. It happened recently that we could not find bread in the city because there was no flour. Prices of staple foods have increased by 500% (flour, sugar, oil, milk, etc). The fish and meat, which are produced locally have doubled in price. Thank you for praying that the city ​​can be supplied from the south if the border with the north continues to be closed...

Nathalie will start training for people to do ministry with children. At present in churches, the children are to sit with adults or be left on their own outside. In October, we will begin meeting twice a month to train people to work with children in the churches...

The rainy season is nearing completion and we can work on the development of the school we will start. We must finish the construction of latrines and prepare a site where we can assemble the large tent we will use to begin the school. Nathalie would also like to find someone who can help and it is a real challenge. We need someone who is committed to the Lord and who speaks English...

Finally, thank you for praying for our health. The children and ourselves are doing well and we are aware of the grace and protection we enjoy. Thank you again for your prayers!"

We also have a YWAM team, many of whom I know from my days staffing at the original Yei base, now pioneering and building solid relationships with the people and government in the strategic town of Wau (northern Bahr al-Ghazal). This is a large town which is also quite close to the disputed border with the North.

Clashes erupted in Sudan's Blue Nile state early Friday, making the area the latest and most critical to descend into fighting between the Sudanese government and rebel forces — and bringing the prospect of an all-out Sudanese civil war ever closer to reality. Together with the still unresolved conflict in Darfur and recent war in the Nuba Mountains, the ring of Sudan's rebellions now stretches from the western border with Chad to its eastern border with Ethiopia. Sudan's old civil war appears to be roaring back to life. And chances are, it is only getting started.

The storm clouds had been building for months. Rebel forces in parts of Blue Nile fought as part of the South Sudan rebels, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), during the decades-long civil war, but the optimistically-named 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement brokered by the U.S. did little to resolve the area's plight. While the South Sudan leaders of the SPLM who negotiated the peace deal won their homeland its independence, the agreement got their allies across the border in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile almost nothing.

The Sudanese military's latest target, judging by the attack on his house on Friday, is Blue Nile's elected governor Malik Agar. (Agar is also the head of the SPLM-North Party and commander of its remaining forces in Blue Nile State.) In the first day of fighting, the Sudanese military quickly grabbed control of the state capital, Damazin, and the Sudanese air force is reportedly already bombing SPLM-held towns. Agar, unharmed, is in the southern part of the state mobilizing his troops; his forces are still heavily armed from his days with South Sudan's SPLM.
(PHOTOS: Independence for Southern Sudan.)

When the Nuba Mountains reverted to war in June, the most pressing question in Sudan was: Is Blue Nile next? When I asked Agar that question one month ago in South Sudan's capital, Juba, he didn't explicitly reply in the affirmative, but he gave plenty of cues that he thought so. The heavyset graying general looked tired from trying to balance war-room strategizing with his fruitless shuttle diplomacy aimed at negotiating a ceasefire for his deputy Abdulaziz al-Hilu, who was leading the SPLM's Nuba Mountains fight. Agar predicted Sudan would "disintegrate more." He made sure I had his email address, just in case his phone line stopped working.

It's still not clear who exactly fired the first shot in the new Blue Nile conflict. But both the SPLM in Blue Nile and the Sudanese government in Khartoum had been preparing for this scenario for weeks, and in the past few days the buildup escalated even further, with the two militaries edging physically closer and closer to each other. "It doesn't really matter who started it, it was going to start anyway," says one diplomat closely following the events.

Read more:,8599,2091688,00.html#ixzz1XZJkdLjz

Moving forward in faith in Wau, South Sudan

God is using Africans to pioneer exciting new ministries through Africa! Here is an update from the team in Wau, South Sudan...

"...It has been long since we sent out our update to all of you. It has been a little challenging with a number of other things that needed our attention and the challenges of internet here in Wau. We would like to let you all know our staff at the moment, we are three on the ground. That is James from South Sudan, Sosan from Uganda and Josephine from Uganda. We shall be having others joining us next month from both Uganda and South Sudan. Others will join next year from other parts of the world. Here are some of the ministries we are beginning now...

Church seminars
School visitations
Prison ministry
Street children
Radio ministry
Discipleship Training School (DTS)

We are praying for support to put up a fence and carry on with the building on our land so that we ca that we may run our DTS there next year. Here are the next two phases...

Fence- Putting up fence half way around our land will cost $32,000 USD. The land is so big, we will only fence half of it now. Without a fence we can not stay at the place because of insecurity.
Buildings- A simple kitchen, toilet, dining hall and three building will cost $25,000 USD.

This is where we hope to start our DTS next year in March if the we complete the buildings and have fences for security. Please put us in your prayers for all this to come together so that we can carry on with what the Lord has called us to do in this part of the world. You can pray, you can come or you can support us financially. All your support is highly appreciated.

We greatly thank those who have been standing with us in prayers and financial support and those who have visited us on the ground. We are especially thankful to the person who gave the gift toward our borehole (well). We will now have clean water not only for us but for the community. This is an act of healing to the nation and development..."

Both the ministry of YWAM Wau and the staff pioneering the new work are in need of people to pray for them and support them financially. If you would like to support this work, donations can be sent to: YWAM Strategic Frontiers, PO BOX 60579, Colorado Springs, CO 80960. Please make checks payable to "YWAM" and do not write "Sudan" anywhere on the check. Enclose a note that states "Sudan- Wau", "Sudan- Josephine" , "Sudan- James" or "Sudan- Sosan". Or you can go to to make a donation online.

The Yei base I formerly staffed at in southern Sudan is now running the first official DTS in the new nation of South Sudan! They have been blessed with 8 students, one from the blessed nation of Canada and the rest from various tribes around South Sudan. My friend who was just teaching there on the Nature and Character of God last week wrote to me: “We have 2 students from Magwi, 1 from Terekeka (a Mundari) where you took an outreach with my wife. There is one student from Canada and the rest are from Yei.”

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