|Serving South Sudan|
Crossing Countries for Christ
After an epic 2½ month 16,000km overland journey across 8 countries, our Frontline Fellowship Field Team completed a very successful and effective time of ministry in South Sudan.
We bounced over rocky, bumpy, pot-holed, narrow, dusty roads heading for the newest country in the world, South Sudan. On 9 July 2011 South Sudan gained its independence from the North after many decades of war.
Having crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, the Equator and the great Nile River, we had many opportunities to see wildlife and enjoy the beauty of God's Creation.
Driving overland from South Africa through Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan certainly had a few challenges. Our trailer axles repeatedly broke loose, needing then to be welded back. The bull-bar, roof-rack rigging, and tow-hitchs rattling loose also demanded constant attention. The trailer lights got blasted out by the gravel stones from the tyres, and a wheel-bearing burned out almost seizing up. These mechanical challenges slowed us down a bit, but we were still able to make all our appointments.
Our trailer was loaded to the maximum weight recommended by the manufacturer with two tonnes of Bibles, Gospel literature and audio visual Evangelistic, Discipleship, Leadership and Worldview Training material.
Evidences of War
As we travelled in South Sudan we saw the evidence of war: ruins of churches that had been bombed, buildings and trees pock-marked with scars of shrapnel and bullets, men and women with terrible scars of wounds and torture from the war. Yet they were all rejoicing over the fact that they were now Free!
But with freedom come many challenges. To truly be free one needs to be responsible to make the right choices.
Frontline Fellowship has been working in Sudan since 1994. It was a great privilege for us to have gone in after Dr. Peter Hammond and the Frontline teams that had served so diligently during the years of war. The people remembered Dr. Peter Hammond as a true friend because he had been a friend during the hard times. They said,"Peter Hammond is a blood brother, because while our blood was being shed he was here risking his own life to serve us."
Hymnbooks that Survived
One of the most prized possessions of the Moru people is the Moru Hymn Books, which they received from Frontline Fellowship in 1996 and these very same Hymn Books are still being used in their churches. Even though they are worn out, tattered and torn, they are a very prized possession. Whenever we were introduced by Canon Kenneth Baringwa, he would say, "You know those Hymn Books that we use in our churches every Sunday, it is Frontline Fellowship that gave them to us."
Two of our team members, Daniel and Hunter suffered from malaria and I went down with high fevers and pounding headaches. By God’s grace, we recovered and continued to minister and carry out all responsibilities despite the discomfort of illness.
Through Sickness and Health
We persevered and pushed on through sickness and fatigue and saw many faces beaming with appreciation for the valuable training and vital materials received.
In the 5 weeks we were in South Sudan, we presented more than 140 lectures, sermons, school meetings, outreaches and devotions. We held 5 Evangelism Workshops and Biblical Worldview Seminars, lectured at 3 Colleges, preached at 10 Churches, and we had some good opportunities to minister to about 2,000 believers at a Let your Light Shine Conference. We donated books and Bibles to 4 Bible College Libraries and a Teachers Training College Library. We also donated books to 8 Community Libraries and enriched the personal libraries of more than 220 pastors, leaders, evangelists, teachers and students.
The most appreciated book that we were able to give the people of South Sudan was Faith Under Fire in Sudan. This tells the story of their struggles for freedom and includes many pictures of the war.
It was also a great privilege to distribute The Doctor Comes to Lui book amongst the Moru people on the very soil where Dr. Kenneth Fraser accomplished his ministry. The Moru people hold Dr Kenneth Fraser in high esteem because it was he who first brought the Gospel to them and started the first Church, the first hospital and the first school in Moruland.
We screened films on 25 different occasions. Some nights there were as many as 1,000 people gathered to watch. The screenings of the films Sudan: The Hidden Holocaust, and Terrorism & Persecution were undoubtedly a great encouragement to many of the folk there. Many of the people in the film were recognized by local Christians who had experienced some of the scenes that they witnessed in the film. I heard one man say as he watched:"That is where I lost my uncle!" and another man said: "That is the conflict that destroyed our village!" There was a constant hum of excited chatter throughout the film as participants were recognizing faces and places, and at times in horror remembering the sufferings of the past.
We were encouraged by the way the Moru people responded to the Jesus film. They shouted with joy and the ladies jubilated in the traditional African way when they saw the Risen Lord Jesus appear to His disciples for the first time after His death and burial. Each time we've shown this film at different locations, we hear the same shouts of praise and spontaneous applause when it came to the Resurrection.
Our team diligently took advantage of the opportunities to share the Gospel message to the many who gathered around our equipment after each film ministry.
On Sundays each of our team members had various opportunities to minister at different parishes for Sunday morning Worship services each Sunday. Some of the parishes are very rural and were only accessed by some serious bundu-bashing.
We were also able to take Devotions at the assemblies of a teacher training college and at Bible colleges.
We had Evangelism Workshops and Biblical Worldview Seminars with more than 220 Sudanese pastors, chaplains, evangelists and teachers.
During the week, after each day of lectures, we and the participants had the opportunity to go into the market places and local areas amongst the villages and do personal evangelism.
God provided opportunities for us to minister at a local prison and police station where we had the opportunity to share the Gospel with prisoners and saw many trust in Christ.
We also ministered at local Primary and Secondary Schools where often the students took refuge from the blazing heat of the sun under the shelter and shade of large trees.
We had the privilege of going to SPLA barracks to share the Gospel with soldiers.
After seeing the taking down of the flag, I was able to show the soldiers how their flag has the Gospel in it. Theblack on top speaks of how our hearts were dark with sin; the red in the middle shows how the Blood of Christ cleanses us and purifies us from sin; the white lines speak of how our hearts can be white as snow; the greenshows us that we must grow in Grace, reading our Bibles, fellowshipping with other believers and praying; the royalblue shows us that we are now sons of the King; and the gold shows us that we can be in Heaven one day forever.
Thank you for all your support and prayers which made our ministry in South Sudan possible. May God richly reward you for helping us serve this recovering war-torn country.