Building S. Sudan
Last year temps in Torit, S. Sudan reached 106—and were higher later on in Juba. This year a slightly cooler date was chosen. But as of Feb. 7, 2013 temps of 107-111 were predicted for Juba for Feb. 14, when we were to be there. I asked for prayer for rain. Upon return my pastor, Joe Novenson, had written in a (paper) letter:
“You are gone but we are praying. You are laboring but we are interceding. We are crying out to God again and again and again, and I wanted you to know. In large groups and small groups, I move through the Body and we cry out to God for you.”
As some already know, the highest temperature in Juba was 102! It rained in Torit (our first stop) for only the third time in 2013, since it was still the dry season. Rain fell the morning after we arrived in Juba, followed by a thick, insulating cloud cover for two days. It was holy ground. "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."1 A second major answer to prayer was for health. On the last three trips I was sick—not quite enough to keep me from the work, but definitely sick. This trip Joe Huebscher and I stayed well. To God be glory.
The interlocking block machine has been long in coming. Partial funding by Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Ch. began in 2008 and was completed by 2010. However, it took over a year to transport and clear the machine through customs in Uganda and S. Sudan, delaying training of the machine crew by a year. However, all came together when the machine designer (and excellent teacher), Arnold Polk, traveled with us to Torit to train 14 S. Sudanese on block-making and construction techniques. No mortar is needed around the blocks, and very little concrete is used in block composition. Once blocks cure, and a perimeter foundation is laid, a structure can be erected almost as fast as blocks can be laid in place—like a Lego® building. Holes in the blocks allow easy installation of wires and pipes. After the roof has been installed, walls are plastered inside and out to protect from rain.2
Just before traveling to India in 2008, our host requested DVDs from Third Millennium Ministries to use in training his staff. 3rd Mill quickly sent the DVDs--which were used in two staff training classes that we led, eventuating in a Bible college at the host ministry. Later, Dr. Richard Pratt, 3rd Mill’s founder, visited that Indian ministry.
In a 3rd Mill redux, about 10 days prior to departure I learned of an accredited Certificate in Christian Ministry offered between 3rd Mill and Birmingham Theological Seminary.3 The entire video instruction was contained on a flash drive! Lookout Pres. had already funded a certificate program for Christian workers in Juba, in which 22 workers had been trained for about two weeks, but costs were not sustainable. Teachers had to be imported and cared for, and students fed and housed. Third Mill immediately prepared 25 flashdrives in Arabic and 25 in English. On April 15, twelve students came together to study the Apostle’s Creed, using part of the flashdrive curriculum, at great savings, using great materials. Since these flashdrives may be freely reproduced, the training can be multiplied. The courses can be taken wherever a computer exists, and quizzes and exams downloaded once from the seminary website.
During July 13-28 our next S. Sudan ministry trip is scheduled to launch. A substantial church needs to be constructed, using the block machine, so we welcome builders for the first time to a RMNI trip. We hope to have a medical team as well. Evangelists, Bible teachers, and helpers are quite welcome. Whatever your gifting and skills, we’d like to put you to work.
Our ministry partner in Juba asked me why a fulltime missionary hasn’t come there. I laughed and replied that the highest density of missionaries-to-population was in the Caribbean. There and in Oceania (Central and South Pacific).4 Tim Keller quoted missiologist Andrew Walls: "The heart of the gospel is the cross, and the cross is all about giving up power, pouring out resources, and serving. When Christianity is in a place of power and wealth for a long period, the radical message of sin and grace and the cross can become muted or even lost. Then Christianity starts to transmute into a nice, safe religion...and eventually becomes virtually dormant in those places and the center moves somewhere else.”5 People sometimes ask before joining us, “Is it safe?” On seven previous trips to S. Sudan it has been. Nowhere is ultimately safe. Being in God’s will isn’t necessarily safe. Being sent to wolves isn’t safe, but the Good Shepherd goes with us.6 The Father probably does not hand out rewards for having stayed nice and safe. There’s still time to join the Team.7
1 Luke 8:25 NIV 2 See http://pbmin.org/ for information. 3 See http://bts.thirdmill.org/ 4 World Christian Trends Ad30-2200, David Barrett and Todd Johnson, pp. 420-421 5 http://childers129.blogspot.com/2012/01/kings-cross-by-tim-keller.html 6 Luke 10:3; Matt. 28:20 7 http://www.rmni.org/global-and-short-term-missions/sudan.html
Westside/College Hill Court Update
Perhaps 20 stakeholders/organizations work more or less frequently in the Westside (College Hill Courts), so we’re asking them to come together on May 14, 2013 at 4 PM at Church of the First Born, Chattanooga. We’ll try to understand what God is doing, especially with the significant increase in workers God has drawn there. We hope to begin a network to coordinate resources. These include churches, parachurch groups and leaders.
|In This Issue:
- Building S. Sudan
- July Trips
- Westside / College Hill Court Update
- Prayer Power
Short-term Ministry Opportunities
S. Sudan, July 13-27, 2013.
Our sixth trip—we’re able to design ministry opportunities around your gifting. South Sudan is wide- open to ministry at this time. Evangelists, teachers, builders and medical personnel are needed. The fee is $2,300, plus airfare to Africa, visas, immunizations and outfitting. Call us at 423-822-1091 for information. It’s not too late if you move quickly.
India, July, 2013.
Our fourth partnership with this well-established and loving Indian ministry, we need teachers of youth, men and women. Medical personnel are also able to work in this environment. The fee is $2,300, plus airfare to India, visa, immunizations and outfitting. Now is the time to apply.
Prayer & Praise
- Thanks to all who pray and give and encourage in many ways!
- Choice workers for the July, 2013 trips to S. Sudan and India in 2013 are still needed.
- The inter-gang summit happened suddenly, and has held for about a month! But everyone is not for peace, so it is an uneasy one.
- Pray for radical salvations.
- Our website originator, Walt Robertson, is updating our website. He is our online presence.
- For the block machine crews to attain building skills and to generate funds for Kingdom projects.
- The Westside house church needs a new meeting place.
- For God’s guidance upon the May 14 Westside ministry network meeting.
- Kippy needs a good job, and to do well in it, as do others.
- Ellen Fox completed 3 years of ministry in Lohutok, and continues to thrive in this village without electricity or running water. Pray for ministry direction and for spiritual hunger there. Many are under the control of alcohol.
- For the ability to push forward the AfAm missionary census. Meetings with 2 key mission leaders are being scheduled.
- For development of Life Transformation Groups at the Westside (one has begun—see cmaresources.org)
- Church of the First Born wants us to assist in their global missions program, and in local evangelism training. Their youth minister has come twice for on-the-job training at the Westside. Pray that they will excel.
- We’re grateful for wonderful volunteers and their encouragement!
Jim Sutherland, PhD, Director
PO Box 2537
Chattanooga, TN 37409-0537
Mobilizing the African American Church for Global Mission