"Because There Was Much Water There" (John 3:23)
South Sudanese Evangelist Isaya Jackson writes, "We are joyful to report to you that about 15 families are now meeting to worship in a small village about 10 miles from the South Sudan Bible School in Pajok. Fifteen of them have expressed their desire to be baptized, but the problem is there's not much water for conducting baptism at the moment as it is now dry season and most rivers have dried up. Please we ask that you remember them in your prayers.
"In addition to this new congregation, we are told that two other congregations have been established in the area during the last few months. (Our Bible School students are staying busy during their weekends!)
"Then on Sunday, April 1, the Lord has blessed us in a very big way for which we are joyful. Sixty-two more souls were baptized into Christ in Pajok!
"We had to hire a truck to bring the candidates for baptism from Pamala, Ayaci, and Pogee to Pajok, where there is much water. We had been putting off this baptism for some time because there's not much water in those areas. We borrowed 150 South Sudanese pounds (about $45) from (one of the Bible School teachers) for this purpose....Glory be to the Lord for the increase."
One of several reasons Pajok was selected as the place for our Bible School is its year-round river. We are seeing that river being used to God's glory!
Tremendous Medicine Donation Arrives
God overcomes Satan again!
About three months ago, we were offered a donation of what was described as nearly a million dollars worth of medicines for the clinic operated on the campus of the school in Pajok, South Sudan. Our joy at receiving this tremendously needed gift was quickly tempered by the realities of how to get it to the clinic.
The first big obstacle was overcome when the donor agreed to pay to air freight it to Juba. We just needed to transport it the rest of the way to Pajok.
Then the devil threw another major wrench in the gears. The Ministry of Medical Affairs would not give us permission to fly it into South Sudan because of their rule that all medicine shipped into the country must have an expiration date of more than two years remaining on it. This medicine had a bit less than that.
Medical advisors in this country were solid in their agreement that this medicine has a life expectancy of at least 10 to 15 years remaining. Yet the government officials would not budge despite the reality that in most of the country, no medicine is available in any of the clinics and people are dying daily because of having no medicines.
Believing the old adage that "there is more than one way to skin a cat," we had the medicine flown into Uganda. There it was trucked across the border into South Sudan and admitted without any discussion. Those customs agents were probably well aware that the medicine would perhaps save the lives of their families. It also helped that our church leaders knew the customs agents!
The medicine arrived at our clinic on schedule and without a bit of difficulty. Praise the Lord, who continues to intervene on the behalf of His work.....
Military Update from South Sudan
The military conflict between South Sudan and Sudan has been in the news a lot lately and seems to be escalating. Many are asking how this is affecting our mission work in South Sudan.
The conflict that is being reported is happening on the border between the two Sudanese countries. That border is in the oil-rich northern part of the country, and our work is in the extreme southern part, near the Ugandan border. So at the moment, the conflict is not affecting our work, our safety when traveling there, or any of our South Sudan Bible School staff or students.
Historically, these kinds of political and military issues are typical in newly developing countries in Africa. In this case, South Sudan is the new country and is economically and politically still quite unstable.
Furthermore, when the war ceased and a new country and government were organized, the former military leaders of the south became the new leaders of government. It stands to reason that just because people can wage war, they do not necessarily have all the qualifications to run a country politically and economically.
The fact that South Sudan's arch enemy is Muslim magnifies the problem ever further. Thus the problems that we see there are on every hand.
All of this points out a very important fact we must recognize. It is urgent that we get the South Sudan Bible School on a sound spiritual and economic footing as soon as possible. The evangelism program in that country needs to be well organized so that the national Christians can carry on without our being able to be there to assist them, should that become necessary.