by Steve Evers
As you may know I am in Juba, South Sudan. It is very important to these people that you make sure you say “South Sudan” and not just “Sudan”.
They fought long and hard, with much loss and sacrifice to not value the proper name of their new country. I have been corrected more than I care to acknowledge.
We have had very good meetings.
Our host and ex-student of ITMI partner Kawede’s International School of Missions has told me that the SALT material has been so very good and so beneficial to these people. We had a meeting out in the middle of the harsh, harsh Sudanese bush on a military compound made up of mostly mud tukulos (mud huts), there were hundreds of them.
The church that was planted out there is also a mud and stick structure with a tin roof, minimal windows and one little door. Can you say …OVEN!! We had maybe 50-55 chaplains and some pastors in our 2 day training at the base.
The second SALT lesson ends with a chance to accept God’s view of being a new creation or just remain in your blind and misguided view of what “being a Christian” looks like.
The invitation to accept God’s way and to leave their way was given. Jahim Buli our host was speaking to them in Arabic and when he gave this invitation, he said that everyone of the chaplains raised their hand to accept God’s way.
He was so surprised, he asked them all over again to make sure that they knew what he was actually asking…and again all of them lifted their hands to accept God’s way of being “In Christ.”
AMEN and AMEN!!
The rest of the training went well also. In the midst of challenges, God is using His humble servants to impact the Kingdom of God.
I really think there is going to be some new changes in many leader’s lives here in the spiritual battle ground of South Sudan.
We are now in Juba, the new capital city of South Sudan. There is a tension, an aggressiveness, a harshness that has infected almost everyone that is here.
I have never seen this intensity but one other time and that was back in 2005 when we drove into Sudan and we were very harshly and unfairly treated by the border officials.
It is a bit unnerving to be treated so harshly and with no real understanding of fairness or kindness. You can tell that this concept is just not a part of this society. It is as if the words kindness and gentleness are completely cut out of this society.
I know that terrors of war do that to people, and the atrocities and the humanist mental infection that is required to humanly, mentally and emotionally survive such godless and horrible attacks, come upon people that don’t have God to trust and His sovereignty to rest in.
It amazes me that the tribe that we work with and have worked with for my time in Sudan since 2005, was evangelized by a missionary back in the late 1920’s.
The difference in that tribes culture, lifestyles, emotional health, crop and produce production, and moral character is almost night and day from the tribes that rejected the Gospel when this missionary tried to evangelize them.
It is such a study in humanity and what God can do for a people if they will just trust and obey Him.
Thank you for your prayers, I really believe now that my issue with overheating was a spiritual battle. I rested yesterday, and was back in the heat teaching today, as I will tomorrow. This morning as I read my Bible, the Spirit took me to read in Psalms 6…the title of this Psalm is “O Lord, Deliver My Life.”
I was especially drawn to verse 8, “Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.”
I was pretty bummed on Wednesday due to the inability to deal with the intense, intense heat out at the remote military base. I didn’t know what this meant for the future.
But God is sufficient and He has continued to bring to mind Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I have been claiming that verse over and over. Wow, that verse has taken on a whole new meaning, I have actually seen it work in real life in a whole new way.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as I take a 5+ hour bus ride on Monday out in the remote part of Sudan to go to the tribal area that we have worked before. I am traveling with one of ITMI’s fellow partners, Timothy Keller.
The bus ride looks to be long and quite hot and really isolated from anyone or anything…pray that the rains will come and that we can have a bit of cooler weather.
The intensity of the sun in this desert country that is just about on the equator is like nothing we have had in Phoenix, Arizona. God graciously did give us a bit of rain this morning and it helped up until about 10 am.
In His Service,