June - August, 2017, Issue 86

Traumatized S. Sudanese | Ellen & Rashid | Prayer & Praise | Inner City Evangelism
Reconciliation Report

Traumatized S. Sudanese

How has Juba changed since the trip in March 2016?  I was told that the economy is 90% worse. Inflation has varied since July 2016 from 661%, up to 835% in October, to the current 272% in April 2017.1 How can people survive? Some colleagues are employed by the government, but wages are sometimes three months late. A bottle of water that cost 1 S. Sudanese Pound three years ago, costs 25 now. Those in UN Camps, where food is currently free, have more food security than those in Juba. Accordingly, this camp grew 50% since last year, from 40,000 to 60,000.
Reinforced Perimeter
Since the main opposition leader was driven from Juba last July with his small army, there is greater stability in Juba, but less elsewhere. Seven opposition groups announced on May 13 that they united to overthrow President Salva Kiir.2 Daily emailed security briefings get longer. Overall, clashes between government and opposition forces increase in frequency and severity, particularly near the cities of Yei and Bor, and in the far north. The customary see-saw rustling of cattle and abduction of women and children between Dinka and Murle, and between other tribes, continues. Tribal fighting erupts inside UN camps. I cannot conceive of a more aggressively sub-divided nation of its size. In addition, last February the UN declared a famine in two locations in northern S. Sudan.3
Juba Camp 3 Leaders

Since January Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church (LMPC) began outreach into UN Camp 3 in Juba, hiring 5 (of 8) chaplains to help reach the 50,000 refugees there. A basic prayer and study building is planned.
Malakal Camp
At Malakal4, (pictured above) near the Sudan border, the UN camp situation is worse than in Juba. In Juba, it’s possible to leave camp and merge into the city of perhaps a half-million, although it’s uncertain how risky that is. At Malakal, once the second or third largest city in the country, the Nuer in the camp fear going into the almost deserted city of Malakal, from which they fled in 2013. It’s now controlled by Dinka government soldiers. Nuer cannot easily blend into their city, due to tribal facial markings. Most men haven’t left camp since 2013. To counteract vitamin deficiency, women may venture into the small market in Malakal a few kilometers from camp, to buy vegetables, but at peril.
MSF Malakal
Getting up at 6 AM, April 23rd, trying to shake off fatigue and a bad cold, I dipped into the Psalms before reviewing my sermon at the Malakal, S. Sudan UN camp. “He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent, watching in secret for his victims. 9 He lies in wait like a lion in cover; he lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. 10 His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. 11 He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.’”  (Psa 10:8-11 NIV)

God describes events throughout this nation. Armed men taking over cities and villages--taking whatever they want, including lives and livelihoods. Yei is an example. In October 2016, government and rebel forces in and around Yei abused the civilian population by killing, raping, and abducting.5 Warfare between these forces continues at Yei through June, 2017. It’s a large town, but rebels advised the population to flee from possible government retaliation for recent rebel attacks that recently killed four government soldiers.6 God describes in detail what the perpetrators assert He didn’t see. So I was compelled to change my text. This is the same God who now sees all the unrighteousness.
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psa 11:3). They do what is in their hands to do. A school at the Juba camp 1 was devastated by government attacks around July 8, 2016. School stopped, some teachers and students didn’t come back, but those remaining carried on.
Malakal Church Leaders
At Malakal UN Camp, with a population of 30,0007, 18 churches of various denominations have united. Through a gift from a foundation, encouraging literature was distributed through these churches. They advocate for the refugees, and have shared a desperate need for an eye doctor to help those with the trachoma eye disease. This spreads in part by flies, which abound. Doctors Without Borders has a clinic inside the camp, but no eye doctor. Another request is for workshops. I taught a lengthy one on forgiveness, reconciliation and peace. We’re also arranging rapid discipleship training among them.

Jim teaching on Reconciliation at MalakalThree chaplains have recently been hired to help reach camp residents. They encourage hope in the Lord, who sees clearer than any agency, watchdog group, or international court. “You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.” (Psa 10:17-18).

Girl from MalakalIf you would like to be a means of God’s encouragement to South Sudanese, RMNI, through partnership with Agape Mission in Juba, can deliver assistance inside and outside UN camps in Juba and Malakal. You can also provide food for needy pastors and widows and orphans in the Juba area. You may now donate through our website: www.RMNI.org  Other special projects include expanding the prayer/study center at the Juba UN camp 1. Feel free to write Jim@RMNI.org about a need mentioned, for details. Finally, we can pray for peace and godly leadership in South Sudan. Pray that God’s word will swiftly penetrate and transform lives and cultures, toward accountability for crimes, forgiveness and reconciliation. You may wish to contact us about a trip to Juba and Malakal, tentatively planned for April, 2018.

  1. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/south-sudan/inflation-cpi
  2. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southsudan-violence-idUSKBN1890LZ
  3. http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/03/14/520033701/why-the-famine-in-south-sudan-keeps-getting-worse
  4. An 80-minute flight from Juba via World Food Program costs $900 roundtrip.
  5. https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/11/22/south-sudan-new-abuse-civilians-both-sides
  6. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-south-sudan-war-idUSKCN18D0SK
  7. This is down from 40,000 in February, 2016, when 30 people were killed inside the camp due to internal fighting among tribes and from government soldiers entering the camp. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jun/22/8  malakal-camp-south-sudan-un-united-nations-says-response-violence-marred-by-confusion

Ellen and Rashid

Ellen FoxEllen Fox has  served for seven years in Lohutok village, S. Sudan, without returning to the US. This year it took her 5 days to get to Kampala from near Torit. Some roads are too dangerous to use, and vehicles scarce. She continues to lead the pre-primary school and to teach at another school. Some families are leaving to go to UN refugee camps. She still cooks over charcoal. Nights under mosquito nets get hot, and she welcomed both a little fan and cooling towel. We carried items sent by churches, as well as various cash contributions. Other missionaries marvel at her sacrificial life, coupled with steadfast joy. This is what you see when you find Ellen! Contributions for her ministry can be made via RMNI.

Rashid Lusaw
Rashid Luswa is a longtime ministry friend in Uganda. He started four schools, including Bethel Covenant, with 700 students.  He hosts teams as we prepare to fly into S. Sudan, and has become essential.  RMNI provided 14 basketball jerseys (one of which he wears) for their team, consisting of several 7’ Dinka students! Jim preached at Easter at Bethel’s church service, pictured. Thanks Rashid!

Prayer & Praise

  • South Sudan (1 for rapid discipleship training and effectiveness in Juba and Malakal camps (2 for wise and godly leadership for the nation, leading to peace and rule of law (3 for effectiveness for the 19 camp chaplains(4 for eye doctors to assist at Malakal (5 for food for those unable to pay for it and for those facing genuine famine
  • RMNI has 6 new Board members, due to completion of terms of office of the previous Board. Pray for much wisdom, unity and love among us.
  • Pray for a strong team going to S. Sudan in 2018.
  • Praise that all objectives of the April trip to S. Sudan were met and that preparations were adequate. Praise also for safe arrival of all that was taken there.
  • Anthony Suttles, the Westside worker who had a heart attack, seems to have plateaued. His short-term memory is short and his reach exceeds his grasp. Wife Evelyn is coping well, but misses wider fellowship, being at Anthony’s side so much.
  • Jim and Judy took a very refreshing vacation!
  • Pray for Ellen Fox. The Lopit people are very resistant to the Great News. Pray for Bible translation work to be completed for them. Pray also for Ellen’s health and protection.
  • Pray for genuine conversions at the Westside and for effective training of evangelists. Pray also for jobs for those seeking them. We need more workers.
  • Wisdom is needed for project proposals and resource allocation in Africa.
  • Pray for openings in Black churches for mission mobilization—both locally and globally.
  • Pray for needed time for research and reading.

Inner City Evangelism

World Restoration Center members and Pastor ThomasDaryl

Here are World Restoration Center members, with Pastor Jonathan Thomas in front. On four Wednesday nights, Jim taught personal evangelism, with an inner-city emphasis. These are delightful folk.

In June, Dr. Henry Krabbendam (Dr. K) will teach a school of evangelism at Church of the First Born, in Chattanooga, during two weekends. RMNI plans to assist with on-the-job training. Alfred Johnson is the pastor, who has also rejoined RMNI’s Board of Directors for a three-year term, replacing his son Jonathan. Dr. K is 81, is a former New Testament professor who travels globally to present this school. When in town, he often joins us on Thursday afternoons at 4 PM at the Westside housing project, and is unstoppable!

On the right is a Christian brother with whom we had a "divine appointment." 

The Reconciliation Report is a publication of

Reconciliation Ministries Network, Inc.
PO Box 2537 Chattanooga, TN 37409-0537

Phone: 423.822.1091

Jim Sutherland, PhD, Director