January - March 2019, Issue 91

Dental Ministry — Juba

Last year the refugees at Malakal, S. Sudan, were desperate for eye doctors to come to treat trachoma--the leading cause of preventable blindness. By God’s grace Dr. Jim Guzek, an ophthalmologist, felt the call of God to go, as did Larry Morris, a skilled eye technologist. Despite all efforts, we could not recruit more Americans, so we hired four S. Sudanese eye professionals to assist them in performing the 208 cataract and trachoma surgeries. Since last year, Dr. Guzek provided a gift to Buluk Eye Center staff (supplemented by RMNI), and has assisted the S. Sudanese ophthalmologist on the Malakal team.
This year, by God’s grace, we plan to provide tooth extractions to the Jebel UN Camp in Juba, which has perhaps 80-90,000 refugees. They haven’t had dental care for at least 4 years—probably much longer. As at Malakal, we are preparing to share the offer of salvation to those we screen and serve. I’d only begun to recruit when a key dentist joined us—he directs the Christian Dental Society. He recruited the current director of the Christian Dental Association. Neither organization is sponsoring the April 19-29th trip, but both have wide networks among those doing portable dentistry. They recruited their wives and another dentist, who then recruited his son. To connect with the local dental community, we hired a S. Sudanese dentist. So we have a team of 5 dentists and 2 dental assistants in the person of wives who have assisted their husbands on many trips. At Jebel Camp, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church supports 14 chaplains and about 14 teachers at Hope Emergency Secondary School (the only high school in the camp). The chaplains will assist in evangelism and patient selection, and the teachers will assist in translation between dentists and patients. We will borrow equipment from the Christian Dental Society, such as portable dental chairs, resulting in about 12 fifty pound bags to transport.
A second team working in Juba is from ITEC (Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center). They plan to train 6-8 S. Sudanese to do tooth extractions during the week that the Jebel Camp team is doing extractions. This is led by an American dentist, with his wife, and another assistant. They are bringing in a female Kenyan dentist and a Ugandan dental trainer with whom they have worked, together with 2 Ugandans who were recently trainees themselves. They have a total of 2 dentists and 5 assistants. ITEC will leave essential equipment, such as sterilizers, and RMNI will provide dental instrument kits to be shared by two trainees, at about $825 per kit. We’re seeking trainees who already desire to evangelize their patients, and ITEC will train to evangelize as well. We hope that trainees will find a new livelihood, and that these dental missions will result in ongoing dental ministry in S. Sudan. We have the early blessing of a Memo of Understanding with the S. Sudan Ministry of Health for these teams to proceed. Jebel CampMichael is our main dental coordinator, together with Gabriel. They were sent by RMNI to observe an ITEC training in Kenya last June.
We need prayer support. How can we equitably locate and treat the most serious cases at Jebel Camp, when we can only take 30 minutes per patient, with 5-6 dental chairs, from Monday-Saturday?  The dentists will need a day off to prevent back strain. Who are the best 6-8 S. Sudanese trainees, coming in pairs from different areas of S. Sudan? Please pray that the S. Sudan coordinators will be able to handle the long checklist before we arrive. Please pray for people’s salvation. Please pray for strength for the dentists and that none will be hindered from coming. Please pray for unity within and among the teams that already come from 4 countries. I will meet most of the team at the Amsterdam airport. We need continued favor from the Ministry of Health and assistance from a medical clinic inside the Jebel UN camp. We also need safe traveling and lodgings, and protection so that no one gets infected. At least one dentist needs a Yellow Fever immunization, but there is a global shortage. We won’t have a day to get over jet lag. We all will need much stamina and wisdom. Thanks, and praise to God!

 2018 & 2019 

2018 Ministry Summary
I contacted 200 new mission organizations, adding another 9 African American missionaries to our census. These contacts resulted in phone and email consultations with about 6 mission executives to share how to recruit more African American missionaries. I taught much less than in 2017, partly due to assisting in the eye ministry at Malakal, instead of teaching, and partly due to focusing upon the African American missionary census. I taught 275 student hours on Christian missions, apologetics, cults and suffering.
Westside TeamMost of our resources of time and finances went toward S. Sudan, where we invested $66,171. I arranged logistics for ministry co-worker David Acellam to come to Chattanooga for our church’s world mission conference, and arranged for him to speak in 4 Black churches, while he shared our home for a week.
We purchased 1,000 pair of reading glasses, distributed at the UN camps at Malakal and Juba. We delivered a battery-powered video projector, portable screen and battery backup in support of itinerant teaching and evangelistic ministry. We provided 20 micro SD chips with Third Mil seminary curriculum preloaded. We bought 3,000 NAS Bibles and 1500 stories of the life of Jesus, delivered to Juba by ministry partners. We gave a Christmas gift of $5,400, divided among all S. Sudan ministry partners.
I gathered and vetted 7 Africa projects presented to Lookout Presbyterian for 2019 (6 largely approved), and another that was presented to RMNI. I managed last year’s 5 approved LMPC Africa projects, plus RMNI’s support of ministry at the UN Camp at Malakal, S. Sudan. Projects include Hope Emergency Secondary School at the Jebel UN Camp. As of Dec. 2018 it had 263 students, 14 teachers and the headmaster. Over 80 students have gone on to University! I assisted three African American short-term mission trip leaders in preparation for trips to Haiti and Uganda.
In local inner city ministry at College Hill Courts, our team engaged in 50 of 52 weeks. Twenty different volunteers came during the year, averaging 7 workers each week.  I led about 42 of these outreaches, and pursued another 18 urban ministry opportunities. RMNI provided emergency food and rent assistance, as well as other items. We distributed many hundreds of New Testaments and tracts, and purchased messenger bags for weekly workers.  RMNI’s investment was $7086. Some lives are changing—Gail, Yolanda, Junior, Fletcher, Consuela, LeBron and Jerald’s are among them. I was treasurer for Last to First Church, that developed from a Bible study over 7-8 years. I guided a grant proposal for a $26,000 van for the church, which was approved, and guided a second grant proposal for another inner city ministry for $25,000--also approved. Last to First Church’s ministry investment at the Westside that came through RMNI in 2018 was $6,119.
Administration included handling all financials and tax matters, receipting, providing detailed monthly accounting to the RMNI treasurer, and quarterly accounting to the RMNI Board. I created 3 RMNI Reports and 9 monthly donor reports. We’re updating our website and collaborating with our webmaster. We had 84,925 visits to www.RMNI.org  in 2018, with 54,288 unique visitors. RMNI continues to fund the sister website: www.AfamMissionManifesto.org which had 10,107 visits and 7,272 unique visitors. Website expenses were $2,330.
RMNI joined MissioNexus, the largest organization of Great Commission organizations in the US. I attended 7 different AFAM churches, and made 16 hospital visits. Thanks be to God for His grace to us!    - Jim Sutherland
2019 Goals:
RMNI is taking over staff support of Grace Theological College in Juba for 2019.  Some of the 25 students are pictured. We continue to support chaplains, Bibles and ministry at the UN Camp at Malakal, S. Sudan. We plan to continue to partner with Agape Mission in Juba to oversee the work of chaplains there, Bible distribution and the outstanding work of Hope Secondary School.  We have 1,000 pair of sunglasses for the 2 camps.
We intend to continue weekly ministry at the Westside. As time permits, the African American missionary census will be extended and updated. Finally, we continue to pursue hiring a new executive director.  Thank you for any prayers and other gifts!

Prayer Power

  • We’re very thankful for great supporters, Board of Directors, friends, family, & good health!
  • Please pray that all comes together to give God praise in the April dental ministry. Michael heads in-country preparations. Workers come from 4-5 nations and various tribes. Pray that they will not be hindered from coming, that dental workers will have all needed logistic support and protection.
  • Pray for the best 6-8 S. Sudan trainees to be trained by ITEC.
  • Pray for selection of patients at the Juba UN camp, and against rioting by those we’re not able to see.
  • Pray for the salvation of many through the dental outreaches.
  • Ellen Fox at Lohutok, S. Sudan has been facing strong opposition in the last year. Pray for her protection and for much enduring fruit in ministry.
  • Wisdom is needed in funding S. Sudan ministry, as peace comes and people depart UN camps. Pray for the growth of Grace Theological College in Juba.
  • Pray that God will greatly use Last to First Ch. at the Westside, as they take over their own finances and launch in May. Progress often takes years to see. Also, Lookout Pres. is helping plant Restoration Southside Ch., which is literally across the street from the Westside projects where we work. Pray for mutual support and participation in ministry.
  • Please pray for encouragement for RMNI Westside volunteers. God does encourage them, but it isn’t easy work. It’s hard to followup with those who profess Christ.
  • The Executive Director job opening is still posted. Pray for God's will and for the person. Also, please pray against burnout as I continue in ministry.
  • Please pray for the ability to contact several hundred more missions, complete the missionary census, and finalize an article.
To God be thanks! 38% of total surplus is Westside Church money, to be transferred. 33% is to go to S. Sudan ministry and 28% is designated toward a new director, website and administration.

More financial disclosure is available upon request.

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