Sudan (MNN) — Sudan holds
presidential and parliamentary elections in July 2009. As the country begins its tightrope walk
toward the polls, underlying turmoil threatens to sideline the peace process.
Although Darfur makes the headlines,
the 1983-2005 North-South civil war was one of the longest and deadliest in the
last half century. Nearly two million
people died and four million lost their homes, as both sides fought over
In 2005, they both signed the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), effectively ending the war. This year, President Omar al-Bashir signed the
Election Act into law, meaning that by August 8, a national electoral
commission must be created.
Peace may be on paper, but with both armies massed on the border, the threat of violence still hangs over the
region. A sudden destabilization would
likely disrupt travel and could be detrimental to ministries.
Many, like Sammy Tippit
Ministries, are responding by readying tools to help the church stand on her
own. Eternal Concepts' Dave Tippit was
there to help equip the church leaders of the future. He
notes in his blog that, "When I arrived in Southern Sudan, one of the first
conversations I had with a few of the various denominational church leaders
centered on the fact that the vast majority of the population is still traumatized
by what had happened in the previous 22-year civil war where two million
Southern Sudanese were killed."
The future weighs heavily on the
minds and hearts of those who live there. As the stability of the country
remains fragile, the task at hand is to ready the church not only with
evangelism vision, but also with the essentials. "We held a discipleship
seminar with students from the main university there in Juba. We came together there for a week's
seminar and really, just some foundations
of the faith, applying some of those foundations for those particular
situations that they face there."
On top of the forty youth leaders
representing various churches, there was the denominational heads of all the
five major churches in Southern Sudan, including the Archbishop of the Catholic
Church in Southern Sudan. Recording the happenings of this opening ceremony was
the one and only television station in Southern Sudan, the main radio station
in the region, and all four local newspapers.
Evangelistic meetings are
scheduled for next month, helping to lay the groundwork for work in
2009. "It's a battle. There's a lot
of people suffering. It's hard to articulate what they're going through because
we haven't experienced it personally. But in the middle of it I do believe that
the love of Christ is being shown, being demonstrated through our brothers
and sisters there. Pray for their strength; pray for encouragement; pray for