Missionary couple heads to volatile South Sudan

By November 15, 2011

South Sudan (MNN) — Even if it were not for the recent bombing of a refugee camp, South Sudan would still be in bad shape.

When the budding nation was formed in July 2011, it was born into extreme poverty and known tribal disputes. The nation immediately earned a slot as having one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Healthcare is difficult to access, at best.

Long before the recent bombings took place, Lynn and Sharon Fogleman felt more hands could be used in South Sudan.

The Foglemans are family physicians and worked as such in Kenya for a number of years. That was over a decade ago, though.

Over the past few years, the Foglemans began to learn more and more about the struggles facing South Sudan. They learned about the region's water crisi, and its "Lost Boys." After years of research and the onset of empty nesting, the Foglemans felt the Lord calling them back to Africa.

The Foglemans will head to South Sudan with The Mission Society in February, 2012. One of their jobs will indeed be peacekeeping in the volatile nation, which some suspect will be at war again with Sudan soon.

"The tribes that make up South Sudan must continue to maintain that solidarity," notes Lynn. "I believe that's part of the role of any of us who go to work in such an area: to be peacemakers, peacekeepers, reminding us that we're all in this together and not let the tribal factions destroy the work that is done so far."

That will happen in large part through relationships. The Foglemans' main priority in South Sudan though will be healthcare.

"[We plan] to work with the villagers that are working, that are living near churches, that have been planted in that area within the last six years and helping to teach them about disease prevention, incorporating the Gospel story as well," explains Lynn.

The Foglemans are headed to Yei, South Sudan. Due to Yei's location on the southernmost tip of the nation, a flood of refugees has entered in since the 2005 peace agreement. The population of the area has boomed, but Yei cannot keep up with the health needs of its new members.

The Foglemans hope to assist with that. As they teach the importance of hygiene, safe drinking water, immunizations and more, they will also use the Community Health Evangelism model to share the Gospel as they go. The more relationships built, the more opportunities to share the Truth as well.

The Foglemans leave for South Sudan in February, but they have a lot of work to do until then. They will be building their financial support for the next few months.

Until February, be praying for financial and prayer support to come in. As the Foglemans arrive in South Sudan, pray for safety and for language training in Juba Arabic. Long-term, be praying for God to use this couple to strengthen the Yei community in health, and mostly in Christ.

To personally help the Foglemans in their mission, click here.

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