Pray for Ethiopian and Nigerian believers who are ministering in Southern Sudan.

By April 28, 2006

Sudan (MNN) — Recent peace agreements in Sudan have created a fresh opening for outreach in the Southern part of that war torn African nation.

SIM is responding to that open door through indigenous partners in Ethiopia and Nigeria. They have a multinational team now working in Sudan to help strengthen and rebuild the church.

Steve Strauss with SIM says, “The church in the South has been tremendously brutalized by the civil war, and it would be with those people, trying to help the Southern Sudanese believers get back on their feet.”

But they’re also working with a variety of other people, including, “those that have been only marginally evangelized, maybe they’re nominal Christians, maybe they don’t have a real good understanding of the faith because they haven’t had the opportunity to meet with trained leadership, to grow and meet regularly for church and meet for worship. And because of this, you’ll probably have a lot of people who are professing Christians but have very little understanding of what that means. And so the work in Southern Sudan will be with people who are from an animistic background, some of them nominal Christians, others stronger Christians, helping them get a much more thorough grounding in their faith and sharing the Gospel with those that don’t know the Lord yet.”

The missionaries are going in as school teachers, evangelists and disciplers, focusing on education and church growth, says Strauss, “They’re actually going to be training school teachers in South Sudan, helping Sudanese schoolteachers be able to be better equipped to train their own children and adults who haven’t had a chance for education, and then working with the Southern Sudanese church in evangelism and discipleship as well.”

While the unrest in Darfur hasn’t directly hampered SIM’s work, Sudan’s future hangs in the balance as there’s a lot of political uncertainty and questions about the future, Strauss says, “So what you’ve got is a situation where if we don’t get in and help the professing believers get deeply rooted in their faith very quickly, they’re going to be overwhelmed with a lot of Muslim money and Muslim people from outside whose goal is to Islamize the South of Sudan, so it’s a very pressing issue that we pray that God will open hearts and really deepen His church and help the Southern Sudanese area to be much more rooted in His Word and much more grounded in Christian faith.”

Strauss asks prayer for the Nigerian and Ethiopian workers who are training and working in a challenging, remote cross-cultural context. Pray that the body of Christ will be built up.

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