These days the two nations of Sudan and South Sudan are resuming talks because of many unsolved national problems after severe fighting on the border. Currently, tension between the two nations remains and the border is closed. Because of the situation, people in South Sudan are suffering from a shortage of food and fuel. Many refugees, who crossed over to the South because of the war, are especially confronted with serious food and medicine shortages. Even though Malakal is one of the three main cities in South Sudan, the people are suffering because of a shortage of food, fuel, electricity, and water. Missionary Daniel and Miso Rhee were sick with diarrhea, fever, and stomach trouble while they were staying there. We believe it was caused by contaminated water and tableware in the hotel, and the terrible heat in the city. I had considered cancelling the invitation to our senior missionaries after I heard that there was a gunfight near the city some days before our visit. I'm sincerely grateful for their visit and encouragement to our brothers and sisters despite the danger and great inconvenience. While we were in the city for the wedding ceremony, we visited the Upper Nile University and were welcomed by the principal. We also visited some brothers’ houses and encouraged them. I give thanks to our leaders who independently prepared the ceremony, cared for us, and even paid all the expenses, including the hotel fee while we were there.
Shepherd Padiet Deng, who was anointed as the Sudan national director at the previous African director conference two years ago, pioneered Juba, the capital of South Sudan, one month ago. Juba is located near the border of Uganda and is in better condition than the other cities in South Sudan. Many goods are coming from Kampala, Uganda because there is a road that connects the two cities. However, there is a lack of electricity and fuel. The goods cannot reach other cities from Juba because there are no roads that connect them. People are traveling to other cities only by airplane. The new nation, South Sudan, has two serious problems: leaders’ corruption, and tribalism. Juba University is closing down due to the fighting between two students of different tribes on campus a month ago. Despite the situation, Shepherd Padiet Deng is faithfully leading Sunday worship services and Bible studies every week with three leaders and several sheep. After attending the wedding ceremony in Malakal, Missionary Daniel and Miso Rhee, Dr Joseph and Esther Chung, and I traveled to Juba by airplane and attended Sunday worship service there with seven brothers.
We have started to prepare the African Regional conference. Please pray for our main messenger, Shepherd Johnson Deng, and mission reporters, Dr. Oyor Moses and Shepherd Padiet Deng, and life testimony speaker, Shepherd Peter Angelo. Our members from Malakal, Khartoum, and Cairo will meet in Juba earlier in order to prepare their passports and the conference program. They will move to Juba by airplane and by bus from Juba to Kampala, Uganda. May God richly bless our regional conference!