Association for Southern Sudan
A post-war country
This country has been suffering through a civil war with the Arabic north, almost since the beginning of it’s existence. The Arabic north wanted to convert the country to Islam through violence. This war took 2 milion lives, that is a lot for a nation of 8 million people. Men joined the war as early as 15 years of age. Due to the fact that Sudan was a completely isolated nation, they only had substandard weaponry to use against the Arabians, who in contrast had access to modern European weaponry. In spite of this, Sudan was still victorious, many believe, due to prayers.
In 2005, the war finished with a ceasefire and peace agreement CPA. It included an agreement that a referendum would take place in 2011. This has already gone into affect and in the summer Sudan should be declared an independent nation. This country is unbelievably proud of its freedom.
The Sudanese are a brave and self sufficient people. In the bushlands they are able to make a living and look after themselves. This is why you won’t find a lot of slums here as you would in for example, Kenya. They are a heartfelt and hospitable people. They will not hurt you, they look after you and they won’t steal from you. You are safe among them.
Nevertheless, it is still one of the most poor countries on the earth. It basically has no infrastructure, the middle aged people are uneducated and there is a significant shortage of men. Most lives were lived in the bushlands on the loose or spent fighting in the war. Education is the most desired commodity. Even the adults. The biggest current need is Engish.
In Sudan they speak around 200 languages. People from different tribes often don’t understand each other. That is why Engish is the key to connecting the tribes within this country. English as the commone language works in the surrounding countries such as Uganda or Kenya but not Sudan. English is however the official language. All official documents, the radio and church services are in Engish. The Bible, including the Old Testament, has been translated into only one language, Acholi.
Most of the educated pastors have been killed or had to flee the country. The country is full of widows and orphans who are without any sort of social support. I saw a church that was full of only women and children. All of the men had been killed by the Muslims or the LRA.
The vast majority of Sudanese living is based on agriculture. In the bushlands, they grow their own food, have sheep or cows. I calculated that they are able to live on only 4 to 5 Czech krowns per person a day. Nevertheless, they are a tenacious people, who don’t complain and are enormously thankful for and proud of their nation’s freedom and the freedom of religion.
The safety and security in southern Sudan is still a complicated situation. After tough negotiations president Salva Kiir recently wrote a peace agreement with the leader of the rebellion and vice president Riek Machar. (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/south-sudan-expected-sign-peace-deal-rebels-150826084550000.html). The agreement is supposed to end 20 months of political and civilian conflict between the tribes of Dinka and Nuer, the northern states Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile are the most effected areas. There are still millions of civilians who were forced to leave their homes, some of them are under the protection of OSN. In the southern state of Eastern Equatoria, where we serve, the situation is fine.
The bishop from the Anglican church in Torit, assures us that the situation is ok. Rosťa Staněk had a meeting with him in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, from October 20-22, 2015. The meeting was very friendly and productive. They discussed all of the organizational changes for the year, Rosťa gave them a suitcase full of medications for a clinic in Ofirika and gifts for the children in the orphanage in Torit. He also gave him money to use for wages for 3 servants supported by doners from the Czech Republic. The rest of the time was devoted to planning future cooperation. The main vision is to establish a center for biblical education. With each visit, we are moving more and more in that direction.
Orphanage in Torit
The orphanage is run by the diocese of the episcopalian church in Torit. The people working in the orphanage are volunteers from the local church. The biggest financial burden is ensuring that the children recieve adequate nutrition on a daily basis. For them, it is very expensive but for us it is a miniscule amount. Only 1 American dollar can feed one child for the whole day. The orphanage is only able to house a certain amount of orphans because of financial limitations. Many children wait on the streets or wait in the home of Bishop Bernard until a space becomes availible at the orphanage.
Education of the pastors
The education and development of the pastors and staff of the churches in Southern Sudan is our primary mission. Even though the Sudanese Christians are living in a country completely devestated by war, they aren’t asking us for any concrete materials, but instead for help with educating their church staff. This is similar to the story in the bible in 1 Solomon chapter 3. We are very honored to be a part of this and we can see a very special grace and priviledge for the local church.
In January 2016, there was a mission trip to educate the pastors and leaders of the Sunday services. There is a shortage of leaders in the church who are even a little educated. They knew how to read, they had a bible and they knew how to work with the text. The younger people mostly have a greater education than the leaders. Their people are very hungry for short and long term education.
Support of Bishop Bernard
The bishop of the episcopalian church, Bernard Oringa Balmoi is currently our key contact person for Souther Sudan. It was him, who came to the Czech Republic several years ago and expressed and pleaded for help for his church from the Czech Republic. He is the one a lot of us know in person and he is trusted by the church and state who made him responsible for coordinating the help of the refugees.
The Bishop is who we trust to uphold the agreement between the Czech Republic and Sudan. He also ensures the appropriate use of funds (we’ve had the opportunity to verify his credibility). This is why we have begun to include the support of the Bishop as a part of our service. Money passed down for two young workers, William and Betty, make it possible for the Bishops office to run. It’s not an office in the way that we think, it’s more like a helpful service team of his closest co-workers and disciples whose goal is to lighten the work load of the Bishop.
Missions in Ofirika
How can I participate?
- Pray that God opens doors for our ministry, and that our services would be welcomed by the local brethren. (Romans 15:11)
- You can think about how you personally, your small group or your church can engage in and or support this missions opportunity.
- You can go on a mission trip to South Sudan, or help send those who the Lord has called to go there.
- You can consider financially supporting a part of this mission.
- You can take up a collection or host a fundraising event for the orphanage in Torit. Think about how your Sunday school, church group or kids club could support some children from South Sudan long term.
How your financial donations are used
The Associaton for Southern Sudan opened as a succesor to ISACHAR in fall of 2015. The association gradually took over 800,000kc for work being done in South Sudan. Since the beginning of 2016, we have collected more than 100,000 kc. We are supported not only by longterm partners, which are primarily churches, but also through small one time donations recieved after discussions and presentations about our missionary work. However, we also fullfill another goal of ours which is to spread the word about Southern Sudan and contribute to developing cooperation and friendship.
Our first big event of the Association was a January trip made up of 7 team members. The cost of the journey was about 30,000 kc per person, which was mainly funded from contributions of the team members (either from their own pockets, or from support from their church or sponsors). During the journey we handed over the first have of the years wages, a gift of 1600 USD for the orphans in Torit and a contribution to the construction of a center in Ame (for more information see pg. 2)
In Souther Sudan we support 3 workers and their wages (150 USD monthly) through financial sponsors: William v Toritu (Czech Brethren church from Most, Czech Republic), Joan (Health center BORMED Ostrava) a Jonah v Ofirice (Czech Brethren Chruch in Seberov, Czech Republic).
We are very happy that we were able to find a way to ship things to our workers through Uganda. This Spring we were able to send 3 packages full of medicine, medical supplies and gifts to Ofirika and also (thanks to generous donations) a tablet for Jonas and Joan.
Dear friends of Souther Sudan,
We’ve gone through some organizational changes and now the mission is to be a part of the newly established Association for Southern Sudan z.s. (SJS, ICO 04392213, filed with the regional judge in Ostrava on the 10th of September, 2015 based in Třebovická 5115, 72200, Ostrava – Třebovice.
The chairman of the association is Engineer Rostislav Staněk M.A., pastor of the Czech Brethren church in Česka Třebova. Telephone is +420-602-323-941. Email is Rostislav.Stanek@seznam.cz
The vice chairman is MUDr. Vit Šmajstrla, a doctor (Christian Fellowship church in Ostrava). Telephone is +420-603-272-683. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Council member Rostislav Heczko (Czech Brethren Church in Elim Pisek). Telephone +420-731-130-885 Email si: email@example.com
Secretary David Floryk (Christian Fellowship church in Ostrava), telephone +420-733-747-389, Email si firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastors of churches in the north of Czech Republic, along with the associates of ISACHARu, gave this project over, with blessings, to Rostia Stanek in Chomutova, Czech Republic on the 14th of October in 2015. He expressed his desire for the name to be The Association for Southern Sudan and continue to work with ISACHAR and maintain close relations. This desire is mutual. ISACHAR gave all the financial contributions for the work being done in Southern Sudan to the new account for the Association of Southern Sudan at CSOB bank, account number 272583385/0300. There are 2 active accounts, there is the new one at CSOB and also the old one at Komercni bank. Monthly donations currently being sent to the account 78-7002590237/0100 are still being used for the services in South Sudan. otherwise please use the new account at CSOB. Thank you.
If you would like any information or have any questions about our ministry, we would be more than happy to hear from you.
Song of Peace
13 year old Angelo Peter was born blind. His parents died in war in 2013. The family viewed the ten year old boy as a burden so they threw him out on the street. People from the church took him in, he came to the orphanage in Torit and he started going to school. There he is able to listen to and answer exam questions. He is now in the 4th grade. Angelo wrote a poem about peace, which continues to be very well recieved due to it’s simple text that expresses the population‘s unfullfilled desire for peace and transquility around them. Angelo recited his poem in Torit on the day of celebration, OSN, and also on the local radio station. When the audiences heard the poem they were moved to tears.
PEACE, PEACE, PEACE
WHERE ARE YOU?
SINCE I WAS BORN I NEVER SAW YOU;
DEAR PEACE, HONOURABLE PEACE
WHEN WILL I SEE YOU ?
MY MOTHER NEVER SAW YOU,
MY FATHER NEVER ENJOYED YOU
PEACE WHEN WILL SOUTH SUDAN EXPERIENCE YOU
WHEN EASTERN EQUATORIA MEET YOU,
CHILDREN ARE BORN THEY ONLY MEET WAR
KILLING, LOTTING AND ROBBING,
RAPING IS THE GAME OF THE DAY
PEACE WILL I SEE YOU?
DEAR, WILL ORPHANS MEET YOU?
* * *