Roughly one year ago, the Covid 19 virus began to take its toll on humanity, spreading to nearly every corner of the globe. Here in South Sudan we, too, had to learn about alleviating risks and taking precautions in order to protect ourselves. As in the West, our schools closed and our students went home. We facilitated workshops to educate our people on how to use personal protective equipment and to socially distance. Luckily, our hospitals were not over-run and the virus was contained to only small outbreaks.
Many Fellowship members will remember supporting SMARD in the building and furnishing of a secondary school, an addition to the existing Linda Primary School in Lietnhom, South Sudan. Hope Secondary School, which opened in April 2017, was the first high school in the area. Though forced to close during 2020 because of Covid, students have now returned to their classrooms, and soon we will have our first ever graduating class. It wasn’t that long ago that a secondary education was only a dream for most of the people in South Sudan. High schools were expensive and required parents to send their children far from home. Now, with the Hope Secondary School in Lietnhom, children can learn at home, and for the cost of one goat and three chickens annually they can receive a high school education. The Hope School remains a beacon of light, encouraging Lietnhom’s young people to build a better future for themselves, their families, and the community.
PEACE Preschool and Primary School in Olua One, a South Sudanese refugee camp in Northern Uganda, is flourishing. This is due, in large part, to Rosemary Khamati’s leadership and her vision for pastor and church leader training, children’s education and women’s discipleship, as well as business training in other refugee settlements.
God has recently blessed Rosemary’s work with a wonderful gift. Last year, in recognition of the success of PEACE, the government encouraged the organization Save the Children to donate their large, fenced property to the PEACE school. The property contains five classrooms, latrines, an office, a kitchen, a sizable playground with equipment, as well as other amenities. The only stipulation to PEACE was that they maintain the property as a school and continue to educate the 93 preschool students currently enrolled at this facility. This arrangement is an answer to prayer! The property is adjacent to PEACE’s land, and exactly meets all of Rosemary’s needs for her growing school. Rosemary’s greatest joy in this God-Story acquisition is that “93 more children and their families will hear the gospel and be trained in the ways of the Lord.”
School in Olua One will soon reopen after Covid-mandated lockdowns. By God’s gracious provision, this bustling new property will be full of laughter and activity, as well as the hopes and dreams of children, teachers, and parents. Rosemary is grateful to Fellowship and the Global Offering, which will help to provide necessities such as desks, chairs, uniforms, food and school supplies.
Since 2004, Fellowship has partnered with ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries) in Lietnhom, South Sudan, and currently assists in this work by supporting South Sudan Country Director Peter Garang. He and his team run ALARM’s Pastor Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), a 3-year program that trains young pastors and church leaders in biblical and theological education. These church leaders combat extreme poverty, illiteracy, decades of war, pervasive African traditions such as animism and witch doctors, as well as the spread of Islam and a whole host of challenges that accompany life in a developing nation.
Many PLTI students travel great distances on foot or bicycle, coming from a region the size of Kansas. There is little to no roadway system, modes of transportation or communication services. The dedication of these pastors is extraordinary.
Student Abraham Maker Waath says, “Before I received the knowledge of homiletics, I never worried about the preparation and time for presenting the sermons. I regret it and remember one day when I preached until the congregation left the church premises one by one until I remained with just a few members! Now, I am grateful that I have received knowledge about sermon preparation. I promise to be a good preacher who can preach until many people may be convicted and give their lives into the hand of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
November 2021 marks the graduation of the 4th group of pastors and church leaders to complete all classroom and field course work. The graduation ceremony is a joyous event, including hundreds of attendees with long speeches from church leadership and government officials. We may never know this side of heaven the extent of these students’ ministry among challenged congregations and unreached communities. We must pray for them in their calling.
To learn more about these ministries you can visit their websites at the links below or contact Fellowship’s liaisons (aka “Country Champions”.):
Home - Solidarity Ministries Africa
Who We Are – PEACE International