A letter from Debbie Blane in South Sudan
Greetings from Malakal in the Upper Nile State! Rainy season is ebbing away and sunshine is slowly becoming more plentiful in these October days. We are headed into the South Sudanese winter.
The Nile Theological College (NTC) began classes in September. The current seniors have only seven months and one more semester after the one we are in now before they will be proud graduates with their Bachelor of Arts degrees! They will be the very first graduates of NTC in the newest country in the world, South Sudan!
The process has begun for a new intake that will give a new incoming class in September of 2013. The life of the college continues.
The graduates of May 18, 2013, will go to every corner of South Sudan as they pursue the ministries to which God has called them. Some will be educators, some will be evangelists, some pastors, some government workers. Some will work as volunteers in the church while holding paying work outside of the church in order to earn a living.
This has been a long haul for this group of seniors. Because of our move from Khartoum in March of 2012 their four years have been stretched to at least four and a half years. Many of them have been away from their families for a long, long time. Please pray for the reunions of families that they may adjust well to being together again.
Please keep both the seniors in prayer as they launch into the next part of their journey with the Triune God in this life and also the juniors as they become seniors. Please pray too for the men and women God has already chosen to become the new incoming juniors. These students of the near future whom we have not yet met at the college have already been on a journey of discernment and listening to God’s claim on their lives. By the time we enroll them in classes they are well into that journey and we join them in the work that God is already doing in their lives.
We do not have freshman or sophomores at NTC. Because our campus has limited classroom space and we have a small faculty, intake is done only every other year. The students are juniors for two years and then seniors for two years.
Please pray also for the welfare of the people who live in Malakal. The town is becoming more urban in nature, with many of the same problems that any urban area in the world faces, including gangs and criminals who break into people’s homes. We also face other unique situations. The computer is currently out of service at the office where electricity is purchased in Malakal and nobody is able to buy electricity. We don’t know when the computer will be fixed or replaced. I am now very carefully monitoring my use of power and limiting it to my electric kettle so that I have hot water for coffee and oatmeal and charging my computer battery. I am grateful that last night was somewhat cooler than nights have been, so I did not use the fan. I don’t know how long my 6 kW is going to have to extend!
By the way, electricity comes only at night here in Malakal and it does not come every night. Some weeks it is three or four nights a week, some weeks perhaps five. It is on anywhere from two hours to perhaps eight hours.
Thank you for your prayers for the college, this country and myself. If God has led you to support God’s ministry through me financially I thank you for that as well.
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 94
The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 103