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“You shall love the Lord your God.” Matt. 22:37

Mission Connections
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Mission Connections letters
Ms. Bryce (Smith) Wasser
(800) 728-7228, x5373
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Rachel Anderson
(800) 728-7228, x5826
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Or write to
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Louisville, KY 40202

Find a mission worker — South Sudan

Map of Sudan

 Debbie Blane

 Jacob and Aliamma George

 Lynn and Sharon Kandel

 Nancy McGaughey

 Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather

 Leisa Wagstaff

 Michael Weller - Regional Liaison for the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan)

Learn more about the work of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in South Sudan and in Sudan.

In early 2011 the people of South Sudan voted to separate from the rest of Sudan and form an independent country.  The referendum was part of a 2005 peace accord that ended decades  of civil war between rebels in the South (mainly black Africans) and government forces from the North (mainly Arabs).  Most people in the South are Christians or adherents of traditional African religions, while most people in the North are Muslim. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been involved in Sudan for more than a century and has longstanding relationships with two partner churches, the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) and the Presbyterian Church of Sudan (PCOS), which was the primary Presbyterian denomination serving  Sudan, and now the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS).  The years of civil war left South Sudan’s infrastructure in ruins, but the region is home to abundant natural resources and many faithful people. The PC(USA) is working with Sudanese partners to help South Sudan maximize the promise of independence and improve the plight of the people.


Debbie Blane

Debbie teaches at Nile Theological College’s Malakal campus. Amid the severe poverty and insecurity that grip the young nation of South Sudan, Debbie and her colleagues prepare future pastors to serve its growing churches. Speaking of the college community, Debbie says, “We are the poor, the African, the Arab, the hurt, and the wounded, and we are in ministry to the same. We are learning and teaching how to serve God by caring for each of us.” Home presbytery: Cascades; Learn more
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Jacob and Aliamma George 

Jacob and Aliamma teach at Giffen Institute of Theology in Malakal. Jacob teaches Bible and preaching, and Aliamma teaches health-related and other subjects. They also are involved in Community Health Evangelism, an initiative that seeks to transform individuals and communities by integrating community-based development, evangelism, and discipleship. “I believe the gospel can change communities and eventually the nation,” Jacob says. Home presbytery: New Covenant; Learn more
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Lynn and Sharon Kandel

Lynn and Sharon are working alongside the Presbyterian Church in South Sudan (PCOSS) doing logistical work to build and rebuild school buildings, help organize a teacher training project, and assist with reporting on a peace and reconciliation project for our South Sudanese partners. They will also be supporting other mission co-workers in South Sudan with finding housing and some logistical needs. “We are praying that the education aspect of our work will help improve the rate of women and young girls entering school. With education, come more possibilities of jobs, better health and a more positive future,” they say. Lynn and Sharon go to South Sudan knowing that God holds them and the people they work alongside in His love and protection. Home ecclesiastical body: Martins Creek Mennonite Church, Millersburg, Ohio; Learn more
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Nancy McGaughey

Nancy started work with the Murle people as a community health facilitator in November 2012. She is partnering with the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan in working with women in the church. Her primary focus is community health evangelism, a holistic ministry strategy that integrates evangelism, discipleship, and church planting with community health and development. She is also working with Interchurch Medical Assistance World Health to provide training in reproductive health, so greatly needed in the country with the worst maternal mortality rate in the world. “My mission is to practice the presence of God, wherever I am, whatever I am doing,” she says. Home presbytery: Ohio Valley; Learn more
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Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather

Shelvis and Nancy work with RECONCILE (Resource Center for Civil Leadership), an indigenous ecumenical Christian organization that promotes “peace-building.” RECONCILE provides training in trauma recovery, conflict transformation, and civic education in areas of high interethnic conflict. “Please pray God will heal the people of South Sudan so they can build a peaceful nation,” Shelvis and Nancy write. “Please pray for the RECONCILE staff as they train leaders and for us as we seek to be ambassadors for Christ carrying out God’s ministry of reconciliation.” Home presbytery: Greater Atlanta Learn more
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Leisa Wagstaff

After nearly 30 years as a mission co-worker, Leisa has accepted an assignment in her fifth African country, South Sudan. While in college, she visited what is now South Sudan, where she experienced a call to global mission and fell in love with Africa. Leisa helps the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS) strengthen its educational ministry by strengthening the education department of PCOSS, developing in-service teacher training programs, and nurturing community participation in education. She invites everyone to share in this ministry. Home presbytery: New Hope Learn more
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Michael Weller

regional liaison for the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan)

Michael serves as the PC(USA)’s regional liaison for the Horn of Africa, where he works with partners in South Sudan, Sudan, and Ethiopia, supports the work of other mission personnel, and nurtures presbytery and congregational partnerships Serving in Ethiopia, with his wife Rachel Weller. Home presbytery: Abingdon/Pittsburgh; Learn more
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