A letter from Jacob and Aliamma George on home assignment from South Sudan
We were evacuated to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, due to the sudden fighting in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and spreading to other parts quickly. We are very thankful for the fast and effective effort of our PC(USA) staff members who drew us to safety. When we reached Addis Rev. Michael Weller and his wife, Rachel, were very helpful to us. As the situation got worse in South Sudan we were not able to go back to Malakal until the situation changed. We spent two months in a church guesthouse, visited a few churches, and helped in a nearby girls' high school that was initiated a few decades ago by Presbyterian missionaries. The graduates from that high school go to prestigious universities and hold high positions in the country. They hold chapel services daily from 9:30 to 11 am, starting with the elementary children, then the middle and high school students. We spoke to the students and staff a few times and after one chapel service about 20 students stayed back for special prayers for different needs.
We can give the living proof of an adult whose life was changed by a missionary. He is a pleasant handyman who works in the guesthouse doing any kind of repair or fixing. When he was a young boy he used to be in the street begging and fighting. A lady missionary bought him a kit for polishing shoes, and he would sit in the shade near the guesthouse street. He gradually came to know Jesus on a personal basis, went back to school for basic education, and now has a job in the guesthouse.
When we were in Addis we used to get the distressing news of our people in Malakal through the refugees, travelers, news media, and so on. It was really sad to think of certain people who really wanted to improve their family structure, drive away the tribal problems, and maintain peace. Our 44 graduates wanted to spread the new things in their villages; they wanted to make positive changes in their community to eradicate illiteracy, poverty and inequality. The ladies had just started going around working, shopping and worshiping freely. The young girls who started schools, Upper Nile University, Giffen Institute of Theology, Nile Theological College, graduates, teachers and other working ladies were enjoying life. The young boys and adults were starting to take more responsibilities in life with their families, community and church. When a new commitment call was made, all of them were ready for it.
We remember the day in the market when we met about eight young men. We started talking and encouraging them. Jacob told them that they could go to Upper Nile University and take degrees and do any kind of job. One boy replied, "It is not for us but for the North." Then Jacob stressed the importance of the freedom they received recently and the broad variety of things they can do in their lives.
Friends, please do not discouraged. God has good plans to mend everything. The seeds have fallen on the right ground, people who have fled to different places will come back, and they are missionaries wherever they are, and bundles of fruits will be brought through all these events. Let us agree with Thomas Edison who said, "There is great value in a disaster, all mistakes get burned down, Thank God we can start anew." God will give chances when people confess and are humbled.
Friends, we are in U.S.A. now for three months visiting churches and doing part of our itineration for our second term, and we will be going back in June. During our last visit we encouraged starting an adult Bible study in St. Peters' Church of South India. Rev. Jacob started the first class and could attend it this time. Mr. and Mrs. Kallel are leading it.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Your past support is not in vain—it is producing fruit in different parts of the world. Our Presbyterian Church of South Sudan moderator told us that all the prisoners are out of the prison; those buildings are destroyed! We have witnessed their prayers and testimonies. Prayer is the mightiest force. 1st Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing."
Please join with us to help the people of South Sudan.
Jacob and Aliamma
Aliamma George firstname.lastname@example.org (or use the "Write" link below)
The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 129
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