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Ingrid Reneau is on a leave of absence until July 2013, when she will begin a new assignment as a Research Fellow at the Akrofti-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture (ACI) in Akropong, Ghana (see her January 2013 letter).
Mission co-worker in South Sudan
Serving in partnership with the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan,
the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church, and Across
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About Ingrid Reneau's ministry
Ingrid Reneau was appointed in July 2007 to serve as an education officer in Sudan. She works in southern Sudan in partnership with the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church, and Across (formerly an acronym for the Association of Christian Resource Organizations Serving Sudan). She is charged with helping to implement plans to expand the church-sponsored school system, improve its administrative capabilities, and strengthen its teaching methodologies.
In early 2011 the people of South Sudan voted to separate from the Khartoum-based government 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 Sudanese in the South are Christians or adherents of traditional African religions, while most 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 had been the primary Presbyterian denomination serving Sudan, and now significantly also with 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 Christians. The PC(USA) is working with Sudanese partners to help South Sudan maximize the promise of independence and improve the plight of the people.
About Ingrid Reneau
Ingrid, who grew up in Belize and came to the United States when she was 13, is now in her third career. Her first took place throughout the 1980s as she worked her way up through the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company from teller to assistant manager.
For her second career she had to study first for her bachelor’s degree and next for her master’s and doctorate in English literatures.
From 1994 through 2005 Ingrid held a series of professional jobs related to the teaching literature and writing. She was an assistant professor from 2000 to 2005 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, jointly appointed by the Department of English and the Women’s Studies Program. She specializes in the literature of the African diaspora, 20th-century American literature, and Black feminist theory.
But sometime in 2003 Ingrid began, in her words, “a radical, transforming journey of actually living the Scriptures that I have often repeated to myself: ‘Trust in the lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths’” (Proverbs 3:5–6).
Ingrid was led her to work with children and youth at minimum wage jobs and through that experience found herself being called to mission work. She considered going to seminary, but felt that her gifts and experience as an educator could be of service to God’s people.
Ingrid holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She has both a master’s and a Ph.D. in literature in English from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is a member of an interdenominational church, the Shiloh Christian Fellowship, in Oakland, California.
Ingrid is married to Professor Andrew Walls, a British theologian and missiologist best known for his pioneering study of the history of the African church.