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Water for All

A Letter from Jim McGill, serving in Niger and South Sudan

Summer 2022

Write to Jim McGill

Individuals: Give to E132192 in honor of Jim McGill’s ministry

Congregations: Give to D500115 in honor of Jim McGill’s ministry

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)


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Dear friends and family,

I have just returned to Niger after having spent a month in South Sudan. Many of you may know that, previously, my appointment was ¾ time with our church here in Niger, the Eglise Evangelique de la Republique du Niger (EERN), while ¼ time was with the Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency (PRDA). PRDA is a registered non-governmental organization established to perform the ‘body and mind’ ministries of our partner church, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS) – ministries that include health, education and food security in addition to the water, sanitation and hygiene work with which I am involved.

As in Niger, our focus in South Sudan is on long-term development, which most importantly works to allow people to have choices in how they wish to live. South Sudan has had over 50 years of civil wars, and along with natural catastrophes (most commonly flooding) too many people have been kept in a constant cycle of needing relief – where outside assistance is required to survive. It is not possible for people to engage in development work when they are uncertain about where to find food, water and shelter. Our biggest challenge in South Sudan is related to these insecurities. Changes that will improve livelihoods take time, usually moving up one small step at a time. When a family is displaced from home by conflict or flooding, this ladder of progress collapses, most often knocking people down to the level from which they began.

My last visit to Juba in South Sudan was in November of 2019 when our Simple, Market-based, Affordable, Repairable Technologies (SMART) held its first short course introducing many low-cost Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) options to organizations that are working within South Sudan. While we expected to return for follow-up trainings in 2020, the pandemic changed those plans. Later in the year, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan held a General Assembly in which leadership issues created a yet unresolved split in the church. While not wanting to be seen as supporting one side of the split over the other, in the spirit of remaining a faithful partner, PC(USA) allowed me to return last month to see how we can restart the church’s work in WASH development.

While Juba has been a good location for exposure of SMARTechs to NGOs working throughout the country, it has been a difficult area from which to reach the rural population that can best be served by these products and services. Therefore, together with Rev. Tut Nguth, the deputy executive director of PRDA, we visited the city of Wau. There, we met with potential partners Water for South Sudan (a Christian NGO that drills water wells founded by Salva Dut, the ‘Lost Boy’ whose story is told in “A Long Walk to Water”) and two Dutch Christian relief and development organizations Zoa and Dorcas that, during the pandemic, joined together as one organization within South Sudan. Dorcas has a very strong vocational training school (TVET). TVET has been training youth from the Wau area in sewing, IT, agriculture, and baking for many years and may be a great opportunity to include WASH trainings. We are continuing to explore how all can benefit by partnering together with a SMART Centre in Wau.

Overall, I had an insightful trip to South Sudan – so many potential opportunities, but so many hurdles to have to pass over to get to the opportunities. As is happening around the world, life is getting very expensive, which is an additional burden. Please pray for lasting peace throughout the country of South Sudan, pray for healing within the church, and pray that the people of South Sudan may soon better enjoy the life that God has given.

While there are certainly poverty and security issues within Niger, we have been able to provide continuous support to small WASH businesses with whom we work. The One Evangelist/One Well programme is opening doors for the church while providing much needed water to communities. The Village Well programme will be expanding after the rains have finished next month. Towards the end of the month, we will be meeting with the leaders of the septic tank/pit latrine emptiers to begin discussing how they might be able to improve their working conditions while advocating for recognition of the importance of the work that they do.

Our family update includes John and Joseph’s 18th birthday on August 14 as they are entering their final year of high school. On the same day, our daughter Salome began her road trip with Selina and Michael to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, where she will stay for a few months as she has accepted a short-term position with the YMCA there. Michael and Selina will fly back to continue with their work in Decatur, Georgia. Jason is also doing well, while Jodi continues to work at the same free clinic in downtown Atlanta where she previously volunteered although some of the administration has recently changed when CAPN Clinics joined with Our House (

As always, we are grateful for your prayers and support, and are thankful for you all.


Please read the following letter from Rev. Mienda Uriarte, acting director of World Mission:

Dear Partners in God’s Mission,

What an amazing journey we’re on together! Our call to be a Matthew 25 denomination has challenged us in so many ways to lean into new ways of reaching out. As we take on the responsibilities of dismantling systemic racism, eradicating the root causes of poverty and engaging in congregational vitality, we find that the Spirit of God is indeed moving throughout World Mission. Of course, the past two years have also been hard for so many as we’ve ventured through another year of the pandemic, been confronted with racism, wars and the heart wrenching toll of natural disasters. And yet, rather than succumb to the darkness, we are called to shine the light of Christ by doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God.

We are so grateful that you are on this journey as well. Your commitment enables mission co-workers around the world to accompany partners and share in so many expressions of the transformative work being done in Christ’s name. Thank you for your partnership, prayers and contributions to their ministries.

We hope you will continue to support World Mission in all the ways you are able:

Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel (E132192). This unified fund supports the work of all our mission co-workers as they accompany global partners in their life-giving work. Gifts can also be made “in honor of” a specific mission co-worker – just include their name on the memo line.

Pray – Include PC(USA) mission personnel and global partners in your daily prayers. If you would like to order prayer cards as a visual reminder of those for whom you are praying, please contact Cindy Rubin (; 800-728-7228, ext. 5065).

Act – Invite a mission co-worker to visit your congregation either virtually or in person. Contact to make a request or email the mission co-worker directly. Email addresses are listed on Mission Connections profile pages. Visit to search by last name.

Thank you for your consideration! We appreciate your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).




Rev. Mienda Uriarte, Acting Director
World Mission
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

To give, please visit

For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

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