The affect of COVID -19 on Koggi Village, South Sudan

Thank you for your continued faithful support of GRN’s work in South Sudan. We appreciate your prayers, financial donations and encouragement very much! Our hearts are eternally grateful to you. There’s no way GRN can serve without your help.

The time since COVID -19 struck our world has been a trial for our staff in Koggi Village. In March, South Sudan closed its borders. No one has been able to go in or out of the country. Dickson, our field coordinator, happened to be home for a visit with his family in Kenya when the borders closed. That means our other staff members have been in Koggi without him ever since. He speaks with them frequently and can direct them via the telephone. To update you on the current situation in Koggi, we thought we’d share some recent email (and telephone) messages from Dickson.

 

Here’s an email from a few weeks ago:

Greetings,
I am so glad to hear that all is well with you and your family. Thank you very much for the money wire.
The GRN Team at Koggi, my family and I are doing well during this scary period of COVID-19; we thank Almighty God for He is always faithful!
Special thanks to you, Brother Tom (your family) and all of GRN’s partners for your tireless support even during a time when the whole world is going crazy. I had had never seen anything like this before!!!

Maybe God is saying something to His people. Let us keep on praying that it can be revealed to us.
I mention you guys in my prayers every day. We have come a long way together!
May God bless you more than ever before.

Borders are closed, No flights; everyone is scared almost out of their skin!! However, Our Lord God is in full control.
May you all be safe in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.

Amen

In Christ,
Brother Dickson Mutiso

This one is from October 6:

Much greetings from the GRN team, my family and me in Africa.
Thank you so much for your prayers! Thank you, also, in advance for the money wire.
A lot has changed due to the covid19, but God is in control.
We do pray for you, your family and all our donors/friends of GRN every day.
Truly prayer works! Big time.

It was so wonderful speaking to brother Tom yesterday. I could see/feel his big smile all the way! May God bless you guys more and more every day. I will do as you have advised when the money gets to me.
Thank you once again for your care and love. May God bless you with His abundant love.
Your brother in Christ,

Mutiso Dickson

Also, via a telephone conversation, Dickson told Tom that there had been a tremendous amount of flooding recently. Our guys in Koggi have not been able to leave the immediate area due to the Kit River flooding. Purchasing much-needed supplies have been virtually impossible. Please pray for them as not only have they not seen their families since March, but now they’re even having a difficult time buying food and other necessities. However, they are doing whatever they can to help the local people of Koggi.

Thankfully, the men can send money to their wives and children (in Kenya) using their telephones. So their families have not suffered financial loss due to their separation. But being apart from their loved ones for such a long time has taken a toll on them.

Please continue to remember the Koggi GRN staff and their families in your prayers. They are in desperate need of them.

Thank you again for your help as we continue to bring the love of Christ to the people of Koggi Village, South Sudan.

We pray for God to bless you and keep you safe.

Healing Emotional Wounds

This is my friend Charles Kulang in South Sudan. Charles is a catechist at St. Mark’s Parish and a dynamic preacher. Approximately one and a half years ago, his wife and sister-in-law were shot and killed by members of a rebel group while preparing dinner for their families. At the same time, his little boy, niece and nephew were abducted. Someone ran down and killed the man that took his son and then returned the boy to his father. Charles’ niece and nephew have not been heard from since that horrible event took place. Charles is asking for prayer. He told me on my last trip (two months ago) that his son has not spoken since that evening. He wonders if it is because his wife’s blood covered his son on that fateful night. Please pray for Charles, his children and his brother as they look to God to heal their emotional wounds. Please pray for peace in South Sudan, and please pray for Global Response Network as we continue to walk with them. Apart from my family, this is where my heart is. In a couple of months, I will return to be with them.

 

Audio Bible Distribution

By Tom Zurowski

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of joining our GRN team in South Sudan. Together, we joyfully distributed 100 Audio Bibles (provided by our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs Canada) to the village of Sindiru.

The audio Bibles are solar-powered, which enables the villagers to use them without the need for batteries. If treated properly, these Bibles can last quite a long time. It is not unusual to walk by someone and hear the Bibles playing as the people go about their daily work. Each one is equipped to play the New Testament both in Bari (local language) and in English (their choice).

Many of the people in South Sudan are illiterate and would not be able to read a Bible even if someone gave them one. So for many of the villagers, an audio Bible is their only hope of being able to “read” Sacred Scripture.

Through listening, the words of the Bible come alive and fill the mind and heart with hope. One of the greatest needs of the people in South Sudan is hope. In a place stricken with pain, hunger, fear, suffering and death, hope is perhaps the greatest commodity. The words of the Bible instruct, encourage and direct. You see, when God is all that you have, His words take on a whole new meaning. They become what they were meant to be, the road map to Heaven, the very road map of life!

Smiling Kids School New Year’s Celebration

Many years ago GRN started a school in Pakistan named Smiling Kids. (It serves underprivileged and children with special needs. These kids are from Christian homes whose parents are not able to send their children to public schools because of their Christian beliefs. Some children can attend Catholic schools, but the nuns and students are often the targets of Islamic fundamentalists. The schools and their faith in Jesus are not “welcome” in Pakistan, but remain legal through the government.) Each Christmas, the school celebrates the birth of Christ by reading the gospel story of the Nativity. Then they share a meal, give gifts, worship through song and holy dance and present a play that tells the story of our Lord’s birth. Every year since GRN had an office in Pakistan, we have financially supported the work of this school. We always look forward to helping with the Christmas celebration. The school doesn’t have the extra funds to provide gifts for the children without GRN’s help. Once again, Global Response Network had the privilege of helping the children celebrate Christmas and the New Year with gifts. We count it an honor to be a part of their holiday celebrations each year! Here are a few pictures that they sent to us recently. The children are very grateful to receive their box of small gifts.

 

          

Thank you!

THANK YOU to each one of you who support GRN through your prayers and monthly financial support! Your faithful giving has enabled GRN to work and minister in South Sudan since 1999! Without you, it would not have been possible.

We are excited that we are starting the process of building St. Stephen’s Church in Koggi Village, South Sudan. Up until now, several significant challenging circumstances have prevented us from moving forward with the project. These circumstances have been out of our control. We have had to place the safety and security of our staff and the villagers above our plans to build a church building.

But now, our field coordinator, Dickson, believes we can begin! Our friends in Koggi Village depend on us to help them. Instead of simply meeting under a tree, they desire to have a building where they can gather to worship God.

We have had the funds to create the basic foundation of the church. And some money has been given toward lumber and nails. Yet we have a LONG way to go to see this church completed.

It’s hard to believe, but South Sudan is an expensive country to work in. We need to import virtually everything necessary for this project.

That’s where YOU come in. We need your help now more than ever.

Please prayerfully consider giving a financial gift specifically toward completing St. Stephen’s Church. One hundred percent of your donation will go toward this project.

On behalf of our brothers and sisters in Koggi, thank you for your generosity!

River Sand Delivered and Maze crops

A message from our field coordinator, Dickson:

All is well with the entire team in South Sudan. We have had a good rainy week and were able to bring more river sand to the site for building both the St. Stephen’s Church and the Camp Koggi tukuls.
The whole of Koggi village is so excited and happy that “their church” is almost here. We had some young visitors (as well as many others) come and celebrate with us the day the sand was delivered. The GRN team out here is equally excited.
As you can see, our maize plants are healthy. We are thankful to God that it is safe enough to be in the fields growing crops this season.