Here’s a message from Global Response Network partner-The Voice of the Martyrs Canada about the audio Bible distribution in South Sudan. We’re so thankful for VOM Canada!
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.
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!
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 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!
A message from our field coordinator, Dickson:
We know that many of you like to give to needy people during the Christmas season. And you probably know, tomorrow is called “Giving Tuesday.” It’s a day after all of the buying activity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to encourage people to also think about charitable giving. If you participate in Giving Tuesday, we believe we have an opportunity that will really touch your heart.
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 school, 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.
We are not willing to give the names of the people who run the Smiling Kids school. But we can tell you that they worked for GRN for several years. And they have faithfully continued to secretly run the school so that Christian children can receive an education in basic subjects and the Catechism.
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. For the school doesn’t have the extra funds to provide gifts for the children without GRN’s help.
Please pray for these kids and about helping them this Christmas season. The US dollar goes farther in Pakistan, so a little money goes a long way. And every penny that you designate to Pakistan will go directly to the students at Smiling Kids school and their Christmas celebration. Thank you so much!
You can either give online or send a check directly to GRN @ 6920 South Fork Creek Road, Liberty, KY 42539.
God bless you!
We recently received an email from our GRN field coordinator, Dickson Mutiso. He let us know that he and the GRN team, in Koggi, South Sudan, have helped to prepare land for our dear friend, Father Charles Busak. Together, along with the help of local people, they were able to clear the land and prepare it for crops. This work is very difficult, yet our Lord Jesus commands us to love one another by serving one another as we are able. We hope that these pictures will encourage you to pray for the entire GRN team. Our need for prayerful and financial support is great. So please consider what part you can play to keep this work moving forward. We thank you in advance for helping us as we reach out to help all of our friends in South Sudan.
This picture of Tom and Father Charles was taken this past April.
We are currently working on a new Soccer field in Koggi, South Sudan. The progress is coming along nicely and the community is looking forward for the games to begin. Some may wonder why we are focusing on such a project in the midst of a war zone, but please remember that we are doing nothing without the advice of our village leadership. Even in the midst of great challenges, the people still desire to come together and enjoy themselves from time to time. Please continue to pray for peace in South Sudan.
For most Christians, celebrating Christmas is easy to do. In contrast, for Christians in Pakistan, it can be very difficult. Pakistani Christians are persecuted for their faith and are often forced to pay the highest price for their desire to follow Jesus and share Him with others. GRN has been partnering with a school led by our friends in an undisclosed location for many years. By providing much needed funding, we help them make the celebration of Christ’s birth for the students possible. The school serves Christian children as well as children with special needs. Please pray for Christians in Pakistan as they do their best to follow Jesus.