Lopit in South Sudan
South Sudan is considered a “failed state.” The unstable situation in the country has always interrupted and hampered missionary activities. Thus, there are still some areas where there is little or no Christian evidence. There is also a lack of teaching and discipleship for believers. The Africa Inland Church in South Sudan is therefore grateful for the cooperation of faithful workers from abroad in order to fulfill the great mission of church planting there.
Our goal is to continue to serve this people in the love of God and to reach them with the message of the Gospel. Since 2018, we have been continuing the DIGUNA project in Lopit to realize this goal.
South Sudan is the youngest state in the world. It gained its independence from Muslim Sudan in 2011 after heavy, bloody fighting. But peace has never really returned to this country since then. Renewed civil wars in 2013 and 2018, corruption as well as floods and plagues of locusts, famine and a very poor humanitarian situation make the country a “failed state.” Again and again there are great waves of refugees and unimaginable war events. Thousands of people are on the run; countless people have been victims of violence in their own country since independence.
According to the United Nations, in 2018 the population was 12.9 million people. Approximately 73% of people over the age of 15 are illiterate. 20-34% of the population is undernourished.
South Sudan is composed of many different tribal groups. Among the largest are the Dinka (who provide the president) and the Nuer (who provide the vice president). Numerous tribal conflicts are the order of the day.
In contrast to Sudan, where the majority of the population is Islamic, the majority of the population in southern Sudan professes Christianity (76.8 %) or local religions (21 %). However, the observations of missionary organizations show that “Christians” widely live a syncretic faith, mixing their belief in gods and ancestors with the Christian faith.
Lopit is located in Eastern Equatoria State (southeastern part of the country). About 160,000 to 200,000 people live there in several remote villages in the Lopit Mountains. Some of them are enemies of each other. The people of Lopit believe and live a traditional animistic worldview. The majority of them are pastoralists and farmers.
In individual Lopit villages, thanks to God’s grace, Christian witnesses had already been allowed to exist for several years. These testimonies have borne fruit. Jesus Christ is also building His kingdom here and has called individual Lopits to follow Him. However, these young believers continue to experience strong challenges from their traditional animist environments.
We pray that the work in the Lord’s work in Lopit will be supported by more families, couples and singles in the long-term service is strengthened. Life and service go hand in hand here. “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2)
Short-term employees are very valuable to our small team, e.g. for homeschooling or for manual work in the house, office, workshop, automotive, electrical, carpentry and much more.
In our family life together as a team, it is very important to us that we grow spiritually, challenge, strengthen and encourage each other through joint Bible study, prayer and sharing.
In collaboration with the Africa Inland Church (AIC) of South Sudan and a small, international team on the ground, we would like to participate in the growth of existing churches in Lopit.
In the Lopit tribe, there are only a few believers in a few villages who serve and proclaim God. There is a lack of teaching, discipleship and evangelism. “Now how are they to call on Him in whom they do not believe? How can they believe in the one they have not heard of? How shall they hear if no one proclaims?” (Romans 10:14) We want to help in a very concrete way with the proclamation of the Word of God in our local church and beyond. We want to live in close relationship with believers to grow together in Christ and strengthen each other.
We are also committed to helping our church in Lopit take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more of their tribal villages, some of which are still unreached.
These goals make our service in Lopit very extensive and flexible. Ministry of the Word of God can be done in many ways in the church, such as through preaching and teaching ministries, discipleship relationships, women’s and children’s classes. Our practical and logistical capabilities (internet access, library, workshop, vehicles, etc.) will be used to serve local believers in spiritual and practical life and to support other local missionaries in various ways.