Next week, South Sudan will celebrate eight years of independence. South Sudan split from Sudan on July 9, 2011, after 22 years of civil war. Its people were hopeful that independence would bring peace.
However, it hasn’t been that easy. South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The frustration that comes with poverty plus ethnic and political tensions led to a resurgence of violence just two short years later. Certain parts of South Sudan still struggle to obtain peace today.
“Some of the problem is resources. You can’t walk down the street of South Sudan and walk into a Bible store and buy a Bible. And if you could, you wouldn’t have the money to do it.”
South Sudan was put on Woolford’s radar by a ministry partner he met a year ago named Wes Bentley.
“We have a similar testimony — both served in the Marine Corps, both didn’t grow up in church, got saved in the Marine Corps, and then went into full-time ministry afterward.”
Bentley has ministered in South Sudan for 20 years through Far Reaching Ministries. He led several people in South Sudan’s military to the Lord, and now the national army even sends its troops to his chaplaincy school for training.
“One of the things that really impacted me was when my friend…told me of some of the stories when he’s talking with these chaplains who have lost greatly,” Woolford says.
“He said, ‘Jason, when you come in October, some of the people that you’re ministering to, you won’t see again if you come back because they’re on the frontlines telling people about God and losing their life.’”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh