Peace Initiative Leaders Travel to Department of State.
In May, several peace initiative leaders traveled to Washington D.C. where they were provided an opportunity to meet with officials in the U.S. Department of State to discuss the conflict in South Sudan. The 90 minute meeting focused on how to engage groups from throughout the U.S. in sending a strong, unified message of peace to South Sudan.
The group presented a document that encouraged the United States to be engaged in the peace process. They also shared the story of humanitarian aid being provided with the help of Kids Against Hunger-Louisville and A Child's Hope International (Cincinnati). The meeting also provided an opportunity for the Dept of State to share details on their efforts to stabilize the situation in South Sudan.
Rally for Africa Unites Many in Prayer and Focus
The South Sudan Lutheran Church Mission hosted a "Rally for Africa" on Sunday, November 2. The event united nearly 100 people in worship, prayer, and fellowship. Several guest speakers provided inspiring messages, including:
-- Dale Oelker, Co-founder of Kids Against Hunger-Louisville
-- Monica Stillwell, Orphans' and Abandoned Children Scholarship Program
-- Rev. Curtis Peters, Resurrection Lutheran Church
-- John Deng Ater, South Sudan Lutheran Church Mission
-- Rev. Simon Ajak, Trinity Sudanese Lutheran Ministry
-- Roland Kessah, Liberian Community of Kentucky and Southern Indiana
-- Concerned Mothers of Liberia
-- Deaconess Karen Blank, Director of Mission Development
-- Margie Wickert, Past President of Lutheran Womens Missionary League
-- Rev. Dr. John Loum, Director of Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology
The event helped unify mission outreach to Africa, encourage peace initiatives, and celebrate our oneness in Christ through worship and fellowship. A love offering was gathered during worship, with proceeds benefiting humanitarian aid to Liberia.
Deng David Malok bio
We are so proud of Deng David Malok, one of our orphan's in a boarding school in Uganda.
In his brief biography, David, at age seven, his father left for a military service and never returned home up to date, not even sure whether he is dead or alive. In 2008, his village was attack by unknown militia groups that result in kidnapping of his mother and younger sister. The fate of his mother and sibling is unknown to him, but most likely they are dead, he said.
Since David was the only surviving person in his family, and was in a vulnerable situation where he could not support himself he joined other orphans who are supported by church.
In 2009, at age eleven, David joined a refugee camp in Uganda where he started to learn the English alphabet from friends. In 2010, he began his academics in 2nd grade. As a brilliant pupil, he jumped to 4th grade in 2011. The following year he skipped 5th grade and went to 6th grade, by passing an exam. And, in 2013, he sat for his nationwide examination called Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) where he retained "Division Two" the grade that could only be achieve by exceptional students.
This boy has potential, and we would like to help him make his dream come true by becoming a medical doctor. This will also encourage other orphans to work hard. David has appreciated our support, thus we want him to stay on top.
There are more orphans who are longing for an education, and would like to follow the footsteps of their friend Deng David.
My name is Jolene, and I am 14 years old and in the tenth grade. My family consists of my mom, dad, two older sisters, and a younger brother. My oldest sister is married and has a son who is about one year old. Our family attends church every Sunday, and we all are very much involved with activities at church. I am thankful for God, that my family is healthy, that we have a house to live in, and we have plenty of things that make life less challenging than some countries. My younger brother and I attend a Christian school, and are getting a good education.
Many of those things, which I just described, are "normal" or "common" ways, here in the United States. However, many countries are not so lucky. South Sudan has had a lot of fighting going on for many years, which has caused a lot of people to run from their homes. Many children have lost their parents, or do not know if their parents are alive. A typical day for them may be to fish all day, hoping to catch something for their daily meal. The orphans are found wondering the streets, begging, stealing, and doing anything they can just to survive. They often are found sleeping on the open ground with no blanket or sleeping bag. The orphans do not get schooling, unless a person is willing to pay for their tuition.
Some kids may think it would be great not to have to go to school, but the children in South Sudan are yearning to get an education. The schools are all privately run, so that means that each child that goes to school, needs to pay to go to school.