Our aim is to partner with church leaders in Southern Sudan for the promotion of the gospel of Christ. Our focus is to present advanced theological education for Sudanese church leaders who are in need of such education. We also plan to provide select humanitarian and development services to needy Sudanese civilians in designated target areas.
Southern Sudan, torn by civil war for 25 years, lost an estimated two million people to death, and many more millions who fled to neighboring countries. The infrastructure of Southern Sudan was destroyed by the government forces of Northern Sudan. Following a recent peace accord, Southern Sudan was granted semi-independence with a U.N monitoring presence. With the recent peace agreement, the people are returning. Tall elephant grass is cleared to make way for houses along red dirt roads. Markets are bustling with new shops.
When asked, many in the South say the greatest need is training for church leadership. The church continues to grow. Elementary schools and clinics are being built and staffed by godly Sudanese with a burden for their own people. Micro-enterprise programs are helping people rebuild their livelihood.
Yet at present, there is no Protestant, Biblically-sound seminary for Sudanese pastors within their own country. Responding to a challenge presented by Roger Winter during Missions Emphasis Week 2005, Fourth Church has sent several teams to explore the possibility of partnering with Sudanese believers to establish such an institution. The response of the church leaders and government leaders is encouraging.
While the process of establishing a seminary and building a campus is slow and frustrating, classes have already begun in temporary quarters. Dr. Swailem Hennein, Dr. Philip Saif, and Dr. Bert Souryal traveled to Juba in September 2008 to teach a course on Redemption and Sanctification to Sudanese pastors and laypeople (see photo below).
Pray that God will direct us to the site of His choosing and pour His blessing on His church in Sudan.
2009 Project Emphasis
- The construction and development of the seminary campus on the land we have purchased.
- Continuing to send short term teams of teachers to host classes for Southern Sudanese church leaders and lay people.
- Partnering with a local orphanage and medical clinic in the refurbishment of their facilities.
Our involvement in Southern Sudan
- February 2005—Challenge from Roger Winters to come alongside and serve the vibrant church of Southern Sudan that has faced decades of war and strife.
- October 2005—Pastor Ron Meyer and Elder Doug Nyhus travel to East Africa to meet with regional church leaders about the potential of establishing a seminary in Southern Sudan.
- August 2006—Pastor Rob Norris, Elder Kent Talbert, and Ben Evans travel to Southern Sudan to search for a suitable site for the seminary.
- May 2007—Roger Winter and James Alexander focus the seminary site search on Juba
- August 2007—Elder Kent Talbert and Bert Souryal travel to Juba and Boma to investigate education and humanitarian needs as well as to deliver a training course for pastors in Boma.
- October 2007—Land purchased for the establishment of the Seminary of Southern Sudan on the outskirts of Juba.
- December 2007—Architect David Van Duzer travels to Juba for site inspection and project planning.
- September 2008—Dr. Swailem Hennein, Dr. Philip Saif, and Dr. Bert Souryal travel to Juba to teach a course on Redemption and Sanctification to Sudanese pastors and laypeople.
- June 2009—Pastor Ron Meyer, Elder Doug Nyhus, and Missions Director Rob Yancey travel to Juba to teach a course on the Doctrine of Christ and Salvation to Sudanese pastors and laypeople.
- October 2009—Opportunity to move forward with the construction and development of the Seminary and new partnerships with a local orphanage and medical clinic.