Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An Open Door to Southern Sudan through Nairobi Kenya!

I am excited to share some new developments that have a direct connection on our continued goal to train the police in Southern Sudan beginning primarily in Juba. The door is still open to not only provide training in areas such as ethics, officer safety, community policing and child protection but also to start a Police Chaplaincy program as well. Many of you know that this has been a time of waiting for increased financial support to once again begin making trips back into Sudan. With a difficult economy in the U.S. it has been hard for many non-profit organizations to raise funds. However, know that we are remaining patient knowing that the Lord will provide in His timing.
With current events in Sudan over the past several months it has become increasingly more difficult to enter Northern Sudan as an NGO (Non Governmental Organization). Because of safety concerns Safe Harbor made the decision not to maintain an office in Khartoum. The President of Sudan has kicked out several NGO’s accusing them of being spies for those outside of Sudan who would like to have him removed for crimes against the people of Sudan in Darfur.

Safe Harbor recently made the decision to maintain their office in Nairobi, Kenya and I was asked to consider including our outreach to Kenyan police officers and authorities. Two goals are being developed out of this request. The first is to prepare for the day that we can have Christian Kenyan Police Officers, Pastors, and Chaplains join our teams to reach the Sudanese Police Officers in Juba and surrounding areas in Southern Sudan. Kenya as a nation has always been supportive of the South and would like to see them become successful in their quest to succeed from Northern Sudan. The second goal is to renew my previous contacts with the Christian Police Association of Kenya. I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the University of Nairobi to assist in the launching of this organization in 1995. It would be exciting to see the development of an indigenous African outreach into Sudan through the help of Kenya.

The financial connection mentioned earlier is the fact that it is much easier to find reasonable airfare from the U.S. into Nairobi. With just a few additional financial supporters we would be close to having the ability to make routine trips into Nairobi to launch this new approach to not only reaching officers and their families in Kenya but in Sudan as well. We have always been able to enter Southern Sudan from Kenya without having to deal with the authorities in the North. More details will follow but please for now begin to pray that the basics could be put into place to start this unique work.

My passion has always been to reach those in places of authority with the Gospel through extended friendship followed by a sustained local effort for growth. The opportunities that this unique outreach allows flow far from simply reaching those in authority. In the past we have seen permission given to us to enhance other types of outreach such as helping those in and around Darfur in Sudan. In 2007 our team was allowed housing within the United Nations base in Northern Darfur because of our law enforcement connections. It would have never been allowed otherwise. In many third world countries the connections between law enforcement, government, and the military are almost seamless when certain people are your friends. Many times this provides for opportunities to process “red tape” that normally can take weeks to months to accomplish.

Did you know that only 3% of missionaries on the field today are working with unreached people groups? Can you imagine the excitement I had to be part of a team in 2006 that walked into a large group of Arab Muslims near Darfur who had never heard the claims of the person of Jesus Christ? We had walked eleven miles in 120 degree heat where we heard these people were gathered after fleeing the genocide in Darfur. The conditions were horrible and yet the men still sat on the straw mats they had carried and served us tea! I just have to repeat that...they served us tea! With the exception of the leader of their group who had seen the British in the 1950’s the rest of the men, women, and children had never seen a white person or heard about Christianity! This is just how desolate and isolated some parts of Sudan can be and you allowed us to be their with your support in finances, prayer, and encouragement. I will never forget the words of their leader before we left. “Even if you are never able to return to us with medical supplies we will never forget your coming to us today!”

There are 16,000 people groups in the world today and 6,000 of these groups are unreached. That equals one third of our world’s population! I am hoping to begin setting up this new strategy of outreach with a small team traveling to Nairobi within the next six months.

I love a quote from William Wilberforce while drained of energy was once again attempting to overthrow slavery in England said, “Having seen all of this you can choose to look the other way, but you can never say again I did not know.”

Will you in faith be part of going or sending and above all praying?

1 comment:

  1. You for sure have my prayers as you discover what God has for you in this, Dave!!
    Sabine Galvan (aka Bina on this Blogger)