Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out laborers into His field... for the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few."
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Photo of Amy and Ezekiel getting ready to go up in the St. Louis Arch
Amy and Ezekiel getting ready to go up in the St. Louis Arch.

August 1, 2013


Justin and Amy Culp

Click Here to download our Prayer Calendar.

I (Amy) thought it would be helpful for all of you to have some more information on the Lopit people, the people group with whom we will be working now that we are with Pioneers.  As we communicate with Chuck and Shelly, our team leaders, we are getting more insight into the area where we will work.

The Lopit people live in the Lopa Mountains near Lohutok, which is straight north of Torit (a major town east of Juba.  According to some of our online research there are about 76,000 people in the Lopit tribe.  The major religion in the area is a tribal religion, there are a few believers and Bible study groups that have been started by Chuck and Shelly.

Ever since the long civil war in South Sudan ended, one major problem has been a widespread sense of entitlement. This is partially because they have been given many things by the UN and other aid organizations, things which were genuine needs like food , water and education.  Areas close to the Lopit have had Norwegian missionaries in the past, and those missionaries became involved in paying salaries to the Lopit pastors.  Those missionaries have since then turned the churches over to the South Sudanese government (and therefore are no longer paying the pastors), and many pastors have protested by refusing to continue their ministries, so the churches have just closed.  Furthermore, the Lopit often chose not to attend the semi-functioning church because it is not within their clan.  Many of us are working to find ways to start a Lopit Church that is self-supporting and therefore sustainable, especially since so many will tell missionaries what we want to hear if it means that they will get something from us (ie. Salaries).

In regards to the coming challenges, including this recent information, we are asking for a team of prayer warriors who will pray vehemently, and sometimes constantly for us and for the ministry.  Many of you have responded to our newsletters and told us that you pray for us daily and specifically - THANK YOU!  Amy is prayerfully considering how we can have an organized core-group with whom she can communicate regularly, if you feel led to be a part of this team, please let us know at the email address below.  We are still figuring out the logistics as to how this would work.  Other friends on the mission field have told us their church has a weekly prayer meeting specifically for them and their ministry, this may be something to consider.  If you don't think you can commit to the extra time this might take, we still want you to pray for us and will keep sending out calendars, thank you all for your commitment!

Picture of Justin and Ezekiel on the Arch elevator.
Justin and Ezekiel on the claustrophobic elevator, going up in the Arch.  Daddy, that's mine!

Email: justinamyculp@gmail.com

Our Blog: www.culpsudan.blogspot.com

Send Donations to:
c/o Justin and Amy Culp #111886
10123 William Carey Dr.
Orlando, FL  32832

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2, 2013

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. – Isaiah 53:4-5
Last weekend we went to Louisville to attend a training put on by the Trauma Healing Institute and learned some new tools for doing Trauma Healing with refugees.  There were approximately fifteen South Sudanese refugees at the training, and it was a valuable experience to hear their stories.  We also gained some great insight on the trauma that the long war in Sudan has caused in the lives of the people, and how God can bring healing to their lives.
In 2 Samuel 13, when Tamar was assaulted by her step-brother Amnon, Absalom, her brother responded by saying “But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.”  The Bible then says that Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother’s house.  Later, when Absalom killed his brother, the disgrace against Tamar was avenged, and Scripture says that David was angry about the situation, but there is little response to Tamar and the pain she was experiencing.

In most South Sudanese cultures, the response is the same.  Whether it is a woman being assaulted, a child who watched his family be killed, a village being attacked and burned by rival tribes or even the military, personal trauma is a reality for many of the people in South Sudan.  In many cases, people are encouraged by their culture to just “toughen up” or “get over it and move on” but we know that those approaches don’t usually work in the long-term.
As a counselor, Amy is passionate about reaching out to hurting people and showing them the path to healing that the Gospel can bring in their lives.  We are anxious to get back to South Sudan and see lives changed through the gospel of Jesus Christ.