Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! I’m writing this letter on Christmas day, so most of you probably won’t get it until afterward, but our past week has been busy!

Most of you have probably heard the news about fighting breaking out in South Sudan. About a week and a half ago there was a fight within the South Sudanese military between two tribes that led to what is basically a civil war. In the northern part of the country there are battles going on between the two military factions as each wants more control over the country’s government. We are praying for a quick resolution to this problem as many innocent people are being killed in the process.

For us in Lohutok, the problem still seems pretty far away. The attitude among the people seems to be that they are not part of the fight, and don’t want to see the fight reach our region of the country. Our family left yesterday, on Christmas Eve, for Uganda, but not because we felt unsafe. We have some travelling to do at the end of next week and since it is uncertain what options will be available then, we took a flight that became available. Our original plan was to go back to Lohutok on January 23rd, we are praying that the situation calms down so we can continue with this plan.

The house is almost ready for us to move in, we wanted it to be done before this trip, but it just didn’t happen! Will you please pray with us about the following things:

- Pray for peace in South Sudan, not just military peace, but that the gospel would change hearts and people would begin to love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates.
- Pray for our travel plans. We were supposed to travel through Kenya, but now we are in Uganda trying to work out how to get to Ethiopia, which is where we need to be next week.
- Pray that God would provide for our needs. Because all of our funding has been going to the house, we haven’t really built up an emergency fund, so we’re trusting God for the extra costs we have from being out of the bush longer.
- Pray for the safety of our things and our house that are all locked up in the village without anybody to watch them.
Thank you for standing with us! God is faithful and has a heart for the lost souls in South Sudan, and we are confident that He is going to continue to reach them!

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

Here are some fun facts about the Lopit people and Lohutok, South Sudan:

- “Amy” means “Lion” in Lopit.  Now when people see     
Justin, they ask, “Where is the Lion?”
- They have the most beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen!
-  Butterflies apparently like poop… especially baby poop!
- The funerals last 6 days and 6 nights, and they sing and
dance the whole time!
- Most nights we are going to sleep with the sound of a
wedding or funeral just a few hundred yards…they are not quiet!

While working on our house the other day, Justin had an interesting conversation with one of the pastors and some other men from the village.  They discussed the difference between marriage in the U.S. and in South Sudan.

Justin said to them, “The other day there was a man in the village with a swollen hand.  When people asked him what happened, he said he was beating his wife.”  At this the men laughed a little and said that they had to do this to “teach” their women.  They said it was necessary because the women here are uneducated.  Justin spoke to them about Paul’s command that husbands “love their wives as Christ loved the church” (Eph. 5:32).  They discussed what that means, and that Jesus said, “Father forgive them…” in regards to the men who were nailing him to the cross.  They also discussed the way that Hosea bought his wife back when she had become a prostitute, and how he loved her anyways.

Amy has been spending time with some of the teenage girls in the village.  Here girls get married between 15-20 years old, but these girls have said they want to finish school first.  We are currently praying hiring someone to help Amy around the house, which will be a great way to build a relationship with a Lopit girl and begin telling her about Jesus and discipling her.  We may hire Grace, Susana or Esther, three of the girls that Amy has gotten to know. 

Please pray for us as we:

- Consider who to hire as a worker
- Begin language learning
- Finish our house, that it would be done quickly,
well and that the funds would be enough.
- For the girls that Amy has been spending time with.
- For the men that Justin was speaking with, that
they would love their wives as Christ loved
the church.

 Support can be sent to:
c/o Justin and Amy Culp – 111886
10123 William Carey Dr.
Orlando, FL 32832