Last month we wrote about the conflict that has recently broken out in South Sudan. The two parties who have been fighting with each other for the past three years had a new “flare-up” of fighting about a month ago, so we are closely watching the news as we decide what to do next. Here’s what we know right now:
- There has been some fighting that involves the army and/or the rebels in two places near us (Lafon and Torit).
- The situation with the government army, the rebels, and possible third-party intervention is still pretty nebulous, nobody really knows what to expect next.
- Other organizations in our area have started bringing their missionaries back to their homes, but the advice we’ve received is that families with small children should wait until the rebel plans become more apparent.
Our original plan was to speak in churches until the end of October and then, in November, (Justin) would go back to Lohutok to do finishing work on our house. Then, after a month or so of doing work on the house, I would come back to get Amy and the kids to go back together. We have prayed about how to respond to this, and discussed the situation with a few people. Since November is still a few months away, and that is lots of time for things to change, we are going to keep moving forward. If we wait to take the Gospel to the people of South Sudan until there is no fighting or insecurity, the Gospel will probably never get to South Sudan.
The tough question is, what do we do if November/December comes around and it is still unsafe to return? We know that there are Lopit speaking people in Kampala (the capitol of Uganda), and there are good places for us to stay there if we need them, so language-learning and other training opportunities are available to keep preparing for our return while we wait for the security situation to resolve itself. We strongly feel like God has called us to work with these unreached people, and until He’s made it clear otherwise, we will keep looking for ways to prepare ourselves and make that possible!