This is Veronica, one of the ladies from the church in Lalonga. She named her baby “Eemieh” after Amy. The word means “lion” but also sounds a lot like “Amy” which is why the Lopit people call Amy “Lion” (yeah…that’s why!).
I got back on Tuesday from a three week trip to East Africa. With the time we needed to shop in Uganda before driving to Lohutok (South Sudan) and the travel time back to Uganda at the end of the trip, we were in Lohutok for about 2 weeks. I went with Mitchell, a guy from Oklahoma who is currently raising support to come join our team.
I had a few purposes for making this short trip back. My first goal was to get an idea of what the security situation in the village areas is like to inform our decision-making process for going back as a family. As far as I can tell, after talking to lots of people on the ground (both foreigners and locals) is that the area seems calm, safe, and not involved in the conflict that has closed off work in other parts of the country. South Sudan is funny like this, with the roads being anywhere from terrible to virtually non-existent and with no other existing infrastructure, it’s possible for there to be war in one part of the country but for other areas to still be relatively safe.
My second goal for this trip was to simply reconnect with Paul and the church in Lalonga, and to visit some of the areas where we had been doing Bible Study in the past. I was able to spend a lot of time with Paul on this trip, and was able to do some things to help the church in Lalonga which I will write about in another newsletter. The church is still meeting, still growing, Paul has a man whom he is discipling and who is helping him with the preaching on Sunday, and they’re still learning Bible stories.
The third goal for this trip was to take Mitchell on his survey trip. During our two weeks in Lohutok, Mitch was able to see most of the work we’re doing, make a few trips to Torit for shopping, and get a good idea of what life will be like when he comes to Lohutok to join our team.
Will you pray with us now that God will be glorified as the Pioneers African leadership decides whether to allow families back to South Sudan? Pray that God will make His gospel go out whether we’re back as a family, or whether Justin keeps going back alone, or even without us. Pray that we will accept God’s plan for our family, but really, my desire, is to pray that we all get to return to Lohutok, as a family, as soon as possible!
Justin, Amy, Ezekiel and Caleb
Some of you remember praying for Paul and Issaye and their new son Joseph. This is Joseph now, he’s not a little baby anymore!