Thank you for partnering with Empower One through prayer and financial giving. This month, I want to highlight what God is doing in Yambio, South Sudan.
In September, we were able to send two trained indigenous South Sudanese leaders back to Yambio, an area in western South Sudan where there is little to no access to a healthy biblical church. Yambio is a strategic location that’s part of our 10-year vision to plant over 750 churches throughout Sudan, South Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo through the Flagship Church Multiplication Centers.
Even though no physical building is there yet, the Biblical church (the gathered believers) is already working to push back darkness by taking the gospel to people who are eager to know Truth.
Meet The Leaders
Clement and Kala are South Sudanese and graduates of NEATS – Empower One’s church planter training school. After graduating from NEATS, Clement and Kala served as church planters among the South Sudanese refugees in the camps of northern Uganda. Their time pastoring as refugees to refugees has equipped them to answer the call of becoming Flagship pastors.
The Context of Yambio
Yambio is the capital of Western Equatoria State, and it possesses some unique challenges in addition to the general challenges that come from working in South Sudan. Though the civil war in South Sudan has dwindled, the tension of ongoing war simmers just below the surface. Federally, South Sudan has repeatedly been deemed the most corrupt country in Africa. Polygamy and cattle raiding are cultural norms throughout the country. Regionally, there is still rebel activity surrounding the town of Yambio. The most common religion in Yambio is traditional tribal religion and is well-known for having the strongest witchcraft in all Western Equatoria State.
Below is a message from Kenyi Clement describing the culture:
In Yambio it has become a culture that sexual immorality is not sin and that is how most of the people believe even the believers. In order to stop that we need to teach the word and also act to the manner worthy of the Word.
In other parts of South Sudan, cattle raiding and killing has become a culture even to the believers also. We need to teach the Word against all these ungodly cultures in order to see a difference in the Churches that are holy and acceptable to God.
Let’s keep praying for South Sudan.
The Solution & Strategy
As Clement referenced, we believe that the gospel is only solution for transformation and lasting peace in South Sudan. Change must come from the inside through the Church and not from the top by way of government.
Kenyi and Kala have a short-term goal of starting 3 NEATS Extension Centers in Western Equatoria and the region of Bhar al Ghazal to multiply leaders among the unreached. Bhar al Ghazal is one of the most unreached areas of South Sudan and sits just north of Yambio. The long-term goal is to press farther north into Sudan by commissioning South Sudanese missionaries to unreached people in Sudan.
Already Kala and Clement have started traveling 6 hours north to Bhar al Ghazal to evangelize and train believers in the town of Wau. Reaching Western Equatoria State and Bhar al Ghazal will allow the gospel to move deeper into Sudan, DRC and into Central African Republic.
Testimony From The Field
Meet Aku and Family:
Below is a testimony from Kenyi telling us about Aku, one of the disciples in Yambio:
He is called Aku Simon. He is 24 years old. He is married to Shebbah Simon. God blessed them with a child called Esther.
Aku is the first born from his father’s house out of 5 children. He ended his schooling in senior 4 and left school 2 due to lack of support to go for further studies.
Aku said his family, friends, and himself were Church goers and they were deeply rooted in religion and denominationalism but had no relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
They would go to church every Sunday but were also involved in drinking, witchcraft, and fighting. Aku encountered Jesus Christ in 2019 and joined the NEATS Extension Center in Nzara, just outside of Yambio, which changed his life. Aku began using his training to minister to his family and friends. The whole came to know Jesus Christ.
The family is happy with what God has done to them, and also thanks Empower One for sending missionaries to their community, tribe and state.
Update From Kaya
Kenyi and Clement have already planted 6 churches in the greater Yambio area. Kaya was in Yambio in last week and shared some of the successes of the ministry. Here is a list of the churches in Yambio as of Monday, January 30th 2023. Let’s pray that these churches grow to maturity and bring glory to God.
- Hai Matara