Making disciples in South Sudan

A Rooted in Jesus team has just returned from two weeks in South Sudan – our second visit to this country in recent months. In November we travelled to the Dioceses of Aweil and Wanyjok; this time we were delighted to accept invitations to minister in the Diocese of Maridi and the Diocese of Yambio.

Small group practice outside Maridi Cathedral

The Diocese of Maridi

This was our first visit to the Diocese of Maridi, and it was good finally to be able to go after the long delay caused by the Covid19 pandemic. 120 leaders, lay and ordained, attended the four day conference. Team Leader David Archer reports:

“We received a very warm arrival in the Diocese of Maridi, with its beautiful and verdant setting and prolific mangos.  An impressive delegation of senior clergy met us at Maridi airstrip.  We were then taken the few miles to Maridi Cathedral where we received a welcome from many clergy and delegates, were given a ‘guard of honour’ and presented with garlands.  Bishop Moses formally welcomed us to the Diocese and a time of introductions was completed.  

“The conference ran for four days with preachments on Sunday and followed the standard schedule with all team members taking an active part in both small groups, workshops and plenary sessions.  As the conference progressed, the delegates gained greater confidence and were more vocal in their engagement including the plenary sessions – this was especially noticeable amongst the women. Good engagement was seen throughout the conference including the workshops and small groups.

“The conference finished well, with Bishop Moses presenting certificates to 120 delegates at the closing Commissioning Service, comprising church leaders and lay leaders. Bishop Moses is deeply committed to the success of Rooted in Jesus and has confidence in his Diocesan Coordinator Rev Eli Bangisa Paul, who is the Director of the Chaima Christian Institute and was previously the Provincial Secretary of Western Equatoria.”

“On behalf of the Diocese  of Maridi, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to you and the Rooted in Jesus team who visited Maridi recently. The Rooted  in Jesus conference in the Diocese of Maridi  was remarkable and fruitful.”

Bishop Moses Zungo

The Diocese of Yambio

Rooted in Jesus was first introduced to the Diocese of Yambio a decade ago. This second visit provided an opportunity to revitalise the programme after the years of political and social upheaval, and to train a new generation of leaders. Here too over 120 people attended.

Delegates at Yambio with their certificates

David reports: “After a short road trip from Yambio airport to Yambio Cathedral, as in Maridi we were given an enthusiastic reception, a ‘guard of honour’, presented with garlands and an introductory welcome service. Arrival day was spent in preparation for the conference and included time for a meeting with senior clergy, including the Provincial Secretary, the Provost and Archbishop Samuel Peni’s brother Isaiah, appointed to be the Diocesan Coordinator.  

“The energy and passion of the delegates in Yambio was infectious, and it felt vibrant and youthful. As in Maridi, the conference finished well, with the Diocesan Coordinator, Isaiah along with the Provost leading the Commissioning Service. Isaiah presented in excess of 120 certificates to pastors, Mother’s Union leaders, youth leaders and evangelism leaders. During the conference the Diocesan Coordinator appointed a series of coordinators to work with him in implementing Rooted in Jesus across the Diocese.”

“The visit more than lived up to expectations. There was a contentment and joy about the people and their engagement with the conference. They were quick to be singing and dancing and it was a great pleasure for me to join in. They were so excited about being commissioned and keen to get started that some were already planning their first groups that same day. There was a significant response to the teaching on Repentance and Renewal – I was overwhelmed to see nearly all the participants kneeling.

Team member Gay Maynard

David concludes: “The team worked extremely well together and we greatly valued our time away while recognising that this was a physically demanding and challenging trip. For me it was a privilege to lead the team, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.  I am grateful too that my church, St. Mary’s support my involvement with RinJ, and I consider these times to be some of the most significant in my ministerial role.”

Small groups in Yambio; travelling between dioceses; Yambio cathedral

Giving thanks

We are grateful to the team, David, Tim, Gay and Dan for their willingness to set aside their time and resources to travel to South Sudan, and to all those in Maridi and Yambio who welcomed them and looked after them. We are grateful to the intercessors who played a crucial role in praying for the team and the delegates during their time together. And a huge thank you is due to all those whose generosity made this long planned visit to the youngest and one of the poorest countries in the world possible.

Rooted in Jesus has been translated into Local Arabic (Leaders Introduction, left) and Zande (centre & right)

Rooted in Jesus is published and supported by The Mathetes Trust.
Posted 10th June 2022.