Hand me the chalk

By Tohru Inoue | Sudan and South Sudan in Afrique de l'Est

Photos by SIM Stories.

How about some good news?

Four years ago, insecurity in Doro, South Sudan forced SIM members to huddle in their houses for two days. An evacuation flight managed to get in after the 48-hour long wait for dawn. The SIM secondary school, run in conjunction with the church, was looted. A plastic model heart from biology class, not valuable enough to take, was left broken in the dirt. It summed up how we felt about the whole thing.

After that, our team shifted our attention to primary education. We hoped that it would be more sustainable and held small, church-run classes wherever the church could hold them. The emphasis for our team was training, training, training. Something, we hoped, that might be more durable and resilient than cement mortar buildings. Training is impervious to looting.

Seventeen churches came to life based on this idea. SIM helped get them going with small stipends.

But last year, with funds drying up and a team dwindling in size, we had to end the stipends. Most of the schools fizzled out. Then COVID-19 happened, causing our entire mission team to leave Doro for several months.

I know … I said this was good news.

It started with a letter. Good news often starts that way.

Something came in the mail. God was stirring.

A church leader wrote: “As of February 1st, we have opened our school, and our children are learning at the Doro church property. Our community is very pleased in seeing their children now attending school … We ask you and the SIM missionary community to pray for us as we begin this work.”

God has always been active in the business of expanding his church. Even in the beginning, when there was nothing, God hovered over the waters … stirring.

What is SIM asking from you?

Well … Only what this pastor is asking: to pray.

I can hear the teachers saying it now: “Hand me the chalk... Could you do me a favor though? Could you pray?”

Yes, I think we can do that.