Click on the link below to check out a video of missionary Keith Shumaker’s recent trip to South Sudan!
Here are some thoughts Keith wrote about his recent trip:
I got back from a tremendous trip to South Sudan. What I saw and what we experienced was amazing and life changing.
South Sudan had been in war for many years. It was a battle of the North and the South. Over 2 million 5 hundred thousand people died in the war. Everyone that you talk to lost loved ones in this gruesome battle. Whole villages were wiped out. There was a village where all the men were killed, the boys were castrated, and the women were raped. The horrific stories made you want to cry, but I didn’t see a people that were living in the past. They were looking at the present and future. In 2005, a peace treaty was signed, and in the beginning of 2011, the south voted to become an independent state. In July, they celebrated their independence and became the newest country in the world. The people were thrilled and ecstatic with their physical freedom. After meeting such a sweet and beautiful people, I am thrilled for them in their fight and victory of freedom.
Even though I was excited to see the birth of a new nation and how they came out of physical bondage, I couldn’t help but to think that many of them are still in spiritual bondage. They are considered a Christian nation, but that doesn’t mean that many of them have experienced the real liberty that comes from a personal relationship with Christ. In talking with many and passing out tracts, it was very evident that many of them have heard of Christ. Many of them have some form of a knowledge of Christ, but most couldn’t explain how to get to heaven when they died. It is sad to think that a religious person can die without ever really knowing Jesus as their Saviour.
Below are some thoughts that I sent out to some friends that I thought many of you would like to read.
While there, we passed out thousands of tracts and lead some people to the Lord on the street. It wasn’t a quick pray after me. We could have had hundreds of those.
They love Americans. If you see the president he always wears a cowboy hat. George Bush gave it to him.
I have never seen a country with more of an open door than South Sudan. I have been in and visited many different countries. The country is now being built. The door will probably not be as open in 5-10 years.
It bothers me that the Jehovah Witnesses and other groups are already there, and we aren’t. In my flesh, I would love to go. The opportunity is unreal. I don’t feel led of the Lord to leave Burkina Faso, but I am burdened for South Sudan. It really needs a missionary with the right training, vision, and a good work ethic.
I do want to say that the climate was dry and warm. Not quite as bad as Burkina, but hot. It is one of the most expensive towns in the world. Housing is terribly expensive, but I think in 5 years it will get better. Social groups and government groups are paying a huge amount for houses/hotels and needs associated with their accommodations.
Living there would be a little tougher than Burkina in my opinion. It will change and probably be better after many years, but it will take awhile. Ministry would be great, but life for many would be tough.
This is an honest assessment in case anyone is interested in serving in this needy country. The doors, however, are wide open. I would go in a heartbeat if I wasn’t already in needy country and a ministry that God is blessing. I still feel peace about Burkina and the needs here are great. If anybody wants to talk about it, I am available and would be willing to help in any way that I can. I am burdened about the need of this country and don’t want us Independent Baptists to miss the opportunity that God has given us.