Building on the Strengths of the Murle Congregation in Juba
As of March of 2013 the level of violence caused thousands Murle people in population centers in Pibor County to flee to the bush and then if they were able to move either to the capital city of Juba or other countries. It was reported that Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor youth fighters and SPLA soldiers caused death, destruction, suffering and misery among the Murle people. Rev John was among those who fled to Juba and there he sought ways to use his abilities in the Murle Congregation. This congregation is a member of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS).
|Rev John saw strengths in this congregation that raised the funds to purchase a church building and compound. He saw opportunity to build on their strengths by training leaders to be better able to teach their members and to grow the congregation spiritually and numerically.Trinity Presbytery was able to allocate funds for materials and food for the trainings that Rev John proposed – funds that were diverted because an American missionary was brought back to the U.S. when the situation became unsafe.|
|Training was given to youth on the topic of marriage encouraging it to be done in a Christian manner, discouraging polygamy, early and forced marriage, and treating women as second class citizens. Included in the training of the youth was HIV/AIDS Awareness as well as Peaceful Co-existence both within the Christian community and beyond|
Reacquainting with Rev John Tubuwa, pastor in South Sudan, mission partner with First Presbyterian, Fond du Lac
In the late summer of 2010 we were busy preparing for the International Peacemaker visit of Rev John Tubuwa from Pibor in Sudan, Africa. During his time in Fond du Lac, which included World Wide Communion Sunday, we learned of his hope for Peace with Justice if the impending vote for separation from north Sudan was affirmed.
South Sudan became the newest nation in the world on January 9, 2011, but building the nation has been painfully slowed by tribal hatred and conflict, an inherited lack of infrastructure, and an undisciplined Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) who have closed a blind eye to abuse and been the cause of some of the violence especially against the Murle people (John’s family tribe).
His hoped for development of employment opportunities through building Eco-domes and digging wells, educating women and girls, and theological training of pastors was severely challenged by threats of violence culminating in the 2011 Christmas week attacks massacring people, stealing cattle and burning houses and churches.
These attacks have continued and today, 20,000 people from Pibor have fled to refugee camps in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, and an estimated 11,000 Murle have fled to Juba (the capital of South Sudan) living in hastily built shelters or with friends and relatives. Another 4,000 are hiding the bush in Pibor County. Rev John and other African pastors and American missionaries also have relocated to Juba. There Rev John has found important work to do in conducting leadership workshops to church councils, women leaders and youth leaders.
He has organized and is leading a Workshop on Church Administration and Finances, Introduction to Tent Making Ministry (idea of Paul to be self-supporting), Workshop on Women’s Leadership, Conference on Marriage with youth, and Conference on Youth leadership.
God placed Rev John in our community of faith in September 2010 giving us an opportunity for mission partnership. Rev John is a capable Christian servant who:
- is well educated, deeply faithful, and an excellent teacher who is motivated to teach his people;
- has skills in peace-making in a place where this is in great need;
- and thinks through the long term issues and is very capable of developing plans, executing them, and reporting.
Our session encourages church members to become acquainted with Rev John and his work in Sudan and to contribute to his support. One thousand dollars is needed to complete the funds needed for his support in 2014. To help provide that support a Sharing God’s Bounty luncheon will be help on September 29, from 11:00-1:30 with income from this fund raiser being divided between the support for Rev John and Fond du Lac NAMI. See the articles about Sharing God’s Bounty and NAMI.