Saturday, 29 November 2008

November 2008

Dear Friends

Greetings to you in Jesus name, we hope you are well. We are fine here in Yei and growing stronger and stronger in the Lord.

In September the security situation was not so bad, the only problem is that a number of robberies were reported in and around the town, like a motorbike was stolen from the diocese of Yei, a barrel for water storage was stolen from the Moru congregation’s pastor in charge, two people were killed and their bodies were thrown into a river. But the most worrying thing is the number of accidents due to reckless riding of motorbikes. Almost every day we get to hear about accidents on the roads. People around here do not respect traffic rules, so lives are lost easily.

We want to thank God for the start of FLY SPORTS Mundri, we travelled from Yei to Juba on the 14th of October and proceeded to Mundri on the 15th, but unfortunately, we had to spend the night in Lui and proceed to Mundri on the 16th.

The roads in the south are terrible, most of them are inaccessible during the rainy seasons, and people only make use of them after the rains. When we left Juba, we travelled well until we reached a few miles to Lui, there is a point where more than 50 vehicles were stuck or waiting to cross. When we reached there, our bus was like the tenth in the queue and the vehicles were being pulled by one of the vehicles working on the road. When our bus got into the mud to be pulled, the people working on the road said their time was up, so they promised to pull the bus the following day. We were bound to sleep in the middle of nowhere if we were not going to find an alternative means of transport from there either to Mundri town or Lui. We prayed and told God we were not prepared to sleep inside the bus, and then we heard that someone with a lorry was driving back to Lui because he could not proceed to Juba. We met him and he agreed to take us as long as he was paid 5 US dollars by each passenger.

When we reached Mundri, we discussed with the church leaders and government officials our aim, they received our ideas well and agreed to support FLYSPORTS in its work among the youth. On the 23rd of October people gathered at the cathedral compound and FLYSPORTS was launched. There was entertainment from a local drama group and the Sunday school presented a song as well.

We are now back in Yei, trying to write reports and rest as well, because our bodies are paining from the long journey.

I (Manny) have started a discipleship class called Salt and Light. I am planning to use the G12 vision, the number in my group has not yet reached twelve but I guess Jesus did not get his twelve in one day, so slowly the number is increasing. We have been meeting under a mango tree every Wednesday from 3 to 5 P.M.

On my side (Grace), I have now settled down in the Radio department of Across, I am producing programs mainly concerning women. While we were in Mundri, I managed to conduct a number of interviews for my programs. I have also been helping out in the FLY SPORTS department twice a week. This includes compiling photos for reports and next year’s calendars. We are thinking about producing pamphlets or magazines as well but we are not sure of when we will start the work.

Prayer Points

We give thanks for the start and end of the FLY SPORTS League
We give thanks for the start of Salt and Light (discipleship classes)
We give thanks for the FLYSPORTS talk show which is going on one of the local FM radio stations.
We give thanks for the start of FLYSPORTS Mundri
We give thanks for the safe journey to and from Mundri

yours in Christ

Emmanuel and Grace

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

September 2008

Dear Friends

Warm greetings to you from Yei in Southern Sudan. How are you I hope all is going well with you?

First of all I want to say many thanks to you for your prayers and your support. After leaving England in May we arrived in Nairobi Kenya. During our time in Nairobi we mainly spent time packing our personal belongs from our flat into small boxes in order to transport to Sudan. However, we found that the time packing luggage and moving to southern Sudan turned out to be tiring and frustration began to enter in. For example Across was supposed to help with the logistics and movements of the luggage from Nairobi to Yei, but they were very slow in organising transportation. We, therefore had to organise an alternative means of moving our luggage from Nairobi.

The Bible says the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective weapon against the enemy and it clears dark paths.
So we began to pray for strength and wisdom and as a result of God's help, everything worked out well.

Since we arrived in Yei from Nairobi we have so far been trying to sort-out our house, unpacking items from Nairobi, putting them in one corner of the house and changing their location to make the house look better. This is the Year of Beginnings for us, new wife and new house and hopefully a new car. The youth of Yei welcomed us back warmly and plus they were very happy to see us in town again. The young people in Yei are hungry for Development, Sports activities and above all the Word of God.

Currently in Yei it is the rainy season and the rains are mainly falling heavily during the evening hours, giving us a cool weather, something to thank God for, because Sudan can really get hot with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius and above. When you take a walk to town, you will see potholes everywhere and all the roads are muddy. The good side of the story is that lots of shops are coming up and hotels are also increasing in number, but the only problem is that most of the goods being used in Yei come from Uganda.

There has been so far three years of peace in Sudan after the 21 years of fierce war between the Northern Government and the SPLA. As you walk around you can see a glimmer of hope amongst the local people, a sense that God has not forgotten them.
Since my arrival to Yei so far I have managed to conduct several meetings with the F.A (Football Association) and the county authorities regarding the Fly Sports football League. The league will resume in September 2008 and we are looking forward to register around fifteen teams for the Super League and thirty teams for the Kids League.

I have also begun preaching at the local churches and on 17th of August, ten young people became born again and Baptised in the Holy Spirit at one of the branches of the Sudan Pentecostal church. Grace has started her radio work and it is going well although she is still going through the orientation process, she has also started looking for the local people to work with and empower through discussions and also involving them in the recording of the programs. However she is adjusting well to the new beginnings and surroundings.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

June 2008

Dear Friends,

I greet you all in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I feel as though this year is the year of Resurrection and new Beginnings.

Isaiah 40 v31 ‘But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like the eagles; they will walk and not be faint’.

During times in our lives sometimes we feel weary and tired. I remember in Sudan with the heat and the busyness and working hard in the ministry, that I have certainly been tired and weary. However, whilst in England I remember preaching the whole day at a

conference and at the end of the day was very exhausted and tired. Therefore I took couple of days off but was still tired, so the next day I spent some time praying and for the first time it was like the tiredness had left me and gone. I felt so refreshed and spiritually restored and resurrected by the power of the spirit.

Secondly I want to offer many thanks for your prayers and support. As we reflect briefly on 2007 it has been a challenging, significant and blessed year. As you may have gathered Grace and I have not long been married so we thank God for his goodness.

During my first visit to Sudan I was not quite sure what to expect, I was full of fear, apprehension and nervousness. Sudan has suffered from the longest war in Africa, the people and the country have changed and there is a different spirit operating now with a spirit of fear, a spirit of laziness and of war and destruction, however in spite of all this God is still working amongst his people. The Birth of Fly Sports (‘Follow the Lord Yourself’) has created a sports ministry to encourage and give hope to the youth of Southern Sudan and spread the Gospel. There are sixty football teams and three leagues. Through this ministry in schools we have seen 1500 come to know Christ. The next step is to Disciple them in small groups through the word of God.

Grace and I enjoyed our visit to England; although it was her first time there she found it cold but exciting being in a different culture and country. During our stay in England we managed to visit Action Partners, churches in Reading and friends.

Our visit to Action Partners in Bawtry Hall was a time for Grace to meet the team in the head office and also undergo a brief interview. The outcome of this is that she is now an official staff member of Action Partners so we thank God for that. It was also good to share about what God has been doing in Sudan, to pray and strengthen relationships and update everyone as well.

In Reading we managed to catch up with the leaders and congregations of Greyfriars and Lifespring churches. We felt very encouraged to work in Partnership with them and we appreciate the support they give us. It was also good to meet up with some old friends. The remaining time was spent visiting different home groups and churches assigned by Action Partners.

Philippians 4 v19 ‘ for my God will supply all you needs according to his glorious riches in Christ’

Currently we are in Kenya sorting few things with Across at the head office, eventually I hope to move to Yei and start a new life with Grace.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for the sorting out of our luggage and moving to Yei.
  • Pray for wisdom in operation in Gods work
  • Pray for the on going support
  • Thank God for what he as done so far.

Yours in Christ

Emmanuel and Grace Sharland