South Sudan (MNN) — Next week, South Sudan will celebrate eight years of independence. South Sudan split from Sudan on July 9, 2011, after 22 years of civil war. Its people were hopeful that independence would bring peace.
However, it hasn’t been that easy. South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The frustration that comes with poverty plus ethnic and political tensions led to a resurgence of violence just two short years later. Certain parts of South Sudan still struggle to obtain peace today.
“Some of the problem is resources. You can’t walk down the street of South Sudan and walk into a Bible store and buy a Bible. And if you could, you wouldn’t have the money to do it.”
South Sudan was put on Woolford’s radar by a ministry partner he met a year ago named Wes Bentley.
“We have a similar testimony — both served in the Marine Corps, both didn’t grow up in church, got saved in the Marine Corps, and then went into full-time ministry afterward.”
Bentley has ministered in South Sudan for 20 years through Far Reaching Ministries. He led several people in South Sudan’s military to the Lord, and now the national army even sends its troops to his chaplaincy school for training.
“One of the things that really impacted me was when my friend…told me of some of the stories when he’s talking with these chaplains who have lost greatly,” Woolford says.
“He said, ‘Jason, when you come in October, some of the people that you’re ministering to, you won’t see again if you come back because they’re on the frontlines telling people about God and losing their life.’”
Mission Cry is supporting Far Reaching Ministries in South Sudan by shipping enough free Bibles and Christian books for 50,000 people. Some of these resources will go to the South Sudan army and those in Bentley’s chaplaincy school.
“We’re so thankful to God. It’s truly a miracle, and be able to partner with…Bentley and just see the work that he’s done there and then be able to come alongside his ministry like we do all around the world and give people the free Word of God and Christian books, we’re excited.”
Most of Mission Cry’s Bibles and Christian books are gently used donations, but they recently had a shortage of used Bibles to send to South Sudan. In response, the ministry partnered to create their Mission Cry Christian Resources International NASB Bible, which has Woolford’s G300 discipleship program in the back. This new resource is also among the shipments headed to South Sudan.
There are several ways you can partner with Mission Cry and encourage South Sudanese believers. First, Woolford says they desperately need prayer.
“Wherever the devil has a stronghold, he fights extra hard and comes against those that are trying to make a change there. So pray for Wes Bentley and I, for the ministry of Mission Cry, and far-reaching ministries partnering together on this venture.”
You can also sponsor the two sea containers headed to South Sudan packed to the brim with Bibles and Christian books. Each sea container’s shipment costs $ 10,000, so every contribution helps. Click here to give!
Also, Mission Cry always needs more gently-used Bibles and Christian books. Learn more about donating books to Mission Cry here!
As Woolford says, the spiritual impact of each Bible and Christian book in South Sudan is priceless.
“You and I have the opportunity and the ability to make a change in somebody’s life that’s eternal, but also teach them how to fight the battle while they’re on this earth.”
Header photo of Wes Bentley, courtesy of Mission Cry.