Sudan, and the United Methodist Church in Sudan, are rebuilding from over two decades of civil war that decimated the economy, local communities, and the church. Before the war, Sudanese United Methodists have told Holston Conference there were 23 United Methodist Churches; by 2006 when the war ended and the first mission team went from Holston there were about 10 UM churches that local United Methodists were aware of, and now in 2010 there are at least 17 UM churches and two more under formation, all in Central Equatoria State, and several in other states seeking to affiliate with the Sudan District. All of the churches are worshiping in make-shift buildings framed with locally cut branches and logs, with thatch roofs, and some with wattle-and-daub half walls. All of the churches have organized "Nursery Schools", all of which in Sudan are non-government supported and which teach children from 3 years old up to 2nd or 3rd grade of primary school. Topics that come up in every visit to the local UM churches are the need for a more substantial building to serve both the worshiping congregation and the school that meets in the church building. The mud walls crumble, the ubiquitous termites of South Sudan infest the wood frame, the thatch needs replacing every year and often leaks when it rains often disrupting school and sometimes worship services as well. Another reality of South Sudan is the abject poverty of church members and their inability to support themselves, much less the pastor and minimal expenses of the churches. The Sudan District has been able to coordinate the drilling of bore-hole wells providing safe water in every village with a UM church except one, and five in the city of Yei. Now the District is prioritizing the building of better structures for church and school. Because none of the churches or schools currently have properly constructed latrines that meet or come close to government standards for health, the District is also prioritizing the building of appropriate latrines at each church/school site.
Goals & Objectives
a) To facilitate the construction of 17 improved church/school brick buildings with metal roofs and concrete floors, in each of the villages where there are Sudanese United Methodist congregations currently meeting. b) To facilitate the construction of latrines built to appropriate standards at the site of each church/school building. c) 3 year time line.
a) Persons from three Holston Conference United Methodist churches and one Holston Conference United Methodist District have visited and announced partnerships with three Sudanese congregations to assist building a more permanent church/school building. The District Superintendent will continue to work with these churches and others to develop these relationships and begin new partnering relationships between US and Sudanese United Methodist congregations. b) Priority based on need of the church/school and willingness of the congregation to donate local materials and some labor. c)Construct latrines that meet government health standards at each church. d) Use Sudanese contractors to support local economy and to supply jobs. e) Construction will be concentrated in the five dry season months to avoid weather related delays and to not interfere with their planting and harvesting seasons.