This sign on Juba, Sudan expresses the new freedom the people here have achieved that the people in Egypt are now rioting for. Pray that the Islamic Jihadist are not able to exploit the Egyptian crisis and bring the largest Arab Country under the sway of Radical Islam.
Dear friends & Partners...loving greetings from Juba, the Capital of the new 'South Sudan.'. The recent Referendum vote was over 98% in the South for succession from the North. There is a great sense of jubilation and celebration here in Juba. The atmosphere is calm and peaceful in comparison to my earlier trips here during the War Years. There used to be well armed SPLA soldiers everywhere and strategically placed anti-aircraft guns pointing northward and skyward to try and shoot down the frequent bombers from the North.
"Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?" (Isa. 66:8)
Dear Ministry Friends & Partners,
What the prophet Isaiah asked about the miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel can also be said about modern Sudan. After nearly 40 years of civil war, a New Sudan is being "...born in a day." What was the largest single country on the African continent and largest in the Arab world, is now being divided into two separate nations (see map). The last such separation was in 1993 when Eritrea separated from Ethiopia after bloody civil war. Through the years I have traveled and ministered extensively in both of those countries also.
BRIEF HISTORY LESSON
For nearly 4 decades, Sudan has been involved in a long and bloody civil war because of the systematic genocide being perpetuated by the Islamic regime in Khartoum against the South. Northern Sudan is largely populated and dominated by Arabic-speaking Muslims -- led by the Islamic radical, Omar al-Bashir. The South is largely Christian or animist and was led by Dr. John Garang until his death in a helicopter plane crash -- most probably a covert assassination. The current leader of Southern Sudan is General Salva Kiir(pictured on magazine cover).
Over 5 years ago a Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) was put in place. The Bush Administration was largely responsible for mandating the CPA which was signed in Naivasha, Kenya, on January 9, 2005. Among other things, it put into place a 6 year transition period in which things like borders, power sharing and revenue sharing would be decided. At the end of that period, the nation would vote on remaining together or separating (see ballot). That week-long referendum voting took place between January 9 - 15 -- with the final results to be announced on either February 6th or 14th.
Over 4 million were registered to vote and it looks like voter turn-out has been extremely high. It is a foregone conclusions that the vote in the South has been almost 100% to succeed from the North and become a new country -- whose name is yet to be determined (There is strong support for "Cush" because of its presence and prominence in the Bible).
Clink on the banner below to see a report of my "top priority" partners and projects for this year and how you can help. I will be presenting to the Board and working on these this next year.
Dr. J.L. Williams
JL, Patt, & Friends
Founder: New Directions International
Board Member: Impact of Hope International
Professor-at-Large: Carolina Evangelical Divinity School
P.O. Box 4066
Glen Raven, NC 27216
COMMEMORATION, CONSOLATION, CELEBRATION
"Comfort, comfort My people, says your God."
Dear Friends & Partners,
I just had to go back to Haiti for the first anniversary of the killer earthquake. Even though I have been back several times since the 7.0 quake that shook Haiti on January 12, 2010, I had to return again to see how my brothers and sisters there were doing. Most of all, I wanted to do what I could to bring consolation and comfort as they remembered the unforgettable! And I wanted to "weep with those who weep," as the Bible exhorts. I also wanted to see how they would commemorate this earth-shaking event that forever changed the physical landscape of Port-au-Prince (PaP) and surrounding areas -- as well as the emotional landscape of their hearts and memories.
There is hardly a family in Haiti that did not suffer human loss through the more than 300,000 who were killed. Everyone lost someone -- whether a father, mother, son, daughter, grandchild, uncle, aunt or grandparent. When the ground violently shook at 4:53 PM on that fateful day last January, houses, buildings and walls pancaked and imploded. The death and destruction was indiscriminate. Young, old, rich, poor were all killed or maimed. And over 1 million were left homeless. Most of them commemorated the first anniversary in that same condition. But thanks to Christian ministries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the international community, the majority of the homeless are now in temporary tent dwellings that densely fill every possible space in and around PaP. It is estimated that over 200,000 new homes are needed to move these homeless from temporary shelters to permanent houses. But to date, only a few thousand have been completed -- few if any by the Haitian government.
"The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind."
Dear Friends & Partners,
When you receive this email, I will be in flight to Haiti. I am going there for the First Anniversary of the killer quake last January 12, 2010. It will literally be an "earth-shaking remembrance" for everyone living in Haiti -- especially those in Port-au-Prince! God promised that one day when He "...creates a new heaven and a new earth," that "...former things will not be remembered." But that recreation and restoration has not yet come for the world -- especially Haiti!
Right now no one can forget the more than 250,000 who were killed. Nor can the thousands of others forget who were left maimed for life in body and soul through injuries, head traumas and amputated limbs that will be reminders forever of what they experienced in that horrific quake that shook and changed their world forever! And certainly the more than 1 million who are still homeless cannot forget because they are still "living" in sprawling tent cities all over and around Port-au-Prince! Everywhere you drive and everywhere you look, the evidence of the quake lingers through the devastated infrastructure, piles of rotting garbage, destroyed roads and mountains of yet-to-be-removed rubble from the imploded buildings and homes.