On July 9, southern Sudan became the Republic of South Sudan—officially the newest nation on Earth.
It is a nation born of faith and miracles.
To know the history of this country is to be awed by the magnitude of Sudan's most public miracle: a peaceful vote for independence. In a region that equates political revolution with violence, the Sudanese people—from north and south—laid aside their weapons. The North opted for magnanimity, and the South waged its revolution with ink-stained fingers and a unanimous voice.
And to remember that the vote followed 101 days of organized prayer for peace is inspiring for all believers. One wonders: What will God do next?
God knows, there is much to do.
Southern Sudan is among the world's very poorest countries. Decades of civil war stunted progress enjoyed elsewhere during the latter half of the 20th century. Southern Sudanese are resource rich, but in education, health care, food and water access, road and building construction, public services, jobs and commerce, they've been shoved back for more than half a century.
During that time, the Church in southern Sudan remained the one institution people could count on day in, day out. The Church—your Church—stayed with Sudan. It suffered with Sudan. And now it's rejoicing with Sudan. It's not about to turn away as her people, faithful to a vision of freedom, turn down the long road of rebuilding.
Sudan is a place laid bare and waiting for the gospel of love to respond. And it is a place of faith.
You can see faith at work here in every cassava clipping planted in hand-tilled soil, in every class held under a spreading tree, in the persistence and determination of hundreds of tribes set on building one nation.
The faithful understand that the peaceful declaration of independence opens the door to a profound adventure of hard work and devoted perseverance. The miracle calls the faithful to a beginning, not an end.
What will God do next? We believe the answer is obvious.
Stay with Sudan. Build a future.