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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan
December 25, 2010 4:55 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

For most Sudan families Christmas celebration consists of three things; freshly mudded house, meat to eat on Christmas and new clothes to wear. We didn’t do any house mudding but we were able to help our gardener Kasmiro’s family with a good quantity of delicious beef and a set of new clothes for the 12 children and grandchildren living in his two little freshly mudded huts. We had a fun Christmas eve hosting and celebrating with them.

December 19, 2010 2:41 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Last week was a historic moment in our Sudan mission history. This photo represents the first ever Mission Committee meeting of Africa Inland Church Sudan (AIC-S). The group was small, the meeting was short, but the step was a BIG one for AIC-S. It represents a significant step toward maturity of AIC-S. The man in the middle is Pastor James Nyika who has a real heart for cross cultural missions especially to unreached people. He called the meeting, set the agenda, and is the committee chair. On the right is Assistant Bishop Sarafino, a good friend of mine and a fine man of God. Together we strive for Christ Centered Churches Among all Africa Peoples.

December 19, 2010 2:29 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

It was quite a colorful occasion today in Juba, Sudan… and long – 6 hours of service … about half of it singing and dancing by the youth choirs. But it was full of worship, rejoicing, unity and a peaceful passage of the mantle of leadership from Bishop Andrew Wawa to Bishop Arkangelo Wani. I think our missionaries of 50 years ago would have been proud of the thriving church which has emerged from those early efforts. More importantly Jesus was glorified!

December 15, 2010 11:09 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

As a teenager and young adult I enjoyed learning to speed shift without using the clutch… just for fun. I hadn’t done if for years… decades. Until my clutch went out – completely flat –  30 km from the main road in Boya bush on Sunday. After spending a frustrating hour of valuable daylight trying my Family Doctor skills on the clutch adjustments to no avail, I remembered speed shifting and wondered if it would work with this Land Rover. With a desperate prayer we loaded up and used the starter to get us moving in 1st gear. The rest was easy and fun. My passengers were elated when I broke into applause after negotiating the first gully/dry sandy riverbed without a clutch. I was in Linda’s hug back in Torit only an hour after dark. Thank you Jesus!

December 15, 2010 11:06 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

It was our second visit to the Boya (Laarim) people of Sudan. I drove with AIC Pastor Joshua and upcoming AIC missionary Francis. The community leaders were elated for our second visit. Again and again they said, “We need somebody to come and teach us the Word of God.” I’m excited about this joint venture with AIC-Sudan church as they venture into cross cultural missions. Pastor Joshua was bolder than I to ask the Boya community to build a house and provide food for their missionary. They said yes. Perhaps early in 2011 AIC will enter Boya and midyear AIM will have a full time missionary to assist. Pray that these children will come to know the Word of God.

December 9, 2010 10:49 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Yesterday was the last day of voter registration in South Sudan for the upcoming Referendum on January 9th. We were impressed as we traveled the very rural road of Imatong Mountains at the remote and simple, but effective, centers for voter registration. The red and white tape and the signs made them very official and the staff seemed adequately trained in proper procedures.

December 9, 2010 10:47 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

The road was brutal. The Land Rover response was predictably rugged and predictably troublesome as on the return trip from Ikotos via the seldom used mountain road our steering began to malfunction. At first it was just a bit of clunking and grinding as we bounced off rocks and gullies. Then it became eight inches of play in the steering wheel between engaging either direction. I kept inspecting the mechanism to be sure it was not about to fail completely. My assurance was enough to cautiously proceed but not sufficient to risk speed when we finally came to smoother road. Meanwhile we passed through an area of burning grass (to enable hunters to better spot game). Usually I just swerve to the opposite side and speed on past the flames but with both sides and the middle burning, our passengers used branches to beat down the flames. We passed unburned.  (We went the back way to Ikotos because Assistant Bishop Sarafino’s brother had died and we transported him with ten of his family members to the mourning funeral village en route.)

This morning I took the Land Rover to our trusty Kenyan mechanics. I anticipated needing to order a new steering box from Nairobi and was wondering if it could possibly be repaired by the time we leave for Uganda in 4 weeks. Ah, pleasant surprise and praise to Jesus, ten minutes of tightening two bolts on the out-of-sight steering box and it was fixed.

December 9, 2010 10:40 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

We understood the announcement to be an ecumenical Sunday afternoon prayer for the referendum of South Sudan. It turned out to be a political rally for the referendum after a nice opening prayer by our own Assistant Bishop Sarafino. Excitement is high in Torit for this upcoming peoples event of “self determination.” We enjoyed the colorful “traditional dancers” and were fascinated by the “Not so secret” service agent. He was every bit as professional as he was flamboyant.

December 9, 2010 10:34 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

YOUR VOTE…YOUR VOICE is the theme of the Referendum planned for 9th January 2011. Posters like this hang all over town here in Torit, and many posters are plastered on government vehicles. The registration for voting in the Referendum has been extended an extra week, until December 8th; pray with us for the peaceful conclusion of this registration period…and beyond that for the Southern Sudanese as they express their desire for separation from the Arabic North.  The 5th of December has been set as the Global Day of Prayer for the Sudanese.  Join others in praying for a miracle of peace!