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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan

June 2010

Byler Sudan Newsletter

June 5, 2010

The chief of police stood up, dressed in full blue uniform even though it was Sunday afternoon.  He asked permission to respond to the introduction just given by Philip Byler from AIM.

It was our last stop on a two day visit to the Boya tribe of Sudan.  This people group of about 100,000 exist in relative isolation between three surrounding tribes whom they repeatedly raid for cattle or are raided by for cattle. Over and over we had heard them ask, “Why have we been neglected by the church? Why have all the missionaries left us? We do not have a single church.”

Phil had just greeted the impromptu crowd of elders and chiefs who had gathered at this northernmost village of the Boya wanting to be clear from the outset that our chief objective is sharing about JESUS rather than other development. To this the chief of police wanted to respond.

He said, “I was not going to speak because I assumed you were coming with promises of development like we have heard before. But if you are coming with people to teach us the Word of God, that is what we need most. Our younger generation does not know the Word of God. It does not matter if you are Catholic, Protestant, or Muslim, you must come and teach us the Word of God.”

Wow! What a challenge. What an opportunity. Lord send forth workers into your harvest field.

Immediately after completing this phase of our trip, the transmission on the Land Rover ground to a screeching halt and left us stranded. Gratefully it was in a convenient location close to a trustworthy mechanic. Interestingly last month on the way back to Kampala from visiting another unreached group, the Teous/Ik people in NE Uganda, our Land Cruiser blew an engine and left us stranded. Is this bad luck, spiritual warfare, or …?

With our LR broken down, we were able to hire a vehicle to drive us to Chukudum and then we did our first-time hike up 10 miles and 4,000 ft. elevation to Nagishot where 5 of our missionaries are ministering. Linda carried a live chicken the whole way up. I only carried my 15kg waist pack of stored energy left over from last year’s visit to America. (Top Photo) Praise to Jesus for a tired but safe arrival at Nagishot and a good 3 days of counselling/encouraging our missionary team there.

The previous week we had a very profitable meeting in Lohutok with two missionary partners and excellent representation from our Africa Inland Church partner to develop a strategic plan for evangelism in the Lopit mountain range. One of our AIM missionaries will be a key player in this strategy.

Since our last Newsletter, Sudan has successfully completed it’s general election with relative peace. We praise God for answers to prayer on behalf of this troubled nation.

For frequent glimpses into our more daily lives, we invite you to visit our blog site at http://pbyler.aimsites.org/

We thank God for each of you who partner with us in both prayer and financial support of this mission for “Christ-centered churches among all African peoples” in Sudan.

Philip and Linda Byler,

AIM International, South Sudan Unit leader, pbyler@aimint.net