For an interesting and in-depth perspective of the LCSS "in action" click HERE
LCSS is a developing ministry. While we have a footprint in South Sudan, we have a much smaller identity in the United States and other developed countries around the world. This page will soon make available a link through which you may help us financially. In the meantime, the rest of this page contains some good information on what we are doing, what we are planning, and how it is we hope to go about accomplishing these goals and mileposts. Please read on and check back with this page occasionally as we hope to have the "donation" link up in the very near future. In the meantime, if you can help please send a donation. The Institute of Lutheran Theology will accept checks written to ILT that state something regarding South Sudan in the memo line. Institute of Lutheran Theology, 910 4th Street, Brookings, SD 57006. Thank you!
As communicated earlier, South Sudan is an emerging state with no infrastructure. The latest statistic is alarming. South Sudan is classified as one of the poorest countries in the world despite its great potentials and has continued to maintain some of the worst indicators of countries that are backward.
- In this new nation, 73% of men and 84% of women are illiterate, 4.7 million of its 8 million people are food insecure, 50% of its civil servants are estimated to lack the appropriate qualifications, and 87% of the population lacks access to basic health care.
- A 15 year-old girl has a higher chance of dying in childbirth than finishing school while the country has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world with 2,054 per 100,000 live births not surviving.
- Only 110km (roughly 68 miles) of road are estimated to be paved in the whole country while an estimated 7,000km (roughly 4349 miles) of roads are expected to be constructed and paved.
Building a nation with such a huge human-resource deficit has not been easy for the new republic. Please click think on PressTV report: HERE.
The church faces the same challenges. Many congregations of the Lutheran Church of South Sudan meet under the trees, in huts or tent or open spaces. Worship in these settings has been difficult, especially during the rainy and flood seasons. South Sudan has rainy season that begins in May and turns into a flood when the Nile River overflows and fills the whole land from July to November.
As a result, the LCSS set goals to plant 130 new congregations in the next three years, and build at least 5 simple churches each year depending on resources available. The cost of building a simple church, metal roof and mud wall plastered with cement and concrete floor is about $7,000. Of course South Sudan imports all building materials from neighboring countries, especially from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Transportation (Truck rental and fuel) of shipping building materials costs $1,500 - $3,000; depending on the distance of the construction site and the importing country.
Translation & Printing
The Lutheran Church of South Sudan is a young church without printed worship materials of its own. The church has only Bibles and Hymnals printed in local languages. The Lutheran Church of South Sudan partners with Institute of Lutheran Theology and has initiated a dialogue with Lutheran Bible Translators to assist with developing educational materials for LCSS’ Sunday School, Adult Education, lay leaders/Evangelists and Pastors. This will be a more involved project as a team from the ILT faculty (along with Lutheran Bible Translators – if it approved) is planning to visit South Sudan sometimes next year to prepare the ground for launching the project.
The Lutheran Church of South Sudan has set a goal to prepare and equip more leaders. As an infant church, the LCSS has no inherent theological training programs as yet, instead, we use other Lutheran institutions in the region and internationally. The LCSS graduated 12 pastors from one of the Ethiopian Church Makane Yesus Bible (EECMY) Schools in the Western Ethiopian town of Gemabela. These pastors, plus 8 more who joined the church from different backgrounds, are now spreading the Gospel in South Sudan.
The LCSS is recruiting advanced level (MDiv) students who could be enrolled and study at ILT’s distance learning programs for the next four years. The LCSS is also recruiting pastors and lay evangelists who have been serving congregations for years, but have no efficient English skills with which to study advanced theology. The LCSS is working with ILT to bring these students to Malakal for theological training.
The pastors and evangelists of the LCSS currently walk from village to village spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ without stipend to support themselves or their families. One pastor provides pastoral ministries to two or more congregations in a particular geographical area. These congregations are 5 to 25 miles apart. Nevertheless, LCSS pastors sacrifice their time and talents (and their families’) to take up the cross of Jesus (Luke 9:23-24). It’s a responsibility of LCSS to locate funding for these pastors so they can spread the Gospel AND feed their families.
The basic compensation for a pastor is $200 (660 SSP) a month or $2,400 (7,920 SSP) a year. The SSP is an abbreviation South Sudanese Pounds, the unit of the currency used in South Sudan.
Building churches and developing pastoral compensation are the immediate needs of the Lutheran Church of South Sudan. We understand that giving money to churches... or to anything in these tough economic times, can be a strain on finances. But following Christ's great commission (as opens this website) has never been an "easy" thing to do and often is it done at some expense financially. Building His church across the globe is a Christian's fundamental duty. Paraphrasing a quotation from Hillel, a famous figure in Jewish history, "If not now, when?" ... if not me, who? The Lutheran Church of South Sudan is seeking sponsors as well. Would it be possible that having LCSS become a benifiary of your congregations' benevolence dollars?
"...in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude." ___Acts 24:2-4 Thank you for your kind attention to our cause and for your generosity of time, spirit, and money.