News and Greetings
March 6, 2017
Friends in Christ,
I safely returned to the States last week, February 26, 2017. Thanks for prayers and your ministry to the Lutheran Church of South Sudan. The LCSS is grateful for the prayers and financial support toward the medical attention of Pastor Stephen Dhan Joack. Pastor Jack is the Dean of the Greater Upper Nile District who unfortunately fell into the hands of evil men who beat him and then left him nearly dead. Through your prayers and financial support Pastor Joack fully recovered from two weeks of intensive care hospitalization and has resumed his duties and functions in the church.
The Lutheran. Church of South Sudan is grateful for the building of its first seminary building and the drilling of a well for clean drinking water in Gambella, Ethiopia. Thanks to those who generously gave to the building and the water drilling. The Trinity Lutheran Seminary & College now possesses a welcoming learning environment and a flowing of fresh and clean drinking water in our new well.
The LCSS has been operating a seminary, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, for three years and graduated the first cohort last year. Due to the continued influx of the refugees from violence-stricken South Sudan, demand for secular education overwhelmed Gambella University and other colleges in Gambella. As a result, the community presented a request to the seminary to offer secular programs. Now, the Trinity Lutheran Seminary offers Diploma (equivalent to two-year degrees) and Bachelor Degree programs in Human Resource Management, Accounting, Logistics, as well as a Diploma in Nursing. Tom Sandersfeld is working with the University of Iowa to develop a relationship between the two institutions. Our goal is to have the University of Iowa help the Trinity Lutheran Seminary & College with the Nursing Laboratory equipment. This institutional growth creates another opportunity for Nurses and Medical Doctors to join upcoming mission trips to offer medical services. There is a mission trip opportunity coming up on June 20 - July 2, 2017.
It is also worth mentioning the outstanding growth in the Lutheran Church of South Sudan. Over the second half of 2016, the LCSS established 16 congregations in South Sudan and the refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. Such growth prompted the LCSS to create new administrative Districts of the church. These include Gambella District and Kenyan and North American Mission Districts. The Mission Districts provide administrative functions for the LCSS congregations in the countries other than South Sudan and Ethiopia.
The LCSS is planning for the graduation and ordination of the second cohort on June 24 and 25, 2017, respectively. This church invites another mission team to join the LCSS in celebrating another joyful event in the story of the young seminary. The team would depart from the United States on June 20th to visit the LCSS congregations in Ethiopia and Kenya, and then return to the United States on July 2nd. Rev. Douglas Morton and a few others will stay behind for about a month to teach intensive New Testament Greek and Hebrew.
Many of you are aware of the blessed noble work Rev. Douglas Morton has been undertaken building the Trinity Lutheran Seminary and College library. He has already collected thousands of theological and collage materials for the library. It is also worth mentioning that the Trinity Lutheran Seminary and College entered into a partnership agreement with Gambella University. The TLS has nineteen faculty members, eleven of whom are adjunct from Gambella University. The agreement will help the TLSC import library books and other materials to Ethiopia through Gambella University, with little or no customs charge. In return, the Gambella University would receive free library materials from the TLS.
The LCSS' Trinity Lutheran Seminary & College will graduate 12 students and ordain six candidates this year.
As we began the Lenten journey, please continue to remember the suffering people of South Sudan in your thoughts and prayers. I am available to speak on the mission and ministry of the LCSS on Wednesday Lenten and Sunday services.
In Christ's Love,
Rev. Jordan M Long, President
Lutheran Church of South Sudan
P.O. Box 345
Overseas phone: +251948238912
Phone: 585-317-2841 - U.S. Contact