February 15, 2013

Global Notebook: Making an Impact

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First-hand witnesses to the growing hunger for Christian education in Africa, EduDeo Ministries Executive Director Hank de Jong and Hamilton-based freelance videographer Ryan Geleynse concluded their visit of South Sudan today, preparing to return from the youngest nation in Africa to the youngest nation in North America after eleven days of Sub-Saharan heat, dust and sun.

Representing EduDeo Ministries on the ground in Ethiopia and South Sudan, Hank attended the Ethiopian Roundtable in Adama, Ethiopia and documented ‘Walking Together’ teacher training efforts in South Sudan, from Tuesday, February 4 to today, Friday, February 15.

Hank was joined by Michael Alemu, Vice President of CH Global, as both ministry leaders met with government officials, educators and students in South Sudan.  EduDeo Ministries’ volunteer educators Ike and Jenny Witteveen and Jake and Minka Vriend recently completed a number of ‘Walking Together’ teacher training sessions in both Ethiopia and South Sudan.

“The reconstruction of South Sudan is just beginning, but the momentum for growth is incredible,” Hank noted, looking back on the African visit.

“As we visited a number of local schools, I witnessed a growing passion for education as a vital key to the nation’s rebuilding process.  It is amazing to see how South Sudan’s leaders and educators are especially open and receptive to Christ-centred education. 

Hank is excited about EduDeo Ministries teacher training partnership with CH Global and the South Sudanese Ministry of Education.

“It has been inspiring as we travel across South Sudan, meeting with government leaders and talking to teachers to hear about the impact and value of the ‘Walking Together’ teacher training program,” Hank noted.

“Over 75 key educators have been trained and in turn, are now training fellow educators in their respective regions. EduDeo Ministries is planning on growing in their commitment to the thousands of teachers and schools in South Sudan (stay tuned for learning about ways for you to be involved!)”

Hank was especially impressed by the collaborative nature of a number of the ‘Walking Together’ training initiatives in South Sudan.

“CH Global is connected to an extensive network of partnerships in South Sudan,” Hank remarked.

“We spent time with ministry leaders from the Bible League Canada, Gideons International in Canada and Mission Aviation Fellowship Canada over the past week.  Each ministry brings a unique strength to each cooperative effort.”

Hank and Ryan travelled on a Mission Aviation Fellowship flight from Kajo Kaji to Juba while travelling in South Sudan.

“There is tremendous cooperation as each organization works side-by-side in South Sudan.”

Our role in providing Christ-centred education was confirmed throughout the visit,” Hank stressed.

“The need for Biblical worldview training was also confirmed.  The growth of Christian education is evident.  Classrooms are overflowing and enrollment is climbing as more and more displaced South Sudanese refugees return home (many from Uganda and Kenya). There is a pressing need for quality, Christ-centred education in the region.  We have been provided with an opportunity to respond and the timing is urgent.  Please pray for us as we move our partnerships forward in the world’s youngest country!  May the burden of South Sudan be on your hearts and evident in your prayer life.”

Hank and Ryan return home today and plan to arrive in Toronto on Saturday.  Please pray for safety as they travel home.


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