Missionary call confirmed amidst gunfire
By AfriGO Team
“Despite all the gunfire, the Lord confirmed our calling,” says Getachew Tsegaye, an SIM missionary from Ethiopia serving in South Sudan. “Our vision for South Sudan is not diminished.”
Getachew and his wife, Tibarek, and children have been involved in outreach and discipleship among the Ingessana and other tribes at four refugee camps near Doro, South Sudan. But growing distrust between refugees and the Mabaan host community escalated in December 2016, threatening all outreach and discipleship ministries.
A few days before Christmas, an inmate at the Mabaan prison was beaten and killed. Blue Nile and refugee soldiers carried out an attack on the Mabaan community on 24 December. At dawn on Christmas Day gunshots were fired from the Doro refugee camp. Many Mabaan ran into the bush to escape, but among the casualties was the main leader of the Mabaan army. Homes and the police station were burned.
Getachew and Tibarek, along with their team of 18 adults and five children, hid under their beds praying, crying and reading Scripture for two days. Gunfire continued the following day and Simony, the compound guard, was killed. On 27 December, the team made their way to the UN compound and were evacuated to Nairobi, Kenya.
“In our three-and-a-half years of ministry … seven churches have been planted and 117 people from different tribes have been baptized,” says Getachew. “Thousands have listened to the good news and responded.”
“We were discipling those who have decided to follow Jesus. We followed-up the new believers one-on-one, by group and congregationally. We had eight groups in the refugee camps among the different tribes, especially in Ingessana groups.
About 30 Mabaan people were killed. Their homes, the secondary school and clinic were looted, as well as centres for ministries such as discipleship, the water project and Nutrition Village. The chaplain’s office was also broken into and furniture, Audio Story Tellers, and evangelistic materials were looted.
Doro Clinic staff have recently begun to do mobile clinics to help the host community, who are living under trees away from their looted and destroyed homes. Please pray for them as they were deeply traumatised. Pray for our chaplains as they minister spiritually, and for our community health workers who are striving to care for their physical needs.
History was made in August 2015 when a group of youth from the Ingessana tribe travelled from the Gendrassa camp in search of Getachew. To read more about their hunger to learn about Jesus see the article Door opens for Ingessana Outreach.
Getachew and Tibarek Tsegaye and their children, SIM missionaries from Ethiopia serving in South Sudan.