Andrea and Jordan Scotland have been missionaries in South Sudan since 2005 and are now country leaders there.
One of the realities that we are now facing is that it is hard to receive and keep missionaries from the Global North on the field in places as challenging and remote as the villages in South Sudan. Most villages do not have electricity, running water, permanent homes or anything even close to a market; most of the population lives on subsistence farming and learning a local language is a must for survival.
Parachuting western missionaries into that environment can be hard for both the missionaries and those they live among. Parity is often just not possible. So instead, more and more of our focus is shifting towards mobilising the local church to send out missionaries. It has been exciting to watch the Africa Inland Church (AIC) grow in its vision to reach the lost and send out missionaries. Many conversations with church leaders are focusing on mission. Training of local missionaries is starting to happen. South Sudanese missionaries are starting to go and live missionally in communities where there is no church. This is exciting! We are praying for the Holy Spirit to pour fuel on this fire.
What will mission look like 15 years from now? I don’t know, but I expect it will involve believers from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and yes, the Global North, working in partnership to reach the farthest corners of this nation and beyond.