Transforming life among the Laarim
Beginning in mid-2019, a new team will continue church planting efforts among the Laarim people of South Sudan.
Our vision is that by the end of this team there will be ‘Christ-centred churches transforming every Laarim village’ and the Laarim will be declared as ‘reached’ by the gospel.
Location: Boya Hills, Kapoeta State, South Sudan
South Sudan became the world’s newest country on 9 July 2011. It was the outcome of the 2005 peace deal that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war. The majority of the population adhere to Christianity. Only 18% call themselves Muslim unlike Sudan, which is 97%.
What’s the plan?
The team will continue to disciple new believers and seek to share the gospel with those who have yet to hear about Jesus. The current team have found the strategic use of the Disciple Making Movement (DMM) / Discovery Bible Study (DBS) material as the most effective methods of sharing and helping people grow through reading the gospel. DMM is very similar to to the church planting movement model of establishing churches among the unreached.
Both of these methods aim to initiate a movement of indigenously propagating fellowships that will mature quickly into small churches using very simple and locally reproducible methods of leadership and Bible discovery. The method entails finding a ‘person of peace’ in a community – someone who is willing to engage with and listen to the Word of God. Once this family has heard and hopefully received the gospel, the idea is that then the rest of their community can be reached naturally through this family’s social networks. Discipleship is fuelled by the simple but powerful DBS method of reading/telling a Bible story/passage and asking the participants to share what they have discovered from the passage and then to make an ‘I will…’ statement to engender accountability and obedience to the God of the Bible.
The foundation of all these strategies must, for all team members, come from spending time abiding in Christ. Each member will be encouraged in effective methods of abiding in Jesus as their source of life, in order to endure the remote, harsh, and demanding culture of Laarim.
Prayer is an integral part of abiding in Christ and the success of any DMM. Therefore, individual prayer, whole team prayer, prayer with local believers and with team members will be encouraged. The Laarim have practiced African tribal religion for many generations. In their worldview, spirits have great influence in all aspects of life. There are many rituals and cultural activities which attempt to manage the influence of the spirits for the good of the community. These deep seated spiritual strongholds will only be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, released through concerted prayer and obedience to the realised truth of the Word of God.
What skills do team members need?
All team members will strive to become conversant in using the Laarim language. Additionally, Juba Arabic, the trade language of South Sudan, would be advantageous but not mandatory. Incoming new members joining the team will devote at least six months to learning Laarim language and culture prior to beginning other ministry pursuits. New members will be introduced to language learning methods to enable them to pursue self-directed community and relationship based language learning.
A variety of vocational skill sets would enhance this AIM Laarim ministry team’s church planting goal. New team members will:
- • have pursued educational or vocational training beyond Secondary School to prepare them with life skills that can add value to the Laarim communities.
- • have Biblical and theological training in preparation for the primary ministry of church planting.
- • use their skills (be that in healthcare, agriculture, veterinary services, education, or any other skill) if the community requires them, rather than being AIM or missionary initiated.
- • only use their skills as a secondary activity to the church planting team goals. Activities and relationships from these secondary activities would intentionally be to enhance the primary purpose of seeing Christ-centred churches transforming every Laarim village.
The team will begin in mid-2019 with opportunities for members to join at any time after.
Interested? Get in touch…
If this opportunity interests you, feel free to contact us to find out more or ask any questions you might have. Thank you