Due to civil unrest in the country of Sudan, many refugees were forced to flee their country. WELS congregations in North America have provided a spiritual home for some of these refugees since 2006. One refugee, Peter Bur, came to Omaha, Nebr., and began worshiping at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in 2010. He enrolled in the Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI), graduated in 2015, and was assigned to serve as a Sudanese ministry coordinator for WELS Joint Missions. In this role, Rev. Bur began to coordinate pastoral training of South Sudanese leaders in North America and also in refugee camps in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. He is presently being joined in the coordination effort by other South Sudanese leaders, various district mission boards in the United States, and the WELS One Africa Team in Africa.
The work is currently focusing on training spiritual leaders in the refugee camps of Gambella, Ethiopia, and Kakuma, Kenya. WELS sister churches, the Lutheran Church of Ethiopia (LCE) and the LCMC-Kenya, are instrumental partners in providing confessional Lutheran training to the refugee camps.
- Congregations in Gambella, Ethiopia, wanting Lutheran training for their leaders: 16
- South Sudanese men who have received Lutheran training in Kakuma, Kenya: 17
- North American congregations with Sudanese ministries: 10
- South Sudanese pastors graduated from the Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI) program: 2
- South Sudanese men currently in the PSI program: 3
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