8/8/2016
Lifting Up His Banner

South Sudan is located in the heavily Muslim area of Northeast Africa, and is one of the most hostile and underdeveloped countries in the world. While the North and South were unified, civil war was common with estimates of four million casualties over the past 60 years. In fact, since the mid 1950's there have been a total of only 10 years without civil war. South Sudan gained its independance from Sudan in 2011, but unrest continues to plague the country. The government is currently at war with at least seven armed groups in 9 of its 10 states. However, even with the difficult times for the people of Sudan and South Sudan, there fire of peace beginning to burn that no one would have ever expected. 

We, here in the United States, have taken notice of this fire because of the significant increase in visits to branham.org and themessage.com. Sudan's rank in visits compared to every country in the world has gone from 147th a year ago, to 14th now (branham.org). South Sudan has very limited internet access, but it's influence may be the reason Sudan has such a marked increase. So what's happening in that part of the world that is causing such an increase in activity on our websites? Our Kenya office manager answered that question with one of his recent reports. 

Brother Barnabas Kariuki, VGR manager in Kenya, recently submitted this report about the Message of Malachi 4 spreading to the indigenous tribes of South Sudan.

Lifting up the Royal Banner lately. The Lord has opened up the doors for evangelism in South Sudan and we have had great successes there. We’ve been supplying denominational churches with books and MP3s, with wonderful results. One highly trained theologian, head of a diocese of a famous denomination, vehemently opposed the Message when he first heard it. But he asked our evangelists to leave him with a Church Age Book. Three weeks later (last month) he called the VGR office here with great news: he had found the truth and had already taught it to his church and 88 of were ready for baptism. He wanted us to send the evangelists back at his cost, who would baptize him and his people.

He said he has 74 churches under him in both South Sudan and Ethiopia, and he wants them all supplied with VGR material. By mid-last month, 326 people had been baptized in the Name of the Lord. He decided to send our evangelist deep into the jungle where the Name of Christ had never been heard. Within a week just over 100 were baptized. Among them were two primary school teachers and 14 of their students. We rented a big hall for them and they started daily tape-listening sessions, using the great English-Swahili microSD card in a cheap $10 phone with a small radio for amplification.

Suddenly last Friday, war broke out in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city, where rival soldiers have by now left about 500 dead.

On Saturday this remote village was woken up by cruel sounds of automatic gunfire, as marauding, half-drunken soldiers went on a wild killing spree. The believers ran into the church to find refuge. They invited as many villagers as possible to join them, along with the students that were now fleeing in all directions. Unfortunately, this made them an easy target for the killers, as the church became the only inhabited spot in that unfortunate community. One of the teachers closed the door of the church behind him and stood outside. He got a hold of one of the beautiful jewels of a Message book and courageously held it high above his head, calling upon the Name of the Lord with a loud voice: “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” Behind him, the tape was on, and the believers were worshiping the Lord of hosts. For reasons we might never know, the soldiers would approach, stare blankly at him, and spring away in their evil pursuits of the screaming humanity. These month-old brethren in the Message have told us we just don’t know what we have in our hands. They have seen God in both written and audio form!

They want to thank the troops at VGR who packed that particular Banner of a Book that the teacher lifted high, and those that had paid for it! By yesterday, 50 of the villagers were dead and hundreds wounded in a region without any health facility. The believers and all their colleagues are still in the church, fearing to venture out into the ghostly village. Please remember them in prayers. The atmosphere is still very volatile. Pastors at the border have told us that hundreds of Sudanese are closing the border into Kenya. We have inquired as far away as Weir, 600 miles north-east of Juba, and, Amazing Grace, all our brethren are safe, as of this morning. We have a living God. Commenting of the East Africa situation back in 1964, the prophet, early but very accurately, remarked that some foreign powers were “getting guns to the natives, and they don't know no better than to use them just on anything that they see to use it on.” [64-0719M The Feast Of The Trumpets.] That cost us great meetings, but we are glad that we now have more than our share The Spiritual Food in due season. Much more than we would have had if he had come in person. Glory!!

Brother Barnabas

VGR Kenya

We haven't received any reports of believers being harmed in the recent fighting.

For the believers in Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia who are reading this article: We love you and we appreciate your love for the Lord and His Word. Once this article posts, there will be believers around the world praying for you. Keep pressing the battle because Jesus will soon be here to carry us away from this sinful earth! We also send our regards to the faithful missionaries and our beloved friends in Kenya. You are doing a wonderful work. May our Lord Jesus continue to bless your efforts.  

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