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Dearest in Christ,

We first and for most greet you in a gracious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the true identity of our faith and who bring us together as one family in Him. We are delighted that you visit us and would like to say thank you too, for inviting others to know more about us. As we may be of different church backgrounds, St. Paul reminded us that, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).

The U.S.L.C. used to be United Sudanese Christian Church, (see about us) but on Easter Sunday, the 31st day of March in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Thirteen, with God’s divine work, we were confirmed as members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LC-MS). This affiliation was not man’s plan, but God’s plan through guidance of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, we found this Church as more pure in its teaching (visit Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at www.lcms.org) to learn more about this congregation. We are where we belong and we pray that you may find interest to join us.

The USLC is a sub-parish sponsored by Resurrection Lutheran Church, operating under guidance of Rev. Dr. Curtis Peters whom you may reach at curtandpam@earthlink.net or (502) 599-2522. It is our pleasure to conclude this by thanking Resurrection congregation for allowing us to use their facility. Also, we thank our District and LC-MS Headquarter for their warm welcoming to be part of their Congregation.

“Let brother love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:1-2)

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Confirmation Sunday

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The following pictures were taken during the Confirmation Sunday, March 31, 2013. The service was initiated by Rev. Dr. Curtis Peters of Resurrection Lutheran Church.

We greatly appreciated all those who attend this historic event and also those who pray about it.

Dr. Tom Hallquist from Nasheville addressing audience

Dr. Tom Hallquist from Nasheville addressing audience

Rev. Samuel Mhlanga from Zibabwe addressing audience

Rev. Samuel Mhlanga from Zibabwe addressing audience

Rev. Michael Boyd of Concordia conduct devotional comments with reading

Rev. Michael Boyd of Concordia conduct devotional comments with reading

Pastor John recieve a letter of recognition from Pastor Peters.

Pastor John recieve a letter of recognition from Pastor Peters.

The Bible constantly provides image, narrative, symbols, assuredness, and promises as the crucified Churches in South Sudan continue to grow in unutterable suffering.

Dear Family of Christ,

It is always an honor and great privilege to share with you the stories of my journey every time I had opportunity to visit South Sudan. The heart-rending stories in the country which has endured years of savage wars and now wrestling to find meaning of their precious young born nation which they achieved its independence with the help from many friends such as you—“a voice of voiceless” has a lot to be praying for.

Juba International Airport

Landing in Juba International Airport on Thursday, May 31, 2012 with a direct flight from Dulles, Washington DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and to a dusty capital city of South Sudan was a great thanks to God because there never been any international trip that has direct connection with that region before. I don’t really remember if it was tarmacked then, but what I remembered there was a single terminal building without concourse that typically serves all of the functions. I landed and find three friends of mind who were waiting in extremely hot weather-sweating profusely. There was no shuttle airline connection bus, so we took a few minutes’ walk to that small congested building where wrestling was the only mean to find what you want or where to go (no organized queue). It took me one hour plus to get my passport stamp and to collect my languages. Although the trip from United States to South Sudan took me about 20 hours I was still look sharp and fresh, but entering into that small congested building I became exhausted, weary, and sweating profusely; and the clothes I wore also creased. Since there were no stanchions positioning, the rule of “first come first serve” doesn’t work, thus yelling at each other was so common, and, even at some point some folded their fist or took law into their hands for being pushed so hard or stepped on foot. So landing in Juba, then, was a bit irritating but no blame, the country is just starting from the scratch-Every development always starts at that very humble stage and grow overtime.

The “Crucified Church” of Sudan

Whenever I visit and see how Christians are so committed in serving the Lord Jesus in such a profound suffering I recalled what Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said during his visit to Juba in 1995 when he was welcome by a crowd estimated 86,000. In his word, “If there is one thing that stands out in our experience of the Sudanese church, it is that even though the problems are enormous, the wounds so deep, still Sudanese love and praise their God. Perhaps it is truly because, ‘God is only strength and hope, a very present help in trouble.’ …If our first impression of Sudan may be tragedy, our last impression are of the triumph of Christ crucified and raised from the dead.’” That was truly a correct observation because Sudanese Churches flourish as problems are intensified—knowing that the only help in such unutterable suffering is having faith in God.

The Dedication of St. Paul Parish in Yei

The dedication of St. Paul, the church of which God used me to plant during my first visit: 2010- 2011, was described by it congregation residing in Yei, Central Equatoria as “God (Nhialic) has seen our suffering and send His Servants to restore our hope.” The ceremony was attended by Archbishop of the Anglican Church South Sudan, Most Rev. John Machar Thon, bishop of Rumbek, Rt. Rev. Moses Ater Pagarau, and bishop of Akhot, Rt. Rev. John Machuei Ater; and many clergies representing many churches, chiefs, and representatives from various government branches. The estimated crowd was over 4000 with youth and children population surpassing the ceremony’s attendees.

Songs of suffering and those of retaining hope and faith in such terrible situation dominate the ceremony. Among these was the renowned song among Dinka Christians composed by Mary

Aluel Garang, entitle: “Let Us Give Thanks.” The first verse is as follow:

“Let us give thanks. Let us give thanks to the Lord in the day of devastation, and in the day of contentment. Jesus has bound the world round with the pure light of the word of his Father. When we beseech the Lord and unite our hearts and have hope, then the jok (evil) has no power. God has not forsaken us. Evil is departing and holiness is advancing, these are things that shaken the earth.” Translation was by Marc Nikkel (Land of Promise, pp. 70-71).

Even though pressing needs such as food could be the first thing that one could expect in speeches of desperate populations who are internally displaced from their home towns due internal conflict and force to live in such places where they neither receive relief, nor practice their traditional life of farming-leave alone having job. The best selected orators recalled the striking features of the country’s political trajectory where they have been deprived of rights and privileges by their ages-archenemy (Arab). In their words, “We have been killed, slaved, forced to recant our Christian faith to be Muslim, forced to embrace Arab norms and cultures instead of ours, deprived of education as a mean of keeping us marginalized. Our dominant have been intentional poised us to bear diseases knowing that we cannot find treatment because no clinics…’We don’t want our children to go under such terrible ordeal as we have been. Tell our Christian friends in America that please help us, we need your support: we need schools and clinics.”’ The speeches were emotional, some even cries as frail and elderly despondent quiver words of dismay.

Chosen Generation

The disadvantages young generation in South Sudan called themselves a “chosen generation” a name coinage by Lost Boys from Sudan as God’s chosen generation to serve Him. It was taken in (1 Peter 2:9) “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaimed the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” Christianity in Sudan especially South was first received by young generation who left their parents behind to worship their ancestral or traditional gods and they embraced new God known as in Dinka language Nhialic. This young generation becomes role model in shaping Christianity in the way more understandable to their parents. Their time is entirely spent in the church’s activities as many of them who lost parents used to say, “God is our father and mother, and church is our home.” They don’t have schools, they don’t have jobs-they just live to fight another day. But their faith and hope in God never waver because the Bible assured them that “Be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). And this unshakeable faith proved right the observation of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, …even though the problems are enormous, the wounds so deep, still Sudanese love and praise their God…” For it is out of the harsh, dry soil of war, loss, and oppression that shoots of new life sprung out, thus “Death has come to reveal the faith.” Mary Aluel, in this song urges her fellow Christians to withstand the test of the time.

Does Anybody Care?

It is requisite to conclude this with what our Lord Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visit Me; I was in prison and you come to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see You a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothed You. Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’ (Matt. 25:35-40). In the same way Paul urges us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). So our prayers and supports in any form can restore the hope of these people who live in nadir of despair.

In my final note, I would like to thank Cloverleaf Baptist Church congregation for their prayers and supports during my last visit to South Sudan. I would like to thank them too for their continue supports to orphans’ scholarship program. Moreover, I am grateful to the United Sudanese Christian Church congregation for their financial support, especially at the time when I was hard-up in that hard life of South Sudan. Also, I thank Archbishop John Thon, Moses Ater, and John Machuei for travelling long way for the purpose of dedication of St. Paul Parish in Yei. My sincere thank goes to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod of Indiana District for donating Luther’s Small Catechism to Duk Diocese clergies. And finally I thank my wife Deborah Riak for working tirelessly in taking pictures and recording video of all the events. In all these, let remember to: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”

God bless you all

God’s Richest Blessings,

Rev. John Deng Ater

The pictures below were taken during St. Paul’s Dedication ceremony in Yei and some at memorial service of MP Hon. Joel Maker Deng Malou who died on July 13, 2012. A sincere and honest politician ever born in history of South Sudan. His country loves him so much and he was used to be called a “straight forward man who never hesitate to tell the truth.”

Event date: 4/29/2012

Event location: Cloverleaf Baptist Church

4401 Manslick Rd,

Louisville, KY 40216

Time: 1:00-3:00 PM

All church growth starts with prayer and communion with Christ because He is the head of the church and He initiates it. Moreover, as Christians we cannot do anything unless we are cooperating with divine action. Our church, the United Sudanese Christian Church in cooperation with other Sudanese local churches in our region have been led by God to work toward owning a church which will unite us together. This is a “God given dream” that we come together as His children under one roof and in headship of His Son Jesus Christ. As God called us together to do His work, we will present to you His plans and fund raising already underway. We pray that the accomplishment of this task will bring glory to God and blessing to His people wherever they might be.

Your prayers and attendance in this event are greatly appreciated.

In our Lord’s service,

John Deng Ater, Pastor.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Greetings to you all in the gracious name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am so grateful to be back after 2 months on a mission trip to Southern Sudan and Uganda. I felt God’s presence and protection throughout my journey, especially in Southern Sudan where most places I visited had no access to modern transportation such as planes or cars. Instead, I walked at some points, even barefooted due to flooding in the areas. But in all of this, God was in control and had my best interest at heart. I totally leaned on Him and had in mind what David said in Psalms 119:105. “Your word is lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” I also thank Him for giving me an opportunity to go back to see my country which I left many years ago and to be able to meet some of my family members whom I have been apart from for decades. I was further given the opportunity to minister to His people who we all know have undergone tribulation.

Moreover, I am grateful for those who have supported me in prayer and finances. I also thank Archbishop John Thon of the Anglican Church of Sudan who was with me throughout my visit and stay in Southern Sudan. Furthermore, I am grateful for the privilege to meet other bishops who came from different parts of Southern Sudan such Rt. Rev. David Monychol, (Khorfolus Diocese), Rt. Rev. Paul Chol, (Malut Diocese), and Francis Biol, (Bor Diocese). I pray that God will continue to strength our relationship and give us courage to make outreach to His people who are in uncomfortable zones.

I would also love to extend my special thanks to those who have been praying about Southern Sudan’s referendum vote; God has granted what we asked. The vote was overwhelmingly passed with 98% voting in favor of separation. Therefore, on July 9, 201l, a new nation will be born, the Republic of Southern Sudan. Let’s continue to pray for a peaceful relationship between the North and South and for the pending issue of Abyei to be solved peacefully.

Please also pray that God will send His workers to help in transforming the country which was ruined during 50 years of civil war, from 1955 until the signing of the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) in 2005. There are needs to develop education to improve the literacy rate (80-90% of children and youth population have no access to schools), clinics to reduce the death rate, and boreholes to provide clean water, just to mention few. Let’s remember what our Lord Jesus said inMatthews 9:35-38 ..”the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,..” pray that God will send His altruistic individuals to extricate the destitute of Southern Sudan.

Finally, pray for me as I plan to have another trip back to Southern Sudan in December of this year. There are other churches that I didn’t manage to reach due to the limits of time during my previous visit and they yearn for my visitation with them. The mission will also include a field visit for a future school construction. Pray that God may provide financial blessing for this trip and the development of the school, which will serve all 10 states in Southern Sudan.

God bless you.

In our Lord’s Service,

Ven. John Deng Ater

note, click the photo in order to read more information

 

 

 


As one of our valuable friends in Christ’s family, we invite you to our joint prayer service beginning promptly at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 14, 2010 at Cloverleaf Baptist Church, 4401 Manslick Road, Louisville, KY, 40216.  This event will be for Kentucky and Tennessee Congregations, as well as other prayer supporters in the region.

The purpose of this event is to acknowledge God and ask Him to intervene in the Southern Sudan Referendum to be voted on January 9, 2011.

The citizens and natives of Sudan have suffered, been mistreated, and exposed to unspeakable death on their own soil for many years and their usurpers have had no pity to grant them rights and freedom.

Who should be their voice? We need to raise our hands and ask God to speak for the voiceless in this tough time of our country’s decision.

Your attendance with your family and friends is very important and will be greatly appreciated.  God bless you all.

In Our Lord’s Service,

John Deng Ater, Pastor

Contact: 502-356-2863 or email: uscchurch@gmail.com

 

Welcome to Our New Site!

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Dear Family of Christ,

Greetings to you in the gracious name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Thank you for visiting our web site.  You are welcome to share with us the love of Christ, the true identity of our faith.  In just a few years of inception, the U.S.C.C. has been blessed through the ministry of bringing many Christians together with an “open door policy” to work with all denominations.  I believe our fellowship is requisite for building strong relationships that will depict us as children of one God.  This true love has been demonstrated by Cloverleaf Baptist Church who has allowed us to use their facility. .“  May God bless this Church.   We were strangers and they took us in, which is the fulfillment of what our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 25:35, “. . . I was a stranger, and you took me in.”

Please feel free to contact me, or one of the church leaders, if you have questions or would like additional information.  We would be honored to have you join us in worship

In Our Lord’s Service,

Archdeacon John Deng Ater