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A new nation and a new ministry

The Mission Society opens a field in South Sudan

The Mission Society recently opened a new field in the newly formed nation of South Sudan. Drs. Lynn and Sharon Fogleman have been appointed to serve in South Sudan, working jointly with The Mission Society, the East Africa Conference of The United Methodist Church, and the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

The Foglemans are both family physicians. They spent 10 years serving as doctors at Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya, and the past 14 years at the Red Bird Clinic in Kentucky. They plan to work with the 17 United Methodist churches in Yei, South Sudan, which has one of the poorest health care situations in the world. South Sudan is one of the least developed African nations. Electricity and running water are scarce, and most people survive by subsistence farming.

The Foglemans hope to provide public health education to promote disease prevention using the model of Community Health Evangelism. “Our hope for ministry in South Sudan is to promote health - body, mind, and spirit - while working with village leaders at this critical time in the history of this new country. We have a vision of healthy Sudanese people of many tribes and languages working together for truly healthy communities by knowing Jesus and helping to make Him known!” says Sharon.

Sudan has had a long history of civil war and strife between the largely Arab, Muslim north and the non-Arab, non-Muslim south. More than four million people were displaced and more than two million killed during the conflict that began in 1955 and lasted more than two decades. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 led to "relative peace," and displaced persons starting flooding back into their southern homeland. In January 2011, the people of southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence from the North. South Sudan became an independent state on July 9, 2011.