Students at a Langham Literature member college who were forced to flee South Sudan were so determined to complete their course last year, that they ended up building their own classroom.
The seventeen students were in their third and final year at the Anglican ‘Bishop Allison Theological College’ (BATC) in southwest South Sudan, when civil war broke out in July 2016.
It was extremely difficult for the students to escape the country and some were harassed and beaten by soldiers. But many were able to reach refugee camps in northern Uganda.
Reunited as refugees
These students reunited in September last year, and found a place to resume their studies. They used local materials such as wooden poles and plastic tarpaulin to build their own classroom. The group completed their course in December 2017.
Now many of these students are pastors to South Sudanese congregations who are living in refugee camps in northern Uganda.
Over the last two years, Langham Literature has given BATC two library grants, as it is a ‘member college’.
Free of charge
Langham Literature’s Library Grant Programme enables member colleges to purchase books for their library from its Catalogue. It features over 5,700 books in English and French.
Between July 2017 and July 2018, Langham Literature supplied over 10,000 books to evangelical colleges in the Majority World free of charge through this programme.
Current student Isaac Kenyi expressed his appreciation for the resources he receives at BATC.
Serving the South Sudan community
“I have been sharing all the materials I got from the college with other people who want to be leaders and I share with them all the time.”
He also said the course is not just about academic success, but about learning to resolve issues and serve the community.
“I am very happy that as I continue learning at this college my life with continue progressing in all areas”, Isaac said.
‘We need to know God’
Two million South Sudanese people are refugees in surrounding countries. Nearly two million people are displaced within South Sudan.
Ayida Yawa Elly Awile joined the BATC student body from a Church in Village 14 of Bidi Bidi refugee camp. She explained why she came to BATC: “I am a leader. I want to study theology so that my leadership will be founded on God. God has the wisdom, so for leaders who want to do things in the right way, we need to know God.”
BATC’s Academic Dean Levi Lukadi wrote ‘Reconciliation and Peace in South Sudan’, which was published by a Langham Literature imprint in 2012.
The research for this book was carried out prior to the creation of The Republic of South Sudan. He argues that the Church and the Government must both play a critical role in bringing peace to South Sudan.
BATC is thankful for God’s grace and friends such as Langham Literature who are preparing future leaders of the South Sudanese Church.
Source: Bishop Allison Theological College newsletter July 2018.