The Story Continues of the South Sudanese UMC - March 21, 2016

The Story Continues of the South Sudanese UMC - March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Written by Judy Marnin and Beverly Nolte

Pastor Aaron Limmo completed Grade Eight while staying with an uncle in Khartoum, then capital of the Sudan. Because of high grade scores and excellent study habits, he passed over high school to attend Gideon Theological College, the only high level theological school of the Sudan Interior Church (SIC). Upon completion of his four year study he was given a certificate. It was later in Syracuse, NY that Aaron studied to receive his GED.

The Sudan Interior Mission is an interdenominational missionary sending organization that planted the Gospel seeds in many West African countries as well as initially in the Sudan. They entered the country in 1937 and began work among the Mabaan peoples. This work continued until the missionaries were expelled from the south as the civil war escalated. They returned in 1978 after this two year war was over only to have their work suspended in 1984 due to political turmoil. 

According to his mother village church services were to minister to children and youth so she sent him and his siblings to attend but did not go herself. Aaron received Christ as his personal Savior in 1988. He was baptized, became the choir director of Dar Salam Church. Aaron plays a mean guitar as well! For several years he was held this position, was youth chairman and coordinated the Mabaan Christian Fellowship in various churches. Aaron was selected to represent the Sudan Council of Churches in Taize, France, an ecumenical interspiritual monastic order. He worshipped and fellowshipped with the Taize Brothers for three months. 

In 2009 and 2010, United Methodist Women around the United States studied the African country of Sudan. During that study, we learned Sudan officially became an independent nation in 1956, but fighting between the northern regions and the southern regions had been going on for years, and continued after independence. Finally, in 1973, a fragile peace agreement was reached, but that lasted only ten years. In 1983, open warfare began again for another 22 years. In 2005, another peace agreement was brokered, with the provision that in 2010, an election would be held to see if Sudan should be split into two countries.

The election was held in 2011, and the outcome was nearly unanimous in the south: there would be a new country in the world, South Sudan! The world rejoined! Salva Kiir was proclaimed the new President, and Riek Machar was Vice-President. There was much celebration, dancing, and singing around the country.  But within a year, the two highest officers began plotting against each other, and fighting began again.

This newest country in the world is still being torn by guns, machetes, violence, and killing. On February 27, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, a frequent visitor to South Sudan, wrote a column called “The Killing Field,” in which he sadly describes the skeletons and skulls that he saw in a recent visit.  Here is a link:  (

Come to meet these South Sudanese Mabaan people as they worship at Epworth UMC, 412 E. Euclid,  Sundays at 12:30 PM.   

How can you/your group or church be involved with this new congregation of faith?

Consider offering a campership for their children! Plan ahead to let your VBS offering support them. Their Advance Special number is #267 for monetary gifts.