Thursday, May 15, 2014
The United States has ordered sanctions against two of the key figures involved in the fighting, but to this point little has deterred the sinister motives of the conflicting parties, resulting in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands being displaced. Food shortages abound among these desperate people. According to the UN, in the upcoming months a famine of massive proportions could be the result. Please continue to pray for a peaceful solution to this man-made catastrophe.
Over the past few weeks I have spoken or met with representatives from other like-minded organizations working in South Sudan. Most of them also evacuated their expatriate staff at about the same time or earlier than we did. While some have authorized a minimal return of staff to certain less affected areas, most have not been willing to risk such a dangerous move.
The sad reality of this decision is that the approximately 3,000 people who seek medical treatment, the feeding program and immunizations each month through the Akot Medical Mission, will no longer have that option. The place that provided “hope and healing” to the lost and suffering in the Name of Christ is now closed.
As a result, we will no longer accept contributions for the Akot Medical Mission. We intend to provide for our staff as best and as long as possible, but we cannot expect folks to financially support a ministry which is not functioning.
I will gladly answer any questions you may have concerning this decision and the desperate situation which exists in South Sudan. Please do not hesitate to call.
I appreciate your prayers, support and encouragement over the years and I know the people touched by your compassion and kindness thank you too. Please pray!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Dear Friends, Please Pray!
As you may know, following months of political unrest and fighting in South Sudan and a couple of serious incidents on or near the Akot Medical Mission compound involving armed groups, in late February we made the difficult decision to evacuate the expatriate staff. While the news since flying them to safety in Kenya has not been encouraging, fighting in our area had not reached the level of other parts of the country. That is, until now.
On Saturday I received word that 15 villagers had been killed in Akot. This morning I received a more detailed update indicating that the number in Akot was 16 and in neighboring Aduel 23 had been killed. Neither of these reports provided any indication of the probable larger numbers which may have been wounded or injured.
It is heart breaking to realize that at a time when the long-suffering people of this desperate nation need the medical treatment provided by the Akot Medical Mission the most, the facility is closed. But, for the most part, the people have fled into the bush for safety – living under trees or whatever they can find – as far from the immediate danger as possible. That doesn’t lessen the need for medical attention, in fact, it increases it
I ask that you earnestly pray for the people of South Sudan and for the future of the Akot Medical Mission. In the next few weeks we are asking God to provide a clear answer to our prayers…whether we can return.
Our desire is to be within God’s will and to be the hands and feet of Christ to the lost and suffering.
William N. Deans
AKOT MEDICAL MISSION
P. O. Box 890
Mount Pleasant, SC, USA 29465-0890
Friday, February 28, 2014
As you may know from news accounts, the political situation in South Sudan has not been stable for several months. There was a failed coup attempt which took place in Juba, the capital, on December 15. While unsuccessful, the fighting then spread to other areas of the country as rebels attempted to take control of key cities. Fortunately, the conflict did not directly affect our ministry at the Akot Medical Mission, the closest fighting taking place in Bor, about 100 miles to the east.
Because of the overall instability and danger, many organizations have found it necessary to evacuate their staff from South Sudan, but our staff requested they be allowed to remain in place. Their thinking was that the much needed treatment and ministry the Lord has called us to provide is even more vital as large numbers of refugees flee the conflict areas. Until recently we felt comfortable in honoring their request to stay and serve the suffering people of South Sudan.
But, over this past couple of weeks the situation has changed dramatically. One of our partner organizations had staff members beaten and threatened, forcing them to evacuate and put their operations on hold. Then, last Friday night armed men cut through our security fence, entered the compound, pointing weapons at the staff while attempting to steal vital equipment.
Life in South Sudan has never been without some degree of danger, but under the current situation it is even more so. On several occasions, our staff has been stopped by armed bandits, even fired upon. The bullet holes shown in the attached picture are evidence of the seriousness of this matter. Several months ago army troops committed what is best described as extortion when they seized one of our missionaries and a vehicle, demanding money for his release and the return of the vehicle.
With this history of criminal acts and the escalating lawlessness of the past few weeks, the conditions are far too serious to dismiss. The safety and security of our expatriate and Sudanese staff now dictate that appropriate action be taken to protect them from harm.tortion when they seized one of our missionaries and a vehicle, demanding money for his release and the return of the vehicle.in the attached picture are evidence of the seriousness of this matter. Several months ago army troops committed what is best described as extortion when they seized one of our missionaries and a vehicle, demanding money for his release and the return of the vehicle.d picture are evidence of the seriousness of this matter. Several months ago army troops committed what is best described as extortion when they seized one of our missionaries and a vehicle, demanding money for his release and the return of the vehicle.
After careful consultation with our ministry partner organizations we made the difficult decision to evacuate all of our expatriate staff and temporarily cease operations until the dangerous situation which exists in South Sudan is resolved.
Over the past few days, careful planning with African Inland Mission (AIM Air) and others allowed us to coordinate an exit strategy for the staff. This morning, an AIM plane landed at dawn to effect this action. Moments ago I received word that all are now safe in neighboring Kenya.
In my communications with the local Chief, I characterized this evacuation as unfortunate but necessary. It is our hope and prayer that it will prove to be a temporary move and the dangerous conditions which forced it can and will be resolved in the near future. Please earnestly pray with us for calm and stability in South Sudan!
Thank you for your support and encouragement over the years. Please contact me if your have any questions. May God’s will be accomplished in these difficult times.