Every Village Short Term Mission Training

This Every Village E-Learning Training is to help you prepare for a short-term trip to South Sudan.

Introduction to Every Village

The Every Village Mission

South Sudan is a place filled with beautiful people facing immense challenges.

On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation—declaring independence from neighboring Sudan. The celebrated secession, however, didn’t bring a cure to the economic hardship, inaccessible clean water, minuscule literacy rate, and limited knowledge about Jesus. A  vast country with virtually no infrastructure, South Sudan is a war-torn place that’s easily forgotten.

But God remembers the South Sudanese, and He is raising up a movement of people who are passionate about reaching every village with His hope and love.

Why Every Village?

Formerly Aid Sudan, we changed our name to Every Village in May 2012—maintaining the mission to love the South Sudanese people.

Watch this video to learn how Every Village got its name

Why Every Village?

Formerly Aid Sudan, we changed our name to Every Village in May 2012—maintaining the mission to love the South Sudanese people.

Watch this video to learn how Every Village got its name

We’re working tirelessly to see holistic transformation throughout South Sudan—envisioning every village with access to clean water, every village being impacted by radio, and every village with missionaries making disciples & planting churches.

In short, Every Village exists to bring glory to God through the transformation of every village in South Sudan by the spread of the gospel and community development.

Our Three Program Areas

The first program area is implementing water wells. This fulfills one of the greatest physical needs of the people and builds greater credibility for Every Village. The second area is radio, which includes our radio towers, broadcasting efforts, and the distribution of solar-powered, hand-held radios. The radio towers are part of Every Village’s radio station network, which communicates the gospel and community development programming in various locations in South Sudan. The third program area is short-term and long-term missionaries. They serve as the hands and feet in South Sudan and engage in discipleship and church planting efforts. 

The way water, radio, and missionaries tie together is incredible. The combination of these programs allows us to reach th e people from the base roots of the village - men, women, and children of all ages and in all walks of life. When you meet a person’s basic need of clean water, and then fill the spiritual gaps with the gospel message via radio, followed by the relationship building and discipleship by the missionaries on the ground…lives are changed eternally.

*Write in your journal a summary of what you have learned in this lesson and be ready to share with your teammates one thing that touched your heart.

We exist to bring glory to God through the of every village in South Sudan by the spread of the and community .


Introduction to South Sudan

The History of South Sudan


South Sudan, officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in Northeastern Africa.  South Sudan is the world's newest country having gained its independence from Sudan in 2011.  Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city.   South Sudan includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd, formed by the White Nile and known locally as the Bahr al Jabal.  Notice the White Nile, the towns in South Sudan (can you find Tonj?) and the countries bordering South Sudan on the map.    

A brief History:

Cush (Kush) was an ancient kingdom beginning in 1700 BC and centered on the confluences of the Nile rivers in Northern Sudan.  At the height of their glory, the Cushites conquered an empire that stretched from what is now known as South Kordofan (central Sudan) all the way to the Sinai.   

There are several prophecies in the Old Testament that speak of the people of Cush.  

"Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God" Psalm 68:31

"... Tribute will be brought to the LORD of hosts from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of hosts."  Isaiah 18:7

" From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering." Zephaniah 3:10

After the collapse of the Cushite empire several states emerged in its former territories, among them Nubia.  In Greek geography, Nubia was named Ethiopia.   The "Ethiopian Eunuch" (Acts 8:26-39) was most likely a black Nubian from the Meroë.  By the 6th century, three kingdoms emerged as the political and cultural heirs of the Meroitic Kingdom. Nobatia in the north, the central kingdom of Makuria and Alawa in the heartland of old Meroë.  Missionaries brought different forms of Christianity to the three Kingdoms.  Islam progressed in the area over a long period of time through intermarriage and contacts with Arab merchants.

The  Nilotic people of South Sudan—the Acholi, Anyuak, Bari, Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Zande and others— are most likely among the descendants of the ancient people of Kush and Nubia.   The Nilotic tribes first entered South Sudan sometime before the 10th century. During the period from the 15th to the 19th centuries, tribal migrations, largely from the area of Bahr el Ghazal, brought the Anyuak, Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk to their modern locations of both Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile Regions, while the Acholi and Bari settled in Equatoria.

The Sudanese Civil Wars:

The territories of modern South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan were occupied by Egypt under the  Muhammad Ali Dynasty (beginning in 1805) and later governed as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium until Sudanese independence was achieved in 1956.  Following the First Sudanese Civil War (Anyanya I), the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was formed in 1972 and lasted until 1983.  A second Sudanese civil war (Anyanya II) soon developed mostly between the Sudan Government and the Sudanese People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) which was led by the late John Garang de Mabior.  Roughly two million people died as a result of war, famine and disease caused by the conflict. Four million people in southern Sudan were displaced during the war.  The 23 year war ended  with the Comprehensive Peace Agreements signed in January 2005.  John Garang died in a helicopter crash in July 30, 2005.

South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote.   South Sudan has suffered internal conflict since its independence; it has the highest score on the Fragile States Index (formerly called the Failed States Index).

The South Sudan Civil War:

In December 2013, a political power struggle broke out between President Kiir and his Vice President Riek Machar, as the president accused Mr. Machar and ten others of attempting a coup.   Although both men have supporters from across South Sudan's ethnic divides, subsequent fighting has predominantely communal, with rebels targeting members of President Kiir's Dinka ethnic group and government soldiers attacking Nuers.  (Photo below: Riek Macar and President Salva Kiir)

Up to 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed inter-ethnic Dinka - Nuer conflict.  More than 1 Million people have been displaced inside South Sudan and more than 400,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries.  

At the end of September 2014, both factions of the SPLM, including SPLM-IO, agreed to a long sought proposal by the opposition and more neutral players to a federalition proposal.   

In 2015 August, despite "reservations" and under threat of UN sanctions, President Salva Kiir signed an internationally-mediated peace deal under which rebel leader Riek Machar will return as vice-president.  The two sides have also agreed to form a transitional government, although it has long been delayed with key deadlines having been missed.

Watch this summary video of South Sudan's recent history: http://www.newsweek.com/watch-south-sudan-birth-and-decline-nation-461152

In October 2015, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir issued a decree establishing 28 states in place of the 10 constitutionally established states. 

The decree established the new states largely along ethnic lines.  Compare with this map below. 

The population of South Sudan based on the latest United Nations Population Division data is estimated at 12.7 Million.  The average annual population growth rate is ranked third in the world at over 4%.

South Sudan, the newest country in the world, is a broken country both spiritually and physically.  Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring healing and hope to people of South Sudan.    

*Write in your journal a summary of what you have learned in this lesson and be ready to share with your teammates one thing that touched your heart.

Watch this summary video of South Sudan's recent history.

When did the Republic of South Sudan officially celebrate its independence?

  • January 9, 2011
  • July 9, 2011

The Cultures of South Sudan

What is Culture?

A simple definition of culture is a people's mental map of the world which is used for determining action (Paul Heibert).  At the heart of a culture are the shared beliefs, feelings and values of a community of people.   The expression of culture can be found in language, religion and art forms (among other things). 

In this section we will give a brief overview of the different aspects of the cultures found in South Sudan. 

The Languages of South Sudan

The official language of South Sudan is English.   The literacy rate of South Sudan according to the CIA World Factbook is 27% and is the lowest rate in the world.   

There are over 60 indigenous languages in South Sudan.  Most of them are classified under the Nilo-Saharan language group and collectively they represent two of the first order divisions of Nile Sudanic and Central Sudanic.  In the border region between Western Bahr Al Ghazal state and Sudan are an indeterminate number of people who primarily speak Chadian languages.

In the capital, Juba, the majority of the people use non-classical Arabic, usually called Juba Arabic.  In the states bordering with Sudan, there is a significant population of the people who speak Sudanese Arabic.  


The most recent Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life report from December 2012 estimated that in 2010, 60% claimed to be Christian, 32 % associated themselves with African Traditional Religion (Animism), and 6% as Muslims. 



Due to the many years of civil war, the culture  is heavily influenced by the countries neighboring South Sudan. Many South Sudanese fled to neighboring countries where they interacted with the nationals and learnt their languages and culture. For most of those who remained in the country, or went North to Sudan and Egypt, they greatly assimilated Arabic culture. 

Many music artists from South Sudan have become popular worldwide which different genres of music.  Emmanuel Jal tells his story about his life on this video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44yq_AS6nq0

In South Sudan, traditional cultural music is still highly valued.  Through the ministry of the Every Village radio stations we can broadcast locally composed music that touches the hearts of the listeners.  Listen one of the Dinka radio stations streaming their programs at: http://everyvillage.org/listen

*Write in your journal a summary of what you have learned in this lesson and be ready to share with your teammates one thing that touched your heart.


According to the map of religions in South Sudan, what would be the religious landscape in the Tonj area?  (Find the town of Tonj on a map in the 'History of South Sudan' lesson).  

  • Primarily Islamic
  • Primarily Christian
  • Mixed Christian and Animism (African Traditional Religion)

Introduction to Missions

God's Purpose in Mission

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

You have set your glory above the heavens." Psalm 8:1

Why did God create the heavens and the earth and create men and women?                                                    What is the chief aim of God?   

As much as God loves people, we are not the center of his world.  The ultimate objective of God's mission on earth is not you or me.   God is consumed with bringing glory, majesty, honor and fame to his Name.   

"For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned?

My glory I will not give to another."  Isaiah 48:11

Our purpose is then to glorify God by worshipping Him through our obedience, confession, praise and service in the world.  

If we examine our desires, we often find we have ulterior motives in our service to God.   We are sometimes motivated by the glory we will get out of it.  


  • Look at your heart and write down those things that are motivations that come from the Spirit of God.  Ask him to increase that passion for his glory.  
  • Then write down those motivations that are not of God but of your flesh.   Repent of those selfish desires and ask him to give you a pure heart of selfless devotion.  
  • Be ready to share with your teammates during your upcoming meeting what you had written down. 

What is the chief aim of God?

  • To love sinners.
  • To glorify himself.
  • To save people from hell.

God on Mission

God's missionary work is based on his sovereign eternal purpose.   His comprehensive plan of redemption is according to the good pleasure of his will, the riches of his grace and to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:3-9).    That is why we pray:

"...your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10).  

We can be sure of one thing in this world.  God will give success to all those who are on mission with him.   Each person of the Trinity works together with us to guarantee the fulfillment of the missionary task.   Here is a short list of what God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit do in the salvation of sinners: 

The Father chose his people (Ephesians 1:4) and sent his Son to die for them (1 John 4:9).

The Son lived a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15) and died as our substitute (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The  Holy Spirit indwells the believer (Ephesians 1:13-14) and guides them into all truth (John 16:13)  


  • Read the Scriptures which describe the work of each person of the Trinity.  Write down in your journal words of thanks to God for what each Person of the Trinity has done for you.
  • Do a search online for at least 1 other work of each of the Persons of the Trinity.   Be prepared to share with your teammates what you have learned.         


God the Father  his people and  his Son to die for them.

God the Son  a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15) and  as our substitute.

God the Holy Spirit  the believer (Ephesians 1:13-14) and  them into all truth.

Christ on Mission

From start to finish the coming of Christ was a missionary event.  

  • Christmas is a missionary celebration remembering the initiation of Christ's earthly mission.  
  • Good Friday and Easter celebrate the basis upon missions will triumph.  
  • The Ascension celebrates Christ's sitting on his throne ruling over all the nations.  

Missions is the continuing activity of the Son of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.   Now Jesus is sending out his own disciples to finish the work he began.  Here are our instructions:

1. "As the father sent me, I am sending you." John 20:21.   The way Christ came into the world is the way we should go among the nations.

2. "... repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations..." Luke 24:47.  We have good news to proclaim - that Christ died and was raised for the forgiveness of sins.

3. "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20.   As we are going out to the nations, we are to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them all Christ has commanded.  

4. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and the end of the earth." Acts 1:8. In the Old Testament , the people were to come to Jerusalem but now we are called to take the gospel to all the nations.

When will the mission be fulfilled?  "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."  Matthew 24:14.  

  •  Write in your journal a timeline from Creation to Consummation.   Read the following verses and draw on your timeline symbols that describe each heading.  Be ready to share your timeline with your teammates at the upcoming meeting.

1. The Beginning- Creation:  Genesis 1:27; 2:16.

2. The Problem - The Fall: Romans 5:12; James 2:10

3. The Plan-Redemption Foretold: Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53:6

4. The Solution-Redemption Accomplished: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 5:8; 6:23 1 Peter 3:18

5. The End - Judgment:  Hebrews 9:27-28; John 5:24;  1 John 5:13


When will Christ's mission be fulfilled?  When the  is preached to all  

Christ the Missionary

Jesus was the model missionary.   Let's look at his life and learn from him.   In Jesus, we see all that we need to be as missionaries.  

1. Obedient:  Jesus said "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." (John 4:34) "I always do what pleases him [the Father]" (John 8:29).  Even when facing suffering and death he responded, "... not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42).   

How can we be like Jesus?  An obedient missionary loves to do the desires of the Father. This will mean deep communion with him in devotion to prayer and careful search of the Scriptures to discern the Father's will for our lives and submit to him.    

2. Humble: Jesus "humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8).   Like Jesus we are to  "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3)

How can we be like Jesus? A humble missionary resists the temptation to parade their imagined superiority.   Any cultural, educational, technological or economic privileges are set aside in order to honor the South Sudanese as more important than themselves.  Self-forgetfulness and other-focus will lead to greater humility and usefulness to the Lord.    

3. Compassionate: Jesus understood the frailties of people by identifying with their weaknesses and temptations.  "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:5) His compassion moved him to heal the sick (Matthew 14:14), teach the truth (Mark 6:34), feed the hungry (Matt 15:32), and comfort the grieving (Luke 7:13).  

How can we be like Jesus? A compassionate missionary seeks to understand before seeking to understood. Loving compassion is cultivated through involvement in the lives of the people we are serving.  Giving people your time, sacrifice, and patience will communicate the compassion of Christ.  


  • Write in your journal a story that describes a day of service in South Sudan (1/2 -1 page).  Describe how you will spend your day, what will be your attitude, and how will you be relating with others.  
  • Be ready to share with your teammates for your upcoming meeting. 


What is a missionary like Jesus?

  • A missionary like Jesus is hard working, punctual and polite
  • A missionary like Jesus is obedient, humble and compassionate.

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Communication

Cultural Differences

Evaluating Cultural Differences: 

Before we study the culture of the people you will be serving in South Sudan, we need to understand how cultures are different.  We cannot accept everything about the South Sudanese culture as valid without evaluating it carefully.   Neither should the 'lost boys' of South Sudan living in America accept everything about American culture.   We need to appreciate those aspects that are bearing the resemblance of the image of God and evaluate the validity of the differences according to Scripture.  

Missionaries (cross-cultural workers) must constantly search their hearts for hidden pride as they 'judge' the differences in cultures.  Here are questions you should ask yourself as you serve the South Sudanese to keep a watch over your heart.  (Write down your answers to the questions in your journal and be ready to share at the weekly meeting)

  • 1. Are you appreciating those aspects of South Sudanese culture that clearly originate in the image of God?   What do you think are some of those aspects in the South Sudanese culture? 
  • 2. Are you comparing your culture with the South Sudanese culture with a prideful mindset of 'us' versus 'them' mentality?  What do you think could be ways you become proud as you compare cultures? 
  • 3. Are you looking at the South Sudanese culture with prejudice (ethnocentrism and cultural imperialism)?  How do you think you can distinguish between those things that are as purely cultural (dress, food, music, art...), those things that you don't like because you are are not 'used to them' (in your culture) and those things that are truly displeasing to the Lord.  

Contextualization ("acculturation"):

You may have heard of the term 'contextualization' or 'acculturation'.   It is basically defined as the process of adapting words and methods to communicate effectively to another culture.  The challenge is always to discern when you have crossed the line of compromising the eternal and trans-cultural truth of God's Word.  

The missionary Paul knew how to 'contextualize' his words and methods without compromise.  Paul wrote "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it." (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) 

Missionaries need to adapt to the culture in the attempt to remove every obstacle that may be in the way of our message being understood.  What are some of the ways we need to adapt in order to be understood?

  • Write down in your journal at least 3 ways a missionary can adapt himself to the South Sudanese culture without changing the message (and if he/she does will help remove obstacles to understanding the message)?

If we cross the line in 'contextualization', a mixing of indigenous culture and God's unchanging Word  will lead to syncretism.  Syncretism, an unholy mixing of cultural norms and Christian doctrine, is a problem in every church.   For example, the love of money and comfort in America has creeped into the church to the point where it is preached as part of the message and is accepted in the life of Christians.   Worldliness infecting the Church is another way of defining syncretism.  

  • Write down some of the worldly practices that are in the church that you realize are unbiblical and you must be careful to not transfer to your message and methods as a missionary.
  • Write down some of the forms of syncretism in the Church in Africa?  (You can do a little research online to get your answer).  

Our mission as missionaries is to saturate and permeate all of culture with the Word of God.   As we make disciples of the South Sudanese, we need to teach ALL that Jesus has commanded and demonstrate how the Word of God is sufficient to make every person complete in Christ (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  


Are all cultures equally valid?

  • YES and NO. YES, as cultures that both bear the resemblance of the image of God they are equally valid. NO, where the cultures are different in their deviation from God's Word, they are not equally valid.
  • YES. Cultures are equally valid because there are essentially no differences in cultures.

Cultural Values


Bonding with the South Sudanese:

When you arrive in South Sudan, you will find that everything is different from what you are used to.  Even though you will be staying with other Kawaja (white people) it will still be a very different environment.   With this overload of new experiences you will experience all kinds of emotions.   You will also at times be oversaturated with the differences and want to stay as close a possible to what is familiar.   The first few days are the most important to keep your focus on one goal: interacting with the South Sudanese outside of the compound.   Since you will only be in South Sudan for 1 month you will not experience the full blessing of bonding with the South Sudanese but you can begin the wonderful process.  

Learning how to be a missionary will not be fully accomplished by reading these lessons.  It will be achieved by experiencing all the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical struggles of interacting with a people that are radically different than we are.  How will we love them unless we become close with them?  We cannot serve the South Sudanese at arms length.  We must walk in their shoes to know how to mourn with them and rejoice with them.   The missionary Paul wrote:

"For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.      To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings."  1 Corinthians 9:19-23

How can we be all things to the South Sudanese people that we might win them?  We must recognize the cultural differences and not allow them to be a stumbling block in our communication so that the message of the gospel comes through pure and simple.  

Differences between the American Culture and South Sudanese Culture:

*Read about the differences and for each section write in your journal any of the points that you think will be hard to let go in your own American culture (AC) and difficult to appreciate in the Dinka culture (SSC). 

1. Relationship (SSC)  VS.  Task Orientation (AC)

  • Communication must create a 'feel good' atmosphere (SSC) VS. communication must provide accurate information (AC)
  • Efficiency and time do not take priority over the person. It is inappropriate to 'talk business' upon first arriving at a business meeting (SSC) VS. Efficiency and time are high priorities, and taking them seriously is a statement of respect for the other person (AC)

2.  Indirect (SSC)  VS.  Indirect Communication (AC)

  • Every question must be phrased in such a way as to not offend by its directness (SSC) VS. Short, direct questions show respect for the person's time, as well as professionalism (AC)
  • A 'yes' may not be an answer to your question. It may be the first step in beginning a friendly interchange.   (SSC) VS. A 'yes' is a 'yes' and a 'no' is a 'no'.  There are no hidden meanings. (AC)
  • Use a third party for accurate information if you sense that a direct question will be too harsh, or not get the results you are seeking.  It's all about trying to maintaining the relationship. (SSC) VS. An honest, direct answer is information only.  It does not necessary reflect on how the person feels about you.  You can say what you think (nicely) and it will usually not be taken personally. (AC)

3. Inclusion (SSC)  VS.  Privacy (AC):

  • Are group-oriented. It is not desirable to be left to oneself. (SSC)  VS.  People enjoy having time and space to themselves.  (AC)
  • Individuals assume they are automatically included in conversation, meals, and the other activities of the group.  It may be necessary to ask someone to leave a meeting but it is only when it is a very private conversation. (SSC) VS.  It very acceptable to hold private meetings that are exclusive of others. (AC)
  • Possessions are to be used freely by all: food, tools, etc... (SSC)  VS.  People are expected to ask permission to borrow something or to interrupt a conversation.  Each person is considered to be steward of his or her possessions and has the responsibility to maintain and protect them (AC)

4. Differences concepts of hospitality with SSC and AC

  • Hospitality is spontaneous, often without an advance invitation (SSC) VS. Hospitality is most often planned for and usually not as spontaneous.  The host usually needs advance notice of a visit. (AC)
  • The host fully takes care of the needs of the guest.  The guest pays for nothing.  You do not ask the guest if they want water or food you give it to them without asking what they like. (SSC)  VS.  Guests need to expect to pay for their transportation and food.  If the host plans to pay, he usually will say so. (AC)
  • Travellers are taken in and provided for even if they need to ask the neighbors to help them. (SSC) VS.  Travellers are expected to make their own arrangements other than what is specifically communicated to the host ahead of time. (AC)

5. Different concepts of Time and Planning with the SSC and AC:

  • Are more event oriented.  Consider saving time is not as important as experiencing the moment.(SSC) VS.  Are time and efficiency oriented. (AC)   
  • Are more spontaneous and flexible in their approach to life.   Respond to what life brings.  Recognize that planning and structure is required in some areas of life (for example in government position, the military, etc... (SSC) VS.  Are less spontaneous and flexible to changing schedules.  Are structured in their approach to life.  Try to plan their schedule to 'save' time.  (AC)
  • Have informal visiting as part of the event. (SSC) VS. Expect the event (training meeting, church, celebration,...) to be begin at the time announced.  Visiting or informal chatting happens before or after the event.  (AC)

6. Orientation (SSC) VS. Individualism (AC)  

  • I belong, therefore I am. I do not expect to have to stand alone. My identity is tied to the group (family, clan, tribe, etc..). (SSC) VS.  I am a self-standing person, with my own identity. (AC)
  • My behaviour reflects on the whole group (SSC) VS. My behaviour reflects on me, not the group. (AC)
  • Taking initiative within the group can be greatly determined by my role. (SSC) VS. Taking initiative within a group is good and expected.  (AC)
  • I will make a decision based on the consensus of the group. (SSC)  VS. Every individual should have an opinion and can speak for himself/herself.  (AC)







What do you need to focus on during the first few days of you stay in Tonj?

  • I need to focus on communicating with all my friends and family all the details of my life in South Sudan.
  • I need to focus on interacting with the South Sudanese as much as possible.

Introduction to Language Learning

Language Learning Basics

Language learning is essential to the bonding process.   We cannot understand the heart of the people we are serving unless we begin to know their heart language.   Since your trip will be so short, you will not have enough time to go deep into learning the local language but you will start to learn the methods of effective language learning. 

When people you are serving see that you are growing in your language learning it will speak to them: “This person really wants to communicate to me (my heart).”   Being a missionary is all about ‘being all things to all people to win them” and this includes communicating to them in the heart language.

Language learning should be fun!  It is never too late to learn that lesson and begin your life long language learning journey.  

Language learning is also a challenge!   It may be one of the most difficult things you ever have done.  Yet, when your persevere you CAN reach your goals.    Our goal will be to finish 10 lessons.  

Now, you may say “I am too old” or “I am terrible at languages”.   The good news is that you are not going to be put into a classroom to learn a new language.  Instead, we want you to experience that joy of language learning.  It will involve hard work on your part but you CAN make it fun!

Your attitude is key in your language learning.  Put off the excuses and put on the attitude of Christ.  He too put in the hard work of learning a language and the study of the Scriptures.  He was the perfect missionary who left his home, humbled himself to learn a language so that he could communicate the good news to sinners in his day.    

We too have good news to tell, let us do the hard work of learning the language of our focus people.  Yes, with God’s help, we can!

The ‘Iceberg Principle’ (from the GPA manual)

Many language learners (LL) put great energy into attempting to master every word fully as possible when they first encounter it. They find that a large portion of the words they tried to master do not stay mastered! We find it works better to simply aim to put the words into the lower part of "the iceberg" and let them rise. 

The Iceberg principle can be described as: words that are completely mastered are like “the tip of an iceberg”. Words that are barely familiar are very low in the iceberg, but rise higher with repeated encounters in new contexts, since each encounter strengthens them somewhat.

One person might expend great energy trying to put 300 words into the tip of the iceberg (the goal being to speak them out at will), to soon discover that only two hundred (or less) remain there. Another person, for the same expenditure of energy, might put a thousand words into the lower parts of the iceberg (the goal being to understand them when they are again heard in context), to soon discover that 200 (or more) of them have already risen to the tip of the iceberg. The latter language learner (LL) has achieved as much as the former when it comes to the words that are in the tip of the iceberg, but in addition, has another eight-hundred or so words in the iceberg, working their way up (while the former LL has only another 100 words lower in the iceberg working their way up).

In our experience, most LLs find the iceberg principle a great encouragement. However, there are some who find it frustrating to apply this principle, and would prefer to learn less, in order to feel a sense of greater level of mastery (at least they hope) of what they have attempted to learn. When working in accordance with the iceberg principle, they may express frequent frustration that they “can’t remember anything” when it is obvious to observers that they remember a huge amount (as they respond to words or can utter them after being reminded slightly). They just have a very strict standard for what they will count as something “remembered” (expecting instant ability to speak the word exactly right).

  • Have you ever learned another language?  If so, be ready to tell us about your experience?  
  • What were some of the challenges you faced? 
  • Did you notice the things that worked well for you and the things that were not helpful?  



Why is learning the local language so important?

  • So that you can show to the people that you are clever.
  • So that you can communicate the truth and love of God in the heart language of the people you are serving.

Language Learning Plan

Pre-Mission (Before coming to the field)

  1. Listen several times to the mp3 audio files.  File 1: Alphabet. File 2: Intro to Dinka (10 Lessons) (download attachment on the email sent to you)

Things to Bring to the Field:

  • An mp3 recording device that can record and playback audio files.  If you have a recorder on your phone that will work well. 
  • A small notebook that you can carry around
  • A small photo album of your family

On-Mission (While on the field)

  • The missionaries will set you up with a language helper 
  • Record every session with your language helper.  Review the recording many times before the next session.
  • You will also need to find some language helpers in the community to practice with (the missionaries will help you) 
  • Go to your language helpers in the community to practice what you are learning.
  • If you write down the words in Dinka, get the proper spelling from your language helper. 

(Note: Language experts say that it is best initially to NOT write down the words but just to learn from listening to an audio recording of a native speaker)

- Write down all words and phrase you want to learn so that you can ask your Language Helper when you meet. 

  • For every 1 hour session you should prepare prior to the lesson for at least 30 minutes by reviewing the previous lesson and preparing for the upcoming lesson.  
  • After every session go to your language helpers to show them what you have learned and help you with pronunciation and conversational practice (and bonding!). 

Here is the Dinka Alphabet (also see attachment on the email sent to you). 

Here are the 10 lessons (also see attachment on the email sent to you). 



(30 min+)

Lesson (30 min.+)




 “Alphabet”. Practice each sounds especially the new sounds.




Greetings: Hello;  Are you well? I am well. Are you OK?  Nothing Bad.    Record

Refer to mp3: “Intro to Dinka”

(Lesson 1)

Powertool: I don’t understand



Introductions: Who are you? What are you called? I am called ____________. What is your clan? I am a person from the _____________ clan; Where is your home? Our home is ___________.  

(Lesson 2 on mp3)

Powertool: I am learning Dinka. 



Pleasantries: Are your people well? We are well.  Is your village well? They are well all.  Are you children well?  They are well good.  

(Lesson 3 on mp3)

Powertool: I know a little.   What is this?  What is that?



Where are you going? I am going to the market.  Where are you coming from? I come from home.  When will you come?  I will come tomorrow.  When did you come?  I came yesterday.  When will you leave?  I will leave today.

(Lesson 4 on mp3)  

Powertool: I want to learn Dinka.  Speak slowly. 



Numbers 1-10. 11,12. 20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90.  100. 

Powertool:  Say it again?

What time is it?




Powertool: What does it mean?  What are you doing?



Shopping.  This is how much money?  This is 8 pounds.  What is this? This is salt.  This sugar is how much.  1 Kilo is 7 pounds.  All of this is how much money?  It is 23 pounds.  I want onions.  1 Can is 19 pounds.  

(Lesson 7 on mp3).  Powertool: How do I say?  I want to say ____________ in Dinka?



Good byes.  We will see each other.  We will see each other this evening.  We will meet.  We will another day.  The peace of God be with you.  And also with you.  God will stay with you.  With you also.  

(Lesson 8 on mp3) 

Powertool: How do you write (spell)?  Write this word.



Time.  1 O’clock.  Morning.  Noon.  Afternoon.  Evening.  Night.  Last night.  Tomorrow.  Yesterday.  Today.  Year.  Last year.  Next year. 

(Lesson 9 on mp3)  

Powertool: Do you understand?  I don’t understand.



Tenses.  Present tense.  I go.  Past tense. I went.  Future.  I will go.  Imperatives.  Singular go.  Plural go.  Singular come.  Plural come. Thank you.  

(Lesson 10 on mp3) 

Powertool: I want to go now.  Where is the latrine?


How many characters are there in the Dinka language?

  • 33 characters including the 'breathy' characters (with the 2 dots)
  • 26 characters not including the 'breathy' characters

Introduction to Team Dynamics

Diversity of Gifts


We know that God has given a variety of gifts in the Body of Christ but we all share in the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4).  Since there is such diversity of gifts in the Church, people are often tempted to compare their gifts with others as though some of the gifts were more important than others.   If we are envious of each other we forget that these are 'gifts' and God has apportioned them out as he pleases.  

The purposes of the gifts are many but ultimately these gifts have been provided to equip us to glorify God.  The gifts of the Spirit were given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [complete, mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . speaking the truth in love, [that we] may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13, 15).

What gifts do you think God has equiped you with to glorify him? 

  • Go to the following link to the Spiritual Gifts Test: https://spiritualgiftstest.com/:   
  • Read the instructions very carefully and be ready to share the results of your assessment with your teammates at the next session.  

Read the following list of the purposes of the spiritual gifts and answer the applications question in your journal. 

1. To manifest God's presence in the Body of Christ on Earth.

Paul calls the spiritual gifts 'manifestations' (1 Corinthians 12:7).   We are not going to the mission field to show how great we are with our 'gifts' are but to be part of God's 'manifestation' of himself to the South Sudanese through us.   How has the Lord manifested his presence through your gifting? 

2. To remind us of our dependence upon one another. 

It is easy for missionaries, who are often respected by many, to think of themselves more highly than their ought (Romans 12:3).  And yet we are members of one body and we need each other.   It is a team effort to ministry to all the people and their needs - we cannot do it alone.  Our differing gifts force us to depend on each other. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’ ” (I Cor. 12:11).  What gifts are present in others and lacking in you that you are dependent upon for this mission? 

3.  To build the unity of the team/Church:

Spiritual gifts are given to the Church to unite it, not to divide it.   Unity was Jesus' prayer for his disciples (John 17:21–22.)   We are "one by the Spirit and we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (I Cor. 12:13, author’s translation).  That is why Paul said that we are to 'keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3)'.  And yet there are countless ways the devil tries to force a wedge between teammates.   What are some of the ways you think quarrels start among teammates causing the bond of peace to be compromised? 

4. To Edify the Church—Individually and Corporately

God gives us spiritual gifts for the edification - the building up of the Church (I Corinthians 14:12).  Paul said 'let all things be done for building up' (1 Corinthians 14:26).  The gifts are not for us but for your teammates and the South Sudanese people to strengthen their faith.  A gift is not to be kept to ourselves but to be given away, and yet we all too often want to use our gifts for our own benefit.   How do you sometimes use your gifts to benefit yourself?  

5.  To Reveal the Living God to Unbelievers

Our spiritual gifts encourage believers because they remind us that God is truly near and active among us.  Our spiritual gifts also display the power, love and wisdom of God through his people to unbelievers as they come face to face with he reality of the living God.  (1 Corinthians 14:22-25).   Have you ever led  an unbeliever to 'see' God through your service to them with your gifts? 

6. To Bring Glory to God

Ultimately, the gifts we have received by the Spirit are for the praise and honor of the living God.   Being gifted by God humbles us, encourages us and makes us useful in the hands of our Master, to whom all glory is due.   Write a prayer of praise in your journal giving God all the praise for endowing you with gifts that manifest his glory.  



What are the purposes of the spiritual gifts given to believers in the body of Christ? 

  • The purposes of the gifts are to be fulfilled in every area of our personal life and ministry.
  • The purposes of the gifts are many but ultimately these gifts have been provided to equip us to glorify God.

Effective Communication


South Sudan is a hard place to minister.   Most of the missionaries who have left the field have shared how isolated they felt.  You, however, will have the benefit of being part of a team.  Teams are most effective to serve in South Sudan because teammates can encourage one another living and serving in that harsh environment.  On the other hand, there is also the potential for conflict under the strain of stressful relationships within a team.  

Conflict is natural whenever people are getting to know each other.  If you anticipate the challenges ahead of time and work toward reconciliation you can move toward being part of a loving and effective team that is bringing the Kingdom of God to the South Sudanese.  

These are the stages that teams go through before achieving healthy team dynamics and effective service to the community.  What will you do when you are in the 'storming' stage of team building?  



The team in Tonj have committed themselves to the following principles below to guide them toward healthy team dynamics.  Read these principles and write down the top 2 principles that you will need to especially focus on because you anticipate these being a challenge for you while serving on a team.  

Principles of Healthy Team Dynamics 

By God’s grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will...

1.  Love one another genuinely in all things (1 Corinthians 13:1-8; Romans 12:9-10)

2.  Be humble considering others more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3-5)

3.  Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. (James 1:19)

4.  Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)

5.  Build one another up in word and deed (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

6.  Live a life and repentance confessing our sins to one another (2 Corinthians 7:10 , James 5:16, 1 John 1:9)


What can you anticipate when you are working as part of a team?

  • You can always anticipate team conflict but if you work through it you will reach healthy team dynamics.
  • You can anticipate that with the right combination of team members there will always be peace.

Introduction to Safety and Security

Safety Awareness

There is a difference between "Being a Martyr vs. Being Foolish" – we need to be sure that we are not acting foolishly with regards to responding to risks or dangers. 

How is security lived out?

  1. Understand calling and security (Matthew 10:16)
  2. Cultivate a culture of prayer and vigilance

 3.  Establish deep personal relationships within the culture

 4.  Connect with the local watchmen (do not be afraid to voice concerns).

 5.  Know the "normal now” as it fluctuates

Understanding Threats (criminal and terrorist)

Threats include both concerns for personal security and threats to personal safety from environmental factors. Understanding these threats can help you develop a family or team contingency plan.

Define security threats using three generalized areas:

*Political (examples include):

  • Coup
  • Demonstrations
  • Riots
  • Hostage taking
  • Other?


  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Hostage Taking
  • Extortion
  • Generally financial in nature


  • Kidnapping (taken to another location)
  • Hostage Taking 
  • Extortion (leave or pay, or virtual extortion - dangers of social media)
  • Murder
    • Bombing (IED and suicide)
    • Active Shooter
  • Religious and Ideological in nature


The OODA Loop is a model which outlines a four-point decision loop that supports quick, effective and proactive decision-making. 

The four stages are:

Observe – collect current information from as many sources as practically possible.

Orient – analyze this information, and use it to update your current reality.

Decide – determine a course of action.

Act – follow through on your decision.

You continue to cycle through the OODA Loop by observing the results of your actions, seeing whether you've achieved the results you intended, reviewing and revising your initial decision, and moving to your next action. 

Observing and orienting correctly are key to a successful decision. If these steps are flawed, they'll lead you to a flawed decision, and a flawed subsequent action. So while speed is important, so too is improving your analytical skills and being able to see what's really happening.

The goal of the model is to increase the speed with which you orient and reorient based on new information coming in. You want to be able to make a smooth and direct transition between what you observe, how you interpret it, and what you do about it.

When you make these transitions rapidly, you're in a position to be proactive, and you can take advantage of opportunities your competition isn't even aware of yet. Boyd calls this "operating within your opponent's OODA Loop". Here, your competitor is moving too slowly and simply reacting to environmental changes. By contrast, you're working on the offensive, making strikes and forcing them to react to you.


Body Language and Threat Recognition

You must never ignore your intuition or tiny flickers of doubt. These cues can be the best protection you have against pending violence against you!

Threat recognition skills:  An ability to recognize body language associated with criminal intent and violent action can:

Abate: Help you disengage and leave the scene of a pending crime before it happens.

Mitigate to give you time 

Face & Eyes - how they look at you or don't look at you can help predict future intent

Demeanor - Is a person unresponsive or inappropriately responsive in a specific location or situation? (remember OODA) The person doesn't respond to the situation as the rest of the crowd does (example, if the rest of the crowd cheers and this other person is acting unaffected by what is going on around them, but intently looking elsewhere).

Target Stare - Individual narrows their eyes and glares directly at you. It tells you that you have become a very intense focus of his attention.

Look around you and keep watching and perceiving. Get to know the 'normal now.' This includes situations as well as people.


JDLR - Just Doesn't Look Right

"See Something: SAY SOMETHING!" - Security cannot help if they don't know there is a concern.

** Write you in your journal some of the fears that have surfaced as you have read this lesson.  Write out a prayer asking for wisdom, peace and protection as you prepare yourself for this trip.   **Read and pray through Psalm 91. 

How is safety and security lived out?

  • Understand calling and security (Matthew 10:16)
  • Looking for opportunities to be a martyr.
  • Being anxious and in the red zone of alertness at all times.
  • Cultivate a culture of prayer and vigilance. Know the 'normal now' as it fluctuates.

Security Concerns

Precautions against theft

  • Biggest threat for mass violence are in crowds: 
    • bottlenecks at security checkpoints, 
    • baggage claim, etc. Remain vigilant!
  • Biggest threats from thieves come outside the secured areas of the airport
  • Checked bags: Never check valuables such as cash, electronics, or sensitive papers.
  • Charging electronics: make sure your electronics are password protected/encrypted and turned off for faster charge.
  • Don't hang electronics on seat backs; put them in your carryon.
  • Don't hang items off your belt (phone, GPS, radios, etc.)
  • Avoid thin purse strings and carry purse next to torso
  • Use an RFID sleeve to keep info safe in wallets.
  • Smaller the wallet the better
  • Concealed wallet (often neck pouch, money belt)
  • Use two wallets (dummy) - use visa gift cards in place of credit cards in the dummy 
  • Lock doors and close windows whenever leaving the car.
  • Don’t leave visible anything valuable in the car.
  • Don’t show or count money in public spread valuables out, not all in one basket.

Email yourself all your important information:

    • Credit card numbers
    • Travel confirmations
    • Travel arrangements
    • Copies of passports, visas, etc.


Quite often the reason Western Christian Expatriates (WCEs) are questioned by government officials is because their activities --real or perceived--have been called into question.  Being prepared with a good STS.

Statement of Truthful Status (STS) - A straight forward truthful statement that helps justify your activities and presence in a country via your visa status. The answers you provide MUST be congruent with your visa. When someone asks "Why are you here?," you want to answer in a manner that is earnest, forthright, and LEGAL. STS is a catalyst that can lead to credible conversations with the affable and benign individuals.

STS should be:

  • Truthful. One or more truthful and realistic statements about your activities that are congruent with your visa status;
  • Congruent. Consistent, persistent, and emphasize the legitimacy and necessity of your being in country; and
  • Memorized. To be given at any moment.

 STS for Every Village Missionaries:

****I am a missionary with Every Village. We are here to strengthen the churches through our programs of Water (WASH), Radio and Leadership Development.

Discussion items considered "Outside the Box"

  • Politics
  • Militarye
  • Name and locations of fellow team members
  • Contact details for family and friends
  • Religion
  • Finances
  • Conversations that could increase your financial value

Actions considered outside the box 

  • Paying Bribes
  • Signing unreadable documents
  • Activities that directly support the captors
  • Confessing to a crime or other things you have not done (verbally or in writing)

Requests for Information vs Information being Demanded

Requests - It is natural for people to be curious about you (as a Western Christian Expatriate WCE) living in a foreign country.

Who you are, what you are doing, and why you have chosen to come to their country, are legitimate questions anyone, including government officials, can ask you on any given day.

You need to be prepared to give legitimate answer to their legitimate (or even illegitimate) questions.

1. The Affable (Inquisitive)

Questions from local residents, friends, contacts, etc.

2. The Benign (Indifferent)

To include security screeners, police, and those just "doing their job”

Affable & Benign

Don't let the STS lead you away from "who you are." STS is only the starting point; its a catalyst that leads to credible conversations with the Affable or Benign individual. The STS catalyst helps create conversation conduits that ultimately lead to the Gospel and to Jesus Christ. The conduit is built from and around your STS.

NOTE: Governments can use the Affable as plants to glean info. So don't let your guard down

The Antagonistic (Demanding)

Questions from those who are angry, hostile, aggressive, holding you against your will, and/or seeking answers that are coerced

Antagonists Demands - Interrogations

Keep it in the Box! When dealing with antagonistic persons -- such as angry and threatening individuals, government interrogators, and kidnappers--your STS needs to remain "in the box."

Answer questions and demands for information based on your STS;  and ensure that your answers are NOT Inflammatory; Provocative; or Confrontational

Use quick, short statements


  Lifelines/Outside Contacts

  Contact Embassy

  Solutions that Get You Home (unique to country/person/situation)


  Your Work

  Your Activities

  Your Organization



  Basic Needs

  Your Testimony


  Home and Family

Relocation or Evacuation:

The Long Term Missionaries (LTMs) are trained to follow our AAA evacuation protocol:

AAA Evacuation Plan:

  1. Assess the Problem
  2. Agree on the Procedures
  3. Act on the Plan

Whatever the Missionaries decide to do you will follow their lead.  

***Write you in your journal some of the fears that have surfaced as you have read this lesson.  Write out a prayer asking for wisdom, peace and protection as you prepare yourself for this trip.   *Again, read and pray through Psalm 91. 

Note: Every Village has a Safety & Security Manual.  If you would like to have further information beyond these lessons you may request a copy.  

What is a STS?

  • Sample Truth Statement
  • Simple Truthless Statement
  • Statement of Truthful Status