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You are receiving this due to your relationship with Curt and DeDe Iles and their ministry in Africa. 
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As you read this, we are "Up Country."  This is the isolated part of northern Uganda past the Nile River.  We are in the South Sudanese refugee camps learning more about where our Unreached People Groups are staying.  Additionally, we are meeting with local pastors, UN agencies, and other organizations as to what gaps we can best fill in the camps.
 
Pray that we'll remain focused on the biggest Gap of all: Engaging*  every nation, tongue, and language, and tribe to hear and know our Jesus.  This is the mission of the International Mission Board
 
Scroll down for more prayer needs 
 
*Engagement is the process of reaching Unreached People Groups through Engaging and Connecting them with both American and African churches.
 
Beth's SAT Phone
We were in the shade but things were heating up.
The crowd at Boroli Camp was growing and they weren’t happy.
 
 
Ethan Bossier and I were the only whites within twenty kilometers and their initial hope at seeing us was cooled by our honest explanation that we had nothing to give.
 
The Camp Chairman explained, through a young interpreter, that Boroli Camp had several thousand residents from twelve tribes in South Sudan.  Most of the refugees, including him, were Murle from Jonglei State.
 
The Murle have a unique reputation among the South Sudanese.  They are considered outcasts, cattle thieves, and baby snatchers. Let me make this clear: that is how they’re perceived but up to this point, I’ve met only kindness from any Murle I’ve met.
 
Up to this point.
But this crowd is suspicious.
You can feel an edge to them.
Our appearance has been akin to a red cape flapped in front of a bull.
 
The chairman’s name is Daniel.
His interpreter, Ronald, is the camp youth chairman.
 
The chairman continues to inform us that the Murle feel marginalized.
"The other majority tribes have been favored.
They have more boreholes, larger ration of food, and better shelter supplies."
 
Joseph, a local Madi pastor, listens to the man’s complaints.
I slip out of the crowd and retreat to a nearby tree.
We need something to break the tension that is building.
I say a short Nehemiah-like “Flare Prayer” as in “Lord, help us.”
 
I believe God answers in the form of a simple reminder.
Get out your satellite phone. 
 
In the outlying camps as well as rural roads we travel, cell phone reception is poor or non-existent.
 I’m used to it: I come from the Bermuda Triangle of cell phone reception: Dry Creek, Louisiana.
 
Recently, we purchased a satellite phone for situations where we need to make contact but have no cell service.
We used funds from a special friend who has chosen to support Open Hands Africa since we’ve been here.
 
That’s why I call the satellite phone  “Elizabeth’s Phone.”
 
Elizabeth, or Beth as I know her, is a friend who shares a mutual love with me: a place called Dry Creek Baptist Camp. Our  satellite phone is a new model called a Sat Sleeve.  I insert my iPhone into a slot on the larger phone and now I’ve connected to three satellites hovering over Africa. I can now call most of the world from the spot I'm standing.
 
I motion Ronald, the youth chair, out of the crowd.  Another young man takes over translation.  As I dial John’s number, I tell him,  “Ronald, I have a Murle friend you may know. I’d like you to talk with him."
 
I pray for John to answer.
 
John is a new friend. 
He’s a Murle church planter.
He’s started churches in Pibor, Bor, and Juba.
Each time fighting has forced him to evacuate.
 
He is currently living between our town of Entebbe and Juba, the capital of South Sudan. John has a heart as big as Nairobi and a desire to see his people know Jesus Christ.
 
“Hello. Who is this?”
 
I explain who I am, trying every alias and description I have:  This is Mzee Curt . . .  Mzungu in Entebbe . . .  met you at Calvary Chapel Church . . . 
 
Thankfully our game of charades ends with him connecting who I am.  He’s in Juba and we have a clear signal.
 
“John, I want . . .  I need . . .   you to talk to one of my Murle friends.”
 
I hand Beth's Phone to him. 
I can only hear one end and its in staccato Murle, but Ronald's smile tells me much. .
I glance back at the crowd and can easily hear the chairman’s strident voice.
 
Ronald hands me the phone and I wade back into the crowd. I hand Beth’s phone to Chairman Daniel and say, 
“My friend John, who is a Murle, is on the line.”
 
The camp chairman takes the phone and within half a minute, I can tell several things: 
He knows my friend John.
He is smiling.
Evidently John gives a good report.
When the call ends, the chairman’s entire attitude has changed.
We’ve been stood for.   It’s a common term in Africa. 
 It’s nearly a legal or ethical statement.  “I know this man or woman and will stand good for them. 
 It’s like a legal bail: I’m standing for him and will take responsibility for him.
 
Murle John has vouched for us.
And it has saved the day.
 
It has opened a relationship door for us with Boroli Camp.
A door that we strive to continue to walk through in wisdom and compassion.
 
And I’m convinced the door opener was Beth’s phone.
 
We purchased it for our vehicle and long trips: breakdowns, getting hopelessly stuck, having two flats at once.
 
However, the first time it was used was a different type of emergency: a relationship builder in an atmosphere of muted hostility.
 
Thank you Lord for how you can use anything for your glory.
Including a Thuraya Sat Sleeve Satellite Phone.
aka  “Beth’s Phone.”
 
Thank you Lord that you choose to use simple folks like us.
Like DeDe and I.
We are privileged to be on this journey at this season of our lives.
 
And thank you Lord for praying friends like Beth
Who faithfully hold the rope back home.
 
Thank you Lord.
Amen.
 
As proud employees of the International Mission Board, we do not solicit funds.  We encourage churches and individuals to donate to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering through the IMB. Learn more at www.imb.org
 
Every dollar goes directly to overseas missions and supports over 5000 missionaries and their tangible needs for vehicles, housing, and Gospel projects. Learn more at www.imb.org
 
You can also given to the South Sudan Refugees fund through Baptist Global Response.  This is our organization’s humanitarian arm. Go to www.gobgr.org or click here “South Sudan refugees,”
 
 
Post Script on "Beth's SAT Phone: I grew up under the watchful eye of the Elizabeth Telephone Company.
It was a rural service that first brought phone service to our part of Louisiana.
 
I remember party lines, telephone poles with exposed lines/glass insulators. I'd like to do a blog about the early telephone culture in rural Louisiana (or beyond.) Let me hear from your phone stories at creekbank.stories@gmail.com
Pray Passionately!
 
Please clip and print these needs and pray fervently.
Please share them with your church and friends.  
 
 
We need your prayer like never before:
 
  • Pray for the needs in the northern Ugandan refugee camps:  Adjumani, Rhino, and Koboko.  We are soliciting folks like you to adopt a camp, camp leader, local pastor, or people group.  Contact us at dede_Iles@hotmail.com if you'd like to pray for a specific need.
  • Pray for upcoming projects in the Camps including boreholes (water well) jerry cans, birth kits for pregnant women, and the needs of the most vulnerable. Pray for Baptist Global Response <www.gobgr.org> and its projects. 
  • Pray that we’ll know how to approach these camps with the balance of meeting human needs while remaining focused on the life-changing Gospel of Jesus. 
  • Pray for our Engagement Leaders, Bob and Nancy Calvert, as they train and disciple within the camps as well as parts of South Sudan safe enough to enter.  We need wisdom!
Recent blog posts you’ll enjoy:  

How you can be in South Sudan but stay in America
 
How you can pray for the Kakwa camps of Northern Uganda 

 
We blog three times weekly. You can access all of our posts at the Creekbank
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