We praise the Lord for the opportunity to work with a new Friends congregation: the first Mid-America church in the state of Nebraska! The church is called Sudanese Community Church. It is pastored by Lazarus & Veronica John and their church family from Omaha, NE.
The state of Nebraska has more immigrants from Sudan than any other US state. Most of these immigrants arrived with a refugee visa, which means they fled their country to escape the grave dangers during the time of civil war in Sudan.
The good news is that now a peace agreement has been reached with the Muslim government from Khartoum (in what is now the country of North Sudan) and the predominantly Christian population of South Sudan. South Sudan has been recognized as the newest country in the United Nations.
Pastor Lazarus speaks five languages and continues counseling and guiding leaders of the new South Sudanese government. At the same time, he has gathered a sizable congregation of the Nuer-speaking people from around the Omaha area.
The Sudanese Community Church gathers each Sunday afternoon at a non-denominational local church in north Omaha.
The Friends churches of the Northeast Kansas Area have organized a Partner Church Advisory Team (PAT) to help oversee the remaining project development steps to get Sudanese Community Church to a healthy full-church status. The partnering churches include Gardner, Hesper, Tonganoxie, Spring Grove, Stanwood, Willow Creek, and Springdale, and possibly some North Central Area Churches.
Pastor Mike Herriges from Gardner chairs the PAT and Pastor Clyde Ham from Tonganoxie is Coach and Treasurer. General Superintendent David Robinson welcomed this new congregation at a Grand Affiliation Service in Omaha on January 22, 2012. We welcome a contingency of SCC at this first session of Ministry Conference 2012.
– Randy Littlefield, Church Planting Director