SOMA’s Mission to South Sudan: Empowering Youth Leaders through Anglican Discipleship

Soma Paul ronald william

In late October 2023, a Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) UK team embarked on a training mission to South Sudan. Their mission aimed to nurture and equip young leaders with the tools for spiritual and community transformation.

SOMA UK is providing Youth Leadership Conferences through support from the Relay Trust and in collaboration within the Episcopal Church of South Sudan’s (ECSS) Anglican Discipleship Programme (ADP).   The ADP is the practical implementation of Archbishop Justin Badi’s vision for a Decade of Discipleship. 

Since 2022 the Relay Trust has been working working in partnership with the ECSS to deliver high quality grass roots discipleship training in South Sudan.  The ADP is a combination of five training streams, which seek to train both current and future leaders of the church, ordained and lay.  The components within the programme include the SEAN International series of courses, SOMA Youth Leadership Training, Rooted in Jesus Conferences, the ECSS Anglicanism Course and Practical Ministry Training.

The SOMA team, led by Paul and Becky Harcourt, alongside Kay Hunter Johnson and team members William Mallish and Ronald Chol, ran the Youth Leadership conferences in Wau and Tonj in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal Internal Province. The mission was not just an ordinary teaching engagement but a profound journey into the heart of discipleship, reaching out to a diverse group of young leaders across tribal lines, many of whom faced language barriers that could not dampen their eagerness for spiritual growth.

SOAM on Plane

The conferences focused on the core aspects of leadership: character, competency, and calling, integrating teachings on inner healing and commissioning a new generation to follow Christ passionately. Despite the challenges, including logistical hurdles and language barriers, the SOMA team adapted their teaching methods, fostering an environment where every participant, irrespective of their tribal language, could grasp the transformative message of the gospel.

One of the most compelling aspects of SOMA’s mission was the personal touch in their ministry, where teachings on forgiveness, managing anger, and understanding one’s calling resonated deeply with the participants. Testimonies and expressions of gratitude flooded in, highlighting the impact of learning about biblical figures like Samson and the practical applications of their stories to the leaders’ lives.

The SOMA mission to South Sudan was a vivid illustration of the power of cross-cultural ministry and the potential for significant impact when the global church comes together to invest in the spiritual and leadership development of young leaders in challenging contexts. Please join us in our call to continued prayer and support for the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the Anglican Discipleship Programme, and the ongoing efforts to nurture a generation of leaders equipped to serve with the heart of God in one of the world’s most challenging contexts.