Summary of the
The primary mission of the trip was to assist Christian nation-builders in an effort that is truly rare in history. When nations fall and when nations rise, it is a very big deal, historically and spiritually. It is never by the will of man, but by the judgment of God, and the steadfast love of God.
Psalm 107:40-4340 he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks.
42 The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
It is time for America to attend to the matters of nation-building again. Not in overseas meddling, or entangling American soldiers in pointless foreign assignments. America needs to continue defining nation-building with practical forward progress, and let the the world learn by a constructive and righteous example, as the world once did. At the end of the 18th century, serious discussions about nation-building were taking place all over the American colonies, and also across Europe. This was a priority subject. This was a life-and-death subject. From tavern discussions to the pages of the Federalist Papers to angry rants in Paris, men were debating the very foundations of national life and the issues of governance. They were forming theological positions about these theological topics: liberty, justice and prosperity.
Isn’t it interesting that the newest nation on earth has chosen this phrase as its national motto? Isn’t it important that the newest nation on earth is referred to by world observers as "largely Christian?" Shouldn’t it interest Americans that they are undergoing the same pitched battle as our founders fought? They are facing the very same life and death consequences. Isn’t it historically significant that they have asked America for input? The decisions they make in the next few weeks and months will set their nation on a course that will help or harm millions.
In the late 18th century, France came to the wrong conclusions and built a nation on the sand of secular madness, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of millions over the next 200 years. America came to better conclusions, and built a foundation with intellectual as well as scriptural integrity. This foundation became a benefit to millions. Our team took this historic record to South Sudan as a gift of moral support, moral guidance, and moral encouragement.
And they need encouragement, confidence, and direction. At this very moment they are fighting against highly focused world opinion. That opinion goes like this: “Listen, South Sudan. Christianity is a dead relic of the past. No modern nation is Christian. If you want to join the family of nations, get with the modern program and be a gloriously secular, statist part of our club.”
The UN opposes Christian leadership in South Sudan. So do the Chinese, the Malasians, and Islamic states around them. This poor African culture may have won a fragile peace, but they are besieged. Juba is crawling with foreign functionaries, spies, and international intrigue. And the founding fathers of South Sudan face incredible temptations to compromise.
Our findings in Juba
Juba is the present capital of South Sudan. There we met with government leaders on several practical, security and business endeavors that can help them make their economic as well as spiritual foundations more secure. We were looking for men who understood the great spiritual significance of the forming of a nation. This is the dawning of national direction. We are pleased to report we met founders who have a refreshingly humble attitude toward the God of Nations, and realize their future depends on His aid and blessing.
Psalm 75:6, 7, 106 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.
We experienced the spiritually tumultuous conditions in Juba. From the moment we hit the ground, the tension closed in on us. Here is a nation that has fought deadly enemies for decades, has won the peace, and has won her independence. But her detractors are intent on provoking South Sudan into another war. Here is a people who know they are on the brink of war. They are on edge. They so desire the protection of order, peace, and seem to know it is beyond their ability to guarantee it. This is one reason they appear to have a childlike faith in the God of Nations to help them.
Great Question Number One:What example can South Sudan follow to ensure that their foundations are Biblically Christian and not resting on the frailties and failures of 19th century Christian traditions?
Answer:The nation needs a model city like 16th Century Geneva, a region of the nation that faithfully applies the law of God to every aspect of family life, church leadership, the free market, local courts, and local government.
Our findings on the killing fields of Borongole
Borongole is a growing community that may hold promise to be South Sudan’s Geneva. It is south of the capital in a region once terrorized by an evil thug who was hired by al-Bashir, Sudan’s Islamic tyrant, to destabilize the South. The thug’s name was Joseph Kony. He was responsible for killing, maiming, burning and kidnapping the residents of this peaceful village, but now the war exiles are coming back to build a life. We interviewed Kony’s victims. We spent time with tribal, community and church leaders.
We found not only village ruins, but we also found the ruins of a frail Christian foundation in East Africa, dating from the influence of British soldiers, bureaucrats and missionaries, who were restricted by the British government in what Christians were allowed to build and conquer. The missionaries were greatly restricted. General Gordon, the man who led the 19th century fight against the slave trade, was restricted by his own government in pointing Sudan toward Christian foundations. While at Borongole, we camped in the ruins of his old fort, now being slowly rebuilt by the people of Borongole.
This region appears to have potential for family-led, father-led community development. Here we conducted a conference on nation-building for broken fathers and broken families. We spoke about the jurisdiction of the father in the nation-building effort through the family economy, decentralized local and national government, agricultural innovation, and independence from UN bureaucracy.
Great Question Number Two:Can a primitive people broken by war and harassed by hunger embrace such advanced principles of family discipleship, community growth and free-market economics?
Answer:Yes. We were humbled by the daring faith of men who said, in summary, “Brothers, what should we do? We are ready to do whatever we must do to make our nation Christian, beginning with our family life.” Local church pastors are determined to organize and motivate the men, and the local school superintendent is willing to turn the entire educational operation toward home education and family business in the pursuit of a vibrant local economy and the reuniting of families.
Great Question Number Three:But can Africans who have been subjugated through the domination of colonial tyrants, Islamic slave traders, pagan witch doctors, Marxist lords of bribery, and tribal customs of laziness rise above centuries of poverty and primitivism to discover the disciplines of a work ethic and community governance?
Answer:Yes. Africans are made in the image of God, and His sanctifying work in their lives can equip them to undertake great enterprises with vigor, character, and Christian discipline. This is true for tribal descendants of the same Sudanese tribes who govern South Sudan. This is true even in the tedious work of farming, which is the bedrock of any nation-building experiment.
To confirm the answer to this question we traveled to a farming operation just across the border in Kenya, where a remarkable team of men from the Lua tribe are making history.
Our findings on the Yala River
One of the great modern stories of biblical Dominion is being played out near the mud huts of the Yala River, where a malarial swamp has been reclaimed for Christ, and is becoming an ecological as well as agricultural paradise. Where pagan shrines once dotted the high ground, Christians now take rest during days of gratifying labor. This is labor with a purpose: dominion. The entire region understands and appreciates the initiative and faith of one American visionary who leased this swamp, and then taught the people of the land how to drain it, redirect the rivers, build dykes, build gates for water, level the land for rice planting, and irrigate year round. The result is 17,000-acre Dominion Farms, which is operated, managed and expanded on a daily basis by mature African men. This high-tech, multi-million dollar operation is now able to feed 100,000 people, and is on the way to feeding one million Africans. The operation also serves as a discipleship center, where representatives of other nations can learn how men are trained in character, in technical knowledge, and in the practical duties of manhood. The dominion-oriented goal: the creation of numerous farms across Africa as the foundation of robust, Christian, free-market economies, which form the foundation of all family nation-building exercises.
At Dominion Farms we interviewed the managers of laser-guided land leveling, engineering of fish ponds, harvesting of tilapia, processing of rice protein, and the packaging of the best rice in Kenya. I addressed the Nigerian students who are learning to manage a new 75,000 acre farm in their own nation.
Great Question Number Four:What can Americans learn from this African laboratory of manhood, risk and dominion?
Answer:Even the most disadvantaged families can begin the process of harmonizing the Lord’s institutions into the order and dominion commanded in Genesis 1:28. Men are made of dust, and so are nations. It is man who is commanded to bring order to the earth and wealth from the earth so that the covenant can be established in the earth. The heroes of today’s great African experiment in freedom are seeing how family life, family discipleship, family education, a free economy, vibrant agricultural business, decentralized and de-tribalized local government, elder-led local churches, local and national government all function together in one peaceful, voluntary model of Biblical order.
The broader scope of the Great Commission that has been neglected by Christians for several generations. American Christians seem to be disinterested in preserving the dominion-related aspects of their Biblical legacy. They appear to be confused about how to build a similarly theonomic foundation in other nations.
It is a big matter historically when a nation falls or rises, and at this present moment in history, South Sudan could benefit from the spiritual and historic lesson America learned in the days of her infancy.
The trip was undertaken in March because of several urgencies. South Sudan faces challenges of capitalization since the cutoff of oil revenue which started in December. Cash reserves are limited.
Foundations need to be built in South Sudan, as they were once built in America. I want my sons to be able to observe the victories and defeats, the progress and failure, and to be spiritually able to contribute to a unique moment in history, both directly and indirectly. I want my sons to understand the mechanisms of nation-building in a laboratory of new national freedoms in South Sudan. In some villages, nation-building is frustrated by the weaknesses, and in some places, complete absence of Biblical understanding.
I want my sons to learn about strategies of nation-building that are more comprehensive than the questionably-fruitful activities of recent “missions” endeavors.
On this trip we were looking for African leaders who had the capability, the integrity, the character and the vision to drive the dominion tasks that stand before East Africa. We also wanted to gather information for American home educators and entrepreneurs who might want to insert themselves in the nation-building process as servants and models.
More on this later as we continue the follow-up on this remarkable journey of discovery.