KANSAS CITY, Mo. — John Gak moved to this city in the middle of America 16 years ago, seeking a better life for himself and ways to help fellow refugees from his war-torn homeland of Sudan.
Now, Gak and a congregation of believers plan to bring badly needed education — and the Gospel — to the new nation of South Sudan.
“I know they say it takes a village to raise a child,” John Gak said at a recent banquet for supporters of the work and community leaders. “It takes an entire church — the Swope Parkway Church of Christ — to build a school in my hometown.”
For the past seven years, the 550-member church has sponsored Brothers’ Organization for Relief, or BOR, a ministry dedicated to establishing a church and multi-use education building in Kongor, Gak’s hometown in South Sudan. After decades of war with the Muslim-dominated north, South Sudan became an independent nation July 9.
Gak, who was baptized in Nairobi, Kenya, by missionary Joe McKissick before resettling in Kansas City, is a member of the Swope Parkway church.
A school building in Kongor is scheduled for completion next year, said church member Pete Peoples, chairman of BOR. The building needs fencing, electricity and water, and the church seeks additional partners to finance the work.
Nathan Shain, a video journalist with Kansas City TV station KSHB, traveled with Gak to Kongor recently to report on the ministry’s work.
“The news can be a rough business at times,” he said at the banquet, adding that he was glad to cover positive stories in South Sudan.
“What’s really exciting about this work that you’re doing is that it’s just starting,” Shain said. “There so much work still to do.” FOR MORE INFORMATION,
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