Meet the Mincks
Robert and Jennifer Mincks, founders of LSI, have an extensive background in working amongst indigenous people groups of North America, receiving their training in the field with tribes of the southwest. During the 1990s, they had dreams and vision about the role and open doors with marginalized tribes of North Africa would have in the end time harvest to complete the great commission. Specific dreams directed them to begin to lay groundwork for interaction among the Nilotic peoples who are very similar in makeup and culture diversity to the Native American. The Nilotic peoples have actually have splintered into over 3,000 diverse languages and customs and have much of the same socialization problems.
Sudan and Its Place in the Bible
The Nilotic grouping encompasses ancient Ethiopia, what is now called Sudan, and had at one time great influence into ancient Egypt, and ruled as the “Black Pharaohs.” History reports that it was very likely that the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 was of Dinka descent (the largest of the surviving tribal distinctions in the flood plain of the Nile). Thus the apostle Philip released the first outreach amongst the Sudanese people spreading through the floodplain of the Nile 20 years before Northern Europe heard the gospel. This area in Africa became the cradle for Coptic and Byzantine Christianity before Rome became a Christian geopolitical force. In God’s end time plan the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is strategic to influence tribal peoples that have been under domination of Islam in the 10/40 window.
Modern History and the Establishment of the Republic of South Sudan
It is estimated that 70% of Islam today is tribal that are mixing the 5 pillars of Islam with their animism and are marginalized with no development. The government of Khartoum in north Sudan has said that the nation is 75% Muslim, 5% Christian and 20% animistic. The reality of South Sudan is that it is less than 5% Islamic, and about 40% Christian. South Sudan as a new nation wants to develop as a Christian nation, and is moving to embrace democracy. The unrest within the new Republic of South Sudan is about tribal clashes and unifying its governmental self determination. LSI’s tribal evangelism and education in English is aimed to be a major factor in helping South Sudan to unify and self-determine as a Christian nation.
The modern missionary movement propagating the English language through Colonial Christianity came very late in history. When the Islamic expansion forced the British out of North Sudan and established greater Sudan as a nation, classic Arabic was imposed as the national language for education, and English was suppressed. The new Republic of South Sudan has made English its national language. The field workers of Lifestreams know Arabic, English and many of the tribal dialects. They are well positioned and received with their multi-linquistic capacities. These factors are aiding the spread of Christianity to South Sudan’s unreached populations in the south and northward to other unreached areas.
Kakuma Refugee Camp and LSI’s Relationship with URC – United Refugee Church
The Kakuma Refugee Camp established in Kenya in the early 1990’s was created for a population known as the “lost boys of war.” Some 30,000 were granted asylum in Kenya and given the right to education from K-12 in English. All of the educated refugee communities returning to South Sudan are key to fast-track social development, and tribal unification. LSI has played a role in the returning of the diaspora home, to develop the national Church and socio-economic development in the private and governmental sectors. There are an estimated 700,000 Sudanese who received education (K-12) in the Kakuma Refugee Camp who have gone on to the western world for higher education. LSI educated, from a Christian basis, approximately 1200 individuals who have gone directly back into South Sudan for strategic rebuilding of their country and societies. We estimate between 600 and 700 of our graduates are operating directly in mission. The rest are working to develop business and governmental activity on a clear Christian basis.
The Sudanese National Council of Churches that has survived in South Sudan during the Islamic invasions of Islamic expansionism of the past fifty years are Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal, and Presbyterian. There was a spiritual quickening of the Holy Spirit in the late 60’s and early 70’s that coincided with what was happening in the western world, but was suppressed as a “youth Movement” and not well embraced by the Sudanese council of churches.
During the last stages of war from North Sudan the remnant of that outpouring became a unifying “Interdenominational” move of Spirit-filled believers, starting from many of the Anglican and Episcopalian sectors. As Lifestreams began working in Kakuma, this group approved LSI’s Holy Spirit centered curriculum utilized at the Kakuman Interdenominational School of Missions (KISOM). 47 churches sent their trainees with letters of recommendation. A Spirit led outpouring ensued from that catalytic beginning in 2002.
In 2006 the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) was signed in Nivosha, Kenya between the North and South Sudan, creating GOSS, the Government of South Sudan. It was a conditional 6 year agreement that would stay the war between them and allow a referendum vote to unify or to create two separate government by secession. During this timeframe LSI through KISOM began both to release workers back to regions in South Sudan, and facilitate smaller training programs such as ‘Mobile Schools of Evangelism.’ By 2011 seven sub schools were operating, two in the desert of Kenya bordering Ethiopia and Sudan, and five others across South Sudan, strategically reaching indigenous people groups.
Kakuma Interdenominational School of Missions (KISOM)
LSI installed a “Spirit-filled” curriculum in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in 2002 under the (URC, United Refugee Churches). The school was envisioned by a notable Burundi national missionary, Rev. Tito Maribu. He had registered the URC and established KISOM (Kakuma Interdenominational School of Missions), operated by NGO secular school teachers. The school ran three years without curriculum and materials, with very few Bibles. Rev. Tito transferred the school to Rev Robert Mincks to be subject to the URC board of Directors and council comprised of all nationals from diverse nations and cultures.
Kakuma Refuge Camp was directed under the UNHCR (UN High Commission of Refugees). The NGO Camp Director had command of all operations of education and coordination, and at that time did not allow mission groups to have access to the camp. Samaritan’s Purse under Dr. Franklin Graham tried for three years to gain access, but were denied partly due to the insecure mix of Muslim and Christian populations inside, with volatile tribal zones as well.
Due to the approach by LSI to come under the URC (United Refugee Churches) as a indigenous movement facilitating and training their own missionaries, we have been able from the very start, to work from the inside out of the diverse cultures and communities. From 2002 through 2013 LSI ran multilevel training which included: a one year foundations prerequisite; a three year Bible school; and a fourth year strategic missions and TOT (Training of Teachers) program.
By 2011 there were very close to 1,200 students graduated. 640 of them went through the four year missions program, of which most are currently working out in the field in South Sudan.
Exit Strategy from Kakuma Refugee Camp
2011 brought major changes to Kakuma Camp because a major part of the Sudanese refugee community transitioned back into Sudan. By 2012 an Islamic Field Director was installed at the camp and many active Islamic Somali cells became embedded in the camp. By 2013 serious oppression began to appear in the camp against Christan communities. The camp had achieved the size of 130,000 + (67% were Muslim with the presence of covert terrorist groups). The LSI director transferred complete control of KISOM to the refugee nationals and all operations needed to go underground. LSI was making transition through 2013-2014 to direct all efforts into mobile schools of evangelism reaching indigenous people groups. The effort is now penetrating areas where Islam was traditionally mixed with animism and historically resistant to Christianity.
Tribal Evangelism and Training in 2014 and Beyond
In 2014 the forward movement of the missionary efforts has been realizing a dramatic escalation of first mention conversions. The PRESSING NEED is to accelerate the process of locking in converts and providing edification through discipleship in the remote field areas. Training pastors, church planters, teachers , and lay workers must be done rapidly by intensive methods. The workers stay in their respective locations building the work and then return to school locations for further intensive training in 6 to 8 week intervals. They are also refurnished with supplies. Currently we are developing a main training center to develop trainers of teachers, who can work in the field getting equipped both in English and their respective dialects.
In a central location between the northern borders of the Kenyan desert and South Sudan and Ethiopia LSI has secured through an indigenous network a 2 acre compound plot. The TOT (master trainer) worker can reach this location within a day or two journey. For a year we have been functioning with only an office and a church building. We have the challenge of building four free standing buildings as classrooms and provision for temporary accommodations.
Please make this timely need a point of prayer, and join with us to facilitate a wonderfully catalytic movement heading north from East Africa. With this fully equipped facility this movement can be self-sustaining. Read More About This Building Project