Cover of Jacob's book, "The Lost is Found: A Lost Boy's Story"Help us celebrate! A year ago this month, Jacob published his book, “The Lost is Found: A Lost Boy’s Story of Faith, Hope, Charity, and Love.”  This makes it a good time to take closer look at “The Lost is Found: A Lost Boy’s Story.”  We–and many reviewers–recommend it to you if you have not read it yet. If you have read it, why not share it with a friend?  “The Lost is Found” is a 5-star book on Last June 18th, an Amazon customer offered this review:

An inspiring personal account of hardship and charity.

This is an inspiring story of survival and perseverance for those boys who were lost during South Sudan’s civil war. It is difficult to summarize how much hardship the author and his colleagues have suffered but it is a constant reminder of the Lord’s work that needs to be done here on earth. I hope that those who appreciate that concept would appreciate this book.

If you are not familiar with the history of The Lost Boys and would like a brief summary before buying Jacob’s book, we describe the highlights of their story and offer links to YouTube videos on this website,  You will also find an article by the International Rescue Committee on The Lost Boys from October 2014 here. Refugee boys at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Uganda, in 2001.Jacob says, “My book tells my story of running for my life at age 7 as radical Muslims attacked my village in Sudan, and spending the next 14 years either on the run or living in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. I came to the United States as a “Lost Boy” of Sudan in 2001 and since then have learned a new language, become an American citizen, and obtained an education.”In August 2017, another reviewer on Amazon, Danny H., focuses on the plight of all refugees reflected in Jacob’s story:

An invaluable resource for refugees and their allies

This book is a raw, accessible account of ordinary virtue in extraordinary circumstances. Jacob’s story of survival and redemption is related in a simple, disarming voice and it offers tremendous insight into the history and current situation of his country as well as an inside look at the process of becoming an American. And throughout it all is the constant refrain of God’s unending love and provision. Perhaps the most significant contribution this book offers is its portrayal of life in America for refugees. This book is just dripping with encouragement for refugees and it is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand their lives.

While every refugee is unique, their stories have many similarities, so Jacob’s book connects us to the experience of all refugees. Current events remind us that the refugee problem continues as people flee from Syria and Central America, and even renewed conflict in South Sudan.  We will share one more Amazon review with you, from Linda J. last November. She says:

Excellent book

After Jacob spoke at our church, I bought copies of his book for myself and my daughter-in-law who co-founded a refugee support agency in Grand Rapids, MI. This is a gripping story of the struggle for survival during this long period of persecution of Christians in Sudan. Jacob’s faith in God and determination to continue to share His love is admirable. I recommend this story to anyone who wants to know about the Lost Boys and their plight.

Jacob selling his book in February 2018.Jacob welcomes the opportunity to share his story and talk about his book with community groups, book clubs, and churches. As Linda’s comments indicate, American Christians will find a kinship with Jacob, the Lost Boys, and other South Sudanese.  They may find that supporting Africa Sunrise’s mission in South Sudan fits their own mission work and fundraising goals. In any case, a portion of the proceeds from sale of “The Lost is Found: A Lost Boy’s Story” goes to support the work of Africa Sunrise Communities.Jacob and some of the school children receiving support from the United States. Nairobi, Kenya.Jacob is available for interviews and speaking engagements about his book. If travel from his home in central Kentucky is not practical, Jacob can arrange live or taped audio/video presentations for your group. Contact Jacob here and order a copy of his book here._________________________________________________________Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@africa_sunrise).

When I was a small boy in cattle camp, I had a dream that I would become a pastor among my people. In my dream I was wearing a white collar and standing before the church. I shared my dream with my cousins and they laughed at me.  No one in our family had ever been a pastor.During the terrible times when I was running for my life, I didn’t think much about what I would do in the future.  I just wanted to stay alive.  I ran hundreds of miles to what we thought was a safe place in Ethiopia.  Many died along the way. However, when I finally reached the crowded refugee camp, first in Ethiopia and then in Kenya, I had time again to consider my place in God’s plan. I learned to read so I could study the Bible, and I became a leader among the Sudanese people in the camp.I was chosen along with other “lost boys” to come to America in 2001, but I never forgot my dream. Seven years later, I returned to Sudan and part of my childhood dream became true – I received the white collar I had seen in my childhood dream. I was ordained in the Episcopal Church in Sudan, first as a deacon and then as a pastor.When I returned to Sudan, I was overwhelmed with the needs I saw there. Because of the danger caused by civil conflicts in South Sudan, I thought my original vision of returning to my homeland was not going to be possible soon. So, in June 2017 I travelled to northern Uganda where so many Sudanese people are staying in refugee camps. This seemed to be a good place to start a ministry, especially to children. However, there were so many obstacles – government requirements, proper licensing, and high costs – that I was discouraged. So, I asked God to show me where to begin.One of my heroes in the Old Testament is Nehemiah, because his story is so much like mine.  His people had been taken from their homes in Israel and were living in foreign lands, just like the Sudanese people today. They wept because of what had become of the place they loved, as we weep today when we learn what is happening at home. The beautiful city of Jerusalem he had known as a boy was in ruins, its people scattered. My own city of Bor is not the pleasant place of my childhood, and has been scarred by years of fighting. Now people are returning to see what remains of their home land.Nehemiah is not only my hero. He is my model. I am planning to take the same steps he took to serve his people as they returned home. Thanks to a sister organization, Heart of Africa, I will be making a survey trip back to my home area in South Sudan in January 2018. I will be visiting the city of Bor to see how best to help my people. I do not know at this time what all the needs are or if the area is secure enough for me to return on a permanent basis. However, like Nehemiah, I plan to meet with leaders of the government and churches to see how Africa Sunrise Communities can help.If you believe in this vision, you can help, too. We need to build a team of partners who will stand with us in this venture. Our current need is for personal support. If we carry out this mission, it must be a team effort. I have been working as a home health care worker to provide for my family. However, this is getting me no closer to my vision. I need to take a bold step to fulfill the vision to which God has called me and for which I have been training.Here are two ways you can help:

  1. We need partners who will support us on a monthly basis, so we can give full time to the work in South Sudan.
  2. While I am on this survey trip, Rebecca and I will take a “Family Leave” from our jobs with no pay. That will allow Rebecca to stay home with our children while I am away with no additional costs for child care. Because neither of us will be working, we will need funds for our basic living expenses.

We are at the doorway to our ministry in South Sudan, and I am filled with gratitude for your willingness to listen to my story and to be our partners. Now I ask you to consider what your part in this endeavor might be. Your friend and fellow worker,Jacob Thon GuotExecutive Director, Africa Sunrise CommunitiesP.S.  In Proverbs 19:18, God’s Word says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  I know that my people are perishing, and I know that I have a vision to help them see the Good News and God’s solutions to their problems. 

UntitledJacob Guot will be speaking at First United Methodist Church in Lancaster, PA, the weekend of Sunday, July 24, 2016. He will be sharing his story and his vision for work among the refugees of South Sudan in the three Sunday morning services. He will also be meeting with the Missions Committee of the church over the weekend.If you are in the area, Jacob invites you to attend the church that morning and to hear him speak. Jacob has just graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is now seeking to build up his non-profit organization, Africa Sunrise Communities, by accepting speaking engagements and encouraging others to join him in carrying out his vision. He is seeking financial partners who will help him to do so.If you would like to help Jacob in his work with South Sudanese refugees, as he begins the process of helping them to achieve literacy and to begin the work of restoration and reconciliation, please check out the “Get Involved” section of this website and give generously to his work. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Urgent Prayer for God to Intervene in South Sudan SufferingDuring this last week, fighting has once again broken out between rival factions in the South Sudanese capital of Juba. According to the Sudan Tribune, conflict is ongoing between forces loyal to the President, Salva Kiir, and those loyal to the First Vice President, Riek Machar. Machar has been forced out of his base in Juba.A number of United Nations peacekeepers, as well as civilians, have been killed or wounded. Thousands of civilians have fled. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the fighting and has urged the respective leaders to work harder to contain their forces.The situation has deteriorated so that the President of Sudan, the country from which South Sudan split itself off and gained its independence, is evacuating its 50,000 nationals from the city of Juba.The United States has sent 47 American soldiers to protect its embassy in South Sudan. Non-essential staffers have been evacuated already.The relatively new country of South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary recently, but armed conflict has been a hallmark of the area for decades. For further information you may visit the website of the Sudan Tribune at,Jacob Thon GuotASC Founder and President

 Two recent articles from the Sudan Tribune newspaper tell of worsening violence and the dire need for food among people in South Sudan.On February 17, 2016, one of the articles described the urgent need for food for 86,000 people in two counties of Jonglei state in South Sudan. Officials from the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) reported that an assessment of conditions among returnees and among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) indicated that the people needed both food and non-food support. The RRC organizations were urged to act swiftly in light of the plight of these thousands of people.UNMISS Bor CompoundJames Jok, the state acting RRC director, said that he organized a meeting of RRC humanitarian organizations to assign each agency specific roles to intervene in curbing hunger and in developing a comprehensive strategy for aid. He also urged the South Sudanese government to provide needed infrastructure, especially health facilities and schools.Agencies say that over two million people were displaced during the 21-month-old conflict, which broke out in the world’s youngest nation upon its establishment in mid-December 2013.The second article, dated February 16th, described renewed clashes in South Sudan’s Wau state between the army and the armed opposition faction. Hundreds of people have been forced to flee from their homes, residents and eyewitnesses have said.IOM Woman Carrying WaterThe incident took place in the western part of the state capital, Besilia, forcing hundreds of people, mainly women and children, to seek food and shelter elsewhere. According to multiple residents who arrived in Wau town on Sunday, people on both sides of the conflict participated in burning huts to the ground. The most affected areas were Abushaka, Kapi and Safa, initially suspected by government forces to be opposition-held territories.The armed confrontation between the two main warring parties came a day after a delegation of ceasefire monitors arrived in Wau town to access the security situation in the region. The armed opposition leader in Wau state denied that their forces were the first to attack government troops in the specified areas.We urge our Africa Sunrise Community supporters to pray for the needs of the refugees and displaced persons and for the hostilities in South Sudan to cease and the ceasefire to be observed. Also, Bweyale refugees in Uganda have expressed their fears concerning the scheduled elections now going on. They need prayer particularly for peace.  Read the Sudan Tribune Articles Here:86,000 Urgently Need Food in Jonglei State

New IOM clinic provides critical care for displaced in Upper Nile

VillagersleavingIt seems South Sudan hasn’t seen peace since the creation of Adam and Eve. Its inhabitants may never see peace anytime soon, unless people of good conscience and benevolence would step in and help the most overlooked humans in the world. This part of the world has lost at least three generations to illiteracy due a deep-rooted civil war that started in the 1950’s as the result of oppression from the former Sudanese government of Arab Muslims.Nevertheless, South Sudan fought for decades and earned her long overdue independence from the north in 2011. Though free of its rule, there is still evidence that reveals the continuing influence of the largely Muslim country to the north. Influential elites from Sudan are determined to cause strife between southern tribes, which would allow them to seize power again. For more than 60 years, the north has tried to convert the Christian communities in South Sudan by force.This is the situation in which we at Africa Sunrise Communities (ASC) are dedicated to bringing peace. Through farming projects and education of all young South Sudanese irrespective of their tribes, we will foster reconciliation and restoration.The latest report from UN’s Refugee Agency has reported that a huge number of people have fled to the refugee camps mainly in Uganda as a result of renewed fighting in South Sudan. These refugees are women and children that have been uprooted from their country as a result of serious insecurity. They are literally running for their lives, leaving everything they own behind and living in camps with nothing.In these camps, they wait for food from the UN, which is scant and lacking in nutrition. The children are unable to receive education without funding. This is where Africa Sunrise Communities will be working to fill the gaps by providing gardening plots to encourage teamwork between tribes as well as a sustainable source of food. As we work to reconcile the older generations, we will educate the younger to raise up a generation that it educated and invested in bettering their country together.Written by Gabriel KwaiTreasurer and Board Member

As President of Africa Sunrise Communities, I thank you for your ongoing prayers and support for the crisis situation in South Sudan. We have been notified that hundreds of thousands of civilians are fleeing the cities of Jalle Payam and Maar as a result of another heavy attack from the rebels. Shortly after we released the first newsletter, we learned that rebels attacked a passenger bus on the Juba-Nimule road In the South Sudan. Many passengers fled for their lives and hid in the bush to escape further violence. According to South Sudan Times, “…at least five people were reportedly killed.” passengers that survived and were able to flee were fortunate, but now they have the tough choice to travel back to Juba or proceed to Uganda. Even though the rebel situation appears to be under control, there is no way to know when another attack will happen.These continued attacks serve as a painful reminder of the uncertain situation in South Sudan. As you will recall from a few weeks back, my mother-in-law was killed in a similar rebel attack and four of my nieces and nephews were displaced. We at Africa Sunrise Communities have been raising money to transport these children to safety in a Ugandan Refugee Camp and provide food and school for them going forward. So far, out of the $2900 needed to get them to safety, we have raised $1,093. I spoke with people in the area last night and the situation is still very dangerous for the children. We’re looking to get them out of the village as soon as possible.As I reflect on these latest events, the Lord spoke to me through the following Scripture: My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you… (Galatians 4:19) I want to share with you my motivation and encouragement for Africa Sunrise Communities, as I feel that God has given me the task and burden to bring this ministry to realization. I feel that it is my responsibility to open the world’s eyes to the situation in my home country, and the joys and pains of “birth” that are mine to bear as I see this ministry take off. God has seen me through many difficulties and I trust He will provide for this ministry. However, I cannot do this alone—I need your support through these challenges as well as praise to our Lord in times of rejoicing. During this time of pain and suffering, I know that the Lord is restoring and I look forward to its fruition.Thank you for your continued prayers and support,Rev. Jacob Thon GuotPresident and Founder