African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries
ALARM South Sudan, one of the ministry’s largest African branches, has been active in the country since 1999, six years before a peace agreement was signed with the north. Although the conflict is now over, the need for strong leadership is still great.
As the ALARM website explains, “The war years [in South Sudan] saw a vast movement toward Christ. The leaders of this new flock now need training; their churches and communities need rebuilding; and the land needs the peace of Christ to help the country overcome its ethnic dividing lines.”
Mission: ALARM exists to empower the African church to impact the African continent by developing and equipping leaders with skills and tools to nurture and deepen the Christian faith for the transformation and reconciliation of the African communities.
Through pastoral education, leadership & reconciliation training and community development initiatives, ALARM seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of society. As always, ALARM focuses on three key areas:
ALARM has founded two pastoral training schools in the country: the Christian Leadership Institute of South Sudan (CLISS) in Yei and the Pastors’ Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) in Lietnhom.
ALARM also hosts periodic peace-building seminars, marriage enrichment conferences, and a host of other short-term training sessions across the country (topics include good governance, gender-based violence, conflict mediation, and trauma counseling).
Along with their training initiatives, ALARM works to meet practical needs in their local communities, such as clean-water initiatives, micro-finances programs, and a literacy school.
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Meet James Baak – ALARM South Sudan’s Country Director
Reverend James Baak has a remarkable story. He was 13 when he fled Sudan as one of the “Lost Boys.” His three-month trek led him to Ethiopia, then to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. It was in the refugee camps that he first began to follow Christ.
Upon returning to his village 13 years later, James discovered to his great surprise that his family was still alive. With his newfound faith guiding him, James led first his parents, then his siblings, then his village to Christ. He became a regional church leader in the Lietnhom area and witnessed miracles as the Local Church grew.
In 2003, he met ALARM’s founder, Celestin Musekura, in Kenya. Celestin convinced James to become part of ALARM’s staff in South Sudan. He worked dutifully for the ministry until 2011, when he was promoted to country director, the role he still plays today.