Over the last few weeks since my grandfather's death. I've been shocked about some of the great things I've learned about him. I always knew Grandpa was a humble man...he never talked much about his time in Africa, other than about some of the great animal stories (lions, crocodiles and snakes, in particular). He never really said much about his ministry. Grandpa and Grandma (who passed away last April), were missionaries in both Sudan and Ethiopia to the the Nuer (pronounced "Nooair). I knew that they helped run a medical clinic, grew fruits and vegetables and generally did what we would consider now days as pioneer mission work. Until today however, I wasn't aware of how succesful his mission work was. Today, I received this email from a couple of pastors in Ethiopia. I've done a little bit of editing in order to make it a little more understandable to American readers:
We have heard that Charles Jordan has gone to the Lord three weeks ago. We know that you might have been in difficult time in remembering his good rest and celebrating the Lord’s birth. We did not hear it on time. However; we want to assure you that father Jordan his now with the Lord. He had completed the tasks that God assigned him to do on the earth. Jordan and his family were the founders of the Nuer Christian faith in Ethiopia. It had been tremendous job that God had assisted them to accomplish. His good rest is not difficult to you alone but also to those of us Charles Jordan and his family brought the Good News. But we know that Charles Jordan and his wife will meet us some time in Heaven because we all are guests on this earth. He has rested and he is now with the Lord Jesus Christ.
He and his wife started a small Congregation at Adura late in 1961 at mission station and that Congregation had grown up to 142 Congregations in Ethiopia Nuer with a total membership of 68,872. He was the first Pastor ordained for the Nuer in Ethiopa and now there are 48 pastors working for the Nuer Congregations. They have achieved their goals in accomplishing the tasks they were given by God. In Roman Chapter 14: 8 says “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” This is a very important message to all of us.
As we remember the good rest of Charles Jordan, we as the Congregation in Gambella celebrated Charles Jordan’s good rest on Saturday December 22, 2007, where 1500 people attended the service dedicated to Charles Jordan’s good work in Nuer Congregations. The Congregation reflected upon his work in Adura and many who knew Charles Jordan particularly the first converts Nuer Christians spoke about good work of Charles Jordan and his family. Everything was remembered for them. In that meeting, collecting was made and it was decided to raise fund for Jordan remembrance. The Congregations decided to raise fund in order to do something for Jordan’s remembrance. The final decision will be made in Synod executive meeting that will take place at Matar (one of the Presbyteries in Wanthao) in February 2008. We will let you know about it. We want to encourage you to help us in prayer that this vision will be reality. The Congregation s said that Jordan had challenged their lives and want to remember him.
We just want to tell you that we are with you and would like to assure you that Jordan is now with the Lord in this season of the year.
Please send us pictures of Jordan if any when you come down here.
James Gatdet & Rev. Matthew