In 1998, Wes Bentley felt God telling him to start a chaplaincy program for the Southern Sudanese army (SPLA) to provide trained and dedicated chaplains on the front-lines during Sudan’s second major civil war. Through a series of events, the door opened wide for this to happen in 1999, and Far Reaching Ministries (FRM) was established for this purpose. The chaplain training program began with the cooperation of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) and is recognized as the official training arm of the SPLA for Biblical discipleship. The goal was to place a chaplain in every unit of the South Sudanese army, and today nearly 300 are deployed.
The training center was established during the civil war in Nimule, South Sudan, and was repeatedly bombed, killing one chaplain trainee. Each year candidates are selected to go through a year of discipleship training at the Nimule compound. These men come from a wide background including former Muslims and others who at one time were feared criminals, all now Christian believers.
The entire Bible is covered during the year of training through teachers/pastors who come from the United States every two to three weeks. The class sizes vary but are capped at 70. For the entire year the men eat, sleep, and attend classes at the FRM compound. Following graduation, they go through basic training with the military and are assigned to a military unit where they serve as a chaplain.