December 2020 Newsletter

Soccer Success!

2020 was our best soccer tournament to date!!  The pastors counted over 20,000 people attended the final match. During the course of the tournament approximately 53,000 were evangelized through the radio broadcast, over 70,000 attended the matches and heard the gospel message. There were 3,716 new commitments for Christ and 2,112 re-dedications. It was also reported to us from our pastors that after hearing the gospel at the games, more than 1,000 people started attending local churches and 150 of those joined CC Tonj. The final match was televised and attended by the State Governor and President of South Sudan Football association came from Juba.

Suzy and Governor present the IDAT cup

The Face of Poverty

Tonj was hit hard this year with food crisis, tribal fighting and flooding. We anticipate helping the community with food and seeds until fall of 2021.

Weekly IDAT Food Distribution

The tribal conflicts led to thousands fleeing their homes but the flooding has prevented much needed food from reaching Tonj and many crops to be lost. The washed-out dirt road created a back log of 1,013 trucks stuck for over a
month.  The road is a meter high from the ground and it still flooded.

Eventually the trucks got moving again and the 5-month dry season just started, so we should not experience this problem for a while.

In the meantime, we are purchasing surplus food and distributing it to the most vulnerable people that are either displaced or effected from flooding. We continue to see severely malnourished children every day in the clinic.


Abuoch developed an infection called Noma which destroyed her upper lip when she was three years old. Noma is a gangrenous infection starting in the mouth caused by extreme poverty, malnutrition and poor hygiene. Children between 2-4 years old are most vulnerable with only about 10% surviving the infection. They are left with severe disfigurement on the face and as they grow they carry shame, hiding the face with scarves and have difficulty integrating socially with others. It can be a challenge to eat and develop speech. The only hope is for reconstruction surgery which is unavailable in South Sudan. A few years ago, Abouch came to our clinic to register for the Cleft Lip program that our friends at Samaritan’s Purse run each April, bringing surgeons from Africa & USA. Unfortunately, her case was too complex for the Cleft Lip campaign which repairs over 100 cleft lips each year. Thankfully Samaritan’s Purse have generously sponsored her to travel to Uganda for repair. This is her second surgery. We are so excited for her to get this life-changing surgery.

Abouch before and after surgery

Happy Christmas!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to serve the people of Tonj in 2020. The Lord did amazing things through IDAT and rescued a community from the brink of famine. We can’t wait for the blessings that are coming in 2021!!

May your Christmas be peaceful and filled with love, laughter, hope, joy, and the Spirit of the Lord be upon you and your family.

November 2020 Newsletter

Sopers in South Sudan!

Zac and Rebekah Soper are both nurses and served in the IDAT medical clinic for 5 months back in 2018. This was enough to stir their hearts and since going back to New Zealand they have been planning to rejoin our team as long-term missionaries. Delayed by Covid-19, they finally arrived for their first 2-year term in October. Please pray for their adjustment, health and safety.

Rebekah feeding a malnourished baby

Stephen also came back after being stuck in Kenya. He heads up our construction crew. Now he’s back we will start building our x-ray room, clinic laundry room and planning for the church building.

Stephen returns from Kenya

Now the team are back together, Suzy and the kids will head to Florida in December. Please pray for them as they navigate getting out of Juba, Covid testing, and all the travel restrictions that keep changing between countries. They are still in need of a vehicle to use stateside. If you can help with this need please contact the email below.

Reaching the Next Generation of Leaders Through Soccer!

The IDAT soccer tournament continues to bring hope, unity and the gospel to the youth of Tonj.

The IDAT Soccer Tournament draws large crowds of spectators to every game

Between matches our team of leaders and pastors are sharing updates and Christ to the community through radio.

IDAT Leaders Sharing on Don Bosco Radio

The IDAT ministry team attend every game and use the “What’s the Goal?” tract to share the gospel and pray with spectators.

Spectators reading their tracts.

Cover of the evangelistic track reading "What's the goal?"

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25

Testimony in the Villages!

We have three church plants, Ariamduar, Pawel & Palek, in Maloney region, which is about an hour drive from Tonj. The Maloney chief had been opposing our churches, protesting that the teaching went against their traditional beliefs of sacrifice to their gods. Several of our church pastors and leaders were arrested and church, as well as CHE, was forbidden. This was 10 years of ministry stopped by one man. Many husbands were also forbidding their wives to go to church because they refused to make alcohol and slaughter or cook animals sacrificed to the spirits. IDAT leaders and community elders were called to Maloney to try and resolve the issue.

IDAT’s Andrea Mangok Sharing with Elders

Pastor Muordek shared how God met Saul and transformed him into Paul, gave him a new heart and used him in a mighty way. The Holy Spirit was moving and touched that chief’s heart and softened the hearts of the village leaders. The chief repented, apologized and prayed with our team and gave full freedom to continue with church and CHE. Those arrested rejoiced at the opportunity to suffer for Jesus, and that this period of persecution greatly strengthened the Maloney churches!! Please continue to pray for that chief and for all our CHE villages and church plants.

October 2020 Newsletter

Macleods Back on Mission!

It has been a blessing to have our missionaries come back from New Zealand. Our hearts were weary and Jono, Destinee, Zoe, Ellisha and Shiloh brought a much-needed spirit of joy, excitement and energy to our team after a tough ten months.

The Macleods Family

  • Pray for their readjustment especially the kids’ hearts having been in New Zealand longer than planned, that they could get back into their routines and reconnect easily here.
  • Pray for their homeschool needs (if you know any young woman that might like to serve the Macleods in this way as a homeschool teacher for one year please email me).
  • Pray for their safety, we have had a lot of tribal unrest in the villages.
  • Pray for their health, protection from malaria, coronavirus, scorpions, snakes and now rabies is rampant.
  • Pray the Lord would use them to encourage, teach, and bless this community and make them effective witnesses of the Gospel.
  • Pray all their financial needs would be met as they as they enter their 7th year serving with IDAT.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

Pray for the Sports Outreach!

We are so excited to launch our 2020 IDAT Soccer Tournament this month. It is bigger and better than ever before. We have 16 soccer teams, 8 volleyball and basketball teams. Thank you for generously giving so we could provide the teams with new kits and soccer boots.

Kits printed and shipped from China

This tournament provides an outlet to the youth of Tonj and gives us a platform to reach them with the gospel.

Suzy prays as teams are given their kits

Our clinical officer Gabriel Gojoh will play in the tournament. He helped Suzy with ordering the kits that proudly display the IDAT logo and every clubs badge!

Suzy with IDAT CO Gabriel Gojoh

Church Resumes!

In the seven months we were not able to meet we worked on the new church land, constructing the fence and installing a gate to prepare for the ‘big move’ of CC Tonj. Little did we know this is where we would be doing food distributions. We don’t have an actual building, but we are using a tent and tarp to provide shelter from rain and sun.

CC Tonj meeting in tents on the new site

When the government lifted the restrictions on churches being able to meet, we had an amazing response.

Many newcomers attend church

We also saw people coming forward to receive Christ as our church elders laid hands on them.

Praying for Mabiel and Santino

September 2020 Newsletter

Glory to His Name!

Please pray for Paul and his family. He was a witchdoctor that practiced traditional medicine on people. He lives next to our new church land, where we have been doing the food distribution.

Paul with his wife and children

He would sell people charms to wear and large idols for their homes to protect them from evil spirits. Last month he saw lots of people coming to our land and wanted to see what was going on. He’d lost several family members and constantly lived in fear. He heard Suzy talk about Jesus being the Bread of Life and inviting people to repent and he raised his hand. Pastor Mabior met with him one to one and assured him of salvation through Jesus Christ. Paul said he didn’t have any peace and didn’t want to be a witchdoctor anymore and he agreed to burn all his idols and charms.

Pastors Mabior and Mayom burning the idols

The following Sunday he came to church and our pastors agreed to burn the charms and pray over his family. His wife and children also prayed and received Christ. It’s so awesome to see how the Lord used the food distribution to reach those that didn’t even need food!!

Praying With Paul’s Family

Praising Partners!

The entire country of South Sudan is facing a food crisis. Our area of Tonj has gone from a phase 3 ‘critical’ level to a phase 4 ‘emergency’ level. We are one step away from phase 5, which is famine.

This family is surviving by eating wild leaves

We have witnessed an incredible response from you, our partners. Together we have bought 54 tons of food and fed over 4,300 families!!

Food Distribution Outreach

Samaritan’s Purse also responded to our plea for help and sent us 500 plastic tarps, ropes and mosquito nets.

Tarps donated by Samaritan’s Purse

Sadly, we have not seen any food from World Food Program so we ask you to pray for Tonj and for South Sudan. The bible says, don’t be anxious about what you shall eat? Everywhere we go people are worried, the situation is so desperate we are anticipating more unrest as those fears turn to a fight for survival.

This is how many families are surviving

Our prayer is that God’s Love would be felt, the truth of His Word would be heard, His compassion would be poured out, His forgiveness experienced, His Presence would be known. Praying people’s hearts turn towards Jesus, seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, witnessing God transforming lives like Paul and his family. So many have already responded to Jesus and given Him their hearts. Our pastors are working tirelessly, encouraging new believers to put their trust in God. Not to look around at their circumstances but to look up and see Jesus, who will never leave them or forsake them. We ask that you to continue to pray for a miracle for food reaching us and that God would also use this difficult situation to bring Glory to His name.

August 2020 Newsletter

Food Crisis!

South Sudan stands on the brink of a food crisis, the worse we’ve experienced in years. Tonj has been severely effected due to prolonged armed conflicts between tribes, causing mass displacement from surrounding villages. Thousands of people are at risk of starvation as a consequence of fleeing their homes and not having enough food to eat. The lack of an adequate response from AID agencies has meant many people have not eaten in over a month, some as long as 2 months. Assessments have been made but no food has arrived. Maybe due to continued insecurity on the roads or maybe due to poor roads conditions from our heavy rainy season.

Pregnant Women are the Most Vulnerable

What I do know is that every day we are witnessing more and more people with signs of acute malnutrition. The devastating effects on a woman during pregnancy puts her baby in danger of miscarriage, still-born or low birth weight. She herself is at increased risk of death during delivery, anemia and lack of breast milk production. Her weakened state and loss of body mass compromises her immune system and increases her probability of serious infections. Often mothers will do anything to get small food for their children and they will give the food to the children before eating themselves.  Other vulnerable groups include the disabled, elderly, HIV and children under five, who suffer lifelong effects resulting in stunted growth and depressed immune systems.

Disabled People are also at risk

In 1998, I sat in church in Southern California and watched a video about a famine in South Sudan. People were so weak from not eating for FOUR months they were walking on their hands and knees, unable to stand up. I remember thinking what could I possibly do that would make any difference to this situation? As I asked God that question, I received a very clear answer from Him, He said YOU CAN PRAY.

Corrie Ten Boom said it best, “The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God’s realm where everything is possible. He specializes in the impossible. Nothing is too great for His almighty power. Nothing is too small for His love.”

That’s exactly what I did, I prayed and that led to a prayer walk, which led to a fundraiser and ultimately led me to go to South Sudan on a mission trip, where I met Sabet and have served as a missionary for the past 21 years. Prayer changes things and even though we are limited in what we can do to help, we serve a powerful God whose means are limitless! It is unfathomable to think that in 2020 we have so much food in the world and yet people still live in extreme poverty and go to bed hungry. It was shockingly wrong back then and it’s shockingly wrong today. Jesus always showed compassion for the poor, if I want to be like Jesus then I need to show compassion also. This ministry was birthed out of this truth that John talks about in the bible:

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18

Last month I asked for your help, by faith, our ministry stepped out and started to buy sacks of food for people. I asked you to get involved and YOU DID! Thank you!!! We were so blessed by everyone’s response to do something. And God’s love for the people here has really shone through that gift. Not only did we feed them physically but also spiritually.

A Positive Response to the Gospel Message

As these people are displaced due to conflict, we shared about the conflict going on in man’s heart every day. As they faced death in the past few weeks, we talked about not knowing when our last day would be and being ready to meet Jesus. We talked about their story and how God led them to this place and how we all have a story that leads us to the cross. We talked about sin and how things will never change if we don’t have a change of heart. When it was time to pray, the Holy Spirit was really moving and so many prayed with us. Over half the crowd of 2,000 people raised their hands to confess their sin and need for a Savior. So many were talking about it afterwards and were encouraged.

News From The Field