Departure has been one of the most heart breaking endeavors I’ve had to endure so far. Many have whimpered and even came to the point of tears at the thought of leaving the ground; abandoning the safety and security of their own automobiles; call it the fear of flying if you will. Many loathe the absence of their American culture; the hard-pressed inner turmoil of leaving the familiarities of what many have established as their home. This, however, was not my trial; nor did the burden of the abandonment of what I called my hometown belong to me. The date was July 16th 2009 and this was my dilemma: the leaving behind of the people whom I loved. 

Nevertheless, the call was imperative and my hope was enduring, in light of the promised scripture fulfillment of Christ found at the end of the Great Commission: “..and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:20) Fast forward one and a half days; passed the numerous extended flights, single serving meals, shuttle rides, the chilling gusts emitting from the pressurized air-conditioned cabins, take off after take off, airport after airport and I find myself thousands of miles in the air. Thousands of miles away from anyone I could call out to by even a first name. Thousands of miles away from home, ripping through the clouds as the thousands of miles up slowly decreased to hundreds as we made our descent. The plane tilts to the left as we make a turn. I am blessed with the opportunity to gaze down upon God’s creation; the wonder of Earth.

Upon landing, I soon stepped foot on what would be my abode for the next six months; Tonj, Sudan – the mission field that God had called me to.

The ministry has been bittersweet within these past couple of months. Sweet in the sense that it is a joy to serve alongside like-minded brothers and sisters in the Lord, saints who have a common desire of seeing our God and King glorified through the work He does in and through us, and blessing others who’s souls may have been severely scarred by the macabre and violent byproducts of a fallen world or to even bring a message of hope in the love of Christ Jesus to the poor, distressed and down trotted. 

Bitter in the sense of the given nature of a world marred by sin. Death is rampant. The tears of a grown man, mourning for the loss of a child, are telltale signs of the impact of death. His affliction is no oddity amongst the people of Tonj.

Death, however, is emergent in realms past the physical – the spiritual. I would not go so far as to say that Tonj is spiritually ignorant, but the lack of basic Biblical foundation doctrine has reaped what it sowed. There are those who have yet to hear the Gospel and it is my joy and pleasure to partner alongside In Deed and Truth Ministries to bring the message of reconciliation, as the Apostle Paul called it, to the people of Tonj. By God’s abundant grace may he equip those here to bless those whom God has given us the ability to bless and to share with them the loving message of grace, mercy, hope and love found in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that God would continue to work mightily within all faculties of this mission organization. This is the heart of the ministry; loving others in deed and in truth.