As we’ve been working with our CHE – Community Health Evangelism program we’ve been visiting and praying over our CHE centers and asking God to direct our paths. We want to connect each CHE village with a church community in the USA as prayer support for that village. As we visited them it was evident the need for prayer covering for each of these centers. Over the next few months we will introduce these villages to you and highlight their critical prayer needs, starting with the village of Lingir.
Lingir is a Dinka village located around 30km from Tonj, which is a 2 day walk to our clinic. Although Lingir’s core community is about 250 people, it is located in the center of a cluster of 15 other nearby villages with a total combined population of around 3000 people! This is a community we don’t know personally but have attended to a number of very poor and malnourished patients from there in our clinic who describe extreme poverty in their village. So we knew we needed to check it out.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
There is no medical clinic near to Lingir, and no means of transport other than walking, so people face a 30km walk to Tonj to access our medical care, a daunting prospect for pregnant women and small children.
There is a fantastic local man called Lual who sometimes travels to Tonj to buy malaria medicines for the community. However he had run out when we visited. He is very passionate about helping his community and earlier this year mobilized the community to volunteer their time to build a mud brick structure for a medical clinic in the hope that it would encourage the government to provide a health worker and medicines. Unfortunately the rains came before the structure could be protected with a roof but they hope to rebuild next dry season.
On our recent visit it was heart breaking for the IDAT team to witness this remote community with so much need in so many areas. Dr Jono said, “The community of Lingir is possibly the poorest place I’ve ever visited in all my years of missionary work.” They have no medical clinic, no school, no employment, no market, no bore hole for clean water, no access to vaccination, no trained birthing assistants, and many children severely malnourished from lack of food. It is a real challenge for each family to produce enough food during the rainy season to last them a whole year. As a result many of the children we saw were malnourished, and most people were living off just one meal per day. During the rains it often floods, destroying their precious crops.
A large proportion of the community had symptoms of malaria. Another challenge is access to clean water. There is no borehole in the region, so people rely on collecting water from the river or from small wells that have been hand dug but have dirty water, and often dry up in the dry season.
The sub chief is also a prominent witchdoctor who appears to have a lot of influence over the people. We saw places of animal sacrifice and spirit worship as we travelled around the village. The people were really encouraged by the gospel message that IDAT Pastor Joseph shared. We praise God for the opportunity as several made commitments to Christ.
Please commit to pray for Lingir and all the challenges we have shared. Pray for a church to raise up in USA and partner in prayer with this village. Pray for our CHE program to be established there.