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.
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.
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.
“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.