All posts by Alex Smith

May 2024 Newsletter

United in Service!

Tonj is in the heart of South Sudan, and 25 years ago we established a work of God in this town. The goal was to build a platform where teams could serve the Lord without worrying about safety, shelter, transport, food, and water.

We’re excited to share that the Beard family has finally made their move to Tonj and will serve In Deed and Truth as long-term missionaries. They will work with the pastor’s sponsorship and church planting program. Ben will also mentor our Senior medical team and help with the administration of the hospital. Our goal is to put a church plant and pastor in every village that has CHE. We are currently in 80 CHE villages and have 35 church plants. We can’t wait to see this program expand.

Ben, Sarah, Seth, Michael, Jonah, Ryelle

Alongside them, we also welcome Michael Herzinger who will serve as a project manager for the construction of the new ward. He will also train to be a future Tonj Bible Institute (TBI) teacher. He will serve TBI and CC Tonj and also support our Senior Pastor, Mabior.

They recently arrived in the field with four IDAT board members, plus a small team from Suzy’s sending church, Horizon in Rancho Santa Fe who came to witness the growth of our ministry over the past 5 years. We also welcomed three visitors from African Mission Healthcare who have faithfully partnered with our hospital providing scholarships and medicine. And Ps. Ed, the leader of Suzy’s first trip in 1999.

Pastor’s Graduation!

After two years of intensive training, perseverance, and God’s overflowing grace, 16 South Sudanese pastors graduated from the Tonj Bible Institute (TBI) in front of a jubilant crowd of over 2,500 people.

IDAT Board with Graduating Pastors

In a partnership with Intensive Care Ministries Africa (ICM) and In Deed and Truth Ministries, the degree from ICM in pastoral ministry included over 1,100 hours of class time and preparation of over 50 sermons. The intensive program included five, 11-day,12-hour-per-day modules which required students to eat and sleep at the institute facilities (recently built by IDAT). This first graduating class of TBI will begin to meet the exploding demand for shepherds for the 35 local church plants and as more villages around Tonj beg for their own churches. God miraculously orchestrated the bringing together of IDAT and ICM as the answer to many years of prayer and labor.

Jim Larson and Suzy present diplomas

“LORD my God, you have done many things —your wondrous works and your plans for us; none can compare with you. If I were to report and speak of them, they are more than can be told.” Psalm 40:5

Celebrating 25 Years!

In Deed and Truth Ministries marked a significant milestone on the same day as the pastor’s graduation – 25 years of dedicated service to the people of Tonj, South Sudan, and the town came out to celebrate with us.

Suzy sharing 25 years of service

To commemorate this achievement, a feast of three bulls was prepared to feed over 2,000 guests. As well as the board members from the USA, we also had representatives from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Australia and UK, as well as local leaders.

Celebrating 25 years in South Sudan

The evening was filled with joyful spirit-filled singing and dancing as well as lots of speeches that shared the history of how IDAT has impacted South Sudan. Over these years, hundreds of thousands have been physically and spiritually healed, pastors have been trained, 80 CHE villages have been formed, 35 churches have been planted, and countless have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. My team and I were thanked and recognized for these heavenly accomplishments. We are praising the Lord for all He has done in 25 years.

April 2024 Newsletter

Easter in South Sudan!

Easter serves as a beacon of hope for the people of South Sudan and for believers all around the world. It certainly holds a special place in my heart, as I’m reminded of the significance of this Holy season, a season of hope, renewal, rebirth, and triumphant celebration. He wipes away every tear, restores shattered dreams and transforms our brokenness into something beautiful and new.

Suzy and family Easter morning

The message of the cross is a joyous celebration of life over death, redemption, and renewal. What better way to celebrate that message than by baptizing 138 new believers in South Sudan?

CC Tonj heading to the Tonj River

Against the backdrop of challenges, poverty, disease, insecurity, and many other uncertainties, Calvary Chapel Tonj marked Easter with this remarkable baptism symbolizing spiritual renewal and commitment to the Christian faith. This public act of devotion to Jesus embodied the spirit of Easter and the promise of new beginnings. As communities gathered to celebrate the resurrection, hearts were filled with joy and gratitude for the transformative power of faith.

Ps. Mabior sharing at the baptism

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

Suzy in USA

Recently, I returned from Africa to spend Easter with my family. While stateside I had the privilege of engaging with several congregations and was given the opportunity to share about the impactful work of In Deed and Truth Ministries serving communities in South Sudan.

Suzy and Hannah at CC Tallahassee

As our ministry has grown substantially over the last few years, this has become a necessary part of my ministry, sharing opportunities for partners to come alongside and invest in this incredible work that the Lord is doing in South Sudan. I need your help as a faithful friend to our ministry. As you reflect on your own blessings, pray about supporting the vital efforts of In Deed and Truth Ministries, extending your reach beyond borders to make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. While you might not be able to give financially at the moment, you still have valuable resources to contribute. Pray about facilitating connections with potential ministry partners who may be able to support us financially. I will be in San Diego in July for 2 weeks and would love to be introduced to new churches and small groups. Maybe you could host a ‘get to know my missionary’ gathering in your home. If you live outside Southern CA I would be happy to meet on a conference video call or to travel to your area. I humbly ask for your help in making new connections as I believe passionately in the ministry and impact we are having in South Sudan. Here is a quick reminder of the impact we are having in the field.

CHE Impact for 2023

In addition, we have 35 church plants, 45 native pastors, and run a mission hospital that sees 60,000 patients a year.

March 2024 Newsletter

Empowering Pastors!

In Tonj, South Sudan, we are privileged to be empowering pastors and transforming communities by training the next generation of Church leaders. It is an honor to support the growth of the church through church planting, pastor training, and sponsorship.

A group of people sitting in a circle
IDAT church plant in Tonj East

Our program provides vital monthly training and resources to passionate leaders who are eager to share the Gospel with their communities. Additionally, we provide comprehensive training through diploma and certificate programs, equipping pastors with the skills and knowledge they need to effectively lead and serve their villages, fostering spiritual growth and transformation.

A group of people sitting at tables in a room

With your support, we have already sponsored 45 pastors, enabling them to serve full-time and reach thousands with the message of hope and redemption. As a result, churches are being planted, communities are being transformed, and the kingdom of God is advancing in this young nation. Thank you for partnering with us in this critical work, and please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in South Sudan as they boldly proclaim the Good News!

A group of people in a room
Pastor Mabior leading the training

To sponsor a pastor, go to:

Suzy in South Sudan

On my recent trip to South Sudan, I had the honor of training a dedicated IDAT finance team in best practices for effective financial management. Together, we learned to use new online software to enhance transparency, accountability, and sustainability in financial operations.

A group of people standing in front of a vehicle
Suzy and the IDAT team

It was a joy to witness the team’s eagerness to learn and their commitment to serving IDAT and our partners well in this area. With this newfound knowledge, they are now equipped to make a lasting impact, ensuring resources are used wisely to bring hope and transformation to South Sudan. We had an independent annual audit done while I was there. Thank you to all our partners for your support, which makes this annual financial step a ’new’ but necessary part of our growth.

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9

CHE Explosion!

Five years ago our 3 CHE centers met for a conference, and we had a combined attendance of 80 people. Two years ago we had to split into 4 CHE conference locations, with a combined attendance of around 1,500 CHE volunteers. This year we had to expand to 9 different locations with a combined attendance of over 4,000 CHE volunteers!

A group of people sitting on the ground
Over 4,000 attend CHE conferences

Our CHE conference days over the past few weeks have been a fantastic time of worship, prayer, testimonies, preaching, feasting and words of appreciation from chiefs and community leaders. One of the highlights was hearing so many stories of transformation, such as that of James Guc. James had been the Paduer village witchdoctor, until he heard the gospel through CHE – he shared that he has now entered into a new life of freedom through Christ.

James Guc

Please pray for our CHE team as they expand into 30 more villages this year!

February 2024 Newsletter

Passion and Vision for 2024!

This month marks a significant milestone for me – 25 years since I took a leap of faith and embarked on a life-changing mission trip to war-torn South Sudan. I’ll never forget that first moment after landing on a dusty airstrip, as I stepped off the plane, naked children emerged from the underbrush, running towards me with beaming smiles. I was struck by the stark contrast between their joy and the devastation from a famine that had ravaged their town for the past year. The famine had left deep scars, but during that trip, I witnessed firsthand the resilience and determination of a community on the path to recovery. It was a journey that forever changed my perspective and deepened my faith.

In 2000 – Holding the first baby named ‘Suzy’ after me

The call was clear, and my heart was stirred with a deep love and burden for the people. A passion burned within me to share the hope of Jesus, and my life was forever changed. Years of weeping, praying, and fasting for the church in South Sudan have borne fruit. Together, we’ve witnessed 35 church plants and 45 national pastors arise. We currently have 18 of those pastors in Bible College and in May we will celebrate their graduation as they receive a diploma in Pastoral Ministry. Two IDAT missionaries and two national pastors are preparing to co-teach future classes in both English and Dinka, ensuring that even the most remote villages receive inductive Bible study training. God’s answer to our prayers is a testament to His faithfulness and the power of united prayer and partnership.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Exciting developments are underway at our Bible School and medical centers! This year, we’re expanding our educational studies with additional classes, empowering more pastors to deepen their understanding of the Bible. Meanwhile, our community medical centers are breaking ground in two villages, bringing vital healthcare services to those CHE areas.

You too can join us in bringing hope and healing to the people of Tonj! The IDAT Maternal Child Hospital is dedicated to providing quality care and lifesaving treatment to those in need, but we need your help to make it happen.

Newborn in the IDAT Ward

We have a vision to build a second ward that will ensure vulnerable neonatal babies receive the specialized care they require, and allow us to separate them from the other sick children. Together we can bring hope to these helpless babies and their families, providing them with not just access to excellent medical care but also to a Father in heaven who loves and cares for them deeply. Our budget is $80,000, and every gift, no matter the size, counts!! Please consider supporting our vision today!

Transforming Lives in 70 Villages!

Our Community Health Evangelism program is making a remarkable impact, bringing hope and change to remote villages, one household at a time. Every day, we receive inspiring stories and testimonies of lives transformed. One such testimony comes from our CHE trainer in War-Alel village who shares a miraculous experience that happened over Christmas. This is the story of Anek Madhieu Deng.

Pray for Anek

Earlier in 2023, Anek was devastated when doctors told her that her eyes could no longer be operated on and she would never see again. This was a significant setback as she had undergone eye surgeries in 2021 and 2022, which had partially restored her vision.

On the last day of the CHE program before the holidays, the CHE team laid hands on her eyes and prayed for her healing. And then, on the night of December 24, something incredible happened – one of her eyes suddenly regained sight! Anek was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to God. She acknowledged that this was a miracle only possible through Jesus Christ. She couldn’t stop thanking the CHE team for their prayers and praising Jesus!

January 2024 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

As we celebrate the New Year, we thank God for YOU our partners and supporters. It’s because of you we are now going into our 25th year of serving in Tonj, South Sudan!! We are so grateful for the way you supported us in prayer and partnered financially with the vision of In Deed and Truth Ministries. 2023 was a great year and also a very fruitful one! We started the year praying for a bible school and closed the year in such a positive way, officially opening the Tonj Bible Institute building!

Tonj Bible Institute

Here’s a recap of how the Lord used us in 2023 and impacted an entire community for the Kingdom of God.

In 2023, our Maternal and Pediatric Mission Hospital treated over 46,000 patients, a 15% increase from 2022.

Busy IDAT Hospital Waiting Room

We saw over 10,800 pregnant mothers, an increase of 1,300 since 2022. We delivered 803 babies in a safe environment, which is a growth of 23% from the year before.

Newborn baby delivered safely

We vaccinated thousands of children and cared for 2,662 inpatients who were admitted to our ward, which is almost 1,000 more than last year. Many of these were premature babies in need of oxygen and an incubator. This huge increase is why we need to build a second ward. The cost is $70,000, please pray we can do this in 2024. IDAT is the only hospital in Tonj with incubators and oxygen, rabies vaccines, snake anti-venom and x-ray.

Our 24-hour care literally saved hundreds of lives physically, but we also poured into each patient spiritually, making sure every patient was prayed for and heard the gospel. Many prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior before going home or being discharged from the ward.


Our Community Health Evangelism (CHE) program has reached 70 villages in and around Tonj. CHE continues to impact and transform these villages through health lessons and evangelism.

CHE Volunteer training

In those 70 villages, we trained 3,150 CHE volunteers who made 64,283 home visits teaching people about Jesus. As a result, more than 11,000 people made decisions to follow Jesus; 5,352 people joined our bible listening groups, 25 village schools were started, 51 CHE community gardens were planted, 9 boreholes were drilled to provide safe drinking water and our village medical outreach teams treated and vaccinated over 13,000 patients! These numbers are more than double from the previous year and we are excited to continue to expand our CHE program to reach 100 villages in 2024!!

Hebrews 3:13-14 “You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.”

Church Plants!

Thank you for praying for our church planting ministry, for sponsoring pastors, and for helping us build our bible school so we can equip more people to share the gospel. We currently have 35 church plants, and 45 pastors, some still in need of sponsorship. Through those church plants, we welcomed 5,000 new believers into the family of God, baptizing 1,500 of those new believers in 2023. To sponsor an IDAT pastor go to:

Pastor Mayom reading his bible

We ended 2023 with 1,300 youth from across our church plants attending a conference and Samaritan’s Purse completing 562 cataract surgeries and opening our bible school! Not a bad year!!