All posts by Alex Smith

January 2023 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 24th 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. 2022 was a great year and also a very fruitful one! We closed the year in such a positive way, ordaining our Senior Pastor of CC Tonj and opening our bible school, Tonj Bible Institute!

Pastor Jim ordained CC Tonj Sen. Ps. Mabior

Here’s a recap of how the Lord used us in 2022 and impacted an entire community for the Kingdom of God.

In 2022, our Maternal and Pediatric Mission Hospital treated 40,000 patients!

Busy IDAT Hospital Waiting Room

We saw over 9,500 pregnant mothers, an increase of 500 since 2021. We delivered 653 babies in a safe environment, which is a growth of 20% from the year before.

Newborn Baby in the Incubator

We vaccinated thousands of children and cared for 1,707 inpatients that were admitted on our ward. Many of these were premature babies in need of oxygen and an incubator.

Mother with newborn twins

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 chaplains pray with them, pray over them, and bless them.

Pastor and Hospital Chaplain Mayom

CHE!

In 2012 the Lord gave us a vision for Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Centers for villages in and around Tonj. CHE continues to impact and transform these villages. We are now in 46 villages and have trained 2,600 CHE volunteers who have made over 35,000 home visits teaching spiritual and health lessons. As a result, more than 6,000 people made decisions to follow Jesus, 2,753 people joined our bible listening groups, 27 village schools were started, 22 CHE community gardens were planted, 5 bore holes were drilled to provide safe drinking water and our village medical outreach teams treated and vaccinated over 5,000 patients! We are excited to expand our CHE program to 20 more villages in 2023!!

Certified CHE Volunteers

James 5:11 says “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

Church Plants and Bible School!

We are excited to dive into this year, ready to glorify Him. We currently have 32 church plants, with a combined annual attendance of 200,497 in 2022! Of those, 11,330 were new to church, 10,416 made decisions to follow Christ and we baptized 3,594 people.

CC Tonj Church Building Opened in 2022

We ended 2022 with the opening of our bible school, Tonj Bible Institute, with 20 national pastors enrolled!

Tonj Bible Institute

December 2022 Newsletter

CHE Conferences!

This past month has been busy for our CHE (Community Health Evangelism) program as we gathered together 2,600 CHE volunteers from 46 villages, for four CHE regional conference days.

1st CHE Conference at CC Tonj

The first conference was at CC Tonj where over 1000 CHEs and community leaders gathered in our new church. The second conference was in Malony, the third in Tonj East, and the last in Mapel. Each day was packed full of worship, teaching, prayer, games, dancing and of course feasting!

2nd CHE Conference in Maloney

To get to the third conference in Tonj East (120km) the road was not good in one particular area. The entire community came out to fix the road to make sure our vehicle could make it, putting into practice what they have learnt through CHE about serving others and finding solutions to their problems by working together in unity.

The Road to Tonj East

We can see why the enemy didn’t want us to reach this area because at the Tonj East conference the head Chief decided to follow Christ, and encouraged the rest of their community to do the same!

IDAT Leaders Praying for Paramount Chief of Tonj East Region, Santino Mading Dior

In Mapel the army chief made a donation to the local CHE activities, and said he will be giving all his soldiers leave for church on Sunday mornings.

Fun and Games at the Mapel Conference

We heard many exciting testimonies of people’s lives being transformed through CHE in each region. We continue to receive more and more requests from community leaders for CHE than we can keep up with, and we’re excited about launching CHE in 20 more villages in 2023! This will make our CHE villages to be at 66 and our goal is to eventually reach 100.

God is in the business of transforming lives through Jesus Christ. It was a genuine act of love for Christ to give His life so we could have eternal life. As we witness hearts being transformed in South Sudan and reflecting the image of Christ we also witness generosity being shown to others.

John 3:16-17 is a well known verse but a good verse to ponder on as we go into this busy Christmas season and remember who we are celebrating and why!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

As we reach the end of 2022, we want to thank you for all the generosity shown to In Deed and Truth Ministries this past year. It has been an honor to partner with you in this Kingdom work. You have been entrusted with many resources, including where to use them to bring Glory to God. We are humbled that many of you were led to support what the Lord is doing through In Deed and Truth Ministries in South Sudan. I encourage you to prayerfully consider laying up treasure in heaven this Christmas and experiencing godly joy as you are rich toward God who gave so generously His ‘only begotten Son’ to us.

Praise Jesus!

After 8 years serving with IDAT, missionary doctors’ Jono and Destinee Macleod are returning to New Zealand. Destinee is going back to medical school, and their eldest daughter Zoe will start secondary school. Please pray for them as they make this difficult transition. Jono will continue serving IDAT as CHE Director and work with the CHE team remotely.

Achot After Heart Surgery

The photo of Achot says it all – Thank you, thank you, thank you for generously giving to save this sweet girls life!

November 2022 Newsletter

Restoring Sight and Hope!

It was an honor and privilege to host the Cataract Surgery team from Samaritan’s Purse once again.  This one week mission started week’s beforehand with the IDAT team announcing the upcoming opportunity to towns and villages as far as 100 miles away. Hundreds of people responded and walked for days to reach us. Our medical team pre-screened over 1,500 prospective patients knowing the team would be able to do around 400 surgeries.

Cataract Patients Waiting to be Prescreened

The vision for IDAT has always been to host teams that can come into Tonj and focus on what God has called them to do without worrying about team safety, transportation, sleeping arrangements, preparing food, safe drinking water, laundry etc. When Samaritan’s Purse first approached us about hosting 20 people alongside our existing team, we knew it would be a stretch but with a bit of juggling we made it happen!

SP and IDAT Cataract Team

We transformed our maternity delivery suite into an operating theatre, allowing for three surgeons to be operating at once.

IDAT Hospital Used for Cataract Surgery

The IDAT team’s prescreened patients were checked by the Samaritan’s Purse ophthalmologist and then added to the surgery line. This simple surgery that is readily available in Western countries, is truly a gift here in South Sudan.

Second Screening

Many of the patients walked for days to get this life-changing surgery and have their sight restored.

Patients Arriving

The team started early and worked non-stop to maximize the number of patients treated. The surgery only takes about 15 minutes and is done using a microscope.

Amazing to Watch the Cataract Surgery

After surgery the patients would spend the night and have their bandages removed the next day.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Overnight Patients

Our Hospital waiting area was transformed into a sleeping quarter for the operated patients and their caregivers. Our chaplains were available 24 hours and in the evening showed the Jesus film to the patients.

Pastor Mabior Sharing the Gospel

The following morning the doctors removed the eye patches and gave post-surgery information before releasing the patients to go home.

Celebrating Sight Restored

This is the best part, seeing patients rejoice and praise God for restoring their sight. In just one week 442 cataract surgeries were completed! We are grateful for the prayers and partnerships that enable us to love so many patients and open the eyes of the blind.

October 2022 Newsletter

2022 Youth Conference!

Calvary Chapel Tonj hosted its 2nd annual youth conference themed ‘You Have Been Called!” More than 600 youth were in attendance from 20 of our village church plants. It was awesome to have our new church building ready to host this event.

Calvary Chapel Tonj Youth Conference

It was two days of excitement with teaching from our missionaries, missionary kids, visiting team and local pastors and youth.

Jed Kuj sharing with the Youth

The worship was lively, full of dancing, jumping, singing, clapping, trumpet blowing (horn) and joy.

Youth making a joyful noise in worship

Then it was time to get silly and play some games! Everyone got involved and loved the games!! This was the perfect way to get youth from different churches and areas to know one another. There was so much love and laughter as IDAT staff and missionaries made fools of themselves and youth competed in teams.

IDAT Team members kicked off the games

Of course, we were there to share the love of God and to hear from Him through His Word.

Zara, the wife of IDAT Field Director shared

We had breakout sessions on purity, marriage, Godliness in women and men.

Pastor Mayom shared with young men

The entire event was bathed in prayer for this next generation to be raised up as Godly leaders in this country.

Senior Pastor Mabior praying over the Youth

Through generous partners who helped us fund this conference we were able to provide meals to the attendees and volunteers. During this season of food insecurity, it was a huge blessing to be able to feed so many youth. Thank you to Destinee for organizing this event with Calvary Chapel Tonj pastors and leaders.

Thank you Jesus for Your provision

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage! Psalm 33:11-12

We are trusting that the seeds planted will grow and produce good fruit in this future generation of leaders and believers.

Testimony!

Back in July’s newsletter we shared a story of Rebekah.  Ps, Mabior prayed for her as she was suffering from an intensely itchy, skin peeling condition for three years before coming to IDAT. It was so intense she was scratching herself with a knife.

Rebekah’s smile says it all

We moved her into a home on the compound where she received daily medicine, skin treatments, food and love. Praising God for His leading to reach out and help her.

September 2022 Newsletter

Summer Team!

We had an incredible summer, and the highlight was hosting a team from Florida and California. One of our goals was to get our CHE Well Drilling Program up and running and to start training a local team of guys to continue the work in the CHE villages.

IDAT Water Well Drilling Team

Jim and Jane Boehm arrived in July for 3 months. Jim worked with Jed and a local team of guys, training them in well drilling.  They completed the first of six wells, which took longer than expected. We chose a site close to town and the IDAT compound and there was no better site than the CC Tonj church land. All the problems they faced gave Jim a great opportunity to thoroughly prepare his team to work through issues that might occur when he’s not there.

Jim with the first finished well

Please pray as we continue to train the team. We are in the middle of the rainy season which adds challenges, especially as we start drilling in the CHE villages, getting to those remote areas might be tricky! Pray for favor and wisdom so we can get at least 2 more wells drilled before Jim leaves.

“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35

Chaplain Training and Outreaches!

Two of the ten member team came specifically to train our hospital chaplains.

Pastors Frank and Cameron in class

I had shared the need, to help our hospital chaplains and train up new chaplains, with Ps. Frank from Catalyst Church and he agreed to come to South Sudan and help. He has served as a chaplain for many years and together with Ps. Cameron, they poured themselves out on our pastors and specifically focused on building them up as chaplains. We now have 20 trained and equipped chaplains to care for the spiritual well-being of our patients, providing 24-hour care for our ward and hospital.

Graduation of Chaplains

With the team we were able to do three medical outreaches to remote villages. Doctor Kym, along with IDAT Dr. Jono and Clinical Officer Maker, meant we could see several hundred patients at each outreach. With the extra help we set up a chaplain station and prayed for every patient.

Dr. Kym at IDAT medical outreach

With the current food crisis, we decided to take food to the lepers colony, as they are often an overlooked community. As well as giving sacks of food we cooked a meat stew and served it to them with rice. This was greatly appreciated!

Giving a hot meal at the lepers colony

We also distributed 66,000 lbs. of food at our 2nd mass food distribution that fed over 1,000 families in six communities! Please pray for South Sudan where 75% of the population are facing severe food insecurity.

Crowds waiting for food

The team did a great job sharing the food out. It was a long day and towards the end a bit of a frenzy as people realized the food was finishing and they might not receive. Pray as we plan to do one more outreach.

Pastor Cam distributing food

We also hosted a 2-day Youth Conference and will update in next month’s newsletter.