All posts by Alex Smith

January 2022 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 23rd 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. 2021 was a challenging year but also a fruitful one! Here’s a recap of how the Lord used us in 2021 and impacted an entire community for the Kingdom of God.

Our ministry has three areas we reach out to the Tonj community: our church plants, our mission hospital, and our community health evangelism program.

In 2021, our Maternal and Pediatric Mission Hospital treated over 44,000 patients! We saw over 9,000 pregnant mothers, an increase of 2,000 since 2020. We delivered 541 babies in a safe environment, which is a growth of 60% from 2020.  We vaccinated thousands of children and cared for 1,715 inpatients that were admitted on our ward. Many of these were premature babies in need of oxygen and an incubator.

Baby Makim is one of over 1,700 patients admitted to the IDAT Ward

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.


Ten years ago the Lord gave us a vision for Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Centers for villages in and around Tonj. By 2016 we had three active CHE centers that were working really well. In 2019 we added five more and 2020, despite the covid and civil unrest, we still managed to establish three new centers, increasing our CHE impact from 3 to 11 village communities. CHE was influencing so many people we had more requests from village chiefs to start CHE in their villages and in 2021 we added another 20 CHE centers with seven more planned for the first quarter of 2022!

Large assembly of people
CHE’s in Training

We now have 2,530 Community Health Evangelist’s serving as volunteers through 31 CHE centers. They made 37,660 homes visits in 2021, sharing physical health and spiritual lessons. Using solar-powered audio bibles these CHE villages held 427 bible listening group meetings in 2021 with 6,075 attendances and 4,953 decisions for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Man standing in front of group
CHE lessons being taught in the villages

This explosion in our CHE villages has led to a hunger for bible teaching and the need for church plants. This new year as we embark on true life change, we start off the year with a spirit of praise!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

Church Planting!

It is important that we start this New Year by praising God for all the amazing blessings He has given us in 2021 and by faith we praise Him for the blessings we are about to receive in 2022. We are excited to dive into this year, ready to glorify Him. We currently have 21 church plants, with a combined annual attendance of 110,000 in 2021! Of those, 4,261 were new to church.

Man under awning
CHE lessons being taught in the villages

We are praising Jesus for the 3,959 new believers that received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. We started the new year with a mass baptism of all the churches and making the total of baptisms 2,845 in 2021.

Man preaching the gospel to crowd
Ps. Mabior sharing at the New Year Baptism

Pray for Pastor Mabior and our 25 other pastors. We will be doing monthly pastor training throughout 2022 and if you’re interested in a trip to South Sudan to help with this need, please email us.

Men sitting in at tables in classroom
Pastors In Training

December 2021 Newsletter

Cataract Surgeries!

In Deed and Truth Ministries has been partnering with Tenwek Mission Hospital for more than 10 years to bring cataract surgeries to the people of Tonj. This year Samaritan’s Purse supported Tenwek Eye team to get to the field and covered the expenses of us hosting the team.

Cataract team during surgeries

We turned our maternity clinic into an operating room and completed almost 400 surgeries in 5 days!!

eight people sitting on a bench. several are wearing medical masks.
Patients waiting for surgery

There were many amazing testimonies from the week but this one really stood out. A spear master was blind and came to the cataract clinic. He briefly heard the gospel while being screened. After he had surgery and the patch was removed, his sight was restored. The spear master then requested to hear the gospel in greater depth. He brought his two brothers with him and Pastor Joseph sat down with them and shared the gospel.

Man in IDAT shirt standing behind three sitting older gentlemen.
Ps. Joseph with the spear master and brothers

The spear master and his brothers all gave their hearts to God and openly declared they are giving up their previous life. They were jokingly saying “there is no witchcraft that can do surgery on the eyes!”

Soccer Final!

Our 2021 sports outreach ended with the soccer tournament final and an amazing turnout of spectators.

Two opposing soccer players and the soccer ball.
IDAT Soccer Tournament

The pastors witnessed thousands of people attending the final match. During the course of the tournament, so many were evangelized at each match by pastors sharing the gospel using tracts and also through the radio broadcasts.

boy holding the printed flyer in front of his face.
A spectator hold up a tract he received

The biggest radio station in Juba called Radio Tamazuj, picked up the story of the tournament and shared it across South Sudan, praising IDAT for their service and care of the Tonj youth!

Congratulations to the winning team ‘Tonj United’. We are so proud of you!

twelve soccer players almost lined up for group photo
Winners of IDAT Soccer Tournament 2021 ‘Tonj United’ Soccer Team

Church Building!

We have so much to be thankful for in 2021 but one area is the rapid growth of our church CC Tonj. We have started the building of the new church and ask you to be in prayer for us to complete it in the dry season (Before June).

The lower eight-feet of the church walls with columns extending from them 8-feet more.
CC Tonj

‘The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’ – HAGGAI 2:9

Happy Christmas!

May your Christmas be peaceful and filled with love, laughter, hope, joy, and the Spirit of the Lord be upon you and your family.

On behalf of our family, the IDAT Board of Directors, our USA volunteers and our Tonj Team, we thank you for all your support and prayers in 2021 and we look forward to our continued partnership in 2022;
Have a Blessed Christmas!

November 2021 Newsletter

Partnerships in Christ!

Obstetric fistula is a condition that occurs because of lack of access to skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care. In an obstructed labor, the tissues of the woman’s body are compressed, and the blood supply is damaged, while she suffers in the agony of futile contractions for many days. Some women in countries like South Sudan do not survive such an ordeal. Those who do are often left with damage to their bodies, causing urine or faeces to leak uncontrollably. Not only is this physically devastating, but these women can also be socially rejected, divorced and shamed because of their condition. Until now, we have found it close to impossible, as well as financially prohibitive, to find good surgical care for these suffering women.

Line of people sitting on a bench
Fistula Patients

Praise God that last month, He opened the door for a partnership with a world class fistula repair ministry, called the Barbara May Foundation, who have recently begun work in Juba and are doing incredible work all around Africa. We recently sent 13 women to them in Juba for surgery. Praise God for their successful operations and safe return to Tonj.  Pray God’s blessing over an ongoing partnership that will bring hope to many more Tonj women in the future!.

Doctor and staff waving to vehicle as it drives through the gate.
Dr. Destinee and family send off patients

A beautiful rainbow appeared as the fistula patients left the IDAT compound for Juba. A symbol of the new hope of being healed and His promise to never leave us or forsake us.

Cleft Lip and Cataract!

Nyanchiek said that she was being teased and called names at school because of her cleft lip.  In Deed and Truth Ministries was honored to partner with our friends at Samaritan’s Purse, when they sent a team of medical professionals to Juba to repair cleft lips. The surgery not only transforms the appearance, but it brings hope and healing in other ways. Samaritan’s Purse run a cleft lip program in Juba every year and repair over 100 cleft lips. We sent Nyanchiek along with 10 other patients to receive this life changing surgery and the results were incredible.

Headshop of girl with teeth showing through disfigured lips
Nyanchiek before her surgery

Often the deformity is seen as a curse and people spend their lives living as outcasts in their community.

Head shot of girl with swollen lips.
Nyanchiek after her surgery (still swollen)

After the surgery Nyanchiek was so happy and said she feels beautiful and that the kids will stop teasing her.

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Every few years IDAT hosts a cataract team from Tenwek Mission Hospital in Kenya. Samaritan’s Purse helps them and us logistically with getting the team and equipment into Tonj and covers the costs of this life changing surgery. Our team in Tonj has been busy registering 500 patients in need of cataract surgery and preparing to receive the visiting team of 16 medical professionals.

Doctor looking into patent eye. Other patients in the background.
Dr. Jono Macleod screening cataract patients

Sports Outreach

The youth of Tonj are so excited to take part in this year’s IDAT Sport Outreach. It is going really well, with volleyball, basketball and soccer.

Volleyball player serving the ball with team mates and spectators beyond.
IDAT Volleyball team

For one whole month our pastors are sharing the gospel at every game and we are already seeing an increase in church attendance. Several people have shared their testimony in church of how the Lord touched their heart through the sports outreach.

  • We are still in need of $12,000 to cover the cost of this outreach. Please go to our website if you feel led to help.

October 2021 Newsletter

Maternal Waiting Home

Imagine being pregnant, last trimester and labor starts. The nearest medical facility is 6 hours walking…. At night!! Do you risk going and giving birth on the road? Do you stay in the village and risk losing your baby and/or your own life if you don’t go and there’s a complication? This is a daily challenge faced by thousands of women in South Sudan. In Deed and Truth Ministries missionary, Dr. Destinee Macleod, suggested five years ago we build a maternal waiting home to give a safe option to pregnant mothers facing these impossible choices. The idea is that any woman close to her due date that lives far away or has a high-risk pregnancy, can relocate with her family to a Maternal Waiting Home (MWH) located next to our mission hospital and deliver her baby safely.

Two people standing outside a building with grass roof.
Nyanut outside a MWH

Nyanut lives in a remote village called Ariamduar, very far from Tonj, a whole day walking. This is a village that we have planted a church and CHE center. She learned from IDAT Pastor Santino about the MWH option and decided to come. This was Nyanut’s tenth pregnancy and the previous two had been emergency cesareans, so it would have been extremely dangerous for her to labor in such a remote location. This is the happy couple with their newest (and final!) addition after IDAT arranged for Nyanut’s uncomplicated elective cesarean.

Neither Nyanut or her husband had any faith before they came to IDAT but during their time they attended staff devotions every day and were visited regularly by Pastor Rueben.  When they returned home they expressed their sincere gratitude to IDAT and told us that their lives had been changed and they would be following Jesus from this point onwards.

CHE Update and Testimony

It was an exciting summer witnessing the amazing movement of CHE in the villages as God continues to have favor and multiply. Back in June we shared our desire to plant CHE in 25 communities by the end of the year. Well God continues to do “immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to His power” (Ephesians 3:20), and in September our team planted the 28th CHE center in Tonj! The Lord continues to bring deep transformation to the hearts, minds and bodies of so many through the lessons taught by our 1,200 CHE volunteers each day.

Head shots of two people wearing blue IDAT t-shirts.
CHE Volunteers Angelina Ayor and Daniel Ding

When Angelina was selected by her community to be a CHE committee member she didn’t understand the gospel or how she could have a relationship with God. Each week she has been hearing stories from the bible, and in April this year Calvary Pastor Rueben Yak shared the parable of the sheep and goats found in Matthew 25. Angelina realized that she had to decide who she was going to serve with her life. She decided to follow Jesus, and her life has been totally transformed as a result.  The Gospel message is clear that it is by faith, through grace, that we are reconciled to God.

John 1:12 says,
“All who did receive him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

Also, Daniel Ding, his family lacked enough money to pay high school fees and he lost hope in achieving his dreams for the future. However, after joining the Kuanja CHE team and hearing the parable of the talents, (Matt. 25) he realized that through focus and hard work he could support himself through high school. He started saving the money he made selling fish he caught in wet season, and bricks he made in dry season. Now he’s in his second year of high school and is once again full of hope for the future!

IDAT Hospital Update

The IDAT Hospital continues to treat large number of patients creating an overflow of inpatients on the ward.  During the past couple of months every single bed was taken on the ward with additional patients occupying two sides of the clinic verandah with mattresses on the floor.

A group of people sitting outside in buildings shade
Patients on the Ward Verandah

We have accommodated almost 40 patients every night with only 26 actual beds. As soon as we discharge one premature baby they’re replaced by another. Despite these challenges we are bringing God’s love and hope every week, like for Baby Laat’s family.

A malnourished baby with Oxygen tub on the left. A plump swaddled baby on the right.
Baby Laat Before and After IDAT Care

He was born premature in the village and was admitted weighing only 2.6 lbs. Seven weeks later, with his very happy family, he was discharged, healthy and strong, weighing 4.8 lbs! Please keep him in prayer.

Prayer Requests

  • For IDAT’s Soccer Tournament which still needs support and is supposed to be launched this month.
  • For the patients we registered to return to Tonj in time for the upcoming Samaritans Purse Cleft Lip mission.
  • For next month’s cataract surgery outreach to go smoothly.

September 2021 Newsletter

Introducing the Beard Family!

Ben, Sarah, Jonah (8) Seth (6) and Ryelle (3) left Australia in May to join our team short term and to pray about IDAT being a good fit for their long-term desire to be in the mission field. They came with hearts to learn and a willingness to serve, with no other expectations.

Beard Family in South Sudan

Beard Family in South Sudan

Ben shared, “I have loved visiting all the villages, meeting the people, learning about their culture, hearing their struggles and serving wherever needed but my highlight was a thrilling ATV adventure to a village medical outreach that required prayer and trust in God. As a nurse, the medical outreaches are something I look forward to. The days are often long and tiring but very rewarding. Patients come, are triaged, tested for malaria, see the doctor, collect their medicine and hear the gospel.

Ben on a medical outreach

Every medical outreach, at least 10 people give their lives to Christ. This is the real purpose of us going in the first place. “How beautiful are the feet of those that bring good news (Romans 10:15).” The villages we visit are part of our CHE program and such a blessing. Their passion and growth for the gospel is outstanding. Jesus is moving in their hearts, transforming their communities and the gospel is spreading rapidly throughout these communities. This has set my heart on fire. Overall, we have loved the work that God is doing through In Deed and Truth Ministries and we are keen to continue supporting this work of God.”

Prayer Request: Ben and Sarah were scheduled to leave Tonj on September 1st but due to Covid restrictions their flight was cancelled back into Australia and they are currently stuck here in Tonj! They have shared their heart to return and serve with In Deed and Truth long-term in January 2023 but due to their circumstances they will begin taking on some of their future responsibilities right now! Please pray for them, the children and the family and friends back home. They will be raising support and this has become a more urgent need due to the change in their plans. Sarah was involved in the women’s and youth ministries. She has been a prayer warrior for our ward patients and staff.

CC Tonj Youth Conference 2021

The Beard family raised support to help the church host a Youth Conference. Here is Sarah’s experience in her own words.

“I’ve been trying to find a word to sum up the whole event but I can’t think of just one. So let me just say…God!!

CC Tonj Youth Conference

“We planned for about 250 people to attend, from 17 IDAT village church plants but God had other plans and more than 350 youth attended. The weather was perfect for the days leading up to the conference and stayed dry over the event, which made the transportation process much smoother. We worried about being able to feed everyone so, God took over and the food just kept coming and coming. Most people got seconds or third, the portion sizes were more than generous, and we even had ‘left overs’ for the cooks to take some home.

Sarah playing games

“You couldn’t deny the presence of God the entire time. And the worship was so powerful you could not help but join in with the dancing.  Each person that shared a message spoke straight from the heart of God and brought life to everyone who was there. God truly blessed and touched the lives of everyone there. I cannot stop smiling and praising God every time I look back and reflect. This is what God called me here for.”

Jed Kuj sharing with the young men

Please keep the youth of Tonj in your prayers. They need to be covered in prayer now more than ever.

Please also pray for next month’s soccer tournament, we are still in need of partners to help fund this amazing outreach.

Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”