Easter is one of our favorite times of year when we celebrate our Risen Lord and hold a large baptism. Rosa, our stateside coordinator, was visiting us along with her daughter Katherine and son-in-law, Alex. The week was jam packed with celebrations and outreaches.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” – John 11:25
This year our celebrations started in our compound on Good Friday. We hosted our church and the IDAT family for an evening service where Sabet gave a message and an altar call.
We closed with breaking bread together, followed by a viewing of The Passion of the Christ movie. We estimated over 500 attended.
Easter Sunday was filled with fun, dancing, singing and an Easter egg hunt for the Sunday school.
Three of our church plants came together to celebrate Easter. I love the way they abandon themselves in worship and praise. You can see our short videos of the singing and dancing on Instagram at @idatsudan.
After church we all came back to the IDAT compound for the baptisms. Sabet and Pastor Santino baptized 56 people.
One of the things we love to do is an outreach to the lepers colony. This year we cooked a meal for them and distributed dry food as a gift from our church. The CC Tonj ladies along with our volunteers helped with the cooking and serving.
There are over 40 families living in the lepers colony and they are completely dependent on outside help to survive. Jed organized a bucket of mangoes and some kids games for the children.
Prayer For Richard’s Family!
Richard was volunteering with IDAT for 2 months to help with the building of the new maternity ward. He died suddenly of a suspected heart attack on March 31st, just one month into his time with us. Pray for his family in New Zealand and our team who are devastated by this tragedy.
At In Deed and Truth Ministries (IDAT), our volunteers, missionaries and African leaders, serve and live together within our community of Tonj. As well as living ‘within’ the community we strive to follow the call of Jesus to live IN community as the Body of Christ, not the culture we come from, but laying that aside and coming together and living out the Kingdom culture of forgiveness, acceptance, serving, giving, loving, praying and worship. We are different ages, cultures and personalities. We have very different testimonies of our walks with Christ, but we all feel called to serve the most vulnerable here in Tonj and hope God will use us to bring His redeeming love and grace to our brothers and sisters of South Sudan.
CHE is a community health evangelism program that values community and thrives within community. Pastor Joseph Yuot is leading the CHE program in one of our CHE villages called Guaria. As a result of a healthy, thriving CHE program, several CHE’s are leading group bible studies in Guaria, using the solar powered audio bibles. It is very exciting to hear that people are listening to the Word of God and coming to Christ. These new believers are eager to learn and follow Jesus and really want to be baptized. Not only is God transforming this community, but they have made a community decision to burn all idols and charms given by the witchdoctors!
This is now a community of faith and an answer to prayer that CHE would truly transform entire villages.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
To supply one audio bible into the villages cost $35. We would love to distribute 100 audio bibles to our CHE communities. If you feel led to buy an audio bible for our CHE program please designate a donation through our website or send a check marked “Audio Bibles”.
IDAT has five church plants and many national pastors helping to establish and grow biblically sound churches in Tonj and the surrounding villages.
Our pastors are nationals, led and discipled by Sabet and are godly, faithful servants. They are dedicated to the call on their lives and with our assistance of sponsorship, just $50 a month, we can really help them provide for their family while doing the work of the Lord.
Pastor Joseph is one of 13 of our pastors that graduated from IDAT’s discipleship training school in 2012. He is an amazing teacher and evangelist whose enthusiasm for sharing the gospel is quite contagious. He has served with IDAT since 2009 and is involved in church planting, discipleship, Jesus film outreaches, chaplaincy and CHE.
In caring for the community of Guaria Ps. Joseph genuinely loves his people and tackles the presence of witchcraft directly. Through his unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ, we are seeing true transformation of this village. His leadership of CHE is a testimony of his faith in Christ. It is our desire to bless and support him along with our other pastors. We are currently making profiles, so please contact email@example.com to sign up or to get specific information and answers to any questions.
As Christians we are to be a reflection of God on earth and we are to care for others and seek ways to serve them. The Bible reminds us it is not enough to be a believer and do nothing:
“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself.” – James 2:15-17
God’s love for us should compel us to love others and make sacrifices for people just as Jesus sacrificed Himself for us.
These children had not eaten for days and were part of a family in desperate need of help. Your donations enabled us to build them a tukul, feed them and reunite the family. Both parents received Christ and the father is now working and providing for his family. There are so many families like this. Please pray. Together we changed this family for eternity!
Here in South Sudan we are surrounded by the poor and needy and caring for others is part of our daily lives. We always want to be ready to help in whatever situation the Lord brings before us. In January alone, the needs were quite overwhelming, so we added a benevolence fund to the donate page on our website. This fund will keep money designated specifically for helping those in need that the Lord brings to our door.
But sometimes we hear of problems in the community and act without being asked. Like in the village of Timtok, a devastating fire got out of control and burned several homes, cattle and food. Three families lost everything. When our team took bags of sorghum and groundnuts to meet their immediate need they were amazed. They didn’t think anyone cared. We told them God sees you and He cares so much about you because He created you and loves you. It’s so awesome to be able to share God’s love and provision and to tell them that this is one of the ways Jesus shows His love through the actions of His children here in Tonj and around the world. Pray for these families as they rebuild their lives. Together we are making a difference!
There is no greater joy than bringing a blessing to those most in need. Recently we did an outreach to the lepers colony by cooking and feeding them a special meal. It’s was only possible because of the kindness and compassion of our partners to give generously to our benevolence fund. Together we showed love!
Church Building Fundraiser!
Here’s an update on the church building fundraiser. We have a $20,000 match, which means every dollar you give will be worth $2!! You can go to our website to follow the progress and/or give through a designation online or memo your check “church building”. Together we did it!!
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 19th year of serving in South Sudan!! We are so grateful for the way you have prayed and supported us in advancing the work of In Deed and Truth Ministries in Tonj. Here are some of the ways your partnership has impacted the Kingdom in 2017:
1. Through the opening of our new medical clinic. We can now focus on praying, treating and making the gospel of Jesus known to every patient the Lord brings to us.
2. Thanks to the amazing generosity of our partners we completed the fundraising for the new ward and will start to build it this year. We are using a building as a temporary ward which is limited to 8 beds and always crowded.
3. One of the joys of 2017 has been having our first IDAT medical student Gabriel return from training in Kenya, and start working in our clinic as a Clinical Officer. In addition to him we expanded our medical team with two medical doctors, two midwives, and a nurse. For the first time ALL our medical staff are South Sudanese and we are providing vitally needed services and employment to this community.
4. In Deed and Truth celebrated four more students graduating medical school. We currently have seven more students in medical school and we are sending two more in 2018. We continue to seek individuals to bless with this amazing opportunity for scholarship.
5. We provided medical care not only to over 40.000 patients in our clinic but also to thousands through our medical outreaches. We hope to expand this ministry and be a blessing to those who are most in need.
“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” – Isaiah 25:1
6. Once a year we buy our bulk medical supplies in Kenya and truck them to Tonj. With lack of medical supplies from the Ministry of Health, this allows our clinic to remain open year-round.
7. The Lord used our partners to provide a safe and reliable vehicle for our ministry. We can now go into the remote villages safely without concerns of breaking down or getting stuck.
8. We successfully equipped three villages with thriving CHE programs. Through training, implementing and praying, we have seen amazing transformation in the leaders and villages. The church plants are strong, and the people are hungry for the Word. We will expand our Community Health Evangelism program in 2018.
9. Our church has grown and in one year the congregation has tripled. We received land from the government and thanks to a generous donor we have a matching fund set up to build a church. We are still in need of over $5,000 and you can follow the progress of this fundraiser though our website.
10. The Jesus film was shown over 30 times by our pastors in remote villages and the gospel was shared with every patient. More than 20,000 people made a commitment to Jesus Christ. Email us if you are interested in sponsoring a native pastor. These guys are amazing ambassadors for the Kingdom.
11. Several special circumstances led us to support those most vulnerable and in greatest need from our benevolence fund. The lepers colony, the village of Bobi after being attacked and many displaced people in need of food. This fund enables us to help immediately when there’s a crisis.
12. We continue to support the 14 children cared for by our beloved Mama Sabet before she died. This year we built three new tukuls and provided new beds and mattresses for them in addition to food and school fees. They were so blessed with their individual Christmas boxes! A massive thank you to the sponsors. We hope to provide running water into the home this year.
13. Over the course of the year we welcomed volunteers to serve alongside us. Through their faith and skills they beautifully reflected the heart of Jesus Christ and brought hope to this nation. The calling to partner with us through volunteering is not an easy one. If you feel God is calling you in this way please pray about it and email us for more details.
It’s amazing to look back over the last year at God’s
provision and all He did for us. It’s exciting to look forward at all He has for us in 2018. Thank you for choosing to be our partner. We couldn’t do it without you. Together we made a difference! A few prayer points for the upcoming year:
1. Pray provision for all the ministry commitments we have here especially now we are in a bigger medical facility.
2. Pray for the right project manager to oversee the new ward construction.
3. Pray for our students and that the new ones will be accepted into school in Kenya.
4. Pray for the CHE villages and the new villages we want to add.
5. Pray for our pastors that we can find sponsors and they will be effective in their ministry.
6. Pray for wisdom for us as we lead and make decisions. The needs around us are overwhelming.
7. Pray for Mama’s kids to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ.
8. Pray for those God is calling to answer the call and come and invest their lives in these people.
Thank you for all your prayers for the Grand Opening of our new medical clinic, “Noah’s Place”. We celebrated with a dedication service attended by board members, officials and over 1,000 people from the local community. The most amazing part was having everyone lay hands on the building during the dedication prayer. It truly was a joy filled day, with testimonies of how the Lord has used this clinic to save and change lives. We can’t thank you enough for praying for this clinic over the years. After 10 years of seeing patients in small makeshift cubicles it was amazing to move into a new, clean and modern space that brings order and peace to a potentially chaotic day!
We are today fully staffed by South Sudanese nationals, 2 doctors, 5 clinical officers, 2 midwives, 1 nurse, 20 Community Health Workers and three pastors. They are led by missionary doctors, Jono and Destinee Macloed, who serve as medical directors and advisors. We are thankful that our capacity to see the most vulnerable in South Sudan, namely pregnant mothers and children under five, will increase now that we are better equipped. If you are medically trained and would like to volunteer in 2018, please email Rosa on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were so blessed to have board members and friends come to the clinic opening. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, encouragement and getting lots of treats!! We were able to squeeze in an outreach to Warrak, one of our CHE villages we serve in. The church we planted there came out to greet us on the road about a mile from the village, singing and praising God. Pastor Ruben’s church started a community garden and they sold the groundnuts they grew to buy a bull for the clinic opening. Such a huge sacrifice to honor what the Lord has done through IDAT. It is very humbling when people have nothing and give you the very little they have. They were so happy to have visitors from USA.
“Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
In celebration of the clinic opening Sabet arranged for a community soccer, basketball and volleyball tournament with the finals being played the day after the opening. Many of you donated soccer shirts, balls and shoes that arrived on a container last year. The IDAT logo was printed on every shirt. Ten teams competed over a one month period, playing for the IDAT Cup at the final. The entire town came alive, every game was packed, especially for the final which was attended by the Governor of Tonj State.
Prayer and Praise!
Praise God, we have raised funds to build the new ward. Please pray the Lord raises up a project manager to oversee construction and that we can start building during this dry season.