Category Archives: Kuj Family

Prayer Update for Agum’s Citizenship

It has been hard to write this  and get it posted but we really wanted to update you and ask for prayer.

Our family spent December in Florida with Suzy’s mum and returned to California for the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference in January. We were due to get a notification regarding Agum’s immigration process in January. We did get a letter but it requested additional evidence that Agum was in our legal custody 2 years prior to her adoption being legal. All the things they are asking for we can’t produce and they have given us 87 days to respond.

After much prayer we felt it best for Sabet to return to the field to encourage our team with the start of the new year and while in South Sudan, try to get a court letter to fulfill the required evidence of custody.

Last Tuesday Sabet left for Africa and will be gone a total of 6 weeks. His main objectives for this trip are:

  • Secure a court letter stating legal custody of Agum since 2009.
  • Encourage field team and staff.
  • Share and plan IDAT boards’ vision and goals with team and staff for 2015.
  • Process clearance and receive delivery of USA container shipped in December.
  • Assess completion of construction on Kuj family residence on the compound.
  • Meet commissioner of Tonj and share 2015 ministry activity and budget.

The hardest part of this process has been our family moving around every few weeks. Once we knew Sabet had to go back to court and we could be here for several more months we decided it would be best for us to return to Florida and stay there until we go back to Africa. Suzy and the kids return to Florida on February 17th. Sabet will join them when he returns from Tonj.

Despite these challenges we feel blessed to have this unexpected extra time with Suzy’s family and our church friends at Eastgate in Florida. We believe God is sovereign and in control of the situation. We trust Him with the timing and what is best for our family.

As you think of our family and ministry would you intercede on our behalf.

May He be glorified wherever we are!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Postcard

Jesus Christ was our greatest gift ever and yet He was born in a humble stable with no frills or extravagance and for one purpose, to save us from our sins. We love Christmas in South Sudan because it also has no frills and is not lost in gift exchange, shopping and overindulgence. John 3:16 tells us clearly, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” As missionaries in South Sudan we are constantly surrounded by extreme poverty and overwhelming needs. The saddest part of what we do is witnessing people’s suffering without a hope of it ever being different. Psalm 24 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” In Deed and Truth Ministries has always valued people as individuals that Christ died for. He is our only hope and He is their only hope, today and for eternity. God is about people not about programs and He gave us all an amazing Christmas gift, His Son Jesus Christ. So we pray we would follow His example and give Him all that we are and all that we have as a family to be used as He wills in 2015.

We are so grateful to each person that has prayed for us and supported our calling to minister to one of the world’s poorest communities. Thank you for demonstrating His love and compassion to those in need. We are surely blessed in this world by having you in our life.

On behalf of the entire In Deed and Truth Ministries team we pray God’s blessing upon you this Christmas and throughout 2015.

Agum’s Adoption

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5

This scripture sums up how we feel about Agum being part of our family and ultimately God’s family.  She was in Khartoum, age 1 1/2 years when we learned her mother, a single parent and sister to Sabet, had died unexpectedly in 2005.  Though we never met Agum, we felt immediately called to bring her into our family and for the next four years we talked about her and prayed for her.


In 2008, when Agum had just turned 5, she moved to Tonj with Sabet’s mother.  After spending a few months interacting with our family we moved her into our home in January 2009 and started the process of making her legally part of our family.

At that time South Sudan and North Sudan were still one nation and we were advised to wait until the separation of nations was complete.  Knowing this process in an undeveloped country could be challenging we set about getting her a birth certificate and passport.  Law in South Sudan permits Sabet as the uncle to take Agum as his own child.  Getting her birth certificate and passport was quite easy and encouraging that the remaining process would be the same.

The culture of South Sudan recognized Sabet as the ‘natural’ parent of Agum but if something should happen to Sabet it did not secure Agum’s future within our family.  For the purpose of her feeling safe within our family and getting her a US passport for ease of travel, we immediately started a legal adoption process after the independence of South Sudan in 2011.  Having my name as the mother on her adoption certificate is critical.

This process has been ongoing for 2 years and not gone quite as we had expected.  After completing the entire process, including a high court judge stamping his approval and recommendation and Sabet’s parents agreeing to handing Agum’s custody to our care, the child and welfare ministry in Juba rejected the application.  This was based on us not going to a court inside the state we live (which we were not told to do) and meant doing the entire process again. This whole period consumed more than a year of our time and meant we would not be able to take a furlough as planned.  It had been suggested that the government were buying time as South Sudan has an ‘incomplete’ adoption process.

Knowing this process would delay our visit to USA for a much needed furlough we decided to apply for a visitors visa at the American Embassy in Nairobi back in February.  We were told 8 weeks for them to contact the Juba officials that we have legal rights to travel with Agum but to date we have not received any response from the embassy.  In June we had to go to the embassy to renew Jed and Hannah’s passports and we took this opportunity to ask a few questions about Agum’s process.  They were very kind and basically said that Juba had not responded to them!!!

So now we face starting the process again, at the right court in Kwajok and praying for favor.

Sabet has talked to the judge in Kwajok and he has a court appointment on Monday July 29th, with his parents and Agum present in the court.  Now with this new political situation we are hoping he can safely proceed and accomplish this first step.  Then we will need to see what happens with the Juba ministry of child welfare.

Your continued prayers are needed and appreciated.  We are asking our prayer team to cover this court appointment on Monday and the completion of the adoption of our daughter in Juba.  Please pray for Agum, her heart is tender and we have had tearful moments as her little mind works overtime to figure out why it is taking so long.

Praying God’s will be done.

Suzy (for Sabet and Agum too)