Category Archives: Newsletters

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.”

August 2021 Newsletter

Suzy in South Sudan!

After an amazing first month back in the field, it is a reminder that God is in control and moving mightily through In Deed and Truth (IDAT) here in Tonj and all the surrounding villages.

We celebrated our pastors graduation and we are now sponsoring 25 pastors from 17 IDAT church plants!!

Suzy with the Pastors Graduation

One pastor that really impressed me was Ps. John Madut Agaar from a village called Machar. Machar is known as the center for witchcraft and if you go there, you will encounter many idols and shrines, along with witchdoctors and spearmasters. John has a very powerful ‘Saul to Paul’ testimony. Before becoming a Christian, he was a ringleader of fighting, cattle raiding and tribal violence. His father was a spearmaster and he was set to inherit that role. It came to the point where his family feared he would be killed and asked him to not go out and fight anymore. Around the same time, he was invited by our CC Maloney Ps. Kharlo to come to church. In church, he experienced peace like never before and after a few weeks gave his life to Christ. His life completely changed, and he went from being an angry and harsh person to being gentle and caring. His family were upset that he started going to church and that he chose to walk away from witchcraft. His father has 4 wives and the half-siblings turned against him and started persecuting the IDAT church plants in that area. John eventually became Ps. Kharlo’s assistant pastor. As word got out that John was a changed man, more people started to come to church and more villages were asking for a church to be planted in their area. Some of the people of Machar also asked for that. Machar means ‘darkness’ and John boldly stepped out in faith to go to Machar and pastor the church there. He is well known in the area as the son of a spearmaster. In the beginning so many curses and spells were cast on him and the church. John said he is the right man for that church as he fully understands all warfare against him and what the battle entails. His weapons of choice are no longer an AK47 but prayer and the Word of God! Pray for John’s protection. Check out our pastors page at: https://pastors.indeedandtruth.org/

John Madut Agaar

 

The IDAT Ward!

During the rainy season we experience higher patient numbers due to malaria and right now the ward is well and truly overflowing. It has 26 physical beds but often more than one patient is allocated to them as mothers receive care alongside their newborn babies.

Clinical Assistant Khamis assessing a premmie

This month we also had multiple sets of twins arrive! Our veranda has become an overflow ward and we shuffle patients making sure the critical, smallest, and sickest children are placed in beds where they can be closely monitored. We have eight premature babies in the ward as of writing this newsletter (our smallest weighing just 930g) so all four incubators are also occupied! Our team works tirelessly around the clock caring for each and every patient, demonstrating God’s love, and providing a place of hope for the most vulnerable in our community. We are now praying about adding a second ward.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

CHE Testimony!

This is the family of John Akot with his wife Susanna Angong from the village of Teakic near Tonj. Two months ago they gave their lives to Christ when CHE volunteers, Martha Them & Marko Maputo, visited and shared Jesus’s teaching from the sermon on the mount about trusting God and refusing to worry.

CHE’s Martha & Marko (pictured on right)

Since that time John has experienced a new peace in his heart and has let go of some addictions he was struggling with. We never get tired of these stories of God transforming our community – one family at a time!

July 2021 Newsletter

Home in Tonj!

No matter where I go, it’s always so lovely to come back to Tonj. Home is where the heart is after all!

The Welcome Committee at the Airstrip

Coming back was quite emotional and yet also healing. Taking a breather and focusing on some of the field needs has brought a slice of joy and hope in the middle of a hard season for our family. Both Jed and Agum have loved being home.

Jed getting a hug from Shiloh Macleod

Praise Jesus for His hand of favor over my main goal to purchase some land for our x-ray room and Maternal Waiting Village, which happened in the first week

Suzy and land owner John

Scholarships!

Here at IDAT, we believe that scholarships are a powerful way to increase our team’s capacity and to get the right people with the right heart for the right jobs, as well as providing an opportunity to outstanding young people, who may never have been able to pursue further studies.

IDAT CHW Monica

Monica is a maternity clinic assistant who has just been accepted to study midwifery in one of the top midwifery schools in South Sudan. She loves to share about how her life has changed since joining IDAT 18 months ago. She tells how she used to fight often, but now, since being in a Christ filled atmosphere, attending Bible study and volunteering as a youth group leader, she refuses to fight, and people are wondering what has happened to her. Monica is looking forward to serving her community as a midwife and helping to save the lives of mothers and babies.

The IDAT Ward!

Serious and extensive burns continue to be an issue for children in Tonj and surrounding villages. On any given week our ward will have at least one patient admitted for management of major burns.

Burn Victim Baby Malith

These are usually the result of boiling water being spilled onto a child, or a toddler falling into a fire. Although the initial treatment can be devastating for the parents to witness, the relief and joy they experience as the child starts to recover is something quite special. Our resources and dressing techniques are basic, but effective! Thank you for financially supporting our medical work so we can be Jesus’ love to the people of South Sudan.  With the large numbers of inpatients, we are seeing our need for a second ward ($60,000) is needed. Would you join us in praying for this? A second ward means more staff and bigger monthly overheads. We want to hear clearly from the Lord if this is the direction we should go.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

CHE Testimony!

Nyandit Manyuol and her family had never had anyone explain the gospel to them before. Last month three of our CHE volunteers Daniel, Aguek and Amer visited her home to share a health lesson about malaria prevention, together with the story in the bible about the good Samaritan found in Luke 10.

Nyandit Manyuol (pictured far left) with CHE’s

They were deeply touched and made a decision as a family to become followers of Christ. In the past six months over 1,200 people like Nyandit and her family have dedicated their lives to Christ through CHE. The harvest is ripe! Please pray for the Holy Spirit to continue moving as our team of over 1,000 Community Health Evangelists (CHE’s) continue moving home to home throughout Tonj promoting health and preaching the gospel.

June 2021 Newsletter

‘CHE‘ Community Health Evangelism Expansion!

Last week we had several days of CHE leaders training and planning for the next six months. It was exciting hearing testimonies such as Pastor Joseph baptizing two more witchdoctors on Sunday, and six more villages in Maloney begging Pastor Santino to bring them the gospel! Our team had a goal of reaching 20 villages with the gospel through CHE by the end of the year, but the harvest is ripe, the Holy Spirit is moving, and our team are passionate – so we are now praying and believing for 25 villages by the end of the year! Would you join us in praying for that? We currently have 19 villages with 18 villages on the waiting list.

CHE Leaders Listing Potential Villages

Malaria Season!

From May to November every year we have our rainy season, but the more accurate name would be the ‘malaria season’. With the blessing of rain comes this deadly disease of malaria. In our region of Tonj the common parasite P. falciparum causes malaria in humans with devastating effects on children under five years of age. This parasite is the leading cause of death from malaria in the world. More than 200 million people a year get malaria and half a million die, with 94% of these deaths coming from this particular parasite in Africa and infants accounting for 67% of those deaths.  As we enter malaria season, we are rapidly seeing an increase in patient numbers. However, the team on the ward are also managing increasingly complex patients. Some children arrive incredibly unwell, and with other severe infections, like Adit pictured here, suffering from TB and pneumonia, which then leads on to complications such as severe acute malnutrition and dehydration.

Adit with her Mother

The time and resources required to manage these children are immense – how grateful we are to have solar power, oxygen concentrators, therapeutic milk, and passionate hard-working staff. Without a doubt these children would not live were it not for our generous partners and the care provided by the team at IDAT. Please continue to pray for the mothers, children, and babies in the ward. Pray that we can continue to demonstrate God’s love to these families, that they will hear the gospel and be transformed by it!

Facing Fears!

In Tonj there is no blood bank. When a patient needs an urgent transfusion, we need a donor (or two or three) right then and there. We have come to realize that donating blood is a culturally difficult thing to do in South Sudan, even for a family member, which makes us so proud of our staff when they overcome their fears to save the life of someone they have never met.

Mary Donating Blood

This is Mary, a midwife assistant who was working night shift when one of her patients needed an urgent transfusion. These are the twins that were born to the mother who received her blood. We are praising God for Mary and that all three, mother and babies, are now healthy and well.

Healthy Twins

The fear of last year’s food shortage is real as many families already face hardships this year. IDAT is ready with food and seeds in stores and in May we did our first food distribution.

“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13

We were able to feed and supply seeds to over 500 families who lost their homes and gardens in last year’s tribal clashes. Many of these families are still living as IDP’s (internally displaced people).

Sharing Seeds Among Families

We will continue to support this need throughout the summer. If you would like to partner with us to provide food to these displaced families, please donate through our website or send a check to the address below and designate your donation to ‘benevolence fund’.

May 2021 Newsletter

CC Tonj Church in Progress!

We have a great problem! And this is one area of our ministry challenges that I am excited to share with you and ask you to join us in prayer.

The Lord used a simple Bible passage to move us to ministry in Tonj back in 2000. And it is the passage where we got our ministry name and vision.

1 John 3:16-18 – “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

We never saw ourselves as a church planting ministry and so we started with one church for our own needs, known as CC Tonj. We started with about 20 regulars and a few more on Christmas and Easter. This church has slowly expanded over the years. We moved it to a local school and then outside at the local school.

CC Tonj at the Old School in 2013

Eventually we went back to the compound because carrying our benches and chairs became difficult for the growth.

CC Tonj on the IDAT Compound

When our Community Health Evangelism (CHE) program started in 2012 we had the desire to empower local church ministry in the CHE villages. This is when our church planting ministry really took off.

Nine-Month-Old Church Plant in Wargiir

We started investing in local pastors, training them to not just plant churches but for the churches to thrive, grow, and multiply.

Monthly Pastor’s Training

In 2016 we realized CC Tonj needed its own land. It was an amazing witness of the power of God to our church that was fasting and praying for the right land when the Lord did above and beyond what we asked or thought possible. We found a huge piece of land in a residential area with no buildings on it. It was about 16 plots and worth $10,000. It was perfect except the land was swampy in the rainy season. We approached the land commission and they sold it to us for just $200!!

Grading and Fencing CC Tonj Land

In 2017 we raised enough money to start building our church. In 2018 we purchased all the materials and trucked them to Tonj. By 2019 we realized the church had already outgrown the building plans we had. As we redesigned and bought additional materials, we were also blessed by a UN Road building crew that helped us grade our land in 2020. Then the pandemic happened, and everything went on hold…including church. Our construction crew used the time to started putting up the fence.

When we started church again last September, we started meeting on the new land in a makeshift bamboo tarp structure.

Temporary Church Structure for CC Tonj

This is when we dedicated the land unto the Lord for His purposes and ministry. We have watched this church continue to grow steadily every week.  In 2021 we found a contractor and broke ground!!

1 John 3:16 says “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” Easter was a time to reflect on what Jesus did for us and so we laid this land at the feet of Jesus. We had around 3,000 people in attendance and baptized several hundred new believers. In verse 17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” It is interesting to me that the first ministry we used the land for was the food crisis last year. We put a container on the land and filled it with food for distribution.

Church Land Being Used for Food Distribution

Lastly, verse 18, we want our ministry and this land to be a physical blessing IN DEED and a spiritual blessing IN TRUTH. So the problem we face right now is we have so many people coming to church but no building. We are entering the rainy season and ask for favor in completing the building.