This is a question we are being asked a lot in light of the recent news coverage on South Sudan. The answer is we don’t know; only the Lord knows what tomorrow brings. The world is watching closely and international leaders are urging both North and South Sudan to maintain peace but sadly many border areas ARE already under attack and living in a warzone. The effect of all this on our presence and ministry in Tonj is minimal at the moment. The rising prices of fuel and food, if you can find them, are about the only evidence that borders to the North are closed due to fighting. So you may be wondering what does all this mean for our family to continue in our mission work? It means we hold fast to the calling that gripped our hearts 14 years ago. We know our Lord equipped us to go and minister in South Sudan which was in war when He first gave us that assignment. We love Tonj and her people and our greatest burden is to bring the truth of His Word to them, so they might taste and see that the LORD is good. It is the work of the Father to take two seeds, useless in their own strength and plant them in this dry and barren land. He was confident in the life He had put inside us and by His Holy Spirit He watered us and brought much fruit. He told us to GO and be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, to put on the whole armor of God so we could stand against the devil’s schemes. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Aren’t we all living in one big ‘warzone’ called the world? If we are Christians we are fighting a spiritual battle daily and Satan is our only enemy. Let us pray for one another to be effective, bold and courageous in our faith. May the Lord Jesus fill us with His Holy Spirit daily giving us His wisdom, power and strength as He divinely directs our paths to those that need the Gospel.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” – John 12:24-25
CHE, Community Health Evangelism, is a program we have begun teaching in Tonj that integrates discipleship and evangelism with community based development. The work is wholistic, seeking to meet the whole need of individuals and communities through complete obedience to everything that Jesus commanded.
We facilitated a team from World Gospel Mission in Uganda who led the CHE workshop from our compound. More than 20 people attended from different areas in South Sudan. We love the ministry of CHE, it empowers individuals to use the local resources God has given them to solve their problems. Our desire is to have Community Heath Evangelists planted in the villages surrounding Tonj that many of our patients travel from.
For the completion of the new medical building.
Pray for CHE teams to be sent into local villages and implement what they have learnt.
Pray for peace between north and south Sudan.
Pray we can finalize all the adoption papers and visit USA in January 2013 as a family.
Kuj Family Adoption and Land!
Since 2006 our family has been living out of boxes and in 1 or 2 small rooms. This has become increasingly more challenging as we added Agum to our family in 2009 and homeschool all three. Agum’s adoption is now 70% complete and we hope to take a home assignment in early 2013. This year our board felt it necessary to begin a fund to help our family build a home so we can function better and continue to serve long-term. Communal living has many blessings and challenges, but as our ministry and staff have grown we recognize it is time for our family to live off of the compound and to have a home. So we have been looking for the right land to buy and as everything is undeveloped it was not an easy task. But, we prayed and the Lord led us to a piece of land that we both love and have so much peace about. It is officially purchased with the title deed!! Now we have to wait for the rainy season to pass before we can start construction in October. We need help…yes, if you are interested in helping us construct our home please get in touch. We need volunteers from 1 week to 6 months. It’s an overwhelming task but we firmly believe the Lord is in this and trust Him to bring it to completion quickly. One of the attractions was the massive mahogany tree pictured here with our family standing under it!
In 2009, Kingdom Assignment Sudan co-founder Andy Dunt left Australia in search of a remote village in South Sudan called Maloney. In Deed and Truth Ministries crossed paths with Andy and joined in his vision to provide basic support to this rural community. Just 45 minutes drive from Tonj across barren swamp land this isolated settlement was the perfect place to begin our weekly medical outreach. Now, three years later, the partnership of our two ministries has provided this disadvantaged village with life-saving resources ranging from a bore hole providing safe drinking water, weekly medical professionals and drugs, a church plant and soon its very own medical clinic. Last month Andy was able to return to the village he has loved and supported bringing with him a group of construction and medical professionals and a pastor. It was our joy to host this dedicated team on their life changing mission as they lay down their lives to serve. They experienced first-hand the harsh world of South Sudan and witnessed the vast needs of the people. To learn more about their ministry vision for South Sudan go to www.kingdomassignmentsudan.org.au.
Midwife on a Mission!
Stephanie Williams has served as a midwife in the medical clinic for the past two years. Selflessly, she has worked day and night delivering over 200 beautiful Sudanese babies and giving them the best chance of survival in life. With one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates, South Sudan, her women, and In Deed and Truth Ministries are blessed to have had such a devoted and passionate midwife bring hope to every birth.
STS Training Returns to Tonj!
Simply the Story (STS) team came back to Tonj to follow up with our pastors on last year’s training. The emphasis was to train the pastors to be trainers of others in using the STS method as a way to evangelize and share the gospel. The team was able to put what they learnt into practice in a nearby town called Mapel, which is home to the tribe of Jurchol. More than fifty pastors and church leaders attended the three day workshop.
STS is built on the foundation of ‘storying’ and develops storytellers who use inductive bible methods to dig deep into a bible story and learn spiritual truths for themselves and to share with others. The lives of those who gain the skill of STS are forever impacted and changed. For a country high with non-literates, this oral style of bible study has proven to be a huge success.
In Africa, people love to tell you a story. It can be a slow process but people listen attentively to every word that unfolds. It is why STS has been a fruitful outreach to our waiting patients.
Pray for the continued building of the new medical clinic. We are on the final stages and excited to see it finished.
Pray for CHE trainers arriving this month to train trainers in community evangelism.
Pray for completion of Agum’s adoption we are half way there!
Pray for Stephanie to readjust easily into her culture as she returns to USA.
“Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” – Mark 9:37
After decades of conflict eased, In Deed and Truth Ministries began to disciple bush pastors in Tonj, South Sudan in 2009. As part of the vision the Lord gave Sabet, most of our support and care for these men of God is in developing their level of understanding of the bible and assisting them in Kingdom work.
We met Joe and Nancy Losee in Kenya in 2008 where they were serving as missionaries for 10 years teaching pastors living in rural areas. They were praying for opportunities to go into the interior of South Sudan with the foundation course they had developed. For years we prayed the Lord would provide a biblically based curriculum and the right people to support Sabet so this program could be launched. With such a history of war, insecurity and harsh conditions we were not sure what to expect. Three years ago, Joe and Nancy visited Tonj and what spoke to them the most was how the Holy Spirit was at work during decades of civil war, despite no bibles, radio, books or school. The hunger for understanding God’s Word was evident in the heart of the pastors who had requested for Sabet to bring missionaries to teach them but during the war it was so remote and dangerous that few came. Joe and Nancy committed to helping us launch the school and came to teach alongside Sabet. They were also trained in the curriculum we are using called BTCP (Bible Training Center for Pastors) which a ministry in Kenya translated into Dinka.
Despite many setbacks and initial drop-outs, God’s love and plan has been transforming the lives of these precious pastors. Sowing seeds into this ministry has been a lot of work with many challenges but we are reaping great fruit.
Many supporters have helped us in watering those seeds through pastor sponsorship and volunteer teaching. We are now witnessing amazing results of this labor of love first hand. Last year one of the pastors planted a church in a village after a patient was touched by the Holy Spirit during a daily evangelism in our medical clinic. At the end of this year our first class of 13 pastors will graduate.
In Deed and Truth Ministries is walking this path with each pastor, enjoying the part in continuing the work that God has already begun. At the end of each term the pastors return to their villages and churches excited to put into practice what they have learned. This term the focus is on Teaching Principles and Methods. Using the book of Ephesians they learnt how to prepare a lesson plan for the entire book which is to be taught verse by verse in their churches during the summer break.
Pray for the Kingdom Assignment Sudan team visiting from Australia to help with medical outreaches and Maloney programs.
Pray for Sabet in Juba working on Agum’s adoption, the family residency and his new South Sudan passport.
Pray for Dr. Stick’s final month of surgeries and our clinic staff.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21
What joy to have a General Surgeon with us in Tonj. Dr. Stick arrived mid-January from USA and will be with us for three months. He is greatly needed in so many ways but as this is a new area of medical care for us as well as the community we are taking things slowly. The main focus for surgeries will be hernias and people are coming for miles to book an appointment with him. Dr. Stick arrived with much needed skills in this remote place that has little technology to offer him yet he just has a heart to serve the Lord. He is a pleasure to meet, a blessing to be around, humble and open to what the Lord wants to do through him. We can testify and relate to his passion for missions and for the work God has put in his heart, using his professional skill to share Jesus’ love with those who are the least privileged in this world. We are excited to report the testimonies back to you all over the next few months. So far he has managed 10 surgeries with 100% success. As the patients are ministered to, pray they would understand God’s love, grace and forgiveness. We are very happy to see the hope in people who have been restored and the future in their eyes now looks brighter. The town is at ease more than ever because of these surgeries. And so are we, as we have the realhope and now the opportunity to present it to these patients knowing it will bring long-lasting change and make a real difference in their lives if they choose Jesus as their Savior.
As with the cataract surgeries in September we have partnered with the government hospital which is not being used to its full capabilities and we are using their operating room to perform the surgeries. We have added some local staff to help with translation and other minor duties that will hopefully help free up our regular medical team who are being stretched to help cover the afternoon surgeries as well as our normal clinic program and outreaches. We ask you to pray for them over this next few months as their workload is heavier than normal. It is our biggest challenge not being able to find medically trained Sudanese staff and the cost of bringing sufficient Kenyan medical staff, flying them in and out and providing accommodation and board is very high. Pray for Sudanese that were displaced during the war to return to their home country. Many were able to train and acquire medical skills overseas. We are praying for medically trained Sudanese to return to their home as missionaries.
“The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD, And the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 29:19
Aid Sudan is a Christian ministry that is partnering with In Deed and Truth to bring a radio ministry to our area. This month they began work on erecting the tower on our compound. Their vision is to plant radio towers across Southern Sudan to broadcast the gospel message in local dialogs. We are very excited for this opportunity to have the Message of Hope aired through a satellite feed in local dialogues of Dinka, Jurchol and Bongo. We are estimating more than 45,000 people will be able to hear and listen throughout 3 different states, Warrap, Lake and Western Bahr El Ghazal. It will also be a great tool to bring health and hygiene awareness and education.
For our staff and missionaries as they serve the Lord selflessly. That in the midst of the busyness they can enter into HIS presence and experience the peace of the Lord.
For the Losee’s as they continue to teach the pastors in the final year of school.
Welcome to 2012! This past year was full of good times. It was also full of hard times. We learnt a lot about ourselves as a ministry as well as individually. The Lord was faithful to see us through to the end. We have much to be thankful for as we reflect on 2011:
A peaceful referendum in January and successful election resulting in the birth of the Republic of South Sudan in July.
The completion of the second year of training for our pastors.
A partnership with Mango Ministries that has provided us with medical coverage when our staff have needed a break.
Simply the Story training with outreaches into the bush.
The purchase of an oxygen concentrator for the clinic.
The arrival of our ambulance.
Hosting Tenwek Mission hospital’s cataract surgery clinic resulting in over 170 people receiving sight.
Individual prayer offered to every patient resulting in more than 500 a month receiving Jesus as their personal Savior.
Providing critical medical care free of charge to more than 35,000 people.
Bringing a full-time chaplain for the clinic to minister to patients.
Partnering with Michezo Afrika to bring Sport’s ministry to the youth through soccer tournaments and leadership training.
Sending three individuals to Uganda for Community Health Evangelism (CHE pronounced chāy) training.
New church plant in the village of Gwairai.
Weekly medical outreach to the village of Maloney.
Church growth in Tonj resulting in the need for a new location.
Partnering with AID Sudan to bring a radio tower to Sudan.
Three successful prayer walk fundraisers to bring awareness, prayer and donations to cover future ministry operations.
We now plow ahead and prepare for the new and we are looking forward to an exciting, fresh, stimulating year doing things from a new and refreshing angle whilst seeking to glorify God.
“And the LORD answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.'” – Habakkuk 2:2
Our focus for 2012 is to build up the CHE ministry and it begins with the development of training teams through “Training of Trainer” workshops. Prayerfully, In Deed and Truth Ministries can become a host for these workshops in Sudan. The CHE’s are trained in physical and spiritual topics to help their neighbors identify problems, find solutions and implement strategies.
Kuj Family Christmas
We (Sabet and Suzy) chose to spend Christmas in Kenya this year to give our family some 1181much needed ‘down time’. This was our first Christmas away from Tonj in three years, which was hard for us to do as we love spending Christmas in Sudan also. But family needs had to come first and with so much time apart this last 6 months we knew we needed to reconnect and spend time away from our compound and work. As it was a last minute decision, we were blessed by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) who diverted a charter airplane to collect our family from Tonj. Africa Inland Mission (AIM) were also kind to offer us a four bedroom furnished home used for their own missionaries in transition. This has been an amazing blessing for our children especially. We’ve had a wonderful time of fellowship with friends, our church family here and have been able to join in all the Christmas church activities. Attending the candlelight carol concert with a picnic was very fun! But being able to go to church Christmas Eve and Day was awesome. We baked cookies for MAF and AIM and thanked them for their sacrificial service to missionaries like us living in the bush. Without these support services we could not survive each day in Sudan. Christmas Day was a joy to entertain 12 people by hosting a dinner for missionary friends also working in Sudan. December 30th we celebrated Hannah’s 10th Birthday (pictured) by spending a day swimming in a pool. She then had a double party with her old friends (one whom also turned 10). New Year was relaxed with Kenyan friends sipping chai, eating baked potatoes and worshipping the Lord around the bonfire. We are so thankful for this time of refreshment and fellowship. We are so thankful for each one of you for being a blessing and joy in our life.
We wish each and every one of you a glorious, blessed New Year!
Pray for wisdom and the Lord’s will to prevail as we lead the team into 2012.
Pray for the transformation of individuals/villages as we send out CHE trainers.