September 2020 Newsletter

Glory to His Name!

Please pray for Paul and his family. He was a witchdoctor that practiced traditional medicine on people. He lives next to our new church land, where we have been doing the food distribution.

Paul with his wife and children

He would sell people charms to wear and large idols for their homes to protect them from evil spirits. Last month he saw lots of people coming to our land and wanted to see what was going on. He’d lost several family members and constantly lived in fear. He heard Suzy talk about Jesus being the Bread of Life and inviting people to repent and he raised his hand. Pastor Mabior met with him one to one and assured him of salvation through Jesus Christ. Paul said he didn’t have any peace and didn’t want to be a witchdoctor anymore and he agreed to burn all his idols and charms.

Pastors Mabior and Mayom burning the idols

The following Sunday he came to church and our pastors agreed to burn the charms and pray over his family. His wife and children also prayed and received Christ. It’s so awesome to see how the Lord used the food distribution to reach those that didn’t even need food!!

Praying With Paul’s Family

Praising Partners!

The entire country of South Sudan is facing a food crisis. Our area of Tonj has gone from a phase 3 ‘critical’ level to a phase 4 ‘emergency’ level. We are one step away from phase 5, which is famine.

This family is surviving by eating wild leaves

We have witnessed an incredible response from you, our partners. Together we have bought 54 tons of food and fed over 4,300 families!!

Food Distribution Outreach

Samaritan’s Purse also responded to our plea for help and sent us 500 plastic tarps, ropes and mosquito nets.

Tarps donated by Samaritan’s Purse

Sadly, we have not seen any food from World Food Program so we ask you to pray for Tonj and for South Sudan. The bible says, don’t be anxious about what you shall eat? Everywhere we go people are worried, the situation is so desperate we are anticipating more unrest as those fears turn to a fight for survival.

This is how many families are surviving

Our prayer is that God’s Love would be felt, the truth of His Word would be heard, His compassion would be poured out, His forgiveness experienced, His Presence would be known. Praying people’s hearts turn towards Jesus, seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, witnessing God transforming lives like Paul and his family. So many have already responded to Jesus and given Him their hearts. Our pastors are working tirelessly, encouraging new believers to put their trust in God. Not to look around at their circumstances but to look up and see Jesus, who will never leave them or forsake them. We ask that you to continue to pray for a miracle for food reaching us and that God would also use this difficult situation to bring Glory to His name.

August 2020 Newsletter

Food Crisis!

South Sudan stands on the brink of a food crisis, the worse we’ve experienced in years. Tonj has been severely effected due to prolonged armed conflicts between tribes, causing mass displacement from surrounding villages. Thousands of people are at risk of starvation as a consequence of fleeing their homes and not having enough food to eat. The lack of an adequate response from AID agencies has meant many people have not eaten in over a month, some as long as 2 months. Assessments have been made but no food has arrived. Maybe due to continued insecurity on the roads or maybe due to poor roads conditions from our heavy rainy season.

Pregnant Women are the Most Vulnerable

What I do know is that every day we are witnessing more and more people with signs of acute malnutrition. The devastating effects on a woman during pregnancy puts her baby in danger of miscarriage, still-born or low birth weight. She herself is at increased risk of death during delivery, anemia and lack of breast milk production. Her weakened state and loss of body mass compromises her immune system and increases her probability of serious infections. Often mothers will do anything to get small food for their children and they will give the food to the children before eating themselves.  Other vulnerable groups include the disabled, elderly, HIV and children under five, who suffer lifelong effects resulting in stunted growth and depressed immune systems.

Disabled People are also at risk

In 1998, I sat in church in Southern California and watched a video about a famine in South Sudan. People were so weak from not eating for FOUR months they were walking on their hands and knees, unable to stand up. I remember thinking what could I possibly do that would make any difference to this situation? As I asked God that question, I received a very clear answer from Him, He said YOU CAN PRAY.

Corrie Ten Boom said it best, “The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God’s realm where everything is possible. He specializes in the impossible. Nothing is too great for His almighty power. Nothing is too small for His love.”

That’s exactly what I did, I prayed and that led to a prayer walk, which led to a fundraiser and ultimately led me to go to South Sudan on a mission trip, where I met Sabet and have served as a missionary for the past 21 years. Prayer changes things and even though we are limited in what we can do to help, we serve a powerful God whose means are limitless! It is unfathomable to think that in 2020 we have so much food in the world and yet people still live in extreme poverty and go to bed hungry. It was shockingly wrong back then and it’s shockingly wrong today. Jesus always showed compassion for the poor, if I want to be like Jesus then I need to show compassion also. This ministry was birthed out of this truth that John talks about in the bible:

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18

Last month I asked for your help, by faith, our ministry stepped out and started to buy sacks of food for people. I asked you to get involved and YOU DID! Thank you!!! We were so blessed by everyone’s response to do something. And God’s love for the people here has really shone through that gift. Not only did we feed them physically but also spiritually.

A Positive Response to the Gospel Message

As these people are displaced due to conflict, we shared about the conflict going on in man’s heart every day. As they faced death in the past few weeks, we talked about not knowing when our last day would be and being ready to meet Jesus. We talked about their story and how God led them to this place and how we all have a story that leads us to the cross. We talked about sin and how things will never change if we don’t have a change of heart. When it was time to pray, the Holy Spirit was really moving and so many prayed with us. Over half the crowd of 2,000 people raised their hands to confess their sin and need for a Savior. So many were talking about it afterwards and were encouraged.

July 2020 Newsletter

Container Arrived!

A BIG thank you for praying for our container to arrive safely. It was delayed 10 weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions, cost a bit extra to clear the port and passed through numerous muddy roads and insecure areas. It finally made it with much needed food and other supplies for the clinic, CHE, church and missionaries. Every year we ship a container from USA and last October many of you contributed to our list of supplies. We will definitely try to do this annually and have a fall fundraiser to help offset the high cost that comes all at one time. Living in a remote place that doesn’t even have basic shops for supplies, this container is essential to our ministry being able to operate successfully.

Unpacking the Container in Tonj

To everyone who purchased items from our amazon Wishlist or gave a contribution to the container fund, thank you, thank you for your generous contributions to make this happen! There were many needed items on the container but one of the main things was paint.  We were able to repaint the clinic and ward!! Also, we received office furniture and desktop computers, so we can set up proper workspaces for our medical team, pastors, CHE and administration.

Senior Medical Team’s Office

Sowing and Reaping!

Being in South Sudan I am constantly reminded of how blessed my life is compared to those I live among. Life here is tough and a lot of hard work. No one has running water or electricity and they have to grow their own food if they want to eat.

Sponsor kids farming their groundnuts

The rains have started and with it comes the busyness of ‘sowing’. Everyone in the town, running to their villages to find a piece of land big enough to grow food for their entire family to feed them another year. This is becoming increasingly more difficult every year and this year many of the villages experienced tribal fighting. Families that ran away from their village homes are now living in empty schools and churches (empty due to COVID-19) and they have no food. Because they are displaced they also failed to sow their food and this year’s harvest will be scarce, creating a manmade famine. We really need prayer and wisdom. It is heartbreaking to see our brothers and sisters suffering and reaping the devastating consequences of tribal clashes. Oh, Lord have mercy.  So many IDP’s are already hungry, sleeping without food and shelter.

Internally Displaced People (IDP’s) in Tonj

Get involved!

The two greatest commandments; Love God, love your neighbor. Sometimes the latter is very hard to do. In USA you are experiencing racial clashes and here in Tonj we are experiencing tribal clashes. If I could only love my neighbor as I love myself!! Wouldn’t all our problems be solved, universally?? We know everything happens for a reason and there is a season for everything. Please ponder these words from Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 and James 2:14-17.

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted.”

Too many seeds of discord and hatred are being sown and as Christians we need to make sure we are sowing seeds of love, patience, kindness, joy and peace.

The people of South Sudan have suffered unthinkable atrocities, mayhem has ruled for decades and right now they need our help. I don’t want to love them in word only but in practical ways, because love is an action! We need to do something.

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

What the Lord has shown me about these IDP’s is, if my faith is real, I cannot ignore another person’s practical needs, I need to get involved. So, I am humbly asking if you are in a position to help financially, please go to our website and donate to our benevolence fund or mail in a check marked IDP.

June 2020 Newsletter

Church Land!

Our church has reached almost 500 people in regular weekly attendance. For the past few years we outgrew the borrowed classroom and started meeting under a mango tree.

CC Tonj

Two years ago, we raised enough money to purchase the materials to build a church on land given to us at a reduced price by the government. This land is in the center of a highly populated residential area. Our only issue is not having a project manager to oversee the building site and construction crew. In March this year the UN filled the large craters on the land which saved us thousands of dollars.

UN road repair team helping fill holes

The land is almost 4 acres and despite the insecurities from tribal conflicts, our construction team started making the fence to stop people digging more holes to make bricks or farming the land.

IDAT construction team digging fence holes

They commenced this task last month, completing over 1,700 feet of fencing and hand digging and setting 225 poles in concrete.

The completed church fence

When our container arrives, hopefully this month, we will have a temporary events tent to put up so we can start to have church on the new land right away (as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted)!!

Please pray for our container, it has church benches, Sunday school supplies, office furniture, food and other essentials. It arrived in port in April and should have taken 2 weeks to clear and arrive in Tonj but due to COVID-19 restrictions, which are expected to stay until the end of August, it has already been 2 months on the road and is currently in Uganda.

“Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord.”  Haggai 1:8


Struggles come and go and some of us are having more than our fair share at the moment. In the middle of the struggles it is vital to remember God’s promises to us. Our suffering shouldn’t surprise us as Christians. Everything we have faced in Tonj over the last year has strengthened us and caught the attention of those eagerly watching us. Our prayer is that through our suffering Christ would be made visible.

There is no greater joy than a brother or sister choosing Christ as their personal Savior. As a ministry we have built a good reputation in and around Tonj. We are known for excellent care, a ministry that puts Jesus Christ in the center of what we do, making HIM visible to those watching.

When Adut was bitten by a venomous snake the family walked 4 hours to our clinic after hearing about its good reputation. The child was treated and healed. The family of Adut was also healed spiritually. Our clinic is “a city on a hill” and we believe every patient that comes to us was led to us for the purpose of hearing the gospel message. Pastor Judah shared with Adut’s parents and they accepted their need for a Savior. Her dad was so happy when he left the clinic, so we gave him a solar powered audio bible as they have no church in their village. Please pray for them.

Ps. Judah instructing on using the solar bible

May 2020 Newsletter


This last month has been one of the hardest in the past 20 years of serving here. The tribal fighting erupted day and night causing us to stay on the compound for 2 months. Coupled with Covid-19 lockdown it has been challenging on every level. No church, no prayer meetings, and unlike other countries, we don’t have the ability to connect as a church via the internet. With all our missionaries on home assignment, we’ve had a very empty compound, so we used the IDAT compound as a refuge for our staff that needed a place of safety from the tribal conflicts. Every challenge is an opportunity to share God’s love, and it turned out to be fun for the KUJ kids to have fellowship with other children sleeping on the compound.

KUJ kids and IDAT staff kids playing UNO as a distraction from the tribal fighting

Preparing for Covid-19!

So, one of our biggest challenges has been how to effectively prepare for COVID-19 as a ministry, staff and family. The President and Vice-President both tested positive, and now there is an element of fear in South Sudan but despite this, without visible signs of sickness, most people have not changed the way they go about their daily tasks. Without adequate testing and ability to socially distance from others, the actual number of infected people is certainly higher than being reported.

Around the world we are all facing uncertainty with this pandemic. You have experienced the impact in your own country and watched their struggles, just imagine what this is doing here in Africa and poorer countries like South Sudan, where we simply are not equipped medically to handle this kind of crisis.

Before there were any reported cases in South Sudan, IDAT through our CHE program and pastor visitations, began Coronavirus awareness to help reduce it’s transmission. In Tonj, families live hand-to-mouth, and the simple task of hand washing with soap becomes difficult when no one has access to running water and they live in overcrowded spaces with many people sleeping in one tukul.

Pastors Mabior, Joseph and Ruben, wear masks during Coronavirus awareness and home visitation to church families

As a ministry, IDAT is concerned. We are heading into our heavy malaria season and this will contribute to the effects and fatalities from COVID-19. We lack adequate quantities of protective equipment in our clinic. We already struggle with large patient numbers and long hours during the rainy season and adding to this is very daunting to our medical staff.

Our doctors and medical staff continue to work around the clock seeing patients

But we will do our best to serve those in need as we do in any crisis. We will give what we have, like loaves and fishes, and ask God to strengthen us and multiply to meet every individual need. If our clinic can survive this, it can survive anything.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

IDAT employs over 80 staff and our greatest concern is how to stay in operation and serve the community that needs us more than ever. The government said NO CHURCH, so our 15 pastors have been visiting church members in their homes and encouraging them to have house churches with their immediate neighbors. We have distributed solar powered audio bibles to help small group bible study. We got out our sewing machines and made face masks for our team. Just wearing the mask in the community raises awareness.

IDAT team wearing their face masks

With all the recent tribal unrest we had to increase security on the compound. Thankfully, troops arrived from Juba and since then there has not been any more attacks in Tonj.

Our container from USA arrived in Kenya a month ago and because of lockdown it still has not arrived in Tonj. The rains have started and the roads deteriorate more every day. There’s nothing we can do except PRAY! Pray for favor at the borders and safety and travel mercies. We sent someone from Tonj by road, to the Uganda border to meet the truck and travel back with it. He said the roads were still OK at the moment!

We ask you to stand with us in praying for the continent of Africa, for IDAT, for our clinic, our pastors, and continue in your support so we can also continue in our assistance to those most in need. Stay safe!

News From The Field