MINISTRY HIGH-LIGHTS FOR THE WEEK
I trust that all is well with your soul. It has been a while since I shared about what God is doing in our ministry.
The high-lights for this week are all about our ministry visit to Juba, South Sudan.
Two years ago we were invited to speak to Pastors in Juba for two days in November 2013, that time we had a conference for about 90 Leaders and Pastors. It was such a memorable time for us.
A few weeks after, in December 2013, a civil war broke out from Juba which spread to the rest of the country. It was one of the saddest moments for us because two of our participants during the conference were murdered.We called Jahim the young Pastor that I call my spiritual son, to find out how he is, we asked him to get out of the country for safety, and he ended up in Gaba with his whole family.
As you all know, a country which is in a state of war is always very frightening, you always wonder whether it will ever be safe, but Jahim returned after a few months, he left his wife with us and Gaba Community Church took care of her and the kids.
He went back and continued serving his God. His wife later joined him and they settled home despite of the evident insecurity and un curtainedJahim continued to ask us to return to Juba and encourage God’s servants. Earlier on this year, Pastors Chris and Moses decided to visit him and some of our friends who serve with him.
They felt that even though the situation is still tense, it is our responsibility to go and encourage our brethren. This week has been the fulfillment of the dream. Pastor Jim Birchfield from Huston Texas, Moses, Chris and myself travelled to Juba for this wonderful event.
You can imagine how many times we prayed knowing that the country is still insecure but we praise God for what He has done and for protecting us.
The conference brought together over 110 Pastors and Leaders, these were mainly from Juba and the surrounding areas. I was deeply touched when they started praying for their nation, these men and women prayed, cried and interceded for their land.
These were men and women who had lost their loved ones and properties, and many of these had moved away from their main cities for safety. But here they were praying, singing and engaging in spiritual warfare for their nation.
Pastor Jim and myself felt that the first and foremost need we had was to share the message of encouragement, telling our brothers and sisters that God still knows and cares for them.
Pastor Jim’s message was about the flock, he talked about the power of God’s word in changing lives and how to share that word.Myself, I taught on the Kingdom and also talked about being a radical Christian. This was not easy because the men and women that I was talking to are the people who have experienced tough times and living by faith for the kingdom.
But I thank God that at the end of the day, these men and women of God rose up in prayer and prayed for not to be fearful but to be people who are ready to fight the works of the enemy.
I remembered Acts 4; where believers prayed and the room where they were, was shaken for the Spirit of God was there. We cannot wait to return to Juba next year and our dream is that one day Gaba Community Church will plant a church in the center of Juba.
The second day of our trip was for exposure, I wanted Pastor Jim to meet some of the leaders and also to see the city, but I never expected what we experienced that day. We met two different men with amazing testimonies on what God can do, both of these men have got a ministry that plants churches, they shared on the work they are doing in Darfur.
I realized that in the world there are men to whom the scriptures are being fulfilled. They are persecuted but keeps on going; harassed but they have not given-up on faith.
That very morning, Pastor Thomas and Tutu were rushing to the airport to receive two of their colleagues that had been imprisoned in Khartoum for almost a year because of their faith in God.
These people were found preaching in the church; which became an issue and they ended up in prison. That morning they were released and were flying back to Juba to meet their families. “That was amazing”!
Unfortunately, here in Gaba when someone misses a meal, he sees it as a deep trouble, but Pastor Thomas talked about the Pastors that were terribly beaten and harassed because of the gospel.Our trip ended up with a visit to the largest Pentecostal church in Sudan, we met the senior Pastor and regional overseer of that denomination. It was a beautiful time to be informed of God’s work that this church is doing throughout South Sudan, but suddenly to know that some of the churches in Sudan were undergoing persecution and some of their Bible Colleges were closed down by Islam.
- South Sudan is probably one of the few countries, where the black Africans who are not Muslims can speak and use Arabic as their national language. Many of these people were required before independence to study Islam even if they were not Muslims, so they almost all know the Quran even though many of them are not Muslims.
- I see South Sudan as a strategic nation through which the rest of the world can work, to reach the Arabic speaking Muslim world. The leaders have asked us to open up an opportunity for their leaders to come and join Bible Colleges; they also want us to equip willing Christians to reach the Muslims who live among us.
Please, pray for this nation, there is negotiation for cease-fire but the civil war is still going on.
May the good Lord bless you as you pray for our brothers and sisters in South Sudan.