e3 Sudan April – May Trip Report Part 2: “the TRUTH will make you free.”

In John 8:31-32 JESUS is speaking to a group of Jews who had just believed in HIM because of HIS testimony of who HE is. HE tells them, and all who repent and place true faith in HIM, (31)”If you continue in MY word, then you are truly disciples of MINE; (32) and you will know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH will make you free.”

Remember in part one I shared with you the story of Lasu, the a contemporary Gerasene demoniac, and when as we were working through our small group training, reading the story of the demoniac, and  how Lasu answered the question “What do you like about this scripture?” Lasu answered “What I like about this is that man in the story… that was me!” The scripture came alive! Well, there are many more stories to  tell you of scripture coming alive and how JESUS CHRIST is building HIS church and how “the TRUTH will make you free” came alive before us.

Monday morning (April 22) the Pabanga team went to Pabanga seeking persons of peace, doing tukel (house) to tukel (house) evangelism, and to begin I Am Second (IAS) small group discipleship training with new and existing born-again believers and those who were being drawn by the HOLY SPIRIT. The LORD directed the team to several families where they began to develop a relationship through sharing their testimony and the gospel of JESUS CHRIST. The people asked the team to pray for loved ones who were possessed and tormented by demons. One of these was a lady who was present and prayed over and the other was a man named John who had been missing for 4-5 days and was also possessed by demons and the team prayed for the LORD to free HIM. This area in Morobo county is a stronghold for the dark forces, and I stress “was” because JESUS CHRIST is reclaiming HIS lost sheep in Pabanga. Satan’s days are numbered!

Small group meeting location in Pabanga

Small group meeting location in Pabanga

Tuesday morning we all gathered again at Patrick’s tukel compound in Kendila. As we were waiting for our national partners to finish their breakfast and were told that John, the possessed man whom the Pabanga team had prayed for on Monday, was with us today.  At some point Monday evening John returned home and then to his brothers home. His brother, as it turned out is Patrick who is our leader in the Kendila & Pabanga area.

According to John he had been held captive by the demons in the caves of the mountains just to the North of Kendila/Pabanga area and thatMonday afternoon he had been released and the demons fled. John then said he journeyed to his brother’s home to give his life to CHRIST. And now here was John sitting with us, a new creation, preparing to join our Gilumbi team to share his testimony to the lost. WOW!

Mountain to the North of Kendila where John was held captive by the demons.

Mountain to the North of Kendila where John was held captive by the demons.

A very brief testimony of John is he was a drunk, very violent, and had not had a haircut in a year. The LORD has gifted John with an intelligent and humorous mind and now has given him the desire to live for JESUS CHRIST. John is currently being discipled and trained with the plan of him becoming another one of our leaders and partners in the LORD’S Kingdom work for the years ahead.

John (white shirt) reading scripture from Mark 5:1-20 during IAS small group disciplship training in Gilumbi

John (white shirt) reading scripture from Mark 5:1-20 during IAS small group disciplship training in Gilumbi

Now let me share the story of Joyce and Selena. On Tuesday When our Gilumbi team reached the Gilumbi area we broke into two squads. Our goal this morning was to follow-up with the new believers and lost that the LORD had led us to the year before and to also reach out to their family and neighbors who were lost. Jesse, Mullai, John, and Santino went to the area south of the road and Ramon, Lasu, and myself moved once again to the area North of the road. very familiar ground for me. We first stopped at Lilias’s home (person of peace whom the LORD led us to in April 2012) and spent an hour with her and her father encouraging them with the WORD and inviting them to the small group trainings in the evening. Next we were off to reach the Morrow families which were a mile and further down the path and higher in the mountains.

(Note: The rains had begun earlier and heavier this year and so most families were in the fields breaking ground and preparing to plant the seeds of their crops. Sadly, I would say that percentage wise 70-80% of the manual work is done by the women.)

The path in Gilumbi

The path in Gilumbi

As we moved down the path we came across two young ladies who were cultivating several acres along the hillside. Their names were Joyce and Selena . Their children were on a blanket in the shade at the bottom of the hillside. Ramon, Lasu, and I walked out to them, greeted and introduced ourselves, and then for the next hour and a half we shared our testimonies and the gospel of JESUS CHRIST. We shared, asked questions, and listened to them tell us of their lives as wives and mothers in South Sudan. It was the story we have heard over and over in Sudan of day-to-day survival, wondering if their children would survive their constant barrage of illnesses, and if they would be able feed their families. They struggled with their marriages and husbands who spend most of their time drinking and satisfying their own needs. Sadly this is the typical story of no hope, no future, nothing but day-to-day struggles throughout Sudan.

When we first walked up to Joyce and Selena their face had the hard Sudanese look of stress, exhaustion, and futility. But something is about to happen. These ladies lives are about to be radically transformed. JESUS CHRIST, the BREAD OF LIFE, the eternal hope and joy and the newness of life is about to rock them and rob satan of the pain and torment that he has enjoyed chaining them too their entire lives to this date. Selena and Joyce heard the TRUTH and they made professions of faith in CHRIST and after we prayed for them, their crops, and their families we shook the hands of two women who now reflected the new birth through CHRIST with huge smiles and laughter. Praise the LORD!!!!

Lasu, Joyce, Ramon, & Selena

Lasu, Joyce, Ramon, & Selena

On Wednesday we followed up with Joyce and Selena again as they continued their work in the field. We shared scripture and encouragement from the WORD and encouraged them again to join the IAS small group discipleship training that we were having each evening. They could not join us on Tuesday because their children’s malaria had gotten worse that evening but was now subsiding. Both joined us the last two days that we were there for the IAS small groups.

“and the TRUTH will make you free.”

To be continued….

Sunset in Morobo County...Looking out over Gilumbi, Kendila, & Pabanga

Sunset in Morobo County…Looking out over Gilumbi, Kendila, & Pabanga

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e3 Sudan April and May Trip Report Part 1: “That Was Me!”

The Road to Kendila & Gilumbi

The Road to Kendila & Gilumbi

In April of 2012 our team went to two locations in the mountains into Morobo County located 26 miles south of Yei. During our 5 days on the ground in two locations, Kendila & Gilumbi, the LORd used us to start a church in each of these communities. When we left these new faith families, as always, we were concerned what would happen to them. Well, as always we prayed trusted the LORD would sustain and grow them for HIS glory.

The Church in Kendila

The Church in Kendila

Fast forward one year to the day and we once again set foot in these two locations to strengthen and encourage these new church families. We were full of excitement and anticipation of how the LORD had blessed them over the past 365 days.

The expedition began here at home on April 18 with a huge cold front moving across the country threatening to delay our flights and making our connections and reaching Entebbe  April 19 as scheduled. The LORD reminded our team quickly that HIS plan do not always resemble our plan especially in the details. So with the power of hundreds of prayer warriors petitioning the LORD, Jesse and myself were able to fly out and make our connections and  reach Entebbe as scheduled. However, Wayne and Nancy’s delays caused them not to miss their connections and arrive in Entebbe on April 20.

 

Sunday morning we were blessed to worship and praise the LORD with our brothers and sisters at the church in Kendila. A church that was one year old and full of committed and dedicated followers of CHRIST. What a humbling and joyful time.

After church was over we loaded into the Land Cruiser and began the drive to the Uganda border to meet Wayne and Nancy who began their 14 hour road trip from Entebbe to South Sudan at 4:00am that morning. By the LORD’S grace, and according to HIS plan, at 4:00pm on Sunday April 21 the entire team was united.

April 21, 2013 Sunday service @ Kendila Church planted in April 2012

April 21, 2013 Sunday service @ Kendila Church planted in April 2012

Praise & Worship at Kendila Church

Pastor Gizmala Leads Praise & Worship at Kendila Church

Monday morning we reached Kendila, our base camp for daily operations, and joined our national partners who we would be training and working with for the next 4 days. We divided into two teams, one to work in Kendila & and one to work in Gilumbi.

We always prepare our teams in the reality that we are serving in South Sudan and we must always have a be flexible and have a flexible mindset. Well this Monday morning that flexibility was tested on two fronts. First, our leader for and the  pastor of the Gilumbi Church Ramon Charles) had to take his son to be treated for malaria so he would not be with us on Monday. Plan B for the Gilumbi team would be for us to remain at the base camp and do some training with our leaders using the newly revised I Am Second (IAS) small group discipleship.

Secondly our flexibility was tested when Patrick, our leader in Kendila, had made a change in where the Kendila team would be working. It would not be in Kendila but 2 miles to the east in the community of Pabanga. Several members of Pabanga had been worshiping at the Kendila church and they wanted us to reach their community and begin to prepare them for a church to be planted. I will cover this in part 2 fo the trip report so stay tuned.

Preparing for the day in Kendila & Gilumbi

Preparing for the day in Kendila & Gilumbi

The Gilumbi team members were Pastor Mullai (National e3 Sudan Director), Simon Karidi (Sudan I Am Second Trainer), Lasu, Santino, Jesse (American team member), and myself. Lasu and Santino are new-born again followers of CHRIST that were the result of seeds sown during our 2012 campaign in this area and had proven themselves as up and coming leaders in the new church through CHRIST’S transformation and plan for their lives.

Lasu & Santino and average size avocados from Kendila

Lasu & Santino and average size avocados from Kendila

The first lesson in the IAS small group discipleship training is Mark 5:1-20, the story of the Gerasene demoniac with an emphasis on verses 18-20 when CHRIST told the man to go home and tell his people the great things CHRIST had done for him. Part of this training is reading the scripture and asking questions that prompt everyone to begin to engage the scripture and discuss it. The first question we always ask is “What do you like about this scripture?” Everyone in the group must answer the question. We went around the group and finally came to Lasu. He paused for a moment and then said “What I like about this is that man in the story… that was me!”

Pastor Mullai and Lasu (The New Man)

Pastor Mullai and Lasu (The New Man)

You see, in April of 2012 the Kendila team was lead to a home where they prayed for a mad man…a man who was possessed and could not be restrained. He had been bound and shackled by his family and the community because he was a danger to everyone including himself. As Lasu continued with his answer to the question he explained that he would break out of those shackles and bindings but that day in 2012 when the team prayed over him something super natural happened. The HOLY SPIRIT began to draw him and after the team had left and returned to America Lasu went to the Pastor of the new church, professed CHRIST as HIS LORD and SAVIOR, and surrendered his life to HIM. A new creation in CHRIST…no longer a mad man possessed but a new man in his right mind  sitting and telling others about the great things the LORD has and is still doing for him.

View of Kendila in Morobo County..."Land of peace and prosperity"

View of Kendila in Morobo County…”Land of peace and prosperity”

Scripture comes alive!!! Stay tuned for part 2…more incredible stories to come!!!

Back to the Mountains of Morobo & the Land of Ten Thousand Mango Trees

Over the past four days we have been stunned and reminded of the fact that we do not know what the future seconds hold. Our lives can cease or be radically changed in an instant.  If we watch the news it is as if the world in every way is turned upside down, is out of control, full of terror and fear with no hope. This is the view of the world and I fear that is the view of many Christian sisters and brothers in our country at this time. Satan wants us all to believe all of this. But, we know the true hope we have in our KING and the truth that HE is in control and despite the lies of satan and the world we know that there is always a Romans 8:28-29 despite how we feel about or view the present circumstances. HE is the victor and HE is ushering in HIS Kingdom, and the sufficiency of HIS Truth is what we must hold tight.

CHRIST reigns and is moving in ways that we have never seen. CHRIST is claiming victory in hundreds of thousands of lives each day all across the world. It is amazing to hear the stories from the front lines of the battle throughout the world. So in light of all of the chaos in the world here is some true hope and joy in our HOLY KING.

In just a few hours another U.S. team will be departing from all over the country (Portland, Louisville, and Dallas) on their journey back to South Sudan where we were a year ago almost to the day. We are excited and anticipating how the LORD will use us and our Sudanese team over the next 18 days as we seek out the persons of peace whom we have been praying for, proclaim the gospel to them, and immediately begin training them to be obedient to CHRIST’s commands by sharing, teaching, evangelizing, and training others to be to do the same. We pray for Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2 to literally come to life over these next 18 days. We pray for eternal transformation.

The first half of our expedition will be spent in the mountains of Morobo County and then we travel 80 miles west to Tore, the Land of Ten Thousand Mango Trees, where we will spend the second half of the expedition. Join us in this expedition by praying that the LORD will direct us to these persons of peace, speak through us with HIS grace, love, and boldness in proclaiming HIS gospel and truth, and by make multiplying disciples through the power of the HOLY SPIRIT.

Look up and hold fast to the eternal joy in JESUS CHRIST. HE is sovereign, HE reigns, and HE is victorious!!!

Eternal Community Transformation Part 1: No More Skeletons and Bone Yards

What comes to mind when you hear the term “Community Transformation”? Too many people they associate “Community Transformation” with bringing relief to communities around the world who are undeveloped, underdeveloped, hurting, poverty-stricken, etc… so that they can survive and become self-sustaining and self-sufficient. The hearts and intentions of those who try to assist these communities in transformation are in the right place, most of the time, and they truly believe that they are helping to transform these communities.

I used to be one of those who viewed community transformation through those lenses. But, having spent the past 4 years walking alongside and working with our indigenous Sudanese partners and having traveled thousands of miles across South Sudan and into the North the LORD those lenses have changed. That stark reality is that the common world view and model of community transformation (CT) starts out with great intentions and in the beginning appears to be working. Working that is the funding runs out or the organization or ministry leaves, usually caused by once again the funding drying up. What are the immediate and long-term effects  and impact upon the community when this approach to CT is taken?

Almost all of the time (in the areas of my work throughout South Sudan and North Sudan) the results, both short and long-term, is the immediate collapse of the CT plan and/or project(s). These results are what I call skeletons and bone yards and are scattered throughout South Sudan and Sudan (the North). Buildings, compounds, vehicles, and equipment are left to rot, be eaten by termites, rust away, and deteriorate. How many billions of dollars, millions of man hours, lives, and relationships are lost and/or destroyed by this approach to CT. This may seem a bit strong and one-sided but it is what I have seen in South Sudan and Sudan (the North) and I have heard from others is rampant all over Africa and many other parts of the world. I know there may be exceptions to this but I have not seen it in Sudan (will use this phrase collectively for the South & North) where the LORD has planned for me to be a part of advancing HIS Kingdom.

I work for the LORD through e3 Partners Ministry. The e3 stands for “Equip GOD’S people, to Evangelize the world, and Establish HIS church”. We desire to Establish HIS church. We do this by partnering with nationals and equipping them through encouragement of the WORD of GOD, teaching, modeling, and assisting them in evangelism, making disciples who will make disciples, and planting self-reproducing churches. We want to empower the nationals to establish the LORD’S church. This establishing of the church will continue JESUS CHRIST our KING returns.

We believe, and I think it is biblical, that only CHRIST can bring about lasting transformation in individual born again believers as well as the entire body of CHRIST  (Church or Churches) in a community. CHRIST’S Church should be the example of, and leader, of transformation in our communities. In Acts chapters 2 and 4, we see a glimpse of how the church should transform and meet the needs of the community for the glory of the LORD and what will happen? HE will add to their numbers those who are being saved. This is the Church being established.

Pentecostal Church of Yei. Location of our CT workshop

Pentecostal Church of Yei. Location of our CT workshop

During my recent January trip to South Sudan we launched our e3 CT initiative which is the facilitation of a process that reveals GOD’S provision and plans to truly transform a community for HIS glory. We had 28 brothers and sisters in CHRIST representing 12 churches from 6 different denominations.

Immediately we knew that GOD was directing us. This type of unity among denominations in Sudan is unheard. This was the result of many hours in prayer for the past year along with the humility and servant leadership of Pastor Mullai and his disciples who spent many hours going before these churches, building relationships, and preparing the ground for this CT launch.

Discussing Nehemiah and answering questions that guide in development of a plan.

Discussing Nehemiah and answering questions that guide in development of a plan.

DSC_0708We spent four and a half days using the book of Nehemiah, small group discussions, and facilitating questions that directed this coalition in developing the first project in GOD’S plan to begin transforming the Yei community. Their plan will be used to help meet the needs of societies outcasts and forgotten ones (just like Acts 2 & 4).

This process revealed to this coalition, for the first time, that GOD has provided them with every resource and asset needed to transform their community. They realized for the first time that they did not need to depend upon outsiders to tell them what they needed nor provide outside resources and assets.

Over and over through the course of the workshop they continually talked about “dependency syndrome” and how they had been cursed with this throughout their history. At the end the area overseer  of the denomination whose church we were using was elected to make the closing remarks. He said, and I quote, “Many centuries ago when the first missionaries came to our land they brought only half of the gospel. They did some good things but they also created this dependency syndrome that has never empowered us but only made us dependent upon them. During this week that dependency syndrome has been broken. We now have been given the full gospel and we no longer have to depend upon others. GOD has provided all we need and through HIM we can become who HE wants us to become.” Did you get that? They had been empowered not by us but by CHRIST and through HIS WORD to begin the process and move forward with real transformation.

One group drawing out what their community looked like, challenges they face and need to overcome, and what they believe the LORD wants the community to look like in the future

One group drawing out what their community looked like, challenges they face and need to overcome, and what they believe the LORD wants the community to look like in the future.

DSC_0669
DSC_0670The first plan and project they chose was a large “maize growing project” as they called it. The hardest part of any plan is getting started. Guess what? They have already started! They formed a board to oversee and direct the project forward and they have begun securing the land which will be used to grow the harvest.

Build a wall activity that helps explain the need for a plan, using available resources and assets, unity, teamwork, using everyones gifts and talents

Build a wall activity that helps explain the need for a plan, using available resources and assets, unity, teamwork, using everyone’s gifts and talents

In closing I will leave you with this. One of the last actions that the coalition had to do was to decide on a foundational scripture for the project. This scripture had to be relavent to the project and point the people in the community to CHRIST and HIS love.

This was amazing to watch and listen too. There were many great

Wall one completed!

Wall one completed!scriptures brought forward and discussed but finally they chose John 6:35 “I am the BREAD OF LIFE”. One of the Pastors stood up and said this verse was their heart and that they wanted everyone in the Yei community (over 300K now) to  know JESUS CHRIST  THE BREAD OF LIFE as their LORD and

scriptures brought forward and discussed but finally they chose John 6:35 “I am the BREAD OF LIFE”. At this point one of the pastors stood up and said this verse was reflected the desire of their heart and that they wanted everyone in the Yei community (over 300K now) to  know JESUS CHRIST  THE BREAD OF LIFE as their LORD and SAVIOR and that through this project and the ones to come they would preach the Gospel to all.

As Mullai always says at the end of the day, looking back on what CHRIST had done, WOW!”

There are so many things that the LORD did and revealed through these four and a half days. I could go on and on but for now I will end here. This was just the first part of the 2 weeks we spent in Sudan. I will share more about the second half in the days to come.

Grace and Peace to all!

Wall Two

Wall TwoSAVIOR and that through this project and the ones to come they would preach the Gospel to all.


Wall 2 completed!

Wall 2 completed!As Mullai always says at the end of the day, looking back on what CHRIST had done, WOW!”There are so many things that the LORD did and revealed through these four and a half days. I could go on and on but for now I will end here. This was just the first part of the 2 weeks we spent in Sudan. I will share more about the second half in the days to come.

Completion of CT Launch in Sudan!

Completion of CT Launch in Sudan!

A New Season

In ministry just as in life there are many seasons and journeys that we must endure and persevere as we continue our walk along that narrow path. Some seasons are joyful and filled with peace and comfort. Some seasons are painful, sorrowful, and filled with many trials and tribulations. And then, there are some seasons that can be a mixture of both  pain, sorrow, excitement, and joyful anticipation. Well, e3 Sudan a season just as this.

For the past 7 years the LORD has used Mike Congrove as the Strategy Director and leader of e3 Sudan. The LORD partnered Mike and David Kaya together to work toward empowering the people of war-torn Sudan with the gospel and transform a community and nation. Mike poured his heart and soul into this ministry as the first e3 Sudan Director and he recruited and formed an incredible e3 Sudan team over those 7 years. I have been the benefactor of Mike’s wisdom, experience, guidance, and leadership for the past 4 years as a member of the e3 Sudan team which has equipped and prepared me for the mission the LORD has planned.

This past September, after several years of seeking the LORD’S direction and will, Mike Congrove left e3 Partners to start his own ministry for continued work on Sudan. Along with Mike others on the e3 Sudan have and will follow Mike in this new ministry. Mike and I have committed to continue to work together to reach the unreached in Sudan and equip and empower the church in Sudan to transform their nation through the gospel of JESUS CHRIST. We pray for the LORD’S blessing upon Mike and his team as they start a new season in ministry.

So, we also have entered a new season here at e3 Sudan. I am excited about the team the LORD has assembled and the opportunities HE continues to provide for us to be obedient and step into the front lines for HIS glory and namesake. There  will be uncertainty, valleys, and steep hills that will lead to mountaintops of glory for the LORD. It is a daunting and many times seemingly overwhelming tasks surrounding us but we also have the power and promises that far exceed those overwhelming tasks and situations. That is what GOD is all about using those who themselves have not a chance in the world at succeeding unless HE shows up and HE always does because HE never leaves.

As we pass through this season of pain, sorrow, joy, and excitement I ask for, covet, and need your prayers. Pray for our new e3 Sudan team (Sudanese & American). Pray for me  for humility, patience, wisdom, discernment, direction, boldness, love, unity, endurance, perseverance, and a servant’s heart as I take on the new role as e3 Sudan Strategy Director.

I pray that you will continue to stand with us partners and support us as we continue to stumble forward for the glory of our KING JESUS and Heavenly FATHER. In spite of us HE is using us to advance HIS Kingdom. Praise the LORD!

Grace and peace and struggle well in your pursuit of CHRIST!

Somewhere in Sudan Part 2

I apologize for the delay in following up with part 2 of Somewhere in Sudan. We have entered a new and exciting season with the Sudan ministry at e3 Partners and it have been hectic. We have had our own “perfect storm” that has been churning for the past several months.

Today I want to talk about the endurance and perseverance of the Sudanese people we met and saw during our trip to “Somewhere in Sudan” and how the LORD is moving in the midst of what many perceive a hopeless situation. To be honest, to those it is hopeless because they do not know what true eternal hope is or where it comes from.

I was and still am so humbled by and envious of the strength and attitude of these people. I look at the daily struggle to live that these people face and endure each day truly not knowing if it will be there last and in the midst of this they have smiles on their face.

The picture of the young teenage girl and her younger brother footing through the swamp barefoot, with a bed carried on her head, and a great big smile on her face, will forever be etched into my mind with the word PERSPECTIVE in bold letters. We had passed these two youngsters early that morning as our team was headed back a safe zone on our way out. See we were being driven out, at least for a few miles, and we passed them early in the morning. About two hours and probably 12 miles later we got stuck real good. We spent several hours trying to dig out. During this time I turned to watch some of the families and individuals footing it on the path and there was the young girl with the bed on her head and her brother walking past us with big smiles on their faces. The sister and brother still had another 28 miles to go before they reached their destination which was a refugee camp in a safer are in the south. 

The story of these two kids is like all the rest who have and are today traveling that swampy path to reach safety from the bombing and to be able eat a meal or possibly two a day. The lucky ones are the families who have the strength and are close enough to leave the war zone and genocide taking place in the North. Many are not strong enough, have been hindered by the rainy season, or are living off the last of the tiny harvest they were able to bring in despite the bombing.

The refugee camps in the south fluctuate daily for now but there are some critical factors that will cause mass movements of refugees southward. First, as soon as the rainy season is over and roads dry the numbers will increase. This will take place sometime in the month of November. Second, with the dry season comes major ground offenses in the war which will increase the flow. Third, and the most effective refugee driver will be when the people run out of the tiny harvest they brought in despite the daily aerial bombings. The starvation factor could double or triple the number of refugees in the camps now.  

In the  very midst of this horrific situation and prospects of thousands of people dying because they can not get enough food to eat there is a bright glorious light that is present. Romans 8:28 is in the middle of this tragedy and an opportunity for the body of CHRIST to move mountains. Believing prayer, financial support, and physical support of the true Christian organizations and CHRIST followers who have responded in obedience to the LORD’S command to help those who are oppressed by evil and do not have the ability to reciprocate the help extended to them.

This is my daily charge to myself and all of my brothers and sisters in CHRIST.  Pursue CHRIST with all your heart, use GOD’S word as mirror to show us our ugly spots, weaknesses, and deficiencies. Beg HIM to use us to usher in HIS kingdom by bringing real eternal hope in JESUS CHRIST in WORD and in deed. Paul puts it this way, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Let’s redeem the time as wise men redeeming the time by understanding the will of the LORD. He came not to be served but to serve.

Somewhere in Sudan Part 1

I just recently returned from a location somewhere in Sudan. This was not a typical church planting and discipleship training trip. It was in a category unto its own but one that may well soon become a typical trip to this unreached area of the world. I will leave out names, locations, and other specific details for the safety of many new friends and colleagues whom the LORD blessed me with during this trip.

Somewhere In Sudan

Myself, two other Americans, and 2 indigenous leaders made the trek of over 50 miles through the bush and swamps to somewhere in Sudan. 35 miles of this journey in was on foot with approximately 75 lbs on our back and another 1000lbs of food on an ATV and two bicycles. The two day trek in was physically the hardest thing I have done with the exception being training in the Army some 20 years ago. The LORD not only knows the number of hairs on our head, very few for me, but also the exact number of steps we can make baking in the extremely hot sun of the Africa bush and swamp with 75lbs on our back and out of water.

What was our mission? Why would we do this? It was an answer to a blessed burden laid upon a few hearts to be the hands and feet of CHRIST to a people who have been under constant siege and bombardment for the 12 months by their own government. A people who are displaced within their own country, living in caves, unable to live and provide for the needs of their family as they can, and now extremely malnourished and on the verge of starvation. In fact many already have died from starvation and diseases feed off weakened immune systems caused by malnutrition. I the coming months the numbers will rapidly increase as small bit of food they do have will be consumed.

Internally displaced family barely hanging on

Through CHRISTS power and strength we were able to deliver a very small amount of food  the most needy to two areas. We brought hope in the form of physical food and more importantly in the form of eternal food, the BREAD OF LIFE. We were embraced not only by the small diaspora of believers in CHRIST but by the Muslims as well.

Maize, sorghum, and weeds & grass. Weeds and grass are used as filler to make the little food they harvest go farther

They loved on us, were so gracious, and thankful that we had come and want us to return. We were also asked to return and equip  chaplains and the church in discipleship, reaching the unreached, and establishing CHRIST’S church. Once again these were answers to many prayers over the past 3 years. Pray, pray, pray for the LORD to sustain these people, bring and end to the bombing and war and deliver the food, medical relief, and most importantly the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST.

There is so much to process from this trip, both physical and spiritual. I will continue to relay to you the different aspects and impact of this trip upon the Sudan ministry. This is the beginning of a new season in the ministry as the LORD continues to expand the work in the South and now has opened the North and millions of unreached people.

I want to thank all of you who supported this mission to the North and with your prayers and finances and the full ministry in Sudan. I love you all and through you the name of JESUS CHRIST is being proclaimed and exalted and the captives are being set free through the one TRUTH, the gospel of JESUS CHRIST. I ask you to continue your support of the LORD’S work in Sudan. The challenges will be more difficult and the mountains steeper as the enemy is overcome by the KING.

I love you all and stay tuned for part 2 of “Somewhere in Sudan”.

Philippians 2:3-11 (NASB)

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mindregard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in CHRIST JESUS, who, although HE existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with GOD a thing to begrasped, but emptied HIMSELF, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, HE humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, GOD highly exalted HIM, and bestowed on HIM the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of JESUS every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of GOD the FATHER.