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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