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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
We have received many great updates from the Juba Sudan prayer team! They have been holding meetings all over the city with several teams ministering all at the same time. They have been ministering in government ministries and departments, clinics, schools, markets, slums, open air meeting and many other venues. God is truly blessing this project. With over 1,000 decisions each day, people are coming alive in Christ! At one school, the team was expecting 300 students and more than 1,300 students showed up and were presented with the life changing message of the gospel! It is still amazing how God works!
There are many stories of how God is moving and we can't wait to share them all with you. We heard of one story where the team visited a military barracks where the soldiers seemed to be very tired. The gospel message of Christ was presented and the soldiers were challenged to remember the love of God and many of them came forward for prayer. God is Good!
God is doing a HUGE work in Juba, Sudan and we’d greatly appreciate your continued prayer for the project, and thank God with you for the wonderful way He is touching lives in our midst.
We are so thankful for your partnership, and ask you to continue to pray for:
- The Leadership luncheon on Thursday 16th which the Vice President and other leaders will attend
- Wisdom, energy and anointing for the evangelists
- Smooth logistics and clear communication with each other
- That those who have been saved will be protected from the enemy, and will join the discipleship groups.
- Fellowship and unity within the team
- For an even richer harvest around the city of Juba tomorrow and for major breakthroughs at every level.
- The co-ordination of the teams – counselors, choirs, musicians for each venue
- Against logistical confusion and obstacles
- Continued energy, joy and strong voices
- For the leadership luncheon, and for the Lord to deeply touch these top level leaders.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Below is just a short update… we have a big day tomorrow to prepare for!
Our day started in churches around Juba, publicizing the mission and preaching the Word of God. The evangelists were well received and arrived back just in time to leave for the Opening Rally. The weather was HOT, and we were dehydrated before we got there. General attendance was slow, probably because of the heat, but it was well attended by dignitaries and church leaders. The Minister for Gender and Welfare, the Religious Advisor to the President, and even the Vice President himself attended.
At one point a huge storm approached, blowing a gusty (but relievingly cool) wind. Many people ran for cover as large drops of rain splattered the choir which was singing. The prayer team and counselors who were strategically positioned around the ground starting praying urgently – this storm had the potential to literally wipe out the Opening Rally.
The Choir sang more fervently, and everyone realized what was at stake. The singing grew in intensity and people started dancing in the rain… we were not going to give up this God given opportunity. Eventually the storm passed by and we were able to continue in considerably more pleasant cooler conditions.
After some great Sudanese choirs and our own youth “Foxfire” evangelists had performed, the Vice President warmly welcomed us to Juba, thanking the various African nations represented for their care of Sudanese refugees who fled Juba during the war. He emphasized the diversity and freedom of religion in Southern Sudan, and encouraged us to preach hard!
Stephen then shared his testimony, and clearly touched people deeply as they heard about his abandonment and suffering as a child, and had them laughing as he described how he tried to duck the preacher’s finger which pointed into the congregation where he was saved.
Both speakers set a poignant foundation for main speaker, Keith Cook’s message based on John 14:6 – Jesus is the only way to the Father. He described how God had rescued him from near death experiences, and more than that, how in Christ had completely dealt with our sin so that we can be assured of eternity in heaven with a holy God. The sun had set by this time, but people had stayed to listen to the message. When the listeners were invited to give their lives to Jesus, many hands were raised, and we were surprised by the number of people who trailed over the waiting counselors. 124 people gave their lives to the Lord for the first time.
Thanks so much for upholding us in prayer through this first day. The teams will be dispersed into the 6 mission zones tomorrow, visiting schools, businesses, government ministries and markets. Please continue to pray for:
· That many hearts will be prepared to hear the gospel
· Against obstacles and logistical difficulties
· Health and energy
· Safety as we travel around
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Usually missions are riddled with difficulties, understandably – we are storming the enemy’s territory. Although we’ve had significant challenges during this mission, we are just blown away by how much the Lord has been providing and answering prayers beyond what we can ask or imagine.
Today the Government of Southern Sudan covered the US$30,000 needed to pay for the Opening and Closing Rally venue!! Not only that, they will also supply the 500 bottles of water, 500 sodas and 7 tents to provide shelter for the audience. The Vice President himself will be the Guest of Honour. The President would have come if he had not been travelling to the USA. WOW!! We are so excited and thankful to the Lord for His amazing provision!
Also today the rest of the team arrived safely and we have enjoyed a time of orientation and settling in (as well as Ethiopian New Years celebrations!)
During the introductions with the Steering Committee, Stephen explained that just as 4 people were needed to carry the cripple to Jesus, so we all are needed to play different roles in bringing the city of Juba to Jesus for healing.
We want to thank you all so much for being a stretcher bearer with us and the local church in Juba – without your prayers, support and encouragement, we would never had made it this far. Please pray that, just as the cripple received forgiveness of sin, and then was healed, Juba will be cleansed by our Redeemer, and will walk forward into its future strongly in the Lord.
Please continue to pray for:
- The team as they scatter into churches throughout the city tomorrow morning, to preach and raise awareness for the mission
- Mission Africa guest Keith Cook was one of those who arrived safely – please pray that he recovers quickly from jetlag, and that the Lord prepares him to speak at the Opening Rally.
- Stephen who will be sharing his testimony
- Foxfires who will be dancing and the local officiants, choirs and singers
- The finalization of the mission preparations, particularly our “logistics” co-ordinator who has done a fantastic job, and has an enormous challenge on his hands as he organizes practical necessities for over 160 meetings around the city!
God bless, and love from all of us here in Juba,
Juba Prayer Team
Friday, September 10, 2010
Today we welcomed the majority of our visiting evangelists from South Africa, Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Malawi, and there was great excitement as they settled in. The national television station covered their arrival, and interviewed Stephen, Grace and a Foxfire about the ministry. The Foxfires with usual enthusiasm and spark also spontaneously performed a song and dance which will be screened tonight on “South Sudan Television”.
- Radio announcements are being aired 4 times a day publicizing the mission, and posters are hanging around the streets. The head of the evangelism committee spent much of yesterday answering phone calls from people curious about the upcoming events, or confirming that there was great need for the gospel in their area.
- Praise God for the safe arrival of many of our evangelists today. Please pray for the safe arrival of the others tomorrow·
Many thanks from all of us here!
Juba Prayer Team
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Things are moving quickly now, and we want to give God the glory for some quickly answered prayer…
- We met with the President’s Religious Advisor yesterday who is very supportive and will be trying to arrange for the President to attend the Opening and Closing Ceremony, as well as the Presidential lunch. Please pray the government will subsidize the cost incurred for the necessary security at the venue
- We also met with the Minister for Internal Affairs who became a believer at the 2007 AE Presidential Prayer Breakfast. He has offered us his personal phone number if we have any security problems, as well as giving us a police jeep, and two security personnel to accompany those of us taking photographs.
- Posters and handbills have arrived!! Without going into the complicated story it seems that the packages were opened in Khartoum, then deliberately delayed and false charged by Customs, probably because of the content of the posters. Thankfully John Shikuku’s wife persevered and ensured they were forwarded to Juba, and a kindly woman in Juba Post Office discovered the location of the posters where they had been concealed by the airline (in Juba Airport!) since Monday. The Juba Post Office lady, knowing our difficulties, personally covered the customs payment and took them to her office for us to pick them up! Praise God for these faithful people who have spent time, energy and personal resources dealing with this situation. Please pray they are strategically placed so that many people become aware of the upcoming mission.
- Positive Steering Committee meeting – yesterday was the largest ever, and we have agreed to meet again today to continue discussions. Please continue to pray that the mission meeting arrangements will fall into place.
- Please continue to pray that the Lord would be preparing, anointing and protecting the visiting evangelists, many of whom will commence their journey tomorrow.
Thanks so much from all of us in Juba!
Juba Prayer Team