ONMI News Brief-To God be the Glory!
Dear co-laborers in the Great Commission,
Shalom! Thank you for your Prayers and support! The Lord is moving in South Sudan.
We are very encouraged and blessed of the Lord in our work! We have been here for one month as a family, and by the grace of God, we have accomplished so much in this period of time. We arrived in Entebbe, Uganda on the 10th of last month and traveled to our mission headquarters on Gordon Mt., Nimule S. Sudan, and have been camping out in tents ever since. There is now a high possibility that we will extend our mission trip to the end of April due to a lot of work here on the ground.
As I stated before we left the USA, our main purpose of coming to South Sudan was to have a National day of Prayer and Repentance, for without this South Sudan will never achieve the peace she craves. We also came here to restore two of our mission bases deserted by our staff due the crisis that took place last year in July 2016.
When South Sudan gained its independence from the Islamic North on July 9th, 2011, she forgot God and all that the Lord did to give us peace. South Sudan has been slipping deeper and deeper in to the sins of materialism, tribalism, etc. UN incursion is a reality here in South Sudan. The country can not afford to move on like this for another day, carrying on with this senseless war that has claimed so many lives and displaced housands into exile. The Civil War broke out here in December of 2013. As most of you well know, the Civil war reached our area here in Eastern Equatoria in July of last year and drove most people out of the country into the Ugandan refugee camps. Since then, South Sudanese everywhere have realized the fact that we have forgotten God and have brought this destruction upon ourselves and our land. Amazingly, after we announced a national day of prayer in Nimule, the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, also announced a Day of National Prayer and Repentance in the capital city, Juba!
In order to have a National day of Prayer, there has to be some planning. I sat down with the County Commissioner, Emilio Iga, to discuss how we were going to pull it off. I told him that ideally I wanted to meet any local pastors who were interested in what we wanted to do and ask them to come along side us and help get the word out. Emilio Iga introduced me to a group of Pastors who have joined together to become a Pastor's forum. I have no words to describe how thankful I am that God brought these men on my path! They are dedicated to seeing the name of the Lord proclaimed thought South Sudan and to preaching the Gospel. They are from all different tribes in South Sudan and their chairman came all the way from the Nuba mountains! There are still tribes in South Sudan who have not even heard the name of Jesus... there are no schools, churches, or anything that the western world would call "civilized" in these areas where the Gospel has never been heard. Some of these pastors come from those areas and it is amazing to hear their testimonies.
Together we arranged for the National day of prayer. We went on the radio sharing the Gospel and the reasons for repentance, and prayer, and went through Nimule with a sound system to announce the National day of prayer! On March 18th over 500 people gathered in the Nimule soccer stadium to pray and repent for their own sins and turn back to God! 30 pastors prayed and preached and you could just feel that the Lord was among us and hearing our cry to Him. The prayer was supposed to go for 3 hours but it went for 8 hours as people poured their hearts out to Lord for the forgiveness and restoration of this land. We have already begun to witness the ways that the Lord is answering the prayers of His people for, "This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!"
Since then we have been collaborating with the Pastor's forum to get things done. Our burden and prayer has been to reach people with the gospel on our radio in their own language here in the South Sudan, but we only have 1 of the 64 languages spoken here on the air! Through the pastor's forum, we have met several pastors who can speak three to four of the main languages that are widely spoken here in South Sudan. The city of Nimule contains people from all the 64 tribes in South Sudan and our radio is right here, so we invited these pastors to speak to the people in these languages. A few days ago we had these pastors here for training in how to use the radio and they will start broadcasting soon!
On Monday we decided that it was time for us to go to our mission headquarters in Borongole and the Farm. We also wanted to introduce the pastors to the Commanders who are in charge of three Military barracks in our area. The pastors have been wanting to meet these men so that they can witness to the Military which has been my burden as well. We met with commander Ring Ring of the Aswa bridge barracks, commander John Akout of the Nyongwa barracks, and Captain David Jal of the Kerepi Barracks. These Commanders want pastors to come and pray for them and bring the gospel to them and their men. They are in quite desperate straits without the civilian population that they drove out and are beginning to realize not only the lack of people to protect, but also their need for Christ. The Pastor's Forum has committed to bring the Word of God to them at least once a week.
After visiting the Barracks, we proceeded onto Borongole and found it in much the same state as it was when I was there last November with my daughter and Brother Greg Rosenquist though the tumult that it was in is now much more "settled". The rest of my family got to see with their own eyes the destruction that had come to Borongole and it was hard but we know that God will restore what He wants to restore. The farm had been untouched in November due to the presents of farmworkers, but those workers left for their homes in Uganda as they were Ugandans. We found that the house had been looted but only the valuable things had been taken. The house was a mess but the things that weren't taken were left intact! My family and I hold no bitterness or anger against those who looted our home. We only told the commander in charge who had escorted us to our headquarters that we have no one to point our fingers at. Our goal is to bring the Gospel of repentance to our people and forgiveness, instilling the love of God and love for our country men. After all, all that we have in this ministry, including the things that were in the farm house, belong to the Lord and it is up to Him whether to give or to take away. As to the rest of the farm, there is plenty of food that still needs to be harvested! Oranges, Bananas, coconuts, are everywhere and the mango season is starting. However you can't just live on fruit for long! The rainy season has started and we need to get more food planted or else when the people do return from the refugee camps, there will be no food to sustain them! So, together with the Pastor's Forum, we are getting ready to send willing workers into the farm to start planting. The fact that the farm house was looted hasn't deterred us and it will be cleaned up and made ready for the workers! God is Good!
Now we are getting ready to go to the farm on Monday to harvest the fruit that is there and to lay the ground work for the workers to come and stay there. Today I spoke at the church of one of Pastors from the Pastor's Forum, Abraham Tia. We and the Pastor's Forum have also been asked to come and have a service at the Barracks under the command of Ring Ring, who invited us to do the same thing when I was here in November!
The Lord has opened the door for water to be drilled here on Gordon Mt., and on Tuesday a drilling company is coming up here to get the job done! The Lord is doing so much here and we are just so encouraged to be watching the Lord do his work in the lives of the People of South Sudan. We firmly believe that the Lord will bring the South Sudanese back home and restore peace to this land! Since we have been there have been many people who have already started to come back home and Nimule is teeming with life! It is exciting to be apart of what God is doing here!
We are extending our trip three more weeks until we can finish all that needs to be done. Our Country Director can not get it all done alone, so instead of leaving for the U. S on April tenth, we will come back sometime at the end of this month.
All in all, the Lord has really lifted us up in our work and helped us to persevere doing what He has called us to do even in the midst of war. Last year was a year of trials in many ways, but the Lord was with us through it all. He taught us to say, "Though You slay me, yet I will trust You", He proved to us that He faithful even in the strongest storm! What was shaken was shaken and is continuing to be shaken, but God is still directing us. We still struggle but the Lord has given us mercy and we press on in the Great Commission! We are so thankful to all our supporters who have continued to be steadfast in prayer for us... without your prayers, our work would be impossible!
"This God- His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."
1. Pray for our Country Director, Timothy Levi...He is hard pressed on every side.
2. Pray that the Lord will open the door for us to reach South Sudan's isolated tribes.
3. Pray for the Pastor's Forum that the Lord will continue to equip and Bless their labors for His kingdom. The
Pastor's Forum is in needed of reliable transportation vehicle - $15,000.
4. Pray that South Sudan will continue to stabilize and that more people will return home. The Lord's will be done!
5. Pray that the Farmland will be reinhabited and the planting will begin!
6. We also urgently need $ 17,000 for Pickup truck for agricultural farming and transportation at Beth Israel farmland.
Thank you all and May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Bless you!
In His Grace,
William Levi- Founder and Overseer of Operation Nehemiah Missions