Reporting: Comprehensive mission report from South Sudan
Dear brothers and sisters in Yeshua,
Shalom to you in the name above all names, Yeshua the Messiah. Iam wishing you a blessed Resurrection weekend. He is Risen. He is Alive.
Iam reporting from ONMI's Bethlehem Center in EE South Sudan. I have been here since March 21. Originally my plan was to head back to the USA on April 4th. But providentially, as God's ways are not our ways, with best interest insight, on March 17, Qatar Airway, my connecting flight to South Sudan via Uganda refused to accept my Covid 19 Express Test result done on the same day at the Airport in Boston on the day of my flight. Even though it was Negative, they wanted PCR type which would take 24 hours to have definitive result. So I spent two nights in Boston, got my PCR test result on March 19 and changed my flight route and vessel entirely from Qatar Airways to KLM to save time and money and moved my returned date to April 16, giving me almost one month on the ground instead of two weeks. As I was not able to be on the ground for all of 2020, the Lord wants me to have this one month to be here on ground to compensate for the time lost from last year's mission trip to validate mission work on the ground with clarity. All our mission staff and their families have now returned from exile. Upon landing in Entebbe, Uganda, our team from South Sudan were right there waiting for me at the airport. Without further delay or spending a night in Uganda, we drove throughout the night, arriving at the border on Sunday morning. I went right up to a Sunday Morning service at the Nile Beth Israel congregation in Bibia, Uganda. Then proceeded to Bethlehem ONMI's Mission compound after a brief visit with mission staff at ONMI Yerushalayim Summit on Gordon Mt.
I can best summarize the developing momentum here day by day, moment by moment as excellent. This is where I expect thing to be. God has indeed answered our prayers. It is the faith that moves mountain. As people are returning from exile to take hold of their country, I can best describe the enthusiasm from Psalms 126 A song of ascents. "When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter our tongues with songs of joy Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them. ”The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them."
Spiritually, the Lord is doing His works in the hearts of believers who have returned from exile. Since my arrival, I visited 6 churches, met with several pastoral delegations on the ground for prayers and discussion on the matter of the Great Commission, among them was Pastor John thon whom you have been praying for. He traveled all the way from Rumbek. I met with with families. widows and orphans, teachers, community leaders, government officials, military leaders, returnees and staff and we all ask for God's intervention to restore South Sudan. From what I gathered, it seems everybody I met seems to agree that it is time to put fear behind, leave the camps come home and begin restructuring things. It is time to forgive, restore and unite and rebuild South Sudan. There is no point going back to camps. Farming season is at hand, rain is upon us. Now is the time to cultivate.
Saturday, April 3rd marked the climax of my mission trip here to evaluate the progress of work been done here by the field staff under the leadership of our Country Director, Pastor Timothy Levi. This day marked the dedication of the Land to the Sovereignty of God Almighty ONMI , country Director and several pastors and families. We spent the whole day in prayers on our knees. We broke bread, danced and share the word of God.
Unless the Lord build the House!
I brought the message which was central to land dedication from Psalms 126, 127 and as well as from Deuteronomy 8:11 to the end.
After 5 years of waiting patiently and watching in prayer, the mission staff are now here with their families at ONMI Bethlehem mission premise in Kerepi Subcounty. Iam staying with them and going out together to deal with issues of the day. S
ON April 1st, Madrama James Lino, Program presenter, hosted Lemin Santos, Coordinator of Kerepi Amatura Forum and I on NTC 97.3 FM. Mr. Lemin has been mobilizing people from Keep Subcounty who have fled into exile to return home, unite, and contribute to the cause of rebuilding their community without waiting for someone else to do it for them. We at ONMI share the same vision, we are already on the ground doing the work. This is a team effort
The major highlight of the conversation on the radio was centered on dedication of the Land to the Sovereignty of God and Jesus Christ, as opposed to others wanting to dedicate the land to paganism. The dedication of the land took place on April 3rd.
On Saturday, we dedicated the entire district to the Lordship and Sovereignty of God Almighty in Yeshua the Messiah.
We Hosted two TPS - News, Israeli journalists from Jerusalem , on NTC 97.3 FM over the airwaves of South Sudan and northern Uganda. Aryeh Savir and Chana Oz, discussed with us their perspectives on the recent results of Israel's Election and what to expect in term of who will be best suited to form the next government after 4 intermittent elections, 2 years in a row without a clear winner from the onset. It was truly informative to our listeners who have vast interest in what is happening In Israel
As day of Forgiveness in Nyongwa Military barrack
On Resurrection Sunday: We converged at Nyongwa Military Barrack at the request of Major David Jal, the area commander in charge of Military security in the region for prayers of repentance, forgiveness and restoration. In 2016, the ensuing national crisis that engulfed the region left a bitter taste of war leading to a major breakdown in security, communication and community. Looting and destruction, took precedence over everything else. So mistrust, fear, anger and discouragement affected every sector of society, the families, the church, government, military, police and businesses. As the people from exile returned home to South Sudan after 5 years in Ugandan refugee camps, It was imperative for the civilian, the military and local government officials to have a day of repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and restoration to the sovereignty of God. Our Country Director, Timothy Levi and I dedicated three babies consisting of two twin girls and another baby girl all belonging to the military families. God has vindicated us, based on what happened here last Sunday. It was truly faith that moved mountain. For five years, we dedicated our lives to this cause, walking by faith and coming to South Sudan in this uneven landscape bringing the message of Yeshua to a distressed and a desolate region.
Military families and civilians returning from exile met and reconcile for confident building
You should see the relief and hope in the eyes of the children and the women of these military men who for years have not seen other children and women in civilian setting except confinement in the military barracks and being moved around the country to put out fires of war . All that they were used to was bracing themselves for possible attack from opposing forces. This time was different. The children ran up to the streets to receive us as we entered the barracks. Civilians were not afraid to enter the military barracks. The same feeling ran through all of us as well. There was a sense of unity.
God brought people back and there was no inter fighting, suspicion, bickering or tribalism. This coming week, we will be doing the same thing at the cantonment site to pray, repent, forgive and dedicate the land to God among those soldiers who are former opposing force to Government. I anchored my message on 2 Corinthians 2. Apostle Saul, an emissary of God was pleading to the Corinthians how to forgive an offender. However here in South Sudan everybody has offended someone. We all needed forgiveness from God and from each other. Forgiveness for the Offender. " If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. So we all agreed that enough is enough. We must move beyond what happened here and allow God to carry our burdens.
So much competing needs here on the ground.
Here on the ground, the needs can be so overwhelming and challenging and yet there are so vast opportunities to serve God's people.
Confronted with so many pressing needs, it is increasingly challenging to categorize and budget for various competing needs. But we have to pinpoint those needs which are central with a long term impact on the community.
Before addressing these needs, I would like to acknowledge the impact of your support from the previous contributions over the years.
Since the beginning of February through March, 2021, a lot of things have been achieved through your benevolent support. Bethlehem mission premise nowadays is teeming with lives of people coming in and going out, to and for.
Everyday, there are at least 40 people entering the compound of the ONMI. They come to present various needs to our management team and in need of services that are available to help them.
Available sources of help.. Look not further, we lift up our eyes to the mountain from where our help comes.
Thank God to you for helping us in providing water, shelter and food from the Farm for them.
We have water, medical facility, a very tiny functioning house of worship. There is no any other organization here beside Operation Nehemiah Mission and Saint Bakitha, a Catholic church division of South Korean Nuns who are also helping the returnees. There is no a single UN driven proxy organization here, which in itself is a blessing in disguise because we the church is spear heading the work of rebuilding the community from ground up.
We have health Unit, the Nehemiah Field Clinic catering to the need of the sick. We have Beth Israel Farmland, responsible for providing food security. We have solar well in the mission premise supplying the returnees with fresh water.
We do have nursery beds full of fruit trees, and vegetables ready for transplantation.
We do have grinding mill machine right in the mission premise helping the returnees in grinding their grain or cassava into flour and this is saving ample times spent on going 40 miles to Nimule searching for grinding mill.
The backhoe has been instrumental in shaping the direction of the ministry to receive the returnees. It has opened 5 miles, a stretch of feeder road to the farm. It has been responsible in clearing overgrown bushes around mission premise, community schools, medical centers, and the offices and buildings that have been destroyed in the war crisis.
House of worship and educational facilities are needed urgently.
The most challenging needs right now as schooling has started in this part of the world after Covid 19 locked down is the education of the children of the returning families who are now here and they do not want their children to go back to Uganda for education. They want to keep their children with them. As a matter of fact, today, April 6, 2021, marked the opening of Bethlehem Primary and Nursery school. Children are now reporting to the school as of today. We got 6 teachers and a headmaster teaching from K1-6. We have opened temporarily 3 rooms mission house to serve as class rooms to teach these children. These rooms are already maxed out.
Additionally we are pressed against time to build Beth Israel Messianic Congregation with the holding capacity of 700 people, the Bethlehem Elementary School and Nehemiah Polytechnic Institute within the next 4-6 months to house these children and educate them..
To achieve this, there are available resources we have in place to address the first phase of the construction using the projected Budget for April, 2021.
1- We got the Hydraform interlocking machine for block production. It has the capacity to produce 1500-2000 a day .
2- We got the query right here in the mission compound to extract the soil necessary to make these blocks.
3- We got water right in the compound to make the block.
4- We got the dump truck to ferry the sand and soil to the construction site.
5- We got 10,600 sqm of land dedicated for this work.
6- We got the Backhoe and front loader to manage the infrastructure.
7- We got 20 workers ready to work.
8- What we do not have is cement the only building material that is imported from Uganda.
The budgetary need for prayers and support.
April Budget is $60,000. Raised 22,000.00
1- First phase of construction for 2000 bags of cement and 20 workers- $30,000
2- Agriculture - $5000.00
3- Medical needs - $ 2000.00
4- Mission staff support - $6000
5. ONMI US office - $15,000
6- Church planting -$1000
7- Fuel _ $1000
In the order of priorities and God willing, I would li.ke to raise the $20,000- $30,000 before leaving South Sudan on April 15 and have the money wire here by one of ONMI board of Elders
May you continue to pray for these believers and they made their ways back to their home country. Everyone is returning to start life from scratch. Reuniting families and resources to support basic infrastructure are the most difficult and challenging things. But Every body is faithfully doing their share to stabilize things here in South Sudan.
In His grace
Founder & Overseer of Operation Nehemiah Missions
PO Box 563
Lanesborough MA 01237
+211923701027 South Sudan