top of page
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Google+ Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon

Tribute to God's servant. Trying to find them was like a needle in the pile of haystack.

Dear brother and sister,

Shalom to you all. It is imperative to write a tribute to our co-laborer, in the Great Commission, Brother Donald Fonseca who passed onto Eternity on January 10 at the age of 90 in Franklin, TN. He and his wife Ruth and their 3 daughters were the embodiment of American Exceptionalism in expanding the Great Commission from the USA to African continent in the 50s, 60s and the 70s. Their work impacted the countries of the Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and DRC and back here in the States. His passing in 2022 and His wife’s passing in 2021 closed a pivotal historical chapter of a generation of his time among which was my grandfather the late Bishop Andrea Vuni of Opari Nyakanigwa, Eastern Equatoria, Sudan (South Sudan today). But that chapter is ongoing because we are still here to keep the flame 🔥 going. and by the grace of God, you are making your mark on the continent by supporting the mission of ONMI in the 21st century. They were the pioneers of the 50s and the 60s and the 70s.

Don and Ruth Fonseca left the USA for newly independent country of the Sudan at the peak of their youth in 1957. Married in 1956, God bless them with their first baby girl. She was barely 8 months old, they heard God’s call in their lives and set off for Africa. Of all places, they were received by my grandfather, the Rev. Andrea Vuni in the village of Opari, Eastern Equatoria, Sudan.

The Sudan in the 50s

They came to a continent where there was no infrastructure whatsoever at the time. They came to the continent along the Nile Valley during the time Africa and the Africans were undergoing geo-political revolution in a protracted struggles for independence from European colonialism after closing the chapter on WW2 and as Islamic regimes were closing in and entrenching themselves on the continent as the Europeans left.

We were mesmerized by the testimonies of the people who met them

Some of us who were born after the Fonseca’s had left the Sudan in 1963. We were mesmerized by the testimonies of the people who met them and co-labored with them in the Great Commission. Whenever I traveled back to South Sudan from the USA even most recently, I was asked, if I had ever met the Fonsecas? Are they still alive, can they come back? The Fonseca’s came to the village of Opari with virtually no infrastructure structure for linguistic translation but with the help of my grandfather, Don Fonseca translated the entire book of Gospel of John and 46 songs of the faith which we sing here in churches such as the (Rock of Ages Cleft for me, what a Friend we have in Jesus, Close to thee etc.)

Expelled from the Sudan by Khartoum Islamic regime

In 1963, at the height of the first civil war, the Fonsecas were expelled from the Sudan by Khartoum Islamic regime as part of removing Christianity from the Sudan. But Christianity never dies in the Sudan in fact it expanded during persecution before and after Islamic invasion.

One can't pass reading about the history of Christendom in 20th century Sudan without acknowledging the contribution of Don and Ruth Fonseca, Andrea, and Lydia Vuni for the cause of the Great Commission in Sudan’s Eastern equatorial region. God used them to revive the Nubian Christian Kingdom of Ancient Ethiopia (today's Sudan) that was lost in history of antiquity to Islamic conquest.

Trying to find them is like a needle in the pile of haystack.!!

In 2012, 50 years later, my uncle asked me to track them down across the USA and find them just to say Thank you for all their dedication and work in the community back in 50s and 60s. Told my uncle, there are 50 states in the USA, trying to find a couple like that who were in their mid-80s would be like trying to find a needle in the pile of hashtag.!!

He said, just keep trying! But lo and behold, in 2014 a retired missionary lady (widowed) who also lived in the Sudan around the same time as the Fonsecas read my testimony in my book, the Bible or Axe, also knew my grandparents. She called me from her missionary retirement home in FL. We chatted for a while, and I asked her if she knew the Fonsecas? She said, yes, she did.! She gave me a contact of someone, and someone gave me a contact of one of their eldest daughters Cynthia Masters and she finally put me in touched with her parents who were living in retirement home in Franklin, TN. In 2018, Hannah and I took all of our 7 children and paid a visit with this legendary couple. Last January at the height of CV-19, Mrs. Fonseca passed on ahead of her husband.

As God has determined it, their journey on this side of the shore of creation has ended and the shore of Heavens has opened for him now to meet his wife and all his fellow workers in the Great Commission who passed unto Eternity. He has fought a good fight and kept the faith and ran good race. Now awaits before him, a Cross to be exchanged for a Crown at Yeshua feet in Heavens.

The Holy Spirit is hovering over the nation and His people

Together with you, and with your help let us press on and fulfill the calling in our Lives. We are here and until our times come, we shall carry on where they left off. In His grace John 11: 25,

1 Corinthians 15. Numbers 6: 24

Now, we must continue to walk in obedience and serve God in faithfulness. Let continue to be wise as we build upon what should be and must be a permanent wholistic approach to establish God's work force flowing to the South Sudanese and here in the USA.

Let us not think back from what the Lord has laid in our hearts reviving the original vision of the church going back to 2000 years ago to Israel when Jews and gentiles were one on Messiah, guided by the Holy Spirit breaking down the enemies' strong holds.

What are our challenges for this year? We are faced with challenges to finish the Bethlehem Primary school building by March. Please keep this initiative in your prayer. We are passing a critical date line to complete this work. Rainy season is around the corner, we are gearing toward dry season cultivation to keep up with the food security. We planning to expand on our medical facilities to build a medical school and OR facility plus maternity ward for women and children.

Would you consider donating today? If so, here’s the link:

Your check can be mail to Operation Nehemiah Missions Po Box 563 Lanesborough, MA 01237

I can’t thank God enough how much your gift has and will benefit thousands - by changing people lives both physically and Spiritually

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Central budget to start the year 2022 .

Total budget (Mission budget for February 2012stands at $72,000. We raised $25,000.00 balance remains $47,000:

Break down in the order of priority

1- NRB Mission Conference Nashville, TN - $5,000 (Booth and exhibition for ONMI March 8-11, 2022 - Immediate

2- School Construction - $31,000 - Immediate

3- USA Main office - $10,000 - Immediate

4- South Sudan Office - $10,000 - Immediate

5- Block production - $7,000

6- Medical building - $9,000

To donate online please go to

To donate by check, send your tax-deductible donation to Operation Nehemiah Missions, PO Box 563 Lanesborough, MA 0123

God bless you & keep you.

In His grace, William Levi, Founder & Overseer


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page