GFI has been working alongside 4 local Kenyan missionaries for some time, last year they were commissioned and sent out to work in South Sudan with the vision of planting 100 churches in 5 years !!!
I am planing on visiting these missionaries in the next few days to get alongside them, to see the work they have done as well encourage them to press on under very hard circumstances. It would take around 3 days to drive there and we will likely be sleeping out under the stars, in the wild, with snakes scorpions and all the other animals. Peter may be joining me as well. Prayers for safety would be very welcome !!!
I have attached an excerpt bellow from the GFI newsletter to paint a more detailed picture of the work at hand. The photos were taken by Marks phone.
Many years ago the Lord gave us the opportunity to travel and do mission work in South Sudan. We have been privileged to travel over the entire Toposa region. Three quarters of this region have never heard the Gospel. The Former Eastern Equatoria State alone has 14 major tribes that are considered ‘least reached’, Toposa being one of the largest. This has been a hostile region for years and was considered the most uncivilized area with strong animistic beliefs. But this region is full of beautiful people that are so hospitable. In our recent survey, we travelled across Toposa land for three days driving without spotting a single church of any kind. The lord has been putting this burden on our hearts and little did we know that God was going to lead us along with Mark Keter to spearhead a work that would reach out to many Toposa villages at this time.
The Toposas speak the same language as the Kenyan Turkanas, but many have never heard about Jesus! Not evenonce. Toposas are among the five ATEKER people groups which means they share the same language and culture. I (Peter) remember sometime back when a team from GFI and Sirikwa Pentacostal Fellowship in Eldoret went to one of the many villages in Toposa land accompa- nied by one white missionary. To my amazement after watching the Jesus Film, the following day they all came to the place where the team had pitched the tent and demanded that Jesus should talk to them, thinking that the white missionary was the Jesus in the Film!
We are looking forward to starting up a church planting station at Naliel, a village situated approximately 100km from the Kenyan boarder. The environment is hot, semi-desert, and good soil for agriculture depending on rain seasons. Surprisingly you can drive over 250km without finding one church across theToposa. Naliel is strategically in the middle of this region. Discovering that no-one has ever been introduced to a Church, let alone even heard about Jesus, something has to be done!
Medicine that makes invisible (A short story)
One day an old Nyangatom tribesman (mzee) approached Mark, our missionary for South Sudan, and asked if he would be so kind as to give him some of that ‘secret medicine’. Mark asked the old man what he meant by ‘secret medicine?’ The man said that he had watched missionary Mark walk over the hills with no weapon whatsoever, not even a gun! “You must have a medicine that makes you invisible. You see this scar on my shoulder?” He said, “I have that from years of carrying this AK 47. Please sir, give me some of that medicine potion so that I too can become invisible when I travel.” Missionary Mark, a Kenyan missionary to the Nyangatom in South Sudan said, “why don‘t we just go over there under that shade and I will tell you my secret.” As they sat under the Acacia tree, Mark started to share with him the Gospel and that he serves the living God. Today that ‘Mzee’ is an elder in the newly started church there.
A New Truck for S.Sudan
The Lord made it possible for us to purchase an old Magirus Deutz Truck in Kenya.
We plan to use it along the Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya Border. We will use it to help us to set up the base in South Sudan, as there will be a lot of hauling to do. We are in the process of building Small Missionary homes for our 4 Kenyan families, as well as this we are also working on building a fence around the compound, 2 gates and a bore hole well so they can have clean water. There will be times when cement, stones and sand will need to be collected in Kapoeta, the nearest town about 100km away. Once the station is up and running, there will be the need to carry the missionaries that have been undergoing training in Lodwar, Kenya as they will be helping with the church planting and evangelism in South Sudan as these Turkana speak and have a similar culture to the Toposa.