One of the four local churches on the Ik ridge has been actively evangelizing and organizing another fellowship in the neighboring village of Tulutul. Praise God for their desire to do outreach and share the love and grace of Christ! But there is already a church of a differing denomination meeting in Tulutul. Pray that all the churches on the Ik ridge can work together in evangelizing and discipling as one body of Christ.
Lately there has been an increase in Malaria and Hepatitis B cases among the Ik. A few elderly have died. But both can be prevented either through using mosquito nets or vaccinations. Please pray for the local health center and the village health team. Although these resources are a blessing to the Ik, there is no doctor on staff. Pray that the health workers have wisdom to know how to care medically for the patients. Pray that the Lord will intervene and people would see His good hand of mercy.
Tensions have been high among neighboring tribes, the Turkana and the Karimojong. The Ik live directly between them, which puts them on high alert. Pray for continued safety among the Ik. Pray also for peace among all three tribes, and that soon they may know of the love and grace and peace found in Jesus Christ.
Spiritual warfare is being felt very heavily right now. One Ik man has been going missing for hours or days at a time and always coming back in a trance. His family is very worried and has called in a local witch doctor to aid in his healing. Another young girl had been having pain in her knees and neck since getting injured in the river. The Ik have a lot of superstitions surrounding rivers, so an exorcism was performed on her. Pray that the Ik can see that Jesus is Lord over all of creation, and that they have nothing to fear about the rivers when He is their God. Pray also that they be freed of spiritual oppression and possession and come to Christ for all their needs as He alone is the great healer.
A Sunday school program has begun in one of the churches on the Ik ridge. Praise God for this blessing for the Ik children! Pray that the program continues and that the children receive sound biblical doctrine beginning at a young age.
Forgiveness seems to be a concept that the Ik don’t fully understand and embrace. Even after paying back debts for theft, the Ik tend to hold the term “thief” over others, seemingly unwilling to fully forgive them. Please pray that the Ik begin to have a better understanding of what forgiveness is. And that they can begin to see themselves as sinners in need of forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
The books of Genesis, Ruth, and Mark in the Bible have been translated into Icetod. Although most of the Ik have not been taught to read their language, some men know how to read in English or the neighboring language of Nga-Karimojong. With some encouragement, they have attempted to read these books of the Bible, and get so excited when they realize they can read it! They have been really excited to read the Bible in their heart language. After reading the book of Mark, one pastor exclaimed “This is what I preached about on Sunday, but it’s in my language!” Please pray for continued excitement and interest in the Bible in Icetod, that the Ik have an unquenchable thirst for the word of God!
June was a very dry month for the Ik, and they complained that the sun had burned their crops. The village elders were busy performing sacrifices in the dry river bed in order to bring rain, with no success. One man even mentioned that maybe God had gone away on holiday and forgotten about them. But during the month of July, we have had rain at least three days per week. When the rains finally began one Sunday, some people said, “We prayed for rain this morning in church! God has heard our prayers and has brought us rain!” Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Please pray that God continues to provide rain to sustain the fields here. Pray also that the Ik come to know that God alone is in control of the rains, and that their animal sacrifices are futile.
The Ik have recently been working on a road project and getting paid in large lump sums. Instead of saving the money, many people have been using it on hard liquor and getting drunk which has caused trouble in their communities. Please pray that God works in the hearts of the Ik, that they may see the harmful effects of heavy drinking, and desire to use their money in other ways. Pray that ultimately, they recognize that the void they are trying to fill with alcohol, can be filled to overflowing with the love and grace of Jesus Christ, and choose to follow Him.
The Ik have recently been threatened to be relocated out of the homes they have made near a protected forest. Please pray for wisdom and guidance in knowing how to handle the situation and how best to support the Ik people. Pray that the Ik can stay and live in this place they call home. Finally, pray for peace and partnership for all involved.