Praise God for the continuing discovery Bible studies led by team members, Maria, Logwe, and others. Pray for more local leaders to take the message to still unreached areas of Laarim, and even beyond!
Angelo, who helped us immensely with language and translation, continues to lead multiple discovery Bible studies each week, along with working at the local clinic. Pray for his strength physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He will travel soon to Kenya to explore the option of schooling later this year, to become a trained medical provider for his people.
The cattle and cattle keepers (and many others) have gone to the cattle camps, which are about five hours’ walk from the village. Pray for safety there from raiders, and that they themselves will not be raiders.
Some of the believers, including Lokolong, have also gone to the cattle camps. There they will depend more on the stories and songs they’ve already heard, and the Holy Spirit within. Pray for them to be faithful to follow Jesus there, and share readily with those around them.
Pray for Carlo, a Laarim young man that is helping Ard every Monday with leading a bible study group. He is growing in faith and in leadership. Pray that God will continue working in Carlo and that he will have the desire to start a new bible study group in one of the Laarim homes.
Pray for Jacob as he disciples 10 youth boys that have come to Christ. Those boys are making courageous decisions to break with the Laarim culture and follow Christ, but it is also very hard to keep walking on God’s path when your family and neighbours want you to walk on the sinful path.
Pray for peace. At this moment the Laarim have some tribal issues with the neighbouring tribe. These issues are taking lives on both sides. Pray for the Laarim that they will make wise decisions and that hatred will not be the leading force in making decisions. Pray that God will come in their fear and will guide them in making decisions that work toward peace.
Every Friday evening Maria, who became a believer last year, has a Bible study group near our old compound. There are men, women, youth and children gathering, about 100 total. They love to sing, and Maria loves to share about the Bible story, and they pray together for about three hours. People love it, we are told. A former witchdoctor came to faith through this group, and was recently baptized by Angelo and Maria.
Remember how revenge is part of this culture? Revenge killings are on the rise, and planned peace meetings with the neighboring tribe, scheduled for this month, might not happen. Pray for God’s intervention. JESUS is the only one who can change hard and revengeful hearts to soft and forgiving hearts (as He has done for some)!
Chief Marko was shot and killed by cattle rustlers recently. His wives and village continue to grieve. Pray for the believers there to stand firm in their faith and persevere in sharing the Word. Ask the Lord to raise up another godly chief to take Marko’s place.
One of the believers says, “There is much death here. Pray the Laarim will leave cattle rustling and follow Jesus.”
Jacob is mentoring Lokolong into a leadership role leading three Discovery Bible Studies (DBS). Lokolong has keen insights into Bible Stories and shows potential for spiritual leadership. Passionate about outreach, Angelo has started additional studies, and mentors young believers who help lead. Altogether, there are 16 DBS each week in different locations within Laarim land with over half of the Bible studies led by Laarim believers. Pray for lasting, eternal effects that will change the heartbeat of their culture to honor God.
I was encouraged just yesterday with the group of youth boys that I meet with on a weekly basis at my home, as I listened to all six of them share their personal prayer requests and without hesitation pray for one another. Two years ago if I would have asked one of them to pray, there would have been a long period of silence followed by most of them saying, “I don’t know how. ”
We praise God for his Grace in opening the hearts of the Laarim and drawing many to Himself. Pray for continued growth.
Pray for an upcoming veterinary outreach clinic planned this month with one or our AIM missionaries in South Sudan who is a vet from California. Imagine the keen interest the Laarim cattle keepers will have in this! Pray for open hearts to the Gospel in addition to animal husbandry.
Angelo, our South Sudanese team member in Kimatong, has been participating with the team in using DBS to reach the Laarim. He was excited and refreshed by the DBS training here in Torit and went back to Kimatong with renewed enthusiasm to keep reaching out to more homes and communities, sharing the Word of God in simple Bible studies, so that more Laarim will come to faith. Pray for him! Pray that he will “be strong and not give up, for [his] work will be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7).
Angelo, an educated Laarim youth who has assisted much in outreach among his own people, is regularly helping in the local clinic. He has a vision to study to become a clinical officer, and thus support himself in doing ministry. Pray for God’s direction in his life and blessing on his ministry.
After showing the JESUS video in an outlying village, the people gave an invitation to begin a Discovery Bible Study on their compound. Praise God for this opportunity, and pray for the Light to illuminate the multigenerational darkness enshrouding this village.
One 8 year old girl, Nawuyo, who accepted the Lord as her Savior and was baptized 6 months ago, has been sharing her new joy in Jesus, and the Bible stories which she is receiving weekly. Through her witness others in the village have also chosen to follow Jesus. Last week another 11 people from her village were baptized. Pray for continued multiplication of believers in this community which is very open to the gospel.
One of the Laarim believers, Logwe, has been blind since an infection attacked his eyes when he was a child. Recently a Christian doctor offered him hope that perhaps his vision could be restored to give him “navigational vision” by laser surgery. However, upon arrival the ophthalmologist’s further studies revealed that there was nothing available to restore sight. Although disappointed, Logwe still steadfastly clings to his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has already witnessed to many in his village, composed multiple songs in the local traditional style, organized believers to meet regularly, and recently assisted in baptizing a group of new believers. Pray that his limitation of physical blindness will actually be redeemed by Jesus to enhance his spiritual vision and bring glory to God.
Praise the Lord for Jacob’s recent outreach in a village called Kerenge, where six children who professed faith in Jesus asked to be baptized. Pray for many others in all the villages in Kimatong region where the gospel has been proclaimed to “repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20).
We praise God for all that He is doing among the Laarim! Pray for the 20 Discovery Bible Studies that are meeting in different Laarim villages throughout Kimatong. Pray for Angelo and Loboy who will continue to lead some of these weekly meetings, as well as for the chiefs who have stepped up to lead the gatherings meeting in their compounds. Pray these churches will be truly indigenous, led by the Laarim, and reaching far beyond where we could ever go as missionaries.
Praise God for the 30 new believers who have followed the Lord’s instructions to be baptized as an outward symbol of their inner commitment to Jesus this year here in Laarim. Pray for them to grow in their faith daily, and to recognize the devil’s snares which so easily can entangle them. Amen.
Most of the missionaries living among this unreached people group will be departing this month. Pray for the Discipleship Bible Study leaders as they facilitate the gatherings of believers and pre-believers in the communities of Kerenge, Kuduli, Yei, Kali, and Chawa. Thank God that He has given His Spirit to teach, remind, and counsel them. Ask God to give them wisdom beyond their experience, persistence in face of difficulties, and grace and truth for the task ahead of them.
Prayer for the chiefs of the Laarim people: Lord, you have placed these men in leadership over their people. You have allowed them to hear the gospel in their own language and to experience the presence of believers among them. You have given them authority and skills, and now we pray that you make them wise and discerning in their use of their knowledge and position. May they not be selfish and greedy, but instead be just and fair, encouraging the people to obey God and His instructions for living well in the land that God has given to them. Amen.
Pray for a Laarim man who recently heard the Word of God on the solar “treasure” and then had a dream of Jesus speaking to him about finding water. May You, Lord, continue to reveal yourself to him. May those who know You assist him in his search, and support him in his quest for a new source of water/life!
Maria has answered the call from another family compound to come and tell the stories she has been learning. When she arrived on Friday, the women, youth and children were assembled and eagerly sang some songs. When it was time for the story, Maria told the creation story by memory. The women had comments of the story even as it was being told. They demanded a return ‘every week to tell us another story’.
We believe Maria has the potential to be a strong female leader in this faith community. Pray for her protection from the Evil One and for the Lord’s hand to be upon her.
Prayer of confession for the Laarim: Forgive us, Lord, for the sins of our society—the cattle idolatry which causes us to raid and kill our neighbors, the hunger for things which causes us to fight and steal from one another, and the thirst for alcohol that distorts our thinking and actions. Father, we have sinned against You, and each other. Forgive us, and heal us, and cleanse our land. Amen.
“My compound doesn’t have a treasure.” “I want to hear the word of God”. These are frequent requests since we’ve begun distributing our new batch of Treasures. Praise God for the 150 solar players speaking truth, and pray for their continued functioning and testimony to many Laarim, along with prayer for the wise distribution to compounds, as long as the supply lasts.
Pray especially for the women, who are now recipients of these treasures, to share and to understand more of the gospel and its implications! Last week I asked the young ladies in the Tuesday evening group, “Who will you tell this story to?” One said that her brother’s wife has asked that she tell the story to her because her husband will not allow her to come to the gathering anymore, and another said that a lady from another compound had asked her to come and share the story after she got it this week. So there is real interest!
Praise for Longele and Lokolong and other believers who are gaining confidence in retelling the Bible stories! Pray that they will not only share the gospel message by stories, but by their testimonies and the witness of their lives, which everyone is watching!
Praise for Maria’s baptism and leadership in the community. Pray as we disciple her to disciple the other young women who also are ready for baptism! Pray for a real breakthrough among the female Laarim population—these youth and also the adult women and the “abuba” (grandmas)!
We praise the Lord for the beginnings of an indigenous church among the Laarim! Last month was the first ever Laarim- led worship service in the village of Yei. It was a service complete with Laarim gospel songs accompanied by a drum, and the telling of a Bible story by a Laarim youth. This is one of numerous little churches sprouting up in different villages throughout Kimatong. Pray for these churches to grow and spread throughout this people group.
Praise God with us for seekers inquiring about unclear translations. It opens doors for great conversations. In the passage on prayer, the word for “knock” was used. Although a proper word, real entrance doors in Laarim are few and far between. So when a listener heard the phrase “knock and it shall be opened”, he immediately thought of the more frequent use of “knock” as “beating (people)”. He recognized this idea did not fit with the other parts of the story!
The elders of one community stated that they now know the stories of the Bible. A missionary wanting to help them understand it is not enough to just know the stories, gently asked why the big tree under which we were meeting was not cut down and used for firewood. The community group said it was a good tree and provided for them shade and fruit. Other trees which are not helpful or bearing fruit are cut for firewood, he was told. It was a natural lead in to share that God sees us as trees. He wants trees that are bearing fruit—the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, etc. Other trees will be cut down and thrown in the fire!
Marino, the now retired police chief, has been the welcoming host for a weekly Discipleship Bible Study in his compound; the group is predominately young males between the ages of 6 and 12 years. Recently he asked if he could come for regular Bible study with one of our team members, which he has faithfully been doing. Now he is inquiring about baptism, so a special teaching time has been arranged for him and some of the youth from this compound group. Pray for the Holy Spirit to baptize them also with His presence and power, so that the Spirit can teach them all that they need to know in applying the gospel to their lives in this culture, and remind them of what they have heard. Marino was the outspoken leader who said to the AIM surveying team ten years ago, “Come and teach us the Word of God. That is exactly what our young people need!”
Two female youth recently were baptized and are learning the ways of God. Culture here dictates which clans can marry. In their new awareness, they have started to pray for Christian male youth of eligible clans to choose to follow Jesus also, as many of those making decisions thus far have been from their same clan group. Pray with them. Ask for the strength of these believing youth to stand up against the common immoral sexual practices of this people group, and prepare for a Christian marriage.
Angelo walks weekly to his family village of Karamorok for a Discovery Bible Study. He comes back with encouraging reports of how eager the people are to receive him and the Word of God. Yesterday, he returned with 8 boys who have declared they want to follow Jesus. I quizzed them for their testimony. Once their shyness lightened a bit they gave some encouraging answers. One said, “Before I knew Jesus, I had a mean heart. I did not care about others’ misfortunes. Now my heart is soft toward them.” We did the discipleship lesson on baptism and all 8 of them said they are ready!
Recently Naremo, a young widow who had bilateral cataracts, has had her sight restored physically through surgery. She is listening to the Word of God on a digital solar device, and she is attending a local Bible study in a village compound. Pray that she will believe the truth of the Word and see the big picture of God’s plan for her and her family—transformation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Pray for those contacted through the medical ministry. Pray that their physical needs will be the gate to their spiritual needs. Little five year old Lokine and his family and his ward mates are listening to the Treasure recordings of Bible stories and songs much of the time, along with observing the lives of believers.
Pray for the new believers who are youth. Three young men were baptized this past week, and ten more youth will be studying the discipleship lesson on baptism this week. One who was recently baptized with his family members is an unschooled youth with definite spiritual insight. Pray for the believers’ boldness and courage to share their testimony and all that they are learning with others.
Nakai and Napir, two Laarim girls, were baptized this morning. Praise God for building His church among the Laarim! Pray for these two girls to grow strong in the Lord and share with others the good things God has done.
On team day, we dedicated 80 Treasures, loaded and ready to give away. This is a huge milestone that required many hours of Bible story crafting, translation and recording, editing, and choosing/adding memory verses for each one. In addition, almost 200 chapters of scripture were recorded by various Laarim readers. Also 21 original Laarim songs were carefully recorded and included. Despite its small size the Treasure has a speaker that is easy for a group of 20 people to hear well. We are pleased. Now we are planning and praying for the right people to give them to. We consider these to be 80 little digital missionaries to take the Word of God to the Laarim in ways we cannot. Please pray for many Laarim to hear the Word and respond in faith.
Yesterday Logue came by again. He is the blind man who became a believer about one year ago. We had asked him to come to record the new worship songs he has created. With him was Lokio a teenager who leads him around and Thomas another new believer. I took the opportunity to do a discipleship lesson with them. Using the story of the Baptism of Jesus we discussed baptism. I learned that Lokio had become a believer under Logue’s influence. I asked Logue how many others he had led to faith. He thought a bit before replying “Eighteen people.” He went on to say that he gathers together children and others in his village and gives his testimony, sings songs and shares in fellowship with them. He stated thanksgiving for his blindness as, “it keeps me from cattle raiding which has killed so many of my age mates.” Pray for Logue and his ministry.