Last month Joel got out to a village called Thuguru for an exploratory trip in hopes of finding some new places to take Bible stories. After finding his old neighbour’s new home, he and his friend set off to meet the village chief. By the end of the day, Joel had been invited by the three compounds he visited to return with either the Jesus Film or to teach God’s Word! Thank God for Lolepo, Abraham and Lolar, the men of peace God led Joel to that day – pray for them and many others from these homes to follow Jesus.
Lift up Dan and Joel’s relationships with the people whose garden is near their house (Louren, Lopiir, Nadukuo, Rebekah, Nangide, Teresa). Pray the Lord will open their ears and hearts to the gospel as Dan and Joel greet them when they come to the gardens. Pray for boldness (and language skills) for Dan and Joel to share truths from God’s Word with them.
Pray for Kalifha, a Laarim man, who is leading the Bible study in Cauwa. Pray for him, and other Laarim believers, to grow to maturity in order that they may “be shepherds of God’s flock…examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2,4).
Paul declared in his letter to the Colossian believers that “since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (1:9). Let us remember the Laarim believers today and pray this same prayer for them. Pray today for Maria, Kalifha, Loduko, Lokolong, Lowuyo, Yaba, Kileng and others (God knows their names!).
Please pray for the youth program that Noblesse is leading. Pray that these young people would be captivated by the message of God’s love for them, “so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27).
Pray for growing relationships with the many kids who hang around Dan and Joel’s compound, especially Lowuyo, Dominik, Lokwar and Lomua. Pray that as Dan and Joel live out what is to follow Jesus, their lives and their Words would preach the gospel and draw these boys to relationship with God.
Noblesse has felt a tremendous amount of suffering and loss as he has seen many of his disciples either leave for refugee camps or killed in raids. When he was with us in Torit last month, he shared how deeply connected he feels to his community in Chauwa, so these losses have been significant. Pray that Noblesse would be comforted by “the Father of compassion…who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
The completion of the Laarim Bible is on track for 2023. Pray for the translation team to persevere and work hard to finish, and for good cooperation from the community as they do language checks. As the Laarim hear God’s Word in their mother tongue, pray for them to declare: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path” (Psalm 119:103).
The rains have fallen and the Laarim have been planting gardens. This is the season the men and boys return home from the cattle camps to help with cultivation. Pray the Holy Spirit would move mightily in this season, that both spiritually and physically “the Lord will indeed give what is good, and [their] land will yield its harvest” (Psalm 85:12).
Dan and Joel have now completed sharing the 25 Bible Story set at Chief Angelo’s compound, which tells God’s story from Creation to the Resurrection and Faith. Pray that all who have listened to God’s Truth would “fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness” (Joshua 24:14). May Chief Angelo and his whole family “throw away the…gods that are among [them] and yield [their] hearts to the Lord” (24:23).
Only a few years ago there were very few, if any, Christians among the Laarim. Now every Sunday small groups of believers are meeting in all three of the villages we have team members in. Pray for the church meeting in Cauwa where Noblesse lives, in Yei where Jacob lives, and in Kali where Dan and Joel live, to grow in what it means to be the body of Christ.
Praise God for Laarim men who have become followers of Jesus! Pray for Logwe, Marino, Kahlifa, Paulo, Dominik and others who have professed faith in Jesus, that they would persevere in their faith, grow as Christians, and be bold witnesses in their homes and communities. Pray for these men to proclaim righteousness in the great assembly and not to seal their lips. To not hide God’s righteousness in their hearts; to speak of God’s faithfulness and salvation. May they not conceal God’s love and His truth from the great assembly (Psalm 40:9-10).
Many Laarim continue to hear the Word of God but have not yet professed Jesus as Lord of their lives. Pray for Angelo, Paulo, Marino, Yaba, Naepi, Nakai, Kileng, Chief Angelo, Moyna, Mary, Chief Joseph, Locek, Daniel, Lokorai, Kayite, Lodukuo, Lokwar, Lolepi and Celestian to trust in Jesus for salvation and be transformed by the gospel.
Pray for schools among the Laarim to be places of light and truth. Pray for Morris, a Laarim teacher and catechist at one of the schools, that his love and knowledge of the Lord would grow. Pray for Celestian, the head teacher at another school, that as he meets with Noblesse to study God’s Word, he will hear Wisdom’s call: “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me” (Proverbs 8:17).
As more and more Laarim come to faith in Jesus, pray for truly transformed lives. Pray that this transformation would lead to peace between the Laarim and the Toposa who are stuck in the cycle of cattle raiding and revenge killing. Pray for youth aged boys, especially, to resist the pressure to follow their age mates, and to understand, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble” (Proverbs 4:18-19).
Dan and Joel are using the Jesus Film in their community to engage with people and have conversations about the gospel. Pray that more and more Laarim will “seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
Laarim believer Angelo is enrolled in a clinical officer program at a university near Nairobi, but has faced the challenge of doing classes online during the covid pandemic. He is finding it lonely in Nairobi and misses his team and the Laarim community very much. Pray that Angelo would have endurance to complete his first year well, and to have wisdom as he considers his options for completing the program.
Dan and Joel have started a soccer ministry on Sunday evenings in Kimatong, a 6km bike ride from their home in Kali. Pray that as they reach out to the young people through this fun time, there will be many opportunities to share spiritual truths that have eternal value.
Praise God for a working borehole in Kali, the community Dan and Joel live in among the Laarim. This was an opportunity to work together with Paulo, a Laarim man trained by NGOs to repair boreholes. Pray that Dan and Joel’s service to the community and love for the people would give them many opportunities to keep sharing about Jesus, the “spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
Pray for people of peace in the Laarim communities of Ngarahac and Lotopocho where Noblesse is seeking to spread the seeds of the gospel. Pray for men and women in these communities who “hear the word and understand it… [and] produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:23).
Praise God for how He is building His church among the Laarim! Kleava is a farmer who sought out the Word of God and is applying it to his life. Logemet and Lokorai, two teenagers that Noblesse is mentoring, are taking more leadership among the believers. Pray that God will build his church upon these “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5).
Angelo, a young Laarim man, has been a faithful member of the team in Kimatong. He recently went for studies in a town near Nairobi, Kenya to become a clinical officer. Although he is already missed by the team and communities where he has been actively leading several groups in oral bible studies and discipleship, we trust that this is the plan of the Lord, and that God will sustain and multiply disciples where Angelo has been ministering. Angelo is eager to finish his studies so that he can return to the Laarim and continue to serve the Lord in his home community. Please pray for Angelo as he adjusts to life in Kenya. Pray the Lord will use him as a witness wherever he is.
Pray for Simon Lokualong, a Laarim man who has recently heard the whole message of the gospel. He shared that “he had not heard God’s Word before, but he was learning.” Pray that he will continue to be open to hearing and receiving the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
We are continuing to use the Jesus Film to expose the Laarim in our village to the Gospel story. We are encouraged by how the people stay engaged with the two-hour long film, despite competition from the loud hum of the bugs! Pray for Chief Angelo and those on his compound who are meeting regularly for Bible study since showing the Jesus Film at his house several weeks ago. Pray especially for Lokwanang who is coming consistently and engaging well with the stories. Pray that he and others attending the Bible study will be drawn to come to Jesus and choose to follow Him.
Pray for the young men Jacob has discipled, specifically Lokolong, and the others on the team and in the community whom he encourages in their ministries—former police chief Marino and the blind evangelist Logwe.
And please intercede for the renewal of faith and revival in the lives of Mary Marko and Mary Paulo, both of whom had been following the ways of God.
Noblesse, serving in the northern location of Chauwa, sent us a video of the believers’ gathering this past Sunday morning. Kleava, the farmer who sought out the Word of God and is applying it, along with a few men and numerous youth were present. Two teenagers (Logemet and Lokorai), whom he has been mentoring, are taking more leadership. Praise God for how He is building His Church!
Ask God for people of peace in the communities of Ngarahac (up in the mountain) and Lotopocho (the “wild west”), where Noblesse is seeking to spread seeds of the gospel.
Angelo is a valuable member of the Kimatong team. As a Laarim believer who was educated in Torit, he has both the language (English, Juba Arabic, Laarim), and the commitment to the Lord needed to be a witness for Jesus among the Laarim. He has been working at the local clinic and is planning to go for training as a clinical officer in order to better serve the community. This plan has been disrupted by the closure of schools, but in the meantime, he continues to preach the gospel and disciple new believers. Praise the Lord! Pray the Lord will pave the way for him to move forward in furthering his education, all for the glory of God.
Please pray for these key Laarim believers: Maria, a young girl who has taken some initiative in the past to lead Bible studies and worship for others; Lokolong, a young teenage boy who reads the Laarim bible well (there are so few who can do this among the Laarim!) – may he hunger and thirst for God’s Word; Marino, village chief, to “grow up in his salvation now that he has tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2); Logwe, blind, and yet he “sees!”
Noblesse (our Congolese/Rwandan team member on the Laarim team) asks us to join him in prayer for “Christ-centered churches transforming every Laarim village.” Please join us in praying for three villages that Noblesse is focusing his ministry on:
• For Chauwa, that God will raise up among the young believers some who will be ready to take responsibilities of leadership as they grow in knowing and loving our Lord Jesus.
• For Lotopocho, pray that God will lead us to start a home church in this village. Pray for Robert Lomua Loyepi, a young believer from this village, that he will be able to see the need of starting to share the Gospel in this area.
• For Ngarahac, this is a place that I (Noblesse) don’t know anyone who is a Christian. Pray that the Lord will lead me to a home of peace; a home that the Holy Spirit is preparing to receive Jesus Christ.
Pray for Angelo and Noblesse as they begin using the newly developed discipleship material with some groups of believers. Pray for wisdom as they disciple oral learners to know and follow God’s Word. Pray for these Laarim Christians to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way…growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might” (Colossians 1:10-11).
Noblesse is doing well. He is using literacy training to spread the gospel. He has a DBS bible study group on Saturday and Sunday now. When Kaliva (Laarim believer) is in Chauwa, he is leading the DBS group on Sunday, with Noblesse coaching him. Praise God for raising up leaders from within the Laarim! Pray for their growth and spiritual protection.
Dan and Joel have been with the Laarim team for about 6 weeks now. They both stayed in the homes of local chiefs for a week-long homestay and built positive relationships in those households. Pray for the chiefs to be men of peace who not only welcome foreigners into their homes, but more importantly, Jesus into their lives.
Pray for the Kimatong team as they develop and use a new Bible story set to help new believers grow in their faith. Pray that all believers would be discipled and understand more and more how to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…” (Colossians 1:10). Praise God for Laarim believers who are starting their own DBS bible studies. Pray for good, abundant, and lasting fruit among the Laarim.
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.