Disciples making disciples

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.

 

Spreading seeds

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

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.

Laarim disciples

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!”

Christ-centered churches transforming every Laarim village!

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.

Believers being discipled

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).

Local leader being trained

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.

Relationship building

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.

Discovering the Bible

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.

DBS

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

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.

Cattle camps

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.

Carlo

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.

Youth following Christ

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.

Peace

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.

Group growing!

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.

Peace talks

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)!

Pray for Chief Marko’s village

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.”

Leaders being trained

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.

They pray now!

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.

Visiting Vet

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.

Bless Angelo

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).

Vision

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.

Light to shine

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.

A young girl’s testimony

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.

Bringing glory to God

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.

6 children baptized!

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).

Gospel reaching far beyond

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.

Grow daily in faith

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.

Pray for Bible study leaders

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.

Blessing for leaders

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.

Finding Living Water

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!

2nd generation DBS?

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.

Pray of forgiveness

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.

Treasures being distributed

“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!

Leaders

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!

Promising female discipler

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)!

First church!

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.

Knock and it shall be opened

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!

Good trees bear good fruit

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!