Archive

February 2017

dsc_0001Over 1.5 million South Sudanese have run to neighboring countries in the region, half of that population located in Uganda. To a greater extent, two-thirds of South Sudanese refugees living in Uganda have arrived since the outbreak of violence in Juba December 15, 2013, through July 2016. Currently, the influx shows little sign of abating, with more than 116,000 South Sudanese refugees having fled to Uganda in 2017 alone.

Relief organizations are are trying to increase their response to the humanitarian emergency in Adjumani Western Nile. Jesse Kamstra, the country representative of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Uganda, asks angrily,” How many people have to die until the international community wakes up?”

Scroll over images for in-depth description.

January 2017

We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the financial support you sent us late 2016/early 2017. We were encouraged to receive funding to reach congregations seeking to impact the refugee communities for Christ. In 2016, we planted six daughter congregations, your assistance was crucial and lead to positive change and recovery.

In addition to Bible study, music, and discipleship, these Churches also become community centers, providing education, vocational training, and food distribution to people in need. Scripture has shown us what Jesus Christ did through His Church in remote villages — for the lost and the forgotten.

Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.”  [Luke 9:12, ESV] We are using the provisions God has given us, like these buildings, to minister to the needs of the people–it empowers His Church.

This year our church congregations are seeking to raise $2,500 to buy roofing material for a robust and more durable church building in Nyumazi II CENTRAL. Nyumazi refugee camp in Adjumani district is hosting South Sudanese who fled the country after violence erupted three years ago. The Adjumani Camps are east of the Nile River, and people have entered Uganda primarily through the city of Nimule while others came down the west side of Nile and accessed near Moyo and Koboko. Most of the village churches in refugee camps are constructed using local materials–sticks and mud. Frequent storms destroy these types of churches.

Paul the Apostle shared his experience to the Colossians, “Everywhere we go we share Christ to all who will listen.” Jesus Christ is the One who can create change within a person. We can help the world by introducing Jesus Christ to the lost.

EXPECTATION: “We planted the seed and watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Cor 3:6-8)

With your financial help, children living in poverty have access to life-saving benefits. Some of these gifts provided food aid, which was used to tackle acute hunger. Through your support, we can offer a sustainable solution to end child hunger. Know that the cost of living today is very high and your generous gift is helpful to us.

December 2016

We would like to thank you for your generous donations that allow our mission to continue in Adjumani, Uganda. We want to keep you informed of the work we are accomplishing;  in this report, we have included a proposal for what we would like to do to help the refugees in the next 6-months and the proposed budget.

Your Donation through this online Button is designated toward the ministry of Elijah Arok
serving among the South Sudanese Refugees in Kenya and Northern Uganda.

The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 marks the busy season for refugee outreach in the camps of Alere, Ayilo I, Ayilo II, Olua I, Olua II, Nyamazi I, Nyamazi II and Dzaipi. We were blessed to have many volunteers come and serve this Fall-Winter, thanks to this assistance we were able to plant six new churches. These teams devoted themselves and served at the refugee camps, encouraged the church congregations, and helped spread the light of Gospel.

img_0115Everyone is eagerly anticipating the new rotation of farming beginning in 2017. The agriculture sector in the refugee camps is underdeveloped and in desperate need of rehabilitation. South Sudan refugees are highly dependent on neighboring countries for certified seed, which is costly, farmers depend on the informal seed sector.

Prayer Updates: A few specific things you can be praying for this month:

  • Continue to pray for the refugees as they struggle to find a new life in Northern Uganda.
  • Pray for the Pastoral Training/Evangelism ministry at the Nyumazi refugee camp in February 2017.
  • Pray for missionaries as we face many tasks this Fall-Winter.
  • Pray for new converts and teachers as they resume training next month.

How you can help,

  • Every single contribution allows us to give even more support to South Sudanese families in desperate need of aid.
  • Share this story and spread the word about the millions of refugees’ being afflicted.
  • Ask your close friends and family to contribute to our efforts to help South Sudanese fleeing our war-torn country.

 

November 2016

The burden of the work in Alara is tremendous; our evangelism team is working continuously despite the uncountable challenges and prayer needs of both the people and church. God is giving our workers strength to accomplish His mission for His glory. The Lord has shown us great kindness and allowed our evangelism team to see SEVENTY people make professions of faith in Jesus! We are training and discipling these new believers preparing them for baptism.

  • Please continue to pray for our teams and their families, who sacrificially serve the Lord in dangerous places.

In the refugee camps, space is hard to find, and buildings are unavailable for the new converts to study in. We have classes under the shade of a nearby tree, sometimes, however, strong winds and rain interrupt our study sessions. These new believers are hungry for the word of the Lord and all seventy of them attend regularly.

  • Our Pastors see this area as a fertile mission field; we would ask that you join us in praying for more workers and funds from the Lord.
Sarah Arok after fleeing fighting in South Sudan.

Sarah Arok after fleeing fighting in South Sudan.

As I mentioned in my last report my sister Sarah had to flee with her children when intense fighting broke out in their neighborhood. As they fled her husband was killed, she hid in Kenya with her children until I was able to find her and bring them to safety here in Uganda. Losing her husband has been a tremendously painful experience for her and the children.

The trauma and grief of fleeing and losing her husband whom she loved so much have been a terrible adjustment for her. From now on her life will forever be different.

I told Sarah that you are aware of what happened in 1983 to 2005 between the central Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. It was a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Nearly two million people died as a result of the war, famine, and disease caused by the conflict. Please pray for Sarah as she adjusts to an environment in which her loved one is no longer present. Her husband had a special place in our hearts and our family.

Here are a few things from my heart to pray for in my personal ministry:

  • Pray for Protection:
    • Pray that I will be granted deliverance from wicked and evil people, for not everyone believes in the Lord. 
    • Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, obstacles must be removed to allow God’s Word to spread freely.
  • Pray for Boldness in Witness: 
    • Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, God will give me His words so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of His Kingdom and that I will have the boldness to overcome the fear of embarrassment in the mission fields.
    • Pray for strength and stamina as I encounter opposing spiritual forces.
    • Ask God that I will resist Satan’s plans to obstruct the spread of the gospel.
    • Pray that God will keep me safe from those who seek to hurt me in the mission field.
    • Pray that God will change the hearts of those who are resistant to his Gospel.

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July 2016

Missionary work at Justin’s and Robert’s homes.

Missionary work at Justin’s and Robert’s homes.

I would first like to share with you about our ministry’s focus. Our focus is on the individuals as well as households. The converts range from individuals to entire family members or households. The homes of newly converted believers are important centers for our missionary work. They are also centers of life for the newly established communities of believers. We use the private homes of Samson, James, Zachariah, and Elijah as our platform for reaching the friends and relatives of the house owners and members of the community. This strategy enables us to share with other cultures that tend to resist the Gospel.

 

Pastor Elijah ministering to the widows.

Pastor Elijah ministering to the widows.

Our ministry in the homes have depth and the amount of time we spend teaching and explaining the Gospel is significant. The traditional beliefs and practices of African people (including various traditional religions) are the primary concern for our evangelism team (made up of Samson, James, Zachariah, and Elijah).

These traditional religions are oral rather than scriptural, including a belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of ancestors, use of magic, and traditional medicine.

Leadership and training.

Leadership and training.

Our evangelism team lives, travels, and works with other believers. We follow Christ’s example of team ministry, especially in the ministry of evangelism. The pattern of our preaching consists primarily of scriptural pointers to Christ from the Bible. The result was great! Some of the people who used to believe in the “traditional religion” joined us! Our teaching included instructions on spiritual formation and growth. The methodology in presenting the Gospel involved “reasoning, explaining, proving, proclaiming, and persuading” our hearers to accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah.

The plan of the second missionary journey to Nyumaze, northern Uganda, involved follow-up and nurturing of the converts. We showed our love and concern for new converts. We are personally involved in their life by helping them grow in their spiritual walk.

Our Evangelism team (Elijah, John, and Samson) preparing to cross the Luri River for an evangelistic outreach.

Our Evangelism team (Elijah, John, and Samson) preparing to cross the Luri River for an evangelistic outreach.

The highlight of the program is the 6-month “Term Out” experience. Students go as a family to a cross-cultural environment to either help a fledgling church or to plant a new one. They are placed at the request of the Home Church administrative units with the understanding that the region or district will follow up the new church plant.

  • Pray that unsaved loved ones and friends would come to know the Lord, that their eyes would be opened to see the truth. Like scales that fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. “He got up and was baptized” (Acts 9:18).
  • Pray that God would give us a heart for His ways and discernment to see His direction. “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
  • Pray that His presence would move considerably in our church services and touch lives.
  • Pray that LORD would protect and direct our children’s lives.
  • Pray that there would be unity in the church (the Body of Christ). “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
  • Pray that God would be our strength and our wisdom. 
  • Pray that He would give us opportunities to share His Gospel with others.
  • Pray that God would allow us to be a blessing to those around us. 
  • Pray that God would mold our character into His likeness. 
Over two hundred refugee children gather in the mornings for a rudimentary school. This canvas shelter is all they have - no desks, or other supplies.

Over two hundred refugee children gather in the mornings for a rudimentary school. This canvas shelter is all they have – no desks, or other supplies.

We are in need of church shelters. The Evangelical church of South Sudan’s in Nyumazi, Northern Uganda, is trying to set up a shelter for believers. This shelter, and others like it, will give people that are curious about Christ, as well as believers, a place of sanctuary where they can seek the Lord’s guidance in their lives. The sight of a church building draws new potential converts who don’t know Christ, to come seek help. It is a place where believers can easily refer non-believing friends and neighbors who want to receive prayer. These shelters also provide a safe and permanent space to host many different activities that will both disciple believers and bless the surrounding community—like Men and Women’s Fellowship, Sunday school, literacy classes, prayer meetings, disaster relief distributions, and more. Congregations in Kenya and Northern Uganda often struggle to find places where they can set up church shelters. Many congregations in northern Uganda are praying for church shelters where they can worship the Lord freely.

Refugees wade through flood waters.

Refugees wade through flood waters.

Scores of congregations in the area face various struggles because of meeting in temporary shelters under trees. They have often been praying these past two years to get iron sheet buildings where they can worship without the hindrances and threat of summer heat or monsoon rains, or even overcrowded shelters. These temporary church shelters face the threat of being toppled over by floods and powerful winds.

Join us as we lift up in prayer the people of South Sudan and their needs.

  • Please join us in prayer, asking for God to provide church building materials for congregations in northern Uganda, and for it to be used for God’s glory.
  • Pray that God will move people’s hearts to donate for the shelters.
  • Pray for protection for the church shelters from natural disasters, so they can serve congregations for a while.
  • Pray that people will be attracted to church teachings and find redemption there.
  • Please pray that church shelters will help congregations thrive and impact their communities with the true love of Christ.

 

January 2016

I have spent about two weeks in the Nyumazi refugee camp in northern Uganda, where South Sudanese people, who have fled their country, are sheltering. Refugees continue to cross the border, but not in the massive exodus as in the past. According to the UN and NGO (non-governmental organization), sources estimate that 150 – 200 refugees per day continue to arrive in northern Uganda.

Over 69,000 refugees are gathering in Northern Uganda

Over 69,000 refugees are gathering in Northern Uganda

Some are avoiding border posts and entering through other routes. Since the fighting began on December 15, 2013, the total number has risen to over 69,000 refugees in Uganda. Thousands of women and children are trapped in the crossfire; displaced and separated from family and friends. The victims are living an unending nightmare.

Please pray that God will send more life-saving agencies to improve lives, and alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression in the world’s toughest places.

The rainy season will bring disease. We need to pray that the Christians will be prepared for ministry.

The rainy season will bring disease. We need to pray that the Christians will be prepared for ministry.

The rainy season is coming soon. Poor sanitation, a measles outbreak, and with early confirmation (by the Ugandan Ministry of Health) of a new meningitis outbreak in the region, there are concerns that the health situation will deteriorate, with more outbreaks of disease. “When the rain comes, there will be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We have to take malaria seriously,” said Pastor David Manyok, of Church of South Sudan; a partner in the ministry.

Refugees in the Nyumazi camp in Northern Uganda are calling on health organizations to provide enough medicine to treat malaria, typhoid, and other diseases. According to the refugees, there are a few health centers at the camp. The vast numbers of refugees overwhelm these centers.

Elijah is greeted by the Christian refugee with a processional and march toward the gathering for preaching and fellowship

Elijah is greeted by the Christian refugees and they march in a parade toward the gathering for preaching and fellowship

The Nyumazi refugee camp in the Adjumani district is hosting about 69,000 South Sudanese, who fled the country after violence erupted in December 2013. Adjumani consists of the Nyumazi II Reception Center (where new arrivals are usually brought), and the Dzapi Reception Center (which was along the Gulu/Pakele Road and has since been closed). From the reception center, refugees progress to one of the dozen cluster camps that are spread out over a county-sized area surrounding the ­Adjumani town.

The Adjumani Camps are located east of the Nile River. Refugees have entered Uganda primarily through Nimule while others have come down the west side of the Nile and have entered near Moyo or Kobok.

  • Elijah addresses the gathering

    Elijah addresses the gathering

    Please pray for those whose faith is under fire in Sudan, South Sudan, and the political struggles/unrest there. 

  • Pray that the violence will cease and for implementation of the peace treaty there. 
  • Continue to pray for Elijah as caretaker of his brother-in-law’s children, which equates to 19 kids that he is a caretaker for.
  • Pray for refugees from South Sudan: For more than almost three decades, South Sudan has been engulfed in a sequence of wars. Generations have been born in exile and refugee camps. Those who survived did so in extremely harsh conditions. Violence breeding hatred continues in the new country. Many people are facing injustice across the country.
Elijah has tremendous influence among the children in the refugee camps. He brings the message of hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elijah has tremendous influence among the children in the refugee camps. He brings the message of hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pray for the government of South Sudan. Pray that the Lord will pour His Spirit upon them, that they will choose peace and godly ruling. So many lives have been lost. Pray that the Lord’s hand will be upon them and will give them wisdom on how to handle these crises. Pray that the Lord will grant them wisdom and move their hearts to make the choice of peace and unity.

Pray for the Church of Jesus Christ to stand strong as the pillar of God’s representatives of peace to preach forgiveness. Pray that God will reconcile the South Sudanese to Himself so that we can all be united in Christ.

Pray for the peace, especially on the implementation of the current ceasefire and other outstanding concerns. It’s difficult, but we call the Name of the LORD upon it.

These refugees need our prayer and our support to bring them relief and the Good News of the gospel. We cannot ignore them.

These refugees need our prayer and our support to bring them relief and the Good News of the gospel. We cannot ignore them.

Pray that violence and killing will stop, and for the spirit of death and destruction to leave South Sudan, in Christ’ Name. South Sudanese have never witnessed a level of killing like we have experience this past two years. Pray that the Lord will take away the desire for fighting and replace it with the Spirit of love and peaceful co-existence in the new nation.

Pastor Elijah Arok

The Introduction of Elijah Arok – December 2015

White Fields would like to introduce our newest ministry partner, Pastor Elijah Arok. He was one of the SPLA/M (Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement) soldiers who decades ago fought for the freedom of South Sudan. He helped lead the Lost Boys of Sudan, and thousands of others, to safety. Now, the Lord has called him to be a pastor who leads his people to salvation through Jesus Christ and eternal life in heaven.

On a teaching trip to Kenya five years ago, Pastor David Harrell, of Calvary Bible Church in Joelton, TN, met Pastor Elijah. From that meeting, Calvary Bible Church helped to coordinate, sponsor, and support Pastor Elijah so he could attend Shepherds Seminary in Cary, North Carolina. After graduation, his friends introduced him to White Fields so that we could help him establish churches among the Sudanese Refugees scattered around the neighboring African countries. The timing of this partnership fits perfectly into the plan that the Lord has opened through our ministry in Uganda. Currently, there is a large refugee camp near the northern border of Uganda and South Sudan. Along with Pastor Elijah, we are laying the groundwork now for a stronger Sudanese Christian church in the future.

Prayer Requests from Pastor Elijah

As we come to the end of this year, we want you to join us to pray: that the Lord would send more laborers into His harvest field. This has been in our minds over the last several months as we have participated in several awareness events.
When the need of training churches in poor and vulnerable communities to carry out holistic ministry is growing, the only logical step is to do what our Lord teaches in Matthew chapters 9 and 10.

In those chapters, when Jesus saw multitudes without a shepherd, he had compassion on them. Out of His compassion, he took three vital steps: He asked his disciples to pray for more laborers, he began to train His disciples to be laborers, and then before He left the earth sent them out. Here are some prayer requests that you can bring before our Lord as we begin the New Year in ministry to reach the South Sudanese refugees in Kenya, Uganda. The Lord willing, one day we will gather these church leaders back together again in South Sudan.

  • Pray for the government of South Sudan. Pray that the Lord will pour His Spirit upon them so as to choose peace and Godly ruling. So many lives have been lost. Pray that the Lord’s hand will be upon them and will give them wisdom on how to handle these crises.
  • Pray that the Lord will grant them wisdom and move their hearts to make the choice of peace and unity.
  • Pray for the Church of Jesus Christ to stand strong as the pillar of God’s representatives of peace to preach forgiveness and God’s favor. Pray that God will reconcile the South Sudanese to Himself so that we can all be united in Christ as one Lord and one Savior.
  • Pray for those who are living in the bush with no food, water, and medical help. No man can reach them, but God can.
  • Pray for the peace, especially on the implementation of the current ceasefire and other outstanding concerns. It’s difficult, but we call the Name of the LORD upon it.
  • Pray that violence and killing will stop, and for the spirit of death and destruction to leave South Sudan in Christ’ Name. South Sudanese have never witnessed a level of killing like we have experience this past two years. Pray that the Lord will take away the desire for fighting and replace it with the Spirit of love and peaceful co-existence in the new nation.

Please pray for Pastor Elijah, as he will be training up young pastors to establish churches among the Sudanese Refugees.

Support the effort to raise up church leaders along with Elijah with a financial donation. 

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