The first churches in Akot were begun as a result of bush clinics where short-term medical mission teams went to remote areas to provide medical care. As the people waited to be seen by someone from the medical team, another team member told Bible stories using the Chronological Bible Storying method designed to introduce the gospel to oral societies. Local missionaries developed Bible Storying Centers where people gather under a tree on Sundays to hear the Word of God.
In 2011 Living Water Community Transformation sent two leaders, Joseph Mading and Peter Malual, to the Baptist Seminary in Kajo Keji for theological training. These two leaders began to provide training for the pastors and oversight of the churches as the Directors of Pastor and Church Development.
The past seven months the pastors have been studying things such as the leadership style of Jesus, disciple making, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, delegation of authority, the qualifications of a leader, giving and tithing, the priesthood of the believer, false teaching and doctrine, church growth, the example of the Early Church, mentoring, parenting, and the power and working of the Holy Spirit.
Some encouraging things have happened as a result of the teachings of the new curriculum through the Pastor/Church Development Ministry. Applying what they learned of tithing and giving, the Amethagok Church and Full Life Church have planted church gardens to help meet the needs of the poor. Amethagok Church had 63 in attendance one Sunday and 19 of those were new believers. A Student Bible Club that meets after school observed the Lord’s Supper and the young people were taught the meaning and significance of the Lord’s Supper to Christians. The Panjiei Church has had four new believers and there are two new believers in the Akot Center Church. The New Life Church has been averaging 45 in attendance of which 30 are new believers. In Paloc five pastors of five different churches met at the Widow Church and discussed ways they can help their churches to progress and grow. From that meeting 17 new believers gave their lives to Christ and 7 others asked for prayer for all their difficulties.
We continue to pray that God will raise up church leaders and pastors for the churches in the Akot area. The answer to the insecurity, fighting, and civil war in South Sudan is Jesus Christ. The church is the way God has provided to lead people to Christ and disciple them to tell and disciple others. We thank you for your continued prayer and financial support as the churches in Akot, South Sudan try to lead their nation to Christ.
Written by Don Steen, Treasurer