Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures for forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:1-5
Living Water Primary and Abundant Life Primary had a combined enrollment of 736 students in 2018. On December 17th 46 students graduated from the 8th grade. Ten of the graduates were girls (a good reason to shout). Two of the graduates are orphans. The schools employee 17 teachers, chaplains, girls counselor, nurses, cooks, cleaners and guards.
Installation of solar power electricity was installed in June. Internet was also installed in June. On site basic computer training is offered 3 times per week after school for teachers and students.
Eleven hundred books have been ordered and will be delivered in mid January, to begin our first real library in February.
A weekly Bible memory verse incentive program for grades 3-8 will also kick off in February.
Twenty-four former graduates are attending secondary school on scholarships provided by LWCT. Eleven of the 24 sponsored secondary students are orphans. Nelson Mandela, 2016 top graduating student in Western Lakes State is attending Hope and Resurrection Secondary School.
Twenty churches meet for worship weekly. Akot is the nucleus, but the newest churches are as much as 30 miles out from Akot. Four new churches were started in 2018. Weekly attendance ranges from 100-200 per church each week. Nine new believers were baptized on Christmas Day in Akot. Several other individuals and families have recently made first time professions of faith. Another baptism service is planned for New Year’s Day.
Only 3 churches have a building in which to hold services. One meets at Akot Christian Ministries compound, while 16 churches meet under shade trees. Only 4 churches have access to a well. LWCT installed 2 church wells in 2018.
When asked to report their blessings in 2018, the pastors responded with praises for God’s provision and protection. They thanked God for the new believers, new churches, and the additional wells. A common praise was that they had sufficient food in 2018. “Not one of our poor people lost their life from starvation this year”, says Isaac Bol. They were also thankful that none of the ministries’ oxen had been stolen this year.
The women are praising God for providing enough food for everyone in the communities that we serve. They are very thankful to have received 2 pairs of oxen and 2 ploughs to share among the 8 groups of women. The 4 large women’s gardens (2 women’s groups work each large garden) are too far apart to share 1 oxen team.
Literacy classes for women were started in 4 locations, making a class accessible for any lady who is interested. Four female literacy teachers are recent graduates of Hope and Resurrection Secondary School. Each of these young ladies have begun Sunday School classes for children at 4 different churches in 4 communities. One of the literacy teachers finished computer training in December and will be responsible for teaching in the computer lab. Another literacy teacher will be trained to function as the librarian.
Women of Hope Sewing School will open a satellite campus in Atiaba in January. Twenty-five new sewing machines have been ordered and will be delivered in mid January. One of the two teachers in Akot will begin teaching the classes in Atiaba.
The farm staff say their greatest responsibility and joy is to partner with the other Living Water ministries (Schools, Women’s Ministries, and Christian Leadership) in Akot and surrounding communities to honor God in all they do, especially bringing the good news of the gospel to all who will listen.
This is the first year in many years that emergency food distribution was not necessary to avoid famine in Akot. Enough food was produced by the farm, the school gardens, the women’s gardens, the church gardens and the individual family gardens to avoid the devastating effects of the months of hunger. “We praise God for the wonderful harvest”, says Dr Lyrene.
The agriculture staff are thankful that the size of the chicken flock is growing and they will soon be able to distribute chickens to the community. As the community flocks grow, eggs and meat will be available to supplement the family diets.
Agriculture education is being provided as a part of the curriculum in the classroom and in the school gardens. We expect that this generation will be better able to provide for their own families.
The agriculture ministry orchard is expanding and maturing and soon will be producing a variety of tropical fruits to supplement diets. Fruit trees have been distributed in the community to make fruit more available to families. Farm staff also demonstrate other measures to increase community food availability.
Yin abi nang run jot path (Have a great new year in Dinka),
Mama Ayen (aka: Ann Rao)