Amidst all the grim news of war and famine, there is some good news coming out of South Sudan. A team of 10 volunteers from the US recently returned from Akot in Western Lakes State. We witnessed amazing progress during our site visit of Akot Christian Ministries.
We were greeted by a huge welcoming celebration at the dirt airstrip. Though they had waited for hours in the intense heat, as our flight was terribly delayed, the singing and dancing was unrestrained.
Our schedule included a 2 day pastor’s conference. It was held in a newly constructed women’s ministry building. The ladies made every mud block by hand, carrying water from a long distance. They worked very hard to have it finished in time for the pastor’s to use for their conference. ACM has grown and is now active in several neighboring communities. Two new men’s discipleship groups began while we were visiting.
The 8 ladies groups in several communities combined so we could visit all the groups in 5 days. Oh how exciting these groups are to visit. Though only 2 of the 700 ladies can read, they are learning Bible stories, along with the truths that feeds their souls. Mary Abyei, who finished 7th grade, is teaching literacy classes to the women’s group leaders. We were so blessed to hear Elizabeth Adut, one of the leaders, read a few Bible verses to us in English. Hallelujah!
Twenty-two people were baptized in the river in Paloch, approximately 20 miles from Akot. This swampy area with very tall reeds reminded me of the baby Moses story. Afterward coming out of the water we saw hippo tracks, and were told about the crocodiles. Pastor Peter said, “don’t worry Mama they stay on that side of the river.” Yikes!
A delegation of 4 gentlemen, representing the PTA for our two primary schools, met with us. They expressed the community’s appreciation for our excellent schools. Level eight graduates from Living Water and Abundant Life Primary Schools, operated by ACM, achieved 6 out of the top 10 places in the national exams for 2016. ACM welcomes students who would not otherwise have an opportunity to attend school. We have a large number of orphans. Nelson Mandela, who is an orphan, ranked first place!
There is a famine in South Sudan. But, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:36