The Fruit is Ripening

      “Mama Ayen, after exams we shall go for a one and half week of holiday. I have planned to do a work of God in those days by forming a team called Gospel Message for Inmates. We shall be preaching the kingdom of God to inmates in prisons and hospitals in Rumbek from 27th of July to the 3rd of August,” wrote John Chok. This young man is a graduate from one of our primary schools in Akot. Currently he is being supported by Living Water CT, and is attending a Christian secondary school a few miles from Akot.  
      There are moments when I am tempted to question whether we have accomplished any lasting good in the 17 years of our effort in Akot. But then God reminds me that the real fruit will be evident when the children are older. So, you can just imagine how blessed I felt when I received John’s message.
     John presented a very detailed proposal for this mission. The details included goals, objectives, the sermon titles for 5 pastors and 25 evangelists (along with the Scripture references for their messages), and the budget for every food item and the bottles of water that would be required for the team. LWCT enthusiastically approved the mission.
     Each morning I was excited to receive John’s  reports during their mission in the prisons and hospitals. However, his final report brought me to my knees. In the past I personally have led medical/evangelistic mission teams in those same prisons. Therefore, I was not surprised about the conditions. However, the suffering and injustices he described overwhelmed me emotionally. 
      John gave praise to God for the many souls who had repented, and for those who came to faith in Christ. He also verbalized his appreciation to LWCT for our support. Then John shared that the team had shed many tears over seeing children, pregnant women and old men suffering without food, clothing, or bedding.
     “They all have lice and other parasites. And many are very sick,” said John. “There are women who were arrested, not because of their own mistakes. They were kidnapped instead of their husband or a child who had either stolen something, raped someone, raided cows, or killed someone, then exiled into the bush.” John also stated, “One pregnant woman told us that she is arrested instead of her husband’s cousin who killed two people, then ran to the bush. One older man said that he was in prison because his married daughter was killed by his cousin. Her husband had this man (the father)  imprisoned in order to repay the dowry that the husband had previously paid. This father is now mourning his daughter’s death, and also struggling to pay back the dowry,” wrote John. “A boy of 13 years is in prison because his older brother took someone’s money and ran away.  This young boy is suffering with pneumonia. The prison official told me that the boy will not live long, because he has no one to bring him food and can’t go out for treatment,” reported John.  John informed me that the prison official agreed to release the boy, if his $70 prison fee was paid. Unfortunately, the plaintiff refused to agree to his release, because then he would have no chance of getting his money returned.
       John said that the team found that the conditions in the hospitals were not much better than those of the prisons. He said, “Many patients do not recover because the hospitals do not have the needed medications, and there is no family to buy the drugs in the market.” 
      John shared that he met a seven year old orphan boy named Bol, who daily loiters around the outside of a hospital, hoping he can eat the leftover scraps from the patient meals. The food must be brought in by family members of patients. Bol is a street-boy and is chased away from the homes of all his living relatives, because he has elephantiasis. 
       Thankfully, I have a wonderful team of prayer warriors to whom I can shoot out requests for immediate rocket prayers. I do not have to clean up my raw wording before presenting the needs to them. This time, as usual, they sprang into action with their fervent prayers. We prayed for discernment. We know that God is able to change the South Sudanese judicial system. But in the meantime we sought ways to help relieve some of the suffering immediately.  
      In God’s sovereignty, there is a physician who is imprisoned because one of his patients died. (The patient’s family had blamed the doctor for the death.) This fellow prisoner examined the 13 year old boy and prescribed medication for pneumonia, malaria, parasites and vitamins. With funds from LWCT, John was able to purchase medication and the much needed food for this boy in the market. This young prisoner is doing much better now. 
      Also, orphaned Bol is receiving the medication he needs, as well as new clothes, food and bedding. LWCT is also providing monthly support to a woman who was willing to take him into her home. It turns out that this lady was a friend to Bol’s mother before she died, just another example of the sovereignty of God. 
      There are so many more needs identified in John’s report, and as God leads and provides, LWCT will address those needs when possible.
      Your partnership in this ministry through your prayers and finances are a tremendous blessing to so many hurting people.  Your support allows us to respond to immediate needs as we learn of them. You are ministering throughLiving Water CT.

Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:36

Your sister in Christ,
Ann Rao (Mama Ayen)