Our friend and SIM Sudan team member Dr. Rob Congdon gives an update on the group of Ethiopian evangelists who have been at work in Doro, South Sudan for several weeks…
“One pair spent 3 sessions yesterday with Muslim people from yet another group I’d never heard of, the Beldugu … the chief was interested, and allowed the visits, with many questions and much discussion. “Come back tomorrow, we want to hear more!” We’ll see what this evening brings, after the return visit today. In the late afternoon they visited more Ingessana villagers, and four came to Christ. Another group had gone with two Mabaan pastors to a refugee Mabaan area on Monday… 59 people responded to the Gospel. So, on Tuesday “Missionary Belay” (his jovial introduction of himself on day 1, has become his moniker!) was silent until his turn… and then quietly announced that their villages near Mayak area gathered many people, some having heard the message many years ago, and they were ready: 44 people trusted Christ!
Most reports are of eager listeners, wondering if these stories are really in ‘the Book’, and asking many questions. The Bible portions and literature is being passed around, read, and considered. From the Zeriba people, a man and his 7 sons trusted Christ one morning last week; later that morning the chief and imam banned the missionaries. That man and his family have become the Lord’s chosen ambassadors to their people, and we pray for more contact with them, soon. Two men from the unreached Regare tribe listened and pondered for a day, and only the next afternoon appeared at our compound, looking for the “two ladies who spoke to us”. Tibarek and Bizunesh met with them right under the baobab tree, and helped them understand and make their stand in the way of the Cross. They were less than a stone’s throw away from the graves of 4 missionaries who gave their lives, for such a time as this.
News from later, Wednesday night:
Alemberhan was with Sebsibe, Belay, and Salamu when we met briefly at the compound gate tonight. It was dark as they headed to their near-by compound; I was on my way to check on a patient at the clinic. We watched the night fires in nearby villages, listened to distant singing from the refugee camp, and talked about the day. What an encouragement these men are to our hearts with their quick smiles, and ready praise! “107 people trusted Christ today!” they exclaimed! And they told of Uduk and Mabaan refugees, hungry for the truth of the Gospel; sixty-four in one area. One group of two evangelists encountered a man from the Ingessana tribe visiting from the distant Gendrassa Camp, too far away for the DEO team. The man listened, eagerly accepted the Word preached, and carried a handful of literature back to share with his family and friends.
Then Alemberhan said, quietly, that the Beldugu people were a real challenge. They gathered yesterday, as I mentioned, and again today. The questions were knife-edged: “Just answer this one question… Did the Koran come down from heaven, or not?” What wisdom and discernment these men and women must have, and what humility. After much talking, the Chief of the Beldugu solemnly pronounced his verdict: “If this were my land, I would kill you.” They were sent away. But not before the Good News was preached, and not before a handful of Beldugu in one village accepted the truth about Jesus.”