The SEED – October 2023
“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.”
– 1 Timothy 4:10-11
The Toposa Outreach Initiative (TOI) Team continues to reach more people in Toposaland with the Gospel. They revisit the same 35 villages on a weekly basis, ministering to the people and encouraging the Champions and believers to stay strong in their faith. Lighthouses are expanding and growing. There are now 60 Lighthouses, led by 60 Champions, in 47 villages with 600 disciples attending!
The Team has also begun sharing the Gospel in 20 new villages. This is where they spend most of their time, “sharing the Gospel and their very lives.” (1 Thess.2:8), by introducing them to the Gospel through spoken Word and how they live their lives.
In September, 91 people accepted Christ as their Savior, and 17 were baptized. With the Team expanding and reaching more villages, there is a greater need for more Audio Bibles and Jesus Film projectors. Currently they have 2 projectors that they share among the 14 Missionaries. The Team distributed 17 Audio Bibles, 4 hard-copy Bibles, and 16 DMM signage bookmarks in September.
In late September, two members of the SHARE Team from Lodwar drove to Toposaland to conduct DMM training. Below SHARE Staffer, James Ewoi, shares his experience and the results of the training.
Toposaland DMM Training Report & Observations – James Ewoi
My journey to South Sudan was an exciting one. It was my first time traveling there by road. Traveling by road is long, due to scrutiny at the immigration department on both sides of the border and multiple roadblocks all the way to Kapoeta. South Sudan police are very unfriendly. Unlike Kenya, South Sudan is very strict with foreigners. They monitor all activities you do, but that is expected in any country under military rule.
I went to Kapoeta with two intentions: one, to attend Disciple-Making training held by the TOI Team at Salt & Light Church, and secondly, to assess ministry progress and encourage the TOI Team. Jackson Erus (TOI Coordinator) and I also distributed 55 Audio Bibles, 55 signage bookmarks, 2 DMM curriculum manuals, 70 SEED newsletters, and 5 hard-copy Bibles to the Champions.
Training began on Monday, September 24th and ended on Thursday the 28th. The total attendance was 70 people, including Jackson, myself, 13 TOI Missionaries, 53 Champions, and 2 partners from Salt & Light Ministry. The participants understood the content, and they were able to recapitulate so well. They went back to their villages with the fire to ignite others to become disciples of Christ. The Champions anticipate starting new Lighthouses soon. Discipleship among the Toposa looks promising. Disciple-making is catching fire in the remote villages, despite opposition from the Roman Catholics. One of the Toposa Champions who came to the training had injuries on his head from Catholics attacking him when he went evangelize in a new village.
After the training, we traveled to a few villages to check on the progress of the work done by the TOI Team and to encourage them. We chose to visit the villages within the Paringa Division: Nyuuda and Napeingoroko Villages under Missionary Philip Ikaale, Moruangilimo Village under Missionary Peter Ekiru, and Choroi Village under Missionary Amos Erot Ekaale. We had the opportunity to visit Lighthouses and talk with government chiefs (aka sultans). The Lighthouses are doing well. They gather 3 times each week to share their testimonies, pray, and listen to the Audio Bible. In the Paringa cluster alone there are 11 Lighthouses.
On the last day of our visit, we had an official meeting with the TOI Team. We evaluated the work of each missionary and provided advice on how to better their work. The missionaries raised challenges they face in their day to day work. We were able to provide remedies to some, and we referred some to the authorities for intervention. Good stewardship of resources and ways to sustain the ministry in the future was discussed as well. The impact of The Jesus Film was shared. I was delighted to hear that The Jesus Film has helped to transform non-believers and lead them to Christ. The areas that are being reached by the missionaries are widening, thus they need at least 2 additional projectors. The missionaries were encouraged to work closely with the Champions and empower them to own the ministry in Toposaland.
During my time in South Sudan, I saw that the Toposa people are beginning to accept the Gospel of Christ. The common barriers to the penetration of the Gospel are denominationalism, drug abuse, animism, persecution, and culturalism. Jackson and I thank the U.S. Team and Lodwar office for prayers and facilitation of the training. We appreciate it so much!
SHARE Staffer, James Ewoi, facilitating the DMM training
Toposa Champions receiving their DMM Tools – Audio Bibles & DMM Bookmarks
SHARE Staffer, Mary Esinyen, teaching the ‘3-Circles’ to the class at the Namorkirionok Sending Center
The new Sending Center in Lomidat Village
The completed Sending Centers are marked in red.
Since the SHARE ministry began in Turkanaland, over 700,000 people in 479 villages have been reached by the SHARE Staff, Motivators, and Evangelists with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Of those people reached, 101,189 have placed their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. In the third quarter of this year (July – September), 10 new churches were planted in Turkanaland, which brings the current total to 479 churches! There are 731 Champions leading Lighthouses where they are discipling 4,240 believers. There are only 107 unreached villages remaining, and we plan to reach them with the Gospel within the next 3-5 years, or sooner!
THE JESUS FILM – 3Q REPORT
Screening The Jesus Film throughout Turkanaland continues to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. In the third quarter alone, the Team screened the film to 5,908 people in 35 villages, with 884 people accepting Christ and 60 baptized!
Viewers of The Jesus Film in Chokchok Zone raising their hands to accept Christ as Savior after the screening
Men’s participation and involvement in church and Lighthouses in Turkanaland increased in September. Currently there are 1,548 men attending church and 1,018 being discipled in a Lighthouse!
SHARE Staffer, Jacktan Kachi, leading men through the prayer of salvation in Nakode Village
More than 30,000 women attend church regularly throughout Turkanaland. The majority of women Champions still do not have an Audio Bible to lead their Lighthouse. Pray for these women to remain strong in their faith despite their lack of resources.
SHARE Staffer, Ann Karimojong, teaching women in Nakode Village the ‘3-walks’ methodology
Young men remain one of the most difficult people-groups to reach in Turkanaland. There are 6,317 young men attending church services each week. In September, 5 young men accepted Christ as Savior and were baptized. Our prayer is for more young men to come to Christ, because they are the leaders of tomorrow.
SHARE Staffer, Simon Akuta, praying with the young men in Chokchok who accepted Christ during a recent church plant
More and more young women in Turkana are putting their faith in Jesus. There are now 6,693 attending services and 145 being discipled. They are eager to learn the DMM methodology, but traditional early marriages and discrimination are a struggle for these young women. There are still many young women that do not have their own Audio Bible to use when teaching their Lighthouses.
SHARE Staffer, Ann Karimojong, showing young women Champions how to use the Audio Bible
Turkana children are eager to learn more about Jesus. The challenge is having qualified Sunday School teachers who will teach them. Currently we have 314 SS teachers teaching over 17,000 students throughout Turkanaland! Of those teachers, only 127 can read, and 36 are enrolled in an Adult Literacy class. There are 130 teachers without an Audio Bible, and 199 have not had DMM Curriculum training. Several zones are requesting training for SS teachers, but there is not enough printed curriculum or Audio Bibles to distribute to them at this time. Pray that we can provide the necessary tools and conduct training sessions for the teachers soon.
SHARE Staffer, Mary Esinyen, teaching children
Adult Literacy (AL) classes are going well, with 2,851 students enrolled across 9 Zones. (Lokori Zone is experiencing hostility from bandits, so classes have been canceled there for now.) In September, 157 AL students took their proficiency exams, and 73 graduated! A celebration was held in Lorugum Zone on International Literacy Day, September 8th, where there was much excitement, singing, and dancing. This celebration also promoted literacy across Kenya to make a peaceful and sustainable Kenyan society. It was hosted by many different organizations in Kenya, including SHARE. AL students from each of the zones performed songs and dances to celebrate this event. At the ceremony the graduates received their certificates. Some also received a hard-copy Bible, an Audio Bible, and/or other gifts depending on their accomplishments.
A group of AL students preforming a dance at the awards ceremony
SHARE Staffer, James Ewoi, awarding a hard-copy Bible to the woman who received the highest grade on her proficiency exams
– Those saved and baptized in Toposaland and Turkanaland in September
– DMM training conducted in Toposaland
– Construction of the Next-Gen Center in Lomidat
– Children in the Next-Gen Centers making good progress learning
– Successful fundraising in 6 of the zones
– Evident effectiveness of the DMM Curriculum used in teaching throughout Turkanaland, Nyang’atomland, and Toposaland
– Good health and protection for all the SHARE Staff and Motivators/Missionaries
– Safety for the Toposaland Missionaries as there is unrest in Buya communities where they would like to minister and along the border between South Sudan and Turkana
– Continued growth of Next-Gen children, construction of the 7 remaining Centers, and finding qualified teachers for each of the Centers
– Availability of clean water at all the DMM Centers and Next-Gen Sending Centers
– Motivators and Evangelists shepherding the many churches in Turkanaland and Toposaland
– Peace between the Turkana and the Pokot tribes along the Kalemng’orok and Lokori Zones’ borders
– Provision of more DMM Tools in all regions (Audio Bibles, hard-copy Bibles & Bookmarks)
Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers and support!