Toposa Outreach Update – September 2023
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