As the plane landed in Juba, capital of South Sudan, it was obvious we had entered a nation that was profoundly struggling – we were among aircraft from the UN, World Food Programme and Unicef. There was also a strong SPLA (Sudanese People’s Liberation Army) presence. The view from the car window as we drove out into the bush, and to our place of residence, was that of marked minefields, dusty women and children carrying heavy water jugs on their heads, clusters of mud huts (Tukuls) and rubbish left to rot alongside the roadside.
This was the context of our mission – a third world country, still recovering from a ferocious and bloody war with Northern Sudan and now enduring a year-long civil war of tribalism and robbery – the nation is completely traumatised.
I came keen to see healings and so I took every chance I could to pray with the sick. The first day of the mission I prayed with a lady who was lying under a tree with a fever and suffering with diarrhoea and malaria. Overnight, after we had prayed for her, she was completely healed! We also prayed with a young man who had been in hospital, unconscious with malaria and typhoid. He’d been discharged with a drip but needed to find someone to put his cannula in – the hospitals are often without supplies, or even the doctors, to treat patients – we prayed with him that evening and he attended our conference the next day, 100% well!
Our mission involved teaching and praying with a wide variety of broken and hurting people, from church leaders to prison inmates (including those on death row); from orphaned children (who had been rescued from the bush) to the Governor of the state; and from council representatives to young people.
One of the most profound teachings we taught was that of forgiveness. The teaching hung upon the line from the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. Hard-hitting teaching to many who have had family members murdered and had their homes and whole livelihoods destroyed through war. However, as individuals began give their un-forgiveness to God, freedom broke out. Some delegates began to sing, some weep, some were just deeply challenged. We heard a story of one lady who, having been prompted by the teaching, released her un-forgiveness of a three-month unpaid wage to God, only to be contacted hours later from her old employers to say that she would be paid back what she was owed!
This is truly a mission trip to the most extreme edges of society; but what privilege to be a part of God’s rescue plan to some the poorest, most broken and traumatised people on earth. For me it has been two weeks that have unequivocally changed me, my faith and the trajectory of my life.
Come and discover, develop and use your physical and spiritual gifts in an exciting context – setting people free from the bondage of fear, trauma, disease and sickness.
“This is not your normal short-term mission experience!”