Our mission to Pagak will always stand out as one where we battled daily with the physical challenges of heavy rain, flooding and mud. The area of Pagak was remote, and the half hour drive through flooded and muddy roads from the MAF airstrip to our accommodation was challenging. We also struggled to communicate with our prayer supporters, having no email or phone connections and no electricity.
Once in Pagak, we immediately noticed the extreme poverty and lack of development; basic items such as mosquito nets were not available, and we were once again living in mud huts with mud floors, something we have not done since 2005. However, we soon forgot the physical challenges by the warmth of our welcome and the kindness and generosity of all whom we met.
We thank God for this extraordinary mission to the people of Pagak, who feel forgotten and abandoned, and yet this remote place on the Ethiopian border has strategic importance to peace in South Sudan.
We ran a conference and workshop for 50 government and opposition forces, and a conference for 45 pastors, Mothers’ Union and youth. It was a tough mission, both physically and spiritually, but we could see God working every day.
The conference and workshop under a tree was hard going, but we could see God working and after the first day, all the Chaplains testified to sleeping well. About 14 of them said that they had arrived sick and had been healed.
We had much rain, and we were praying for the rain to stop, but the people of Pagak were rejoicing in the blessings of our being there; and prayed for more rain! Sunday church service was under the tree, with the team acting out the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, much to the delight of the congregation, all of whom chose to forgive. One lady’s eye was healed, two ladies reported that their pain had gone, and another was healed from an ulcer. On our day off, we ventured out to the one primary school of 470 children, with their classrooms being held under the tree, without books or resources. We were unable to go to the village due to flooding and mud!
The conference for pastors was a delight. They were hungry and attentive; absorbing everything. Testimonies of healing flowed. One lady had suffered from an issue of blood for 6 years. After prayer and on the following day, she reported that the bleeding had stopped. Wrists, shoulders, and backs were healed. A lady pastor said all her bad thinking had gone. Another lady was sick but is now able to walk and dance, and she showed us!
On the day of our departure, MAF landed on Pagak airstrip and we were escorted to the waiting plane, our bags on the heads of the people. After numerous hugs, the clergy sang “Trust and Obey” as we climbed on board. We departed knowing that God had restored hope, faith and love to many.
Even though communication with the outside world was at times non-existent and our reports minimal, the prayers of our faithful supporters saw us through.