The Road to Torit

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Field Updates, Nations, South Sudan | 0 comments

The Road to Torit

“It’s only 3 hours over the border into Torit, Sudan,” they said. “That’s the shortcut, you better go that way.”

We began our journey heading northward after spending the night in the village. The narrow, rugged dirt roads stretched before us for miles and miles as we drove towards the mountains that separated South Sudan and Uganda. The view was beautiful, and the presence of God so alive and real in the sturdy old car, as our team traveled and worshipped the Lord together.

We had prayed for this nation for years, and now God was saying, “Go and walk on the territory that I will give you.”  So, with nothing in our pockets to live on, just enough fuel to reach the next town, but enough faith in our hearts to see kingdoms conquered, we were on our way north when others were retreating south.

What was to take only 3 hours, turned into a 13 hour rugged journey, as we forged a path through small rivers, ravines and stretches of deep, muddy water that splashed over the hood. We would rev the engine high, hold on tight, and plow through water-filled gullies, not knowing how deep we would go or what we might hit beneath the surface. We drove through pitted pathways deep into the bush,  dodging stumps and sharp rocks often stopping to clear fallen trees from our path.

Dark-Skinned Angels

Three times, we sunk into soft, boggy swamps. Mud came up over the driver’s door, as the vehicle sank sideways into the thick mire, and I had to climb up and out through the passenger door. How would we ever pull the vehicle out of such a swamp? Then, it seemed that out of nowhere on this hidden trail, Sudanese villagers emerged as angels from the bush with smiling faces, and one after another came until a crew of almost 10 men were there to dig us out, pushing, pulling, heaving, and speaking a language we’d never heard.

Locals rescue our swamped vehicle_005 copy

We began to realize, as these tall, dark-skinned Sudanese villagers laughed and chattered while pushing and pulling to get us out of deep mud holes, that they were making their way into our hearts, as we were making our way into their land.

Each time of the three times we sank, villagers would appear and patiently pull us out. We had no money to give any of these villagers who had helped pull us from the deep mud, but we had Bibles. Though the literacy rate is only about 20% in these regions, they grabbed the Bibles eagerly and clung to them, running their hands over the covers, turning the pages, and smiling with such gratitude. We knew they would find someone who could read the precious stories to them, and as we were able to tell them about Jesus through an interpreter, many committed their lives  to Him as their Savior. Then in our hearts, we knew why God had led us through these deep jungle trails to try and reach Torit.

Stuck on the way to Torit South Sudan_image003 copy

 

Unreached People Groups

Later, we were informed that most of the population of Sudan lives in these remote villages and that no one has ever reached them with the message of Jesus’ love. South Sudan is still in Islamic strongholds, and the darkness of the occult. The country contains 139  people groups with many of those groups, still completely unreached with the Gospel.

A family in Aweil_IMG_0087 copy

 

We later found out, as people realized with horror, that we had traveled that route, that the ‘road’ was virtually closed and unused, and they were shocked we had even made it through. The ‘real road’ isn’t much better, but at least passable, which is how we later returned home.

Although the road had been difficult “pain provokes us to our purposes.” We felt as though we were giving birth to a land and a people as we forged our way into new territory, singing, and speaking His Word and promises of life over a land so familiar with death. We knew we were breaking  powers of darkness over the region and claiming a nation back for God, as the soles of our feet and tread of our tires covered mile after mile of thick jungle.

“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things, Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.” – Isa.66:8

Blessed are the feet of those who bring good news. Will you help us as we walk and drive to these unreached lands?

Through the Dark

Leaving the border village, we continued down the rugged little road to a town  called Magwe, where we were pointed down another trail towards Torit. “It’s just over there a few more kilometers,” they told us. As darkness fell over thick and quiet jungle, we kept on driving, forging through mud, deep stagnant water, and creeping slowly along as we continued dipping into deep holes and dodging jagged stumps.

Should we stop and park the car in the thick forest, lock the doors, and wait for daylight when we could see the surroundings better, or do we keep on going? We pressed on, singing softly His promises, ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overflow you…’ Isa. 43:2

The only noise in the denseness of the jungle, was the hum of our little engine, the quiet worship songs our team sang, and the tangible presence and care of a loving Father riding within the vehicle with us, and leading us onward.

What we would we have done without a vehicle? Though this rugged land cruiser was old, bruised and worn out, it’s engine was still as strong as an elephant’s.

Finally, we saw the few flickering lights of Torit!

Countryside around aweil_IMG_0161 copy

Torit at Last!

For the next week, we had evening meetings in the little open courtroom in the center of the town. We taught during the day in a small papyrus church to people whose hearts were hungry for the truth. Day after day, we visited the community, prayed for government leaders and offices. We encouraged the people to seek the Lord’s heart, as we prayed with so many, walking the land rejoicing or weeping with a people full of vision and desperate for change.

Teaching at a school in Rumbek_image007 copy

The evening meetings were marked with a tangible cloud of God’s glory, as heaven invaded earth night after night. We preached on the power of God’s incredible love; on forgiveness; on the pure, unadulterated truth; on the bondage of unholy traditions; our call to fulfill the Great Commission; depending on God as they prayed for their freedom; and so many more truths from the precious Word of God.

Crusade in Aweil_IMG_0232

The courthouse overflowed to capacity night after night with people standing around the outside, pressing in to hear. So many responded to salvation, while many others were healed and delivered. Two different people had been carried in unconscious and after God miraculously raised them up, they walked home rejoicing in their salvation. God answered so many personal prayer requests, and the testimonies continued pouring in over our phones, even for weeks following.

Our journey also took us to Rumbek and finally to Wau and Aweil where we ministered nightly in crusades and daily in the prisons, schools, hospitals, and government halls. Through it all, we saw more than ever the need for massive evangelistic efforts,  trauma rehabilitation and mobile discipleship training in urban as well as bush and village areas, throughout all the regions of South Sudan.

GOD IS AFTER A NATION!

Is this God’s season for the birth of a nation? (Isa.66. Isa. 55:5), for the mount of the Lord to be  established in South Sudan, and for the line of God’s territory to push farther and farther northward as whole regions are claimed back from the rule of Islamic darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of light?

God is after nations, and nations are full of people – each  one in need of His redemptive plan, each one in need of His saving grace and of His boundless love. This is the time for the invasion of a land by the armies of the living God! This is the time for the healing balm of Gilead to be poured into putrefying wounds of warfare and pain.

Children of South Sudan IMG_0277

This IS the time to “preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison doors to those who are bound!” This is the time to’”proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord in Sudan, and the day of vengeance of our God…”

Will you GO, or will you send those who are to GO?

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