January 2021: The Kingdom Armies are Advancing
The year 2020, while difficult, will be remembered as one of the years that the ministry advanced the most. It seemed that in every country we are working in, we saw substantial advances for the Kingdom. In South Sudan, we have graduated the 11th class of chaplains, bringing the Corps strength to over 500 men. While 66 men have made their final journey to the eternal, the Chaplain Corps has never been a more formidable force for Christ than it is at this present time. For the graduation ceremony, in October, eight generals from the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) came to participate. The Far Reaching Ministries Silent Drill Team gave a 15-minute flawless performance without a single verbal command. The news media and audience watched in awe of the precision and discipline the men have. The official South Sudan television outlet filmed and replayed the Drill Team footage for a whole week. I’m very encouraged to see the Lord’s name lifted high through the chaplains. The excitement over their commitment to excellence has had a unifying influence within the army and is stirring national pride. During the graduation four-star General Johnson Juma, who is the current chief of staff for the SSPDF and Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) asked that I be seated next to him. CDF Juma has been a tremendous support to the ministry over the years and wants to see the Chaplaincy Corps reach its full potential. As the CDF addressed the graduates and the guests, he said that it is time that Vicky and I be made the first foreign citizens of South Sudan and given a passport. All the other military leaders wanted the reporters to have their photos taken with the Chaplaincy Corps leadership. The chaplains were encouraged to see their hard work be accepted and even respected by their superiors. We had not planned to have a 12th class of chaplains for a couple of years; however, emissaries from Darfur contacted us. They shared that because of the genocide where Muslims are killing Muslims, the people of Darfur have been exiting Islam en masse. Many are becoming believers but have no foundation in Christ because they have no pastors. Because of the need, we will begin class 12 in May, and train at least 35 pastors to return to serve the people of Darfur.
Elsewhere, many of you may remember Pastor Jacob, who has been persecuted and beaten many times by the secret police where he serves. For his own protection, I am unable to disclose his location. In addition to the many trials that Jacob has faced, a fire had burned down the homeless shelter his church operates. Nothing daunts Pastor Jacob—he reminds me of the Apostle Paul. The more persecution he passes through, the deeper his commitment to reach the lost grows. Please continue to pray for strength of soul for him. Your generous donations have enabled us to completely rebuild the homeless shelter. We still need $26,000 to complete and furnish the interior. Pastor Jacob has been using the shelter as a feeding center for the most vulnerable children in his city. The poor have been devastated by the pandemic, and this outreach has opened a door to preach the Gospel. We want to extend our gratitude for your donations that have enabled FRM to be able to fund this feeding program for all of 2021. Our desire is that no child or vulnerable person (especially the homeless, elderly, or widows) will go hungry. Jacob’s vision has brought many broken people to Christ. And, as always, it is a blessing to see the children getting a hot meal. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the worldwide pandemic had brought many people to the brink of starvation. People who would normally be closed to Christ, are searching for answers and relief. Their governments and even their fellow Muslims have been unable to meet their needs. The love and support from believers is opening even the hardest hearts. Now, they are asking for more information about Christ. The genuine love shown to them is drawing them to the Lord. Throughout the world, in each country where we support pastors and missionaries under Ghost Operations, we are feeding people in Jesus’s name. Some families told us they had been without food for weeks and were literally beginning to starve before we came to help. Many people shed tears when we gave them food. Areas like the Middle East, which are so hostile towards Christianity, willingly receive food. With each meal or food parcel we provide this gives us an opportunity to share the Gospel. Letters from Muslim people started coming in with sincere thanksgiving to Christians for the love they have received. Many hearts were opened, along with new doors of ministry opportunities and people are getting saved. In Abkhazia, we held a food distribution and invited people to come back the next day to the church. So many came that not everyone could fit inside the building. People were standing outside trying to hear the Word. They wanted to hear more about the God who had come to their rescue. The Lord is continually refining His people through trials. Satan intends trials for evil and to destroy, but God can use them to build us personally and open doors to build His kingdom. This is true of the very trial you find yourself in today. Trust in His faithfulness. Continue to surrender fully into His hands and watch how He will overcome and prevail. Romans 12:21 exhorts us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” May the Lord ignite a passion in each one of us for overcoming victoriously in the New Year.
Far Reaching Ministries