Monday, December 30, 2013

Johann & Louise Vanderbijl
~ Touching The Whole Person – Body And Soul ~

-  Vision with action can change the world –

January 2014
Dear Prayer Partners

“Come quickly!  You have got to see this!”  We had only been in Gambela for a few days, and already we had seen so much and our minds were in overload mode.  We could hear the joyous sounds of worship coming from the classroom building as we rushed down towards it.  There we found the Opo (a tribe which came to Christ only 7 years ago after a Nuer evangelist of ours shared the Gospel with them) leading the other tribes, all present for the week of training, in worship.  Given the generally tense tribalism in the region (the horrific ethnic violence in neighboring South Sudan is just one example of this complex historic problem), this event proves that in Christ, all divisions can be overcome. 

And this is not an isolated event.  Traditional enemies are not only praying and worshipping together, but they are also caring for and looking out for each other…recently Anuak refugees fleeing from South Sudan Nuer cattle raiders, were welcomed, housed, and fed by our largely Nuer congregation in Tiergol…when the fighting broke out in South Sudan, it became apparent that it was not safe for our Dinka priest (who serves as pastor to this particular congregation) to return to Tiergol, so his fellow clergy, made up of different ethnic groups, rallied around him and now he and his family are safe and being cared for by a Nuer family in Addis…South Sudanese refugees from different tribes are being cared for at the Anglican Center as well as at the churches in the rural areas.

Dearest beloved brethren, God is moving in Gambela, but the needs remain staggering in so many different ways.  I do believe Jesus looks over this area with the same compassion He had when He looked out on the Galilean multitudes and that He challenges us afresh:  “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” 

Please help us get our feet on the ground in Gambela!  Without your partnership, we cannot be the laborers we believe the Lord is calling us to be.  We are six months away from our departure date and have not yet reached a quarter of what is needed for our support.  If you have been thinking about supporting us, now is the time to make your pledge…if you have not been thinking about supporting us, would you prayerfully consider doing so? 

It has been said that many hands made make light work and it is true.  It is amazing how quickly support can be raised if everyone helps.  We have calculated that if about 200 people gave $1 a day (an average of $30 per month), we would have all that we need for our living expenses, medical insurance, pension plan, and transportation costs.  Many of you have pledged to give more than that amount and we are truly grateful, but this only goes to show that every penny given can make a huge difference when they add up in the end.

Please take a moment now to pray for us as the Lord’s laborers and if He would want you to be part of the team that makes it possible for us to go into His harvest.

Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement!
In Christ’s Service,
Johann & Louise

Should you wish to become a partner in this ministry, please click on this link for more information.

The Rev Dr Johann Vanderbijl and Louise Vanderbijl are SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders) missionary candidates serving in the people’s region of Gambela within the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Johann and Louise Vanderbijl
150 Oak Ridge Place, APT 4N
Greenville, SC 29615
(864) 884-4717   

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