June 18, 2012 WOE Staff

First 2012 Pathfinder Arrives in South Sudan

The first 2012 Pathfinder, Ross Williams, has arrived in South Sudan and is already busy following the paths of Mobile Messengers. The With Open Eyes Pathfinder program gives selected young adults the rare opportunity to spend an extended period of time experiencing the life of a Mobile Messenger first hand. They record the adventure and are a bridge back home with video, photographs and blogs.

Ross has been preparing for months studying God’s word, learning about the culture and gaining additional medical training. During his month in South Sudan, he will work with Mobile Messengers to mentor youth, participate in bible studies, travel to church plants, serve in communities and help in the local hospital.

Here is his report from the first full day in the  field:

“My first full day in Lui has been incredible. Sosthen and I went on a long walk last night and had a great discussion.

Sosthen told me about the way he operates and utilizes his mobile messengers. He was very energetic about expanding. We have discussed the different ways he selects sites for church plants. He usually holds a meeting with people he knows within an area he intends to start a church to get their thoughts on the effectiveness and proper placement of that church, as it relates to the surrounding population. Many times he says he will start with open air preaching to proclaim the Gospel and get people interested. Once a church is started and a group begins to hear the Word he will then began in engaging the community at an individual level. He will go door to door to speak with individuals about their personal concerns and about community concerns. From that population he will seek out individuals who volunteer to take charge of the new church and the community to become new mobile messengers. He says training for new messengers is divided into 3 phases each lasting 21 days. He states some people’s training can be disrupted and delayed due to lack of food/water for them.

Having said all this, today has been amazing to say the least. I visited with youth all day, a couple of whom are mobile messengers (on bicycles). We shared testimonies, and discussed scripture and prayed. In the afternoon they, along with Sosthen, shared with me the challenges faced by Lui and the youth as well.

They laid out 3 main challenges:

1. Musical Instruments for Worship
2. Scholarships – I have NEVER seen people more eager to learn than the group I met with today.
3. Training/Vocation Center – This was another big one. They talked about building a place where they can have teachers come through and teach the people how to do different things: english, computers, carpentry, and many other skill related jobs. Sosthen said they can build it themselves if we could try to help them with materials.”

Two more Pathfinder teams are leaving in July to serve alongside Mobile Messengers in Kenya. You can join in the excitement of their journey  by checking their reports from the field on our website and Facebook page. You can also sponsor a Pathfinder and support their work by clicking the link below.





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